Galleries - November 2015

real, tenacious beauty. ( Artwave West ). NU William Rothenstein So dominant has London become in the emerging contemporary scene over the last half century, that it is hard to imagine a time when it was Britain’s great regional centres that were the powerhouses of artistic innovation, with London still often intensely conservative. Leeds before the First World War is an example, with Herbert Read and Jacob Kramer setting a very stiff pace, but less well remembered perhaps is Bradford, out of which William Rothenstein (1872-1945) emerged at a very similar time. Like Kramer’s career, Rothenstein’s was built on painting Jewish subjects in a modernist influenced style, but unlike Kramer, he went on to exert his influence almost entirely in London. Rothenstein is remembered today perhaps as much as a teacher (he was Principal of the Royal College of Art from 1920- 1935) as a painter. This misapprehension is something the excellent exhibition ‘Rothenstein’s Relevance’ organised by the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum in association with Cartwright Hall in Bradford (which holds a large collection of his works) is aiming to put right. Currently on show at London’s Somerset House in NOVEMBER 2015 GALLERIES 9 In some cases he does this through showing the space just beyond the picture plane, in the gallery itself. In ‘Rubens’ Lion Tiger and Leopard Hunt in the Royal Academy’, the vivid colours and dramatic movements are offset by the quieter human interaction playing out before it. In ‘Prayer Book’, he takes us to the other ‘side’ of the painting, to a world of the artist’s inspiration, setting up an intellectual altar around the works of Titian. Perhaps his most effective works are those showing the architectural space. In particular his study of the construction of Tate Modern’s new wing is a reminder of the ongoing physical changes to the way art is viewed. At Trinity House Paintings until 14 November, Cree’s Reflections on the Masters gives London a reintroduction to familiar sights. FA Contributors: Nicholas Usherwood, Bill Hare, Frances Allitt adjoining rooms to the Ben Uri handsome centenary show ‘Out of Chaos’, it really gets to the heart of this intensely cultured man’s influence on British art in the first half of the 20th century. NU Alex Cree During the early 20th century, the Cubists sought to represent objects in space in a concrete but unfamiliar way. Their works presented new understandings of space, which led some of their supporters to anticipate a push towards the ‘fourth dimension’, a concept that was discussed at length without ever really being fully defined. Today, Alex Cree may not be whisking his viewers into the realm of space-time, but he does with concept what the Cubists did with form: opens up a new sense of space for the practiced art viewer. Cree, himself a British artist, trained under pupils of the Euston Road school, a group of British painters who wanted to reconcile abstract and representational painting for the uninitiated viewer. Through completing painstaking mathematical measurements of their subjects and recreating them in a painterly manner, the members created mechanical yet natural images. Cree’s images are similarly anchored in space, but he makes playful use of scale in exploring the art of the Old Masters in London. from left: G oya ‘Capricho’, Goldmark Louise McClary ‘Broke Open Over Dark Water’ Artwave West Arthur Melville ‘Dancers at the Moulin Rouge’ Scottish National Gallery Alex Cree ‘Tate Britain’, Trinity House Pictures William Rothenstein ‘Coster Girls’, Ben Uri Gallery and Museum