Galleries - October 2015

anything more than about 40 years old – and just go and enjoy what amounts to a museum quality exhibition of top quality art, curatorial research and expertise. Many of London’s finest are there of course – among them Annely Juda, Richard Nagy, Mayor Gallery, Eykyn Maclean and Alan Wheatley. Meanwhile over in Battersea Park the following weekend, there is a very different kind of event, the Affordable Art Fair (22 to 25 October) which is now entering the 17th year at its original venue. No signs of age however, with 110 galleries and 1100 artists on show this year as a testament to its continuing vigour. A very different approach to collecting of course, with the top price limitations creeping up very slowly – currently pegged at £5,000 – and lots of educational and family events, as ever. As well as becoming a global franchise, it has stimulated a huge growth in excellent regional events such as the Cambridge Art Fair (2 to 4 October) which, because of its early date in the month, we previewed in our September issue. (Full feature this month, see page 37). NU Society Artists By pure coincidence a number of really interesting shows by a range of artistic societies to draw attention to this month. First, and probably the oldest (founded 1913), is the distinguished London Group, who are holding their 2015 Open Exhibition at The Cello Factory . I really like the ethos of this particular show, as unlike the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, it plays absolutely fair by the non- members who submit, with its 140 exhibited works divided equally with those of the members (just look carefully at the Summer Exhibition lists and do the sums sometime!). The show is divided into two parts – 13 to 23 October and 27 October to 6 November – and it is always full of terrific things. Meanwhile, at the Mall Galleries, itself the outcome of artistic societies forming after the Second World War, there are shows by two societies whose fortunes I follow closely, the annual exhibitions put on by the Royal Society of Marine Artists (14 to 25 October) and the Society of Wild Life Artists (29 October to 8 November). Both societies are busy reinventing themselves and with great success. The Marine Artists, for example, keep faith with their more traditional and conservative following with works of a generally high technical level but also mixed with younger artists who are experimenting with new approaches to this old historical practice. Similarly with the Wild Life artists, whose show ‘The Natural Eye’, is increasingly unrecognisable from 10 to 15 years ago as the society has actively enlisted the support, and entry from, a new generation of artists who see their art as a means of engaging with current ecological and conservation initiatives. Finally news of The Society of Graphic Fine Art. Billing themselves as the only society dedicated solely to drawing, they would appear to be on an increasingly dynamic course with exhibitions in a variety of London venues, the latest, their annual show taking place at the Menier Gallery (5 to 17 October). I’m intrigued! NU So much is going on all over the country now that it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps biggest first with Frieze and Frieze Masters in Regents Park (14 to 18 October). Frieze itself is an acquired taste, but Frieze Masters is something else. Describing itself as “a contemporary lens on historical art” it is a terrific selection of some 120 international galleries dealing in a wide range of art from ancient to modern. Ignore that misleading ‘historical’ by the way – it refers to anyone or ANTENNAE 14 GALLERIES OCTOBER 2015 from left: W ojciech Fangor ‘No 10’, Mayor Gallery at Frieze Masters. George Meyrick ‘Tautology VI’, The Cello Factory Fairs Extravaganza