Galleries - June 2016

influence of this extraordinarily gifted (and largely self-taught) painter (d2003) who, emerging out of the seminal Narrative Figurative movement of the 1960s in Baroda, achieved widespread recognition in major avant garde art circles in Europe from the ‘70s onwards. His was, above all, an immensely benign influence, one that gave younger Indian artists the freedom to move easily and with a lack of guilt between powerful opposing Indian traditional and Western contemporary art. The Affordable Art Fair on Hampstead Heath this month has 100 national and international galleries, not to mention prices held, as ever, in a tight £100 to £5000 bracket, which makes the buying chances promising! Don’t let the ‘out of town’ venue put you off – it’s in a large, airy marquee in a beautiful heath setting, with free shuttle buses between the tube stop and Fair, or a 10 minute stroll through the charming village streets. Happy hunting! Nicholas Usherwood work he undertook as a historian and traveller in the Indian sub- continent on which his current reputation as a writer is based; the photography he always continued to do alongside his researches ‘on the ground’, something, until now at least, always remaining very much in the background. Now, with a book just out, entitled ‘A Writer’s Eye’ , curated by the writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi (who has written the introduction also) he is exhibiting a suite of 44 black and white photographs drawn from a wide range of his travels both in India and this country at the Grosvenor Gallery (from 24 June). In a recent article in the Guardian about the background to the book, he felt they represented a taste for the dark and moody that isn’t present in his writing and which he attributes to a childhood spent growing up on the windswept shores of the Firth of Forth and school on the bleak Yorkshire Moors. Certainly they reveal his youthful passions for the romantic austerities of Bill Brandt and atmospheric precision of Fay Godwin, but to these he also adds an unmistakable love of the architectonic and sweeping luminosities of sky that is very much his own. Meanwhile, another excellent show at Grosvenor this month is ‘Bhupen Khakhar’s Contemporaries, India 1960- 2016’. It provides a welcome reminder of the wide ranging Fair date Being a woman probably didn’t help, but more to the point perhaps was her extremely slow and immensely painstaking working process. She was meticulous Slade drawing technique personified, Coldstream and Uglow avant la lettre , and each of her major, Italian Renaissance influenced compositions, seven or eight at most finally finished, entailed hundreds of meticulous drawings and watercolour studies. With work that was luminous, ecstatic and intensely spiritual in character, Winifred Knights is a unique figure in 20th century British art, now restored to full and proper recognition at last. With one of the finest of the early Victorian photographers, Julia Margaret Cameron as a great great aunt, the writer William Dalrymple can be said to have had photography very much in his blood. Indeed it was his consuming passion as a schoolboy when, first with a little Kodak aged 7, and then with a Contax 35mm SLR bought with an inheritance aged 15, it appeared to be the direction he was going in. His first book, aged 22, following in the footsteps of Marco Polo, gave almost equal weight to the photographs he took on these travels. Gradually though, photography gave way to the India visited JUNE 2016 GALLERIES 11 from left T essa Lyons ‘Black Soil, Lake District’ MallGalleries William Dalrymple ‘Untitled’ Grosvenor Gallery Dianne Kaufman ‘Watercolour Girl 11’ Flowers Winifred Knights ‘Self-portrait 1920’ Dulwich Picture Gallery Steven Lindsay ‘Swimming against a tide of indifference’ Lime Tree Gallery, Affordable Art Fair