Galleries - June 2016

Every year at around this time invitations to the art school graduate shows start to roll in and I am reminded, yet again, of that terrible moment when, deprived of the safety blanket of institutional provision, students have to launch out into the largely unknown and uncertain waters of the art world. The tough approach to this runs along ‘survival of the fittest’ lines but, to my mind at least, fittest is not always the best or most interesting. I have always been hugely sympathetic to projects of one kind or another that seek to give help and assistance to artists in that ten year lurch as they struggle to establish themselves post art school, two of which have exhibitions this month. First there is the well established ‘Young Masters’ project run by American-born, London-based dealer Cynthia Corbett ; established in 2009 and running on a two year touring time scale, this not-for-profit initiative is now entering its fourth incarnation with a launch show at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery ( La Galleria Pall Mall ) that features the work of one of the previous winners Deborah Azzopardi and highlights a call for entries for the 2017 event. Any media is OK, the only key criteria (apart from quality of course) being a call for works that show a deep connection with and sympathy for the art of the past, its skills and traditions. One look at Azzopardi’s bold Pop-oriented style makes it clear this is no fuddy-duddy traditionalist exercise but one very in tune with contemporary trends that sees a deep continuity with the art of the past in that of the present day. Corbett works at a high level too with Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary of the Royal Academy, among the judges this time around and a good international touring programme to boot. Check out the website details (see London South & West map). The second of these projects is happening in Essex, at the always enterprising Long Melford gallery Walton and Bovill Fine Art , where its enthusiastic and knowledgeable director Stephen Walton has invited six students from Central Saint Martins and seven recent graduates of the University of the West of England to showcase their work through June. With the cleverly apt title ‘Where do we go from here’, this really looks well worth the journey – the sight of a star of the future perhaps and an extraordinarily beautiful place to boot. Nicholas Usherwood Aged 103, Wolfgang Suschitzky may well be the oldest living artist exhibited in London. The final centenary celebration exhibition at Ben Uri Gallery & Museum continues the theme of migration; this time displaying portraits of three major cities, ‘Unseen - London, Paris, New York 1930s- 60s’, seen through the fresh eyes of three eminent émigré photographers. The oldest, Suschitzky, fleeing Vienna in 1935, brought also the latest German realism with him to London. His haunting images are now well known and admired: book lovers browsing on Charing Cross Road, shoppers walking through the rain, theatre goers queuing in the West End, sheep grazing in Hyde Park, St Paul’s seen through a bombed out building during the Blitz. The everyday stories of a departed era are skillfully trapped in smoky light and shadows, a human detail or moment that reveals more than it seems. Dorothy Bohm caught the magic and sadness of post-war Paris: printsellers, artists painting, a man sleeping, boats drawn up on shore – all by the Seine; children running errands, walking a poodle, or sleeping in a park. Neil Libbert, who visited New York in the early ‘60s, snapped Harlem children playing in the street or laughing at a baseball game, window shoppers, ice skaters in Central Park – as well as a prescient take of a tiny black child wielding a toy gun in front of a nonchalent armed policeman. Until 27 August, not to be missed. Rosemary Clunie R OUND-UP from left F elix Higham ‘Chess Players’ Walton and Bovill Fine Art Fabiano Parisi ‘Il Mondo Che non Vedo 202’ The Cynthia Corbett Gallery Getting started 12 GALLERIES JUNE 2016 Capital views