Galleries - March 2016

Picasso no less. Rather out ofthe limelight in recent years, this exhibition includes some ofthe largest pen drawings he ever made. Ifhe is new to you, do try and take a look as the work is astonishing. NU A superb exhibition from a classic moment of early Modernism with the great German-born De Stijl artist, Vordemberge-Gildewart, is on at Annely Juda. A typographer and graphic designer, working for the most part in Germany, historically he stands at the crossroads of De Stijl and Russian Constructivism. The rather more dynamic compositional structure of many of the paintings here reveal that he had indeed been looking at the Malevich and El Lissitski works that began to make their appearance in shows in Germany, Berlin in particular, in the mid 20s. With some eight paintings and 40 works on paper, this is a rare treat indeed, reminding us, among other things, of the huge influence he was to have, as a member of Abstraction-Creation, on abstract art in Paris in the 1930s and thereafter. NU As well as the great ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ show at the Royal Academy there are at least Sound structure The season really gets into its stride in London this month with a richly varied selection of shows to choose from. Pride of place must perhaps go to that stalwart of British 50s/60s abstraction, Terry Setch, who is celebrating his 80th birthday at Flowers in Cork Street this month. Not that you would guess that from the still astonishingly youthful vim and vigour of his painterly touch which incorporates into his paintings plastic objects and detritus from the beach at Penarth, his home and workplace since he went to teach at Cardiff in 1964. These semi-abstract landscapes have great power and originality, and speak movingly of a place known and understood over some six decades. NU At Gimpel Fils there is a very welcome re-visitation of a fascinating figure from the immediate post-war period, Scottie Wilson. An entirely self- taught artist – born in poverty in Glasgow in 1888 – who didn’t actually start making art until 1944, ie in his mid-50s. He eventually found his way to Gimpel Fils in 1949 and was an immediate success, his Outsider way of making art admired and collected by Dubuffet and five other exhibitions in London and around the country where flora forms the central theme. At the National Gallery there is a major ‘Dutch Flowers’ show from 6 April, while on a rather smaller scale, there is 12 Star Gallery’s intriguing photographic celebration of Visit England’s 2016 ‘Year of the Garden’ initiative. Entitled ‘Flower Nation’ and organised by the Garden Museum, its underlying theme concerns how many of our more iconic flowers – from ragwort to wisteria – arrived in this country from elsewhere – as invaders, migrants or weeds and “helped create the most diverse horticulture in the world.” Up in North London at Highgate Gallery there is an exhibition of Lee Travis’ paintings entitled ‘ Floragenesis’ illustrating “a fascination with plants forms.” Moving rather further afield the always enterprising public space in Honiton Devon, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, has a show entitled ‘Soil Culture:Young Shoots’, a residency exhibition exploring the secret world of soil, so crucial an element of human survival but rarely considered other than by farmers and gardeners perhaps! Finally Oriel Plas Glyn-y- Weddw in Wales has a touring show from Oriel Davies entitled simply ‘Flora’ – an exploration of the significance of flowers in contemporary art with artists like Anya Gallacio and Ori Gersht among the participants. NU S HOWS Happy returns 12 GALLERIES MARCH 2016 Glasgow boy See scents