Galleries - March 2016

Daffodils are fluttering in Wales, so it must be spring. With the season comes a surge of bright new exhibitions. The Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff is giving the first Welsh solo show to Oliver Gaiger. Gaiger was born in Uganda and spent part of his childhood in Cornwall but now lives near Cardigan. His crisp, energetic paintings and metal sculptures cross-fertilise the landscape- based abstraction of St Ives with the aesthetics of Alexander Calder. Martin Tinney’s mission is to be the definitive private gallery for Welsh art, presenting historical works by the likes of Gwen John, Ceri Richards and David Jones alongside a substantial stable of contemporary artists. He now does this over two sites, north and south, complementing his gallery in the capital, with the long-established Tegfryn Gallery on Anglesey, where March sees a mixed show. The Ucheldre Centre (as well as Tegfryn and Oriel Ynys Môn ) takes part in the 13th Anglesey Arts Weeks (AAW), Open Studios and Galleries Weeks from 19 March to 3 April, exhibiting work by participating artists as well as putting on workshops. This is a special opportunity to meet painters, sculptors, photographers, film makers, printmakers, craftworkers and installation artists in their own studios. Walking tours are available to take in the landscape and history of the area which inspire many of the artists. Cardiff has a welcome growth of galleries springing up. It seems not so long since the Albany Gallery was the only show in town. One of the newcomers is Cat Gardiner’s gallery/ten , which has garnered a striking mix of artists including the nationally represented Laura Ford, Iwan Bala and Sue Williams, and younger artists like John Abell and Ruth McLees. The National Museum this spring has ‘Silent Explosion’, the largest ever exhibition of the work of Ivor Davies, who in the 1960s was at the heart of the Destruction in Art movement. The exhibition starts with his childhood drawings of wartime bombing over Cardiff, centres on documents and film from his extraordinary archive and brings his story up to date with recent paintings. New buds of March at Oriel Ynys Môn include a sublime touring exhibition of John Piper’s Mountains of Wales and an exhibition as part of North Wales Open Studios curated by Jonathan Le Vay. This month at the Royal Cambrian Academy are landscapes by Academicians Lesley Barker and Tom Jones, followed in May and June by a retrospective of the humorous yet troubling surrealist Alan Salisbury. Throughout March the beautiful Art Shop & Chapel in Abergavenny shows wild and wonderful paintings by the late William Brown – the Scottish- Canadian artist who worked in Wales until his untimely death in 2008, aged 54. Brown was a force of nature and his work lives on, as vigorous as ever. The visionary owner of the Art Shop, Pauline Griffiths, has opened another space after restoring a former chapel. The airy premises combine a restaurant, shop and courtyard garden with a flexible space for events and installations. In Pembrokeshire, The Gallery YrOriel Newport has ventured to London with a selection of artists for a ‘Welsh Art Week’, at the Woolff Gallery in Charlotte Street until 5March. It features poetic, emotive animal studies by the veteran painter and sculptor Denis Curry, now 97. (For those who would rather be in Pembrokeshire in spring, the gallery in Newport remains open.) Down the road in Haverfordwest, the Late NovemberGallery keeps an unexpected range of work in stock, currently including prints by Albert Irvin and Ray Richardson, and luminous West Wales landscapes by Ronald Lowe, who surely would be widely recognised had he not 14 GALLERIES MARCH 2016 rt Wales ‘Cardiff has a welcome growth of galleries springing up’