Galleries - March 2016

‘Vogue 100 A Century ofStyle’ at the National Portrait Gallery (until 22 May) is a fond look back over a century ofever evolving style, but also it is a comprehensive time capsule of history. Pictures offashion icons tell a story – many are simply beautiful images, but there is also a catalogue of famous faces from MrsThatcher and the Beckhams to Morcombe and Wise and many in between. Vogue was not only the original fashion bible leading the way on how we should all dress, but also a mirror ofsociety. During the war for example fashion stood up to MARCH 2016 GALLERIES 49 Soisson (1928-2012), a member ofthe Art Brut, is represented in ‘Le Majordome’ a bold and totemic work created to operate free of cultural preconditioning. Marcel Pouget (1923-1985) demonstrates a reactionary return to figurative work in creating heavily coded ‘psychological paintings’ in ‘Autoportrait’ . Stefan Knapp’s (1921-96) ‘VVV2’ reflects his vision ofthe cosmos as an infinite expanse of colourful forms. At Hanina it is possible to get immersed in the depth and variety ofthe compositions without understanding the genesis ofeach, but in the end, the concepts behind the works add another dimension. Frances Allitt Tracing the strands of post war expressionist art in Europe is no mean feat, but viewing the results of these conceptual movements makes it a rewarding endeavor. Hanina Fine Arts’ show ‘Diverg- ences: Post War Expressionism’, on until 16 April, demonstrates the intellectual lengths to which a selection of artists went – involved in movements such as COBRA, Tachisme and Art Brut – in order to produce beautiful artworks. The tangle of movements and ideas that this exhibition represents is alarming in its complexity. For example, Taschisme is part of the abstraction lyrique umbrella, though abstraction lyrique can have different meanings in different contexts. Meanwhile, COBRA, while associated with abstraction lyrique notably revolted against ‘sterile’ abstraction, and is different again from réalité, though there was a Réalité-COBRA group too. It’s complicated. And, on top of everything, many of the artists involved took conceptual cues from Dada or Surrealism, giving their ideologies an additionally cryptic turn. Paradoxically, what all the artists involved in these movements strove to do was to create completely uninhibited works of art. Whether loosing themselves from form, consciousness or the bonds of society to achieve their goals, the works that they created have a boundless exuberance and passionate force that glows in the gallery’s intimate setting. Jacques In vogue CODA Idea complex Jean Le Moal ‘Les Arbres’ 1954 (left) Jacques Soisson ‘Le Majordome’ 1969 (right) be counted with ‘Fashion is Indestructible’ by Cecil Beaton. Meanwhile contemporary images by photographers such as Tim Walker test perceptions, illustrating how we acknowledge the lasting power of fashion. The exhibition starts in the present day and works backwards through the images of supermodels, actors and famous faces – a veritable hall of fame. And the future? A show stopping floor to ceiling installation of stills and video taken on fashion shoots and presented as a reflection of imagery in the press and social media, taking centre stage in the exhibition. Grace Hooper Tim Walker ‘Kirsi Pyrhönen in Mongolia’ 2011 © Tim Walker