Galleries - October 2016

represents the tip of an iceberg of other activities, with mentoring programmes supporting younger artists and exhibitions all round the country. There is a handsome exhibition currently at the Atkinson Gallery in which the 28 artists elected to the Royal West of England Academy between 2011 and 2016 have been invited to show their work. Curated by energetic fellow RWA member, printmaker and gallerist Peter Ford, it presents a wide ranging spread of styles from figurative to abstract, highly expressive to the highly intricate and everything in between. Unlike its bigger brother in London, the RWA is not nearly so concerned with the vagaries of fashion but rather with supporting artists who have pursued their vocation with seriousness and integrity, equally concerned both with ideas and the means by which they are given visual expression. Nicholas Usherwood equipment and training for kidney transplanting in African and Caribbean countries, this year’s focus being on Jamaica. The auction has an impressive list of artist contributors, headed up by Yinka Shonibare whose surgeon brother, Ayo, is developing a kidney transplant service in Nigeria, in part funded by a previous auction. Other names include Sir Peter Blake, Stephen Farthing, Sir Quentin Blake and Ken Howard while among the non-artist celebrities, so to speak, Dame Judi Dench, Joan Armatrading and Harry Hill have all put in pieces. To survive 103 years of unbroken, active and, for the most part, crucially important, exhibiting history with no permanent home, no administrative structure and no funding, not to mention the often fatal creative tensions involved inherent within any artistic grouping, is quite an achievement by any measure but, somehow, the London Group has done it! As their latest annual exhibition at The Cello Factory makes plain, they continue with a strong sense of style and great relevance to the contemporary scene with painting, sculpture and printmaking now supplemented by a range of video, installation, digital, mixed media and photography work. This always excellent show audacious black and white work, such a rare treat. Solarisation, collage and sandwich printing are all part of an armoury of techniques he had quickly picked up from artists like Man Ray and George Grosz and, allied with his sophisticated understandings of both classical and contemporary painting, allowed him to produce work with a still startlingly contemporary resonance – ‘Untitled, Amsterdam’ or ‘Double Exposure’ both 1932, could have been made yesterday. The Landmark Arts Centre’s Autumn Art Fair in Teddington is a noteworthy event, not least for the fact that it is housed in a huge, former Victorian Gothic church of distinctly Gormenghast personality. They hold a number of excellent art and craft fairs throughout the year, providing a mix of established, emerging and recent graduate talent that is hugely popular with the public, who can not only meet the artists they are buying from, but also buy at prices that reflect the fact! This year, for the third running, a celebrity charity art auction in aid of the Transplant Links Community is launched and on view during the Fair (bidding takes place online, see the charity website), opened by actress and author Baroness Floella Benjamin. The charity provides OCTOBER 2016 GALLERIES 13 from left E rwin Blumenfeld ‘Shadowed Silhouettes’ c1953 Osborne Samuel Wifredo Lam ‘Umbral (Seuil)’ 1950 Photo: Georges Meguerditchian ©Adagp, Paris Tate Modern Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio ‘Salome Receives The Head Of John The Baptist’, about 1609-10, oil on canvas, ©The National Gallery London Tisna Westerhof ‘Vessel IV’ The Cello Factory Sax Impey ‘Le Pendu’ Atkinson Gallery Yinka Shonibare ‘Love In A Time Of War’ Landmark Arts Centre A fair do Group support Going west