Galleries magazine - page 47

SEPTEMBER 2016 GALLERIES
47
concerned with both the traces
and marks made both by humans
on the landscape, and those that
the landscape makes on the
human memory and imagination.
With a dozen or so artists in the
show, it is invidious to pick out
just one or two but my eye was
particularly caught by local artist
Gerald Dewsbury’s evocative
explorations ofthe secret paths
and byways ofShropshire, and
Brighton-based stone carver Jo
Sweeting’s ‘shul’ stone heads.
This is a term used to denote the
marking or impression that
remains after something – an
animal or a river for example – or
someone, has passed by. She
uses it here as a powerful poetic
metaphor both for the act of
carving and the way a landscape
can act on the human spirit.
Nicholas Usherwood
Brighton has always had the
proverbial buzz about it (the world’s
tallest moving observational tower
is now open on the seafront) and
a good reason to head south is
the Brighton Art Fair & Made
Brighton at the Dome Corn
Exchange – showing side by side
this year. The Fair features UK
and overseas contemporary
artists, with work that is fresh and
exceptional, while Made Brighton
showcases 50 designer makers
with ceramics and much more.
Rachel Staiger
After the Second World War,
sculpture in Europe changed. For
sculptors who created figurative
pieces, the use of the human
form as the ‘measure’ of the
human body as the ‘measure’ of
a sculpture, was no longer viable.
In part this was due to
complicated psychological states
following the war, but also
important was the need to
distance sculpture from the
aesthetics reflected in the
muscled, classicised figures by
artists such as Arno Breker that
were associated with Nazi rule.
British artist Ralph Brown was
one of the sculptors who dealt
with this problem. He worked in
Paris during the 1950s where he
studied with Ossip Zadkine and
was exposed to artists like
Germaine Richier and Alberto
Giacometti who used distortion
and abstraction to give their
figures distinct, expressive
qualities.
An exhibition at
Pangolin
London
, ‘
The Figure in the Fifties
& Sixties’
,
shows the work of
Brown in the context of other
Post-War European artists’ works.
Richier and Lynn Chadwick are
represented along with earlier
artist Auguste Rodin who was a
leading influence on the younger
artists. Yet as the focus of the
exhibition, Brown’s works capture
the mid-century understanding of
the body as physical matter as
well as a tool to capture and
convey emotion.
Brown’s 1960 bronze
‘Swimming Woman’ plays with
perception, showing a figure as
though seen distorted through
water. The figure is in an unwieldy
position, twisted over on itself, the
surface of the skin rough. Despite
the lack of elegance, however, the
position of the feet, the
outstretched arm and the
contraction of the torso reflect
power and even playfulness with
their suggestion of familiar
movements.
This is an exhibition which
illustrates how artists rethought
the human form, often as weighty
and wrong but sometimes also
wonderful.
Frances Allitt
Situated as it is in an intensely
rural and agricultural
environment, Mary Elliott’s
Twenty Twenty Gallery
has
always tried to be quietly
responsive to shifts and changes
in current ideas and attitudes
towards the environment. Many of
her collectors come from within
the Shropshire farming
community and don’t take that
warmly to sentimental or
fashionable ideas about the
landscape; at the same time she
is alert to the latest thinking and
writing on the environment.
Witness her quite splendid
current show ‘Landscape, Green
Lanes & Old Ways’ which, taking
its cue from Robert Macfarlane’s
recent best selling book ‘The Old
Ways’, looks at landscape
painters and sculptors whose
work, in one way or another, is
CODA
from left
J
o Sweeting
‘Beacon’ Twenty Twenty Gallery
RalphBrown ‘Swimming Woman’ Pangolin London
M
aking marks
Figure
this
Brighton
is belle
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