mistress and then wife of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (himself more famous as a patron of Turner), who commissioned Blake to paint two major watercolours ‘The Last Judgement’ (1808) and ‘Satan calling up his Legions’ (1803-5). Together with a third piece bought much later from the artist’s widow, these represent the only major works of Blake’s in an English country house collection. Together with a number of other significant loans from major public collections, this is the first exhibition to explore Blake’s profound connection to the county – “In Felpham I saw Visions of Albion” he wrote to accompany a watercolour of the Felpham cottage. Back in the 1950s Geoffrey Clarke was very much part of that new wave of young sculptors – one of the famous eight – Chadwick, Armitage, Turnbull and Paolozzi among them – who moved contemporary British sculpture on from stone carving and the bronze world of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth towards steel, welding and newer materials, and whose work caused such a sensation at the Venice Biennale of 1952. The T S Eliot derived phrase ‘The Geometry of Fear’ applied to them there by Herbert Read stuck, their spiky, rough textured, open forms signalling a huge shift in the direction of post- war British sculpture of enormous significance. Most of them established big careers and reputations out of that moment too but Clarke somehow didn’t, and though he kept working prolifically – he was one of the most publicly commissioned sculptors of his generation – he fell increasingly out of the critical spotlight until just the last decade or so and it is melancholy that the current major show at the enterprising Pangolin Gallery should come just a year after his death in 2016. But at least it has come and this nicest and most modest of men is finally being recognised as at least the equal of his better known contemporaries, his pioneering work with new materials, in particular cast aluminium and also as a contributor to the land art movement of the 60s and 70s, not to mention achievements as a stained glass artist, painter and printmaker, making him appear now as something of a polymath. Nicholas Usherwood dominate proceedings just because its bigger and closer to hand – and they have come up with a truly remarkable spread of talent. With some 89 plus paintings, prints, sculptures, installations and photo works by some 40 artists, roughly two thirds of whom come from colleges outside London – from Scotland to Wales, Cornwall to Suffolk, Northumberland to Dorset – this show can genuinely claim to be providing a properly representative snapshot of the depth of talent in our all too often maligned art schools. The work is exuberant, thoughtful, provocative and exhilarating but then I might just be prejudiced, so go and make your own judgement. William Blake is so much a Londoner in one’s mind that one often tends to forget about the three year sojourn (1800-03) he and his wife spent on the Sussex coast at Felpham, “the sweetest spot on earth” as he termed it and the place where the words that became ‘Jerusalem’ were first penned. There were, as it turned out other connections with the county that I have to say I was not immediately aware of and which a remarkable new Blake exhibition at Petworth House explores with great thoroughness, namely patronage from Elizabeth Ilive, JANUARY 2018 GALLERIES 7 from left G eoffrey Clarke ‘Effigy’ Pangolin London William Blake ‘William, plate 29’ from Milton a Poem ® The Trustees of the British Museum, Petworth House Aiden Milligan ‘Between the Pines’ Mall Galleries A ndreas Gursky ‘Les Mées’ © Andreas Gursky/DACS 2017, courtesy Sprüth Magers, Hayward Gallery D avid Hockney ‘Doll Boy’ Beaux Arts London E qual importance Sussex vision