Galleries - July 2018

actor could be identified as a 1786 print by Katsukawa Shunko in the Metropolitan. This is particularly striking because it shows that, even at the age of 21,Jenkins was developing his very distinctive colour palette and technique of liquid washes of pigment. And,as the superb pair of very late canvases in this show from 2007 and 2010 (never before exhibited outside his studio),painted when he was in his mid to late 80s demonstrate very clearly,it was to serve him magnificently for the next 75 years or more. The relationship of painters to the business of printmaking has always been fascinating,most particularly in late19th to early 20th centuries,when new processes like lithography and linocut,and the revival of older techniques like woodcut and etching,hugely expanded the expressive possibilities open to individual artists. After Durer and Rembrandt, printmaking had become an increasingly specialist and commercially significant activity but,taking its cue from shimmering subtleties that Whistler brought to the medium of etching,painters took it back,now alert to the possibilities of the medium as an intriguing area of play and experiment for the rest of their work. That's my thesis anyway and it finds some sort of confirmation in a wonderfully rich printmaking survey entitled ‘Whistler to Blow: 150 years of British Printmaking’ at Open Eye Gallery this month where, with names Graham Sutherland, Patrick Procktor, Anne Redpath, Duncan Grant, Anthony Gross, Eduardo Paolozzi and of course Sandra Blow in the mix, painter-printmakers are particularly in evidence. There are some wonderfully largely specialist, printmakers like Bone, Robert Austin and D Y Cameron here too, but it is the sense of imaginative, creative play of the painters and sculptors that perhaps makes this show sparkle most vividly. Nicholas Usherwood AND FINALLY. . . A ‘March for the Arts’ takes place in London on Sunday July 15 at noon to celebrate Sir Henry Cole’s 210th birthday. Members of the Unshrinkables, Chelsea Arts Club, London Sketch Club, Heatherley's and others will honour the founder of the V & A by escorting his birthdary cake from the Royal Albert Hall to the V & A Exhibition Road Quarter Entrance. that has its roots in Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Constructivism, the drawings come over as touchingly, and paradoxically, intensely quirky and optimistic, the machine somehow humanised. Though very much part of that first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters based in New York – he went there from Kansas City aged 25 in 1948 – Paul Jenkins’ artistic career subsequently followed a rather different trajectory. His home town possessed one of the great North American collections of Asian art, the Nelson- Atkins Museum, and it may well be that this influenced him in choosing to study with Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students’ League in New York on a GI Bill. Certainly Asian art exerted an enormous influence on the overall direction his abstract art took and this still less familiar aspect of his work is a key element in a major show of his later work (1984 to 2010, just four years before his death) at Redfern Gallery, where the catalogue essay, by New York curator and academic, Gail Levin, explores just how profound these Asian affinities in his work were. Indeed one significant discovery was only made during the preparation of the catalogue essay for this exhibition when it became apparent that the source of a 1944 Jenkins’ watercolour of a Kabuki JULY 2018 GALLERIES 15 from left W aldemar Cordeiro ‘Digitalização do retrato de Fabiana’ Mayor Gallery Derek Robertson ‘We Were Never So Cold’ Pittenweem Arts Festival Louise McClary ‘Reflected Silence’ Long & Ryle Sandra Blow ‘Allegro’ Open Eye Gallery Paul Jenkins ‘Phenomena Out of Sight’ © 2018 Estate of Paul Jenkins, Redfern Gallery G oing east Print special