Galleries - June 2018

celebrating its 50th birthday (this month) is a remarkable story at every level. Opening in that troubled year of 1968 by the redoubtable and delightful Priscilla Anderson, it has stayed put in the same Kensington space through countless economic booms and recessions, quietly doing the things it has always been very good at doing, above all nurturing some pretty distinguished painters’ careers. Kyffin Williams and Scottish Modernist Alberto Morrocco’s reputations would be nothing like they are without the enterprising and enthusiastic promotional skills of Priscilla and her (just) two successors Anne Thomson and Sarah Macdonald-Brown since the early 70s. That tradition continues to the present day, their current celebratory show featuring special new works by all the artists in their stable – the names, like Jennifer McRae, Judy Buxton, Vanessa Gardiner and Christine McArthur, telling their own story. And an historical link here also to the Mall Galleries’ show – it was Priscilla Anderson who first got The Fleming Collection going. There’s a nice symmetry about Australia House’s latest show for their 2018 centenary celebration of the building’s opening, in that it features an unusual family of four Australian sculptors, Michael Cartwright, his wife Shona Nunan, and their two sons Sollai and Jacob Cartwright, all of whom have long plied their trade in Italy and Germany. It is sponsored by The Sidney Nolan Trust, itself the legacy of an artist who for much of his life, famously painted Australia from afar – in England! Entitled appropriately enough ‘Journeys’, the family’s exhibition reflects the myriad journeys, real and metaphorical, that are implied in their individually very different but very distinguished careers; Shona is essentially a modeller/caster focussing on the human figure, Michael’s carved and modelled work is more abstract in character, Sollai is a stone carver, while Jacob works across media, from wood and stone to sound and photography. Nicholas Usherwood AND FINALLY. . . It was 36 years ago this month of June that Galleries magazine was first published – that’s 420 issues and 36 volumes. Quiet celebrations all round. A long-time Cork Street stalwart and a personal favourite, Art First moved out some time before the developers moved in on ‘The Street’, and they have enjoyed a somewhat peripatetic career ever since before finally seeming to settle in their current Lambeth space. Despite that, they have always sustained an extremely loyal and coherent stable of artists, all five in their latest ‘residency’ show, entitled ‘Paper Matters’ at Emma Hill's The Eagle Gallery having been showing with them more or less since the gallery first opened. All of them – Jack Milroy, Christopher Cook, Simon Lewty, Bridget Macdonald and Will McLean – are well established figures with long records as art school teachers and a body of work in public collections. Over the years they have also formed connections and enjoyed dialogues with each other while exhibiting at Art First. Between them they give a subtle resonance of feeling to a show in which the implied theme is essentially that of a narrative, each piece telling a story of some kind that, like poetry, is left wide open for our interpretation. For a comparatively small space like the Thackeray Gallery to be JUNE 2018 GALLERIES 11 from left J acob Cartwright ‘Rising’ Australia House Jennifer McRae ‘Self Portrait with Blue Jay’ Thackeray Gallery Will MacLean ‘Homage to Gerrard Winstanley’ Art First at The Eagle Gallery Henry Moret ‘La Chaumiere et La Rivière Blanche’ Stoppenbach & Delestre, Mayfair Art Weekend Wilhelmina Barns-Graham ‘Three Rock Forms’ Jerwood Gallery F ifty fifty Australia abroad Paper trail