Galleries - March 2018

Gallery this month is another – and there must surely be others. Like Frost and Heath too, Earl Haig (son of the Field Marshal) went on to enjoy a long and highly successful career, having a show at The Scottish Gallery immediately on his return to Scotland in 1945 and continuing to exhibit there right up to within a year of his death, at 90, in 2008. This was a 63 year relationship which, as the managing director Guy Peploe points out, must surely be some kind of record. Haig had been introduced to painting by the Anglo-French post Impressionist painter Paul Maze, and taken together with his admiration for that other French influenced painter William Gillies, Haig then evolved his own highly distinctive style, his predominantly landscape-based subject matter revealing a strong sense of colour along with a powerful sense of underlying structure, vivid and always engaging. This show focuses mainly on his watercolours but further shows of his oils are promised. Tourism in its contemporary form could, very arguably, be put down to essentially artistic, spiritual impulses. As the power of religious pilgrimage waned with the Renaissance, the Grand Tour came slowly to replace it, and by the late 18th century became accessible to a growing wealthy middle class who, if they couldn’t make it abroad, became enthusiasts of the picturesque tourism so actively promoted by writers and artists, most notable among them J M W Turner. Thoughts all suggested by notice of that contemporary enthusiast of the British picturesque, Kurt Jackson, whose latest show at the Jackson Foundation Gallery in Cornwall is based on his response to a series of engravings (a set of which is now in the University of Exeter) that Turner made, on commission in 1811, of his travels in the South West and which was produced precisely to promote picturesque tourism to the region. This Turner inspired exhibition of Jackson’s work was previously shown at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter in 2016 but is now with new and previously unseen additions. All very apt when you think of just how much Jackson’s own enormously popular paintings of the region must have done to encourage modern day tourism. Nicholas Usherwood Museum and V&A among them. Now the 12 Star Gallery , the ever enterprising exhibition wing of the European Union in London, has had the courage to mount what is, in effect, a mini retrospective of her now substantial body of graphic work. “My images are like tableaux vivants showing the hypocrisy of our social graces which gives us a veneer of civilisation but does not protect us from random eruptions of our innate savagery” Hanselaar writes of her work, and there are plenty of those to draw on in our still sadly dysfunctional world. Bosch meets Hogarth meets Dix in Hanselaar’s profoundly dystopian and contemporary world, one that also, quite unmistakably, draws on a history coeval with human life itself. I am always somewhat in awe of those professional painters who started, or continued, to paint as prisoners of war in the Second World War – just how, in the middle of all that heavily controlled squalor and chaos, did you get hold of the materials you needed and find the quiet space and time, to pursue it? Well, somehow, they did; Adrian Heath teaching Terry Frost to paint in a POW camp is one good case in point and the Scottish painter Earl Haig, the subject of a handsome centenary show at The Scottish MARCH 2018 GALLERIES 9 from left D avid Bomberg ‘Double Self Portrait Side 1’ Beaux Arts Earl Haig ‘Children Playing, Villa Samatini, Orzes’ The Scottish Gallery Lancelot Ribeiro ‘Untitled (Landscape with Red Sun)’ Grosvenor Gallery / Oberon Gallery Kurt Jackson ‘Fog and rain and bog’ Jackson Foundation Gallery Marcelle Hanselaar ‘White Collar Black Man’ 12 Star Gallery K urt Jackson Earl Haig