Galleries - October 2018

OCTOBER 2018 GALLERIES 43 Moving quickly, the artist and the curators at Jerwood were successful in a proposition to the National Gallery to borrow two works (Tiepolo and Luca Giordano). These loans have been made possible in the first year of the operation of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Barbara Walker works on a size comparable to large sheets of surviving old master drawings, as artists in those eras thought through compositional studies. Working in reverse with a repro in the computer, and removing, or leaving almost abstracted, the overall figures, she draws out, as it were, the powerful secondary presence of the black figuration in these works. This, when converted to a plate and printed as a blank, produces the embossed images which she then carefully works on re-inserting the black figure and other elements, in graphite drawing. The resultant works are both exquisite and powerful. Concept and effect prompts so many discourses about these reclaimed images. Walker restores a dialogue around what subtends these compositions and what formally is blanked. This powerfully evokes presences and absences, what is implied and what now, in terms of social justice, needs to be unequivocal and focal in the image: history redressed, history re-addressed. David Alston In case you hadn't noticed, what somewhat modestly bills itself as 'London's most significant cultural event' is hitting town this month – viz Frieze. It is, it has to be said, an extraordinarily impressive affair by any standards, with nearly 300 international galleries spread over two Regent's Park campuses (Frieze London and Frieze Masters), not to mention a whole host of related events, curated displays and talks, the most impressive of which perhaps has been the Frieze Sculpture display (also staged in Regent's Park) in which international galleries were asked to make submissions for work to be sited within an area of the park. Some 25 were selected and have been on show since mid July, with some big names on display – Sean Scully, Conrad Shawcross, Kiki Smith and Dan Graham among them. Back to the main event; what is the best way of tackling this monster to get the best out of it? – even an eight hour visit would give you rather less than two minutes per stand. My purely personal preference in the circumstances is for Frieze Masters simply because I don't know any other fair in the world where you get this quite extraordinarily high quality mash up of everything from prehistoric antiquities and Egyptian sculpture to Picasso and Matisse, Warhol and Guston, taking in, on the way so to speak, Medieval manuscripts, Renaissance ceramics, 17th century Old Masters, 18th century political cartoons, Japanese prints and ancient netsuke, Chinese and Indian painting, sculpture and ceramics and post-war experimental British art. You name it, it's almost certain to be there, and with a little bit of pre- visit legwork on the excellent website, you will be able to narrow it down to suit your own particular preferences. The same goes for the super-contemporary Frieze London, even more so perhaps as, in my experience, just wandering brings on repetitive eye strain and visual overload in equal measure pretty quickly. And then you miss things! Nicholas Usherwood ‘Vanishing Point’ is a new exhibition by artist Barbara Walker at the Jerwood Gallery. Like other powerful bodies of work, as in the Birmingham MAC’s ‘Shock and Awe’ in 2016, the artist signals her intent in the title; Vanishing Point puns on both the perspectival device and an occlusion of black presence. Her idea for the project was submitted alongside her selected work for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2017, as a submission for the Evelyn Williams Drawing Award. The award was attached for the first time in 2017 to the Drawing Prize (now the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize). In a biennial cycle, the Evelyn Williams Trust supports a recipient and funds, via the £10,000 award, a period of research and studio work, building to a guaranteed exhibition the following year in a UK Gallery. CODA from left: B arbara Walker ‘Vanishing Point 7 (Titian)’ detail Jerwood Gallery William Tillyer ‘Fifteen Drawer Pulls’ Bernard Jacobson Gallery at Frieze Masters P oint taken Frieze-ing here