Galleries - October 2019

22 GALLERIES\BAF OCTOBER 2019 They have set one or two other extremely interesting initiatives in train too, most notably in giving serious amounts of gallery space to retrospective exhibitions of artists that they feel needsome considered re-appraisal, a matter of some urgency these days given that the Tates andRoyal Academies of this world now only think in terms of guaranteed blockbusters, while the smaller regional galleries that once did this kindof work so well, no longer seem to have the budget. This year's three shows for example, DavidInshaw, Alan Davie andthe YBAs are each, in their somewhat different ways, all extremely timely. As a member of the Brotherhoodof Ruralists in the 1970s, along with Peter Blake and others, Inshaw was viewedas beyondthe pale by a critical, museum establishment who were obsessedwith minimal and conceptual art. With his innate gift for making intense dream-like landscapes – all forms of reconciliation with his imaginative past – he shows himself to be a painter of some considerable stature. Alan Davie's reputation is somewhat different – huge in the post-war period, it languished in later years. Now the richness of his poetic imagery andpainterly vitality are coming to the fore once more. As for the YBA show, curatedby Gavin Turk andthe Saatchi Gallery, it will be intriguing to see how it stands up to critical scrutiny 25 years on. Over andabove all this are the dealers' displays, which can sometimes amount to mini- retrospectives in themselves – Alon Zakaim Fine Art showing Patrick Hughes this year for example – andwith the numbers of exhibitors now limitedto just 50, this fair represents the best dealers in the field, every stand is in fact an education in itself. Nicholas Usherwood art affair With the social and political structures of the country seemingly in meltdown before our very eyes, it should perhaps come as no great shock to realise that there have been almost equally transformative shifts taking place, albeit on a rather more gradual timescale, to the structure and character of our artistic institutions and the art market in particular. Somewhat ironically, these changes owe a good deal to Europe, and to the massive array and scale of the biennales and art fairs that have burgeoned there since the 1990s – including Basel, Maastricht and Venice, as well as Frieze in the UK, and the international commercial gallery chains like Hauser & Wirth and Gagosian that they have encouraged. British, principally London, galleries and dealers have not been slow to respond and nor have art fair organisers, as the reinvention of the British Art Fair brought about by Robert and Johnny Sandelson over the last two years, bears witness. Founded in 1988 as The 20th Century British Art Fair, the event has been profoundly instrumental in developing the international reputation and valuation of Modern British Art. A London auction house’s recent major sale of Modern British Art saw it outperforming the International Impressionist sale taking place alongside it, and £1million plus sales are now an almost routine occurrence. The Sandelson brothers' bold response, over and above the re- branding, has been to move the fair to the museum quality spaces of the Saatchi Gallery, change the date so that it now directly coincides with Frieze London and Masters in Regent's Park and, at the same time, become a media partner of Frieze – all moves which signal a vote of confidence in Modern British Art's ability to stand tall in the international market. October 3–6 Saatchi Gallery Duke of York’s HQ King’s Road London SW3 4RY Thu 11–9 Fri 11–8 Sat 11–7 Sun 11–6 t 020 3856 6969 e on the COVER Barbara Hepworth ‘Atlantic Form (Blue)’ oil & pencil on gesso prepared board 63.5 x 46 cm The Nine British Art