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What sets Sky Blue apart from other framers is our enthusiasm to design creative solutions which both enhance and preserve artworks and 3D objects • • •

• •

// James Rosenquist // Josef Herman // The Dinner Party // Brian Sewell

Sky Blue Framing & Gallery

Unnatural – Natural History issue

‘Dog With Flying Ears’ Limited Edition Print by Michael Ogden

ISSN 2044-2653

NatiONal FraMiNG aWarD WiNNer

Conservation and museum level mountboards Hand coloured moulding specialist Speciality glass upgrades available including Water White, UV Barrier, Reduced Reflection etc Original paintings, fine art prints and etchings Free advice and friendly prices

Unnatural – Natural History

EASY PARKING NEAR WAITROSE

// James Rosenquist

// Josef Herman

// The Dinner Party

BackChat // Brian Sewell

Summer 2012

09 Summer 2012

Sky Blue Gallery hiGhly recommendS GicleéMaSterS, who print for our SiSter BuSineSS Sky Blue puBliShinG

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27 North View Westbury Park Bristol BS6 7Pt tel: 0117 9733995


P J Crook ~ Gloucester City Museum w i t h

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a r t i s t,

E sto n ia’s

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Exhibition runs until 3 0 J u n e 2 0 1 2 Tuesday - Saturday 1 0 . 0 0 - 1 7 . 0 0 Brun swic k Road , Glouc ester G L 1 1 H P 01452 396131


Contributors

// Richard Storey took a BA Honours degree in Drama from Bristol University (2006). He worked for the Bristol Evening Post for 12 years and is author of Perfect Persuasion. He is a former Board member of Bristol Arts Centre and Travelling Light Theatre Company.

// Jodie Inkson’s obsession with typography began at school when she painstakingly hand cut every letter of a project. Climbing the design ranks in London, she formed Wire Sky in 2003, winning awards and a position in Who’s Who. She sees her beloved modernist chairs as art, not sure whether she prefers sitting on them or looking at them.

// Mike Whitton taught English, Art and Drama for almost 40 years in secondary schools. Now, in semi-retirement, teaches Psychology to sixth-formers. Hobbies include photography, mountain walking. An ardent defender of the Arts in the school curriculum.

// Simon Baker is an RWA Trustee and a solicitor on the cusp of celebrating 40 years in practice. An avid enthusiast of the visual arts since discovering that books with “pictures and conversations” were the best, he is too much of an impulse buyer to qualify as a collector.

// Thea Bailey is passionate about art and the creative process, and has published articles. Her appreciation of the art of looking has been vital in her bodywork, observing energy and movement. Her profound joy in the harmony of colour, shape and form, emerges from a lifetime surrounded by art, sitting as a model, and inspired contact with diverse artists.

// Jilly Cobbe has a degree in Fine Art Drawing and is a practicing artist living near Stroud. She has a life-long fascination with the history of art, especially the artist behind the art.

// David Dalton is a mutant child of the British middle class. He and his sister Sarah became Andy Warhol’s first art assistants and mingled with Pop Art luminaries. He is a founding editor of Rolling Stone, and writer of some 27 books including co-author of James Rosenquist’s memoir Painting Below Zero.

// Alice Hendy is an award winning photographer who studied Fine Art at Exeter College, learning to use photography to capture ideas and document her work at Kingston University, where she studied Sculpture. Alice has always loved cameras – her current beau is a Canon 5d mark ii; it makes her heart sing.

// Sarah MacDougall is Eva Frankfurther Research and Curatorial Fellow for the Study of Émigré Artists and Head of Collection at Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art. She is the curator of the exhibition Josef Herman: Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London. She has co-curated a number of other shows and is a biographer of Mark Gertler.

// Dr. Tracy O’Shire New York born forensic psychologist. She met her husband, Greg Reitschlin, in a Paris beret shop and subsequently re-invented herself as an Art Critic, winning the coveted Die Kunst Werft Newcomer Award.

// Robert Parker took a BA Fine Art from Durham. Artist, designer, writer, lecturer, he is former head of fashion / textiles at Plymouth University. He lives in Somerset and the South of France, and has exhibited with RWA and as gallery artist in the UK and abroad. Writes for The Artist.

// Greg Reitschlin studied art history in Vienna and took his MA from Freie Universität, Berlin. He is the author of Art Fakes Revealed (for publication next year) and is presently writing A Blast from the Past, a comprehensive history of the Vorticist movement.

Like them or loathe them, there’s no denying that the arrival of the YBAs in the 1990s yanked a jaded London out of its artistic torpor. Within a short space of time these swaggering provocateurs irreversibly changed the public’s understanding of contemporary art. Twenty years on and London is once again the art capital of the world. And the YBAs have come of age. The pre-eminent members, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, if not national treasures, are now firmly bedded in as part of the Establishment. Damien Hirst, Tate Modern’s retrospective, runs for five months while Emin’s major solo exhibition, She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea shows for four months at Margate’s Turner Contemporary. Last December Emin was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy, one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768. Isn’t it time, therefore, that we stopped banging on about Hirst’s ‘shark’ and Emin’s ‘unmade bed’ and recognise that between them, these two have broken down conservative views of the art world and helped the nation shed its natural distrust of all things New? In 1967 Hockney painted A Bigger Splash. Hirst and Emin have been creating their own, even bigger, splashes for over twenty years. Let’s then give them credit for helping Britain grab cultural dominance back from Germany and America.

Richard Storey Managing Editor

// Hannah Stuart-Leach has spent the past five years gallivanting around Asia as a journalist in pursuit of Korean dream-catchers and Sri Lankan jungle artists. Her MA explored Modern European art history and as a painter herself, she is most thrilled when writing about the fantastically eccentric artists she has the good fortune to interview.

// Darren Tanner Manager, Foyles at Cabot Circus has worked as a bookseller in various Bristol bookshops since graduating from Art College in 1999. As a bookseller he has made it his mission to create diverse and interesting art sections wherever he has worked. RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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Q

ueen of Diamonds

1st May - 31st July 2012

Q

d i a n a p o r te r co nte m p o ra r y j ewe l l e r y monday - saturday: 10:30am - 6:00pm sunday: 11:30am - 4:30pm 33 park street bristol bs1 5nh t: +44(0)117 909 0225

www.dianaporter.co.uk QOD_RWA_May_2012.indd 1

26/04/2012 12:52:15

w w w. a n t l e r s g a l l e r y . c o m jack@antlersgallery.com facebook.com/antlersgallery 07780503180

Anouk Mercier

Excursus

6 - 2 9 J u l y 2 0 1 2 ; 1 1 - 7, S u n 1 1 - 5 6 Philadelphia St reet, Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol, BS1 3BZ Email for advance notice of works and an invitation to the preview evening / artist talk

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RWA magazine Summer 2012


ROYAL WEST OF ENGLAND ACADEMY

Inside

Patron Her Majesty the Queen Board of Trustees Chair Dr Norman Biddle Hon RWA Honorary Treasurer Bob Barnett Trustees Simon Baker, Elizabeth Boscawen, Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, Paul Wilson, Paul Gough PhD MA FRSA RWA, Ned Cussen, Janette Kerr PRWA, Rachael Nee RWA, Lucy Willis RWA, Michael Clarke, Jessica Madge, Kevin Thompson OBE

features

President Janette Kerr PRWA Academicians’ Council Vice President Peter Ford RE RWA Academician Secretary Rachael Nee RWA Honorary Architectural Advisor Mike Jenner FRIBA FRSA RWA Council Members Anne Desmet RA RE RWA, Vera BoeleKeimer RWA, Stephen Jacobson RWA, John Palmer RWA, Louise Balaam RWA, Rachael Nee RWA Director Trystan Hawkins Assistant Director Vicky Chappell Facilities Manager Nick Dixon Events and Income Manager Angharad Redman Exhibitions and Membership Manager Gemma Brace Marketing Manager Lottie Storey Gallery Co-ordinator Tristan Pollard Gallery Assistant Ben Harding Customer Services Manager Steve Fielding Customer Services team members Juliet Burke, Beckie Upton Accountants Hollingdale Pooley ART MAGAZINE Publisher RWA (Art Magazine) Ltd Managing Editor Richard Storey Art Director Jodie Inkson – Wire Sky Deputy Editor Mike Whitton Specialist photography Alice Hendy RWA and Academicians’ news Gemma Brace: gemma.brace@rwa.org.uk

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Unnatural – Natural History For 37 local and international artists, heightened environmental awareness has doubtlessly been influential in their work.

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Joseph Herman We follow Herman’s tumultuous journey as he fled across four European cities in six dramatic years against the unfolding drama of WW2.

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James Rosenquist Rosenquist paints the mysterious luminosity of chrome, the radioactive glow of lipstick, the zigzag of tyre treads, and the flash of aquablue sequined high heels.

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John Martin If Alma Tadema was the costume designer for epic movies, Martin was responsible for special effects. Directors Spielberg and Lucas readily admit their debt.

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Judy Chicago The Dinner Party: a monumental, multi-media work capable of transforming the viewer’s understanding of art, culture and gender politics.

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Southampton City Art Gallery A small but choice collection of European Old Masters, British 20th Century and contemporary art continuously being acquired.

ADVERTISING Angharad Redman t: 0117 906 7608 e: angharad.redman@rwa.org.uk COPY DEADLINE Autumn 2012 issue: 13 July Royal West of England Academy, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX t: 0117 973 5129 General enquiries e: info@rwa.org.uk Magazine e: rwamagazine@gmail.com Registered Charity No 1070163 The opinions in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Royal West of England Academy. All reasonable attempts have been made to clear copyright before publication. To read an electronic version of ART, or to visit the RWA online: www.rwa.org.uk. Follow us on Facebook and twitter.com/rwabristol ART is printed by Park Lane Press by waterless process, on fully sustainable FSC certified paper and with vegetable-oil based inks. www.parklanepress.co.uk

regulars What’s on at the RWA

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Diary – events, lectures, workshops, tours

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RWA news

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Gallery review: Antlers

41

Inside the artist’s studio: Pangolin Editions

42

Reviews

44

Academicians’ news

50

Artful Cuisine: restaurant guide

52

Listings

54

BackChat: Brian Sewell

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Cover: Nicole Etienne Darwin’s Tea Party, 2011 (detail) Mixed media – oil, copper leaf, silver leaf and photo on glitter canvas, 32 x 48 inches RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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What’s on at Josef Herman: Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938 – 44 5 May – 8 July Curated by Ben Uri, The London Museum of Jewish Art, this show follows Herman’s six year flight across these four European cities. It brings together for the first time much of Herman’s surviving work from this formative period, when his art was at its most experimental and his use of colour strikingly imaginative. Most of the work is rarely seen, and has never previously been gathered together on such a comparable scale. Included are examples of work by Herman’s contemporaries in Glasgow: fellow Polish émigré Jankel Adler, Estonian-born sculptor Benno Schotz and Scottish colourist J.D. Fergusson, alongside whom Herman briefly made a considerable contribution to the Glasgow arts scene.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

Bristol and Beyond: Trevor Haddrell RWA

Opening Doors: The RWA Permanent Collection

5 May – 1 July

5 May – 1 July

Cityscapes, rooftop views and panoramas feature in Trevor Hadrell’s relief engravings representing over twenty years of work. Known for his intricate scenes of Bristol, he has produced one new panorama of the city and surrounding towns each year and shows them here as a group for the first time. The exhibition includes well-known and loved vistas as well as unexpected perspectives, offering familiar and unfamiliar views of Bristol and beyond.

Opening Doors provides a unique opportunity to discover the Academy’s relatively unseen permanent collection. At the heart of the collection lies works bequeathed by Ellen Sharples in 1849, and added to by members of the Academy during the latter part of the 19th Century. It now exceeds 1300 works including a gift of 12 works from the Arnolfini Trust.

A unique exploration of the collective creative talent and technical skills of the supporting production departments at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The technical courses at BOVTS are highly collaborative, with Theatre Design, Costume, Scenic Art and Technical departments working closely to produce theatre with professional production standards.

The collection’s move to a new home within the RWA has unearthed photographs, catalogues, exhibition posters, letters and ephemera dating back 160 years. A historical membership that includes Mary Fedden, Richard Long, purchases of work from Vanessa Bell, Claude Rogers and Elisabeth Frink, the collection creates a fascinating insight into British Art from the 19th Century onwards.

This year, students have worked together on productions at the Redgrave Theatre, Circomedia, the Tobacco Factory, the Alma Tavern and the Bristol Old Vic. The aim of this exhibition is to put all aspects of the production work that are normally behind the scenes firmly in the limelight. The result is work of exceptional quality. For more information on BOVTS, visit: www.oldvic.ac.uk

Haddrell trained at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, later teaching art and design before becoming a professional artist in 2000. He is an elected member of the Society of Wood Engravers. His work is in private collections, in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and the Theatre Collection of the University of Bristol.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School 19 – 30 June free exhibition


RWA 5 May – 29 June Café gallery free exhibition Paintings from a sequence developed over the last twelve to eighteen months, explore the theme of ‘voice’. In visual terms this work relates to much earlier figurative pieces that depict forests, seascapes and cliffs. As this sequence has evolved, the paintings have begun to follow cues from textiles, bringing together threads, lines and textures. The works still provide a narrative from life stories in the abstract form. Through all of this, Richmond is still fascinated by colour which connects motifs such as seasons and the elements.

Clean Slate 3 – 28 July

The Clean Slate Art Competition, run by Avon and Somerset Police, is open to all budding young artists aged 13 – 19 across Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and Somerset. The competition, split into two age categories 13 – 15 and 16 – 19, aims to encourage young people to get creative and enter their artwork into five exhibitions being held across the force area. This show features the best of the West’s young talent, the finalists from the five exhibitions, showing alongside a portrait of Rudy Vallee, thought to be the earliest known work by Andy Warhol, drawn when the Pop artist was just eleven years old.

Unnatural – Natural History

Exploring The Lion King: From Inspiration to Realisation

14 July – 23 September

Unnatural – Natural History is an artistic exploration of an alternative world.

Starts 9 July free exhibition Discover the inspiration behind Disney’s hit stage musical The Lion King in this exciting and explorative exhibition.

It is a world where the dominant species are not human and where natural objects are metamorphosed into unexpected and unnatural forms. A place in which genetic mutations and environmental pressure have altered the natural course of evolution.

You’ll experience up close some of the extraordinary costumes and masks from this groundbreaking production, along with full-scale puppets, original models, costume sketches, behind-thescenes photographs, video, interactive elements.

37 artists from around the world explore the theme of ‘unnatural natural history,’ and the results are diverse and alluring.

Learn how acclaimed director and designer Julie Taymor, along with the show’s creative team, conceived and created this Tony and Olivier Award winning musical.

This exhibition is a blend of innovative art, creative ideas and lateral thinking.

Disney’s The Lion King begins performances at The Bristol Hippodrome on 31 August.

© Disney

Lucie Richmond

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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June

// Tuesday 12th 4 – 5pm

// Saturday 2nd 10am – 4pm The Poetry of Mixed Media, Ros Cuthbert RWA Bristol Drawing School Workshop: £40, booking required. This one day workshop will combine paint, collage, card, wax, textiles and graphic media to make paintings that are evocative, sensuous, playful, profound, raw or romantic. The morning will be spent on exploring the possibilities of white paint and graphic materials to create a painting in response to a choice of Haiku poems. After lunch a short illustrated talk on mixed media will be followed by a chance to make simple studies from a still life, using collage, card and paint.

// Friday 8th 2 – 3pm Fictional Tourism: Adam Smith (PePoMo), Julie McCalden. Free, no booking required. Tokyo based Adam Smith of PePoMo and Julie McCalden, artist and Director of Bristol’s Motorcade / Flash Parade discuss their socially engaged practice. Each artist considers the sociopolitical structures in which we live and responds by producing work that calls the viewer-participant to re-evaluate their presumptions. Playful and inventive, these artists engage with fictional narratives as a means for us to question the world in which we exist. This talk is part of the Bristol Biennial programme www.bristolbiennial. com. For more information contact Bristolbiennialmedia@gmail.com

// S  aturday 9th 10.30am – 1pm

Exhibition Curator’s Tour: Josef Herman – Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938 – 44. Free with exhibition entry, booking advised.

Talk: Damaged Landscapes – Darn Thorn, Rodney Harris, Amber Ginsburg and Joseph Madrigal. Free, no booking required.

Curator Sarah MacDougall will be leading a tour of the exhibition examining Josef Herman’s tumultuous journey as he fled across these four European cities in six dramatic but little known years, against the backdrop of the unfolding Second World War. Sarah is the Ben Uri Eva Frankfurther Research and Curatorial Fellow for the study of Émigré Artists.

The motif of the landscape in art has long had a problematic history. Used as a symbol for nationalism in the Romanticist art of the post-enlightenment period, it has continued to function as an ideological battleground where the clash between cultural and societal values finds form. Working across the mediums of photo-media and sculpture, each artist will discuss how the landscape disrupted by warfare or environmental damage, functions in relation to their recent practice. This talk is part of the Bristol Biennial programme www.bristolbiennial. com. For more information contact Bristolbiennialmedia@gmail.com

Scribble and Sketch Drop-in Workshop: Saturdays 9th June, 14th July and 4th August. Free with exhibition entry (£5 adults and free to under 16s). Drop-in, but as space is limited booking in advance is recommended. Suitable for all ages and abilities Scribble and Sketch offers a morning of fun and informal drawing workshops and exercises for families, led by Bristol Drawing Club founder and artist Anouk Mercier. Designed to ‘loosen the hand’ this session is ideal for anyone wishing to develop their drawing skills in a lively and relaxed environment, or simply take advantage of the free materials to get creative. Everyone is welcome. Note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.

10am – 4pm Art History Day School: A Courtly Vision: The Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry, Dr. Gill White £30, booking required. The Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry offers an intriguing, beautiful and compelling insight into the world of late medieval chivalry, piety and artistic creativity. We will look at the illustrations of this famous illuminated manuscript and at the patron and artists who produced it, examining the intricate world of reality and imagination depicted and the society which gave it life.

// Thursday 14th 2 – 3pm

// Saturday 16th 10am – 4pm Art History Day School: The Glasgow Boys, Jennifer Spiers MA £30, booking required.

6.30 – 8pm Exhibition Curator’s Talk: Josef Herman – Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938 – 44. £5, booking required. Curator Sarah MacDougall explores Herman’s rare surviving work from this formative period when his art was at its most experimental and often strikingly colourful including a politically-themed masque, a ballet and portraits completed in a Polish refugee camp. The lecture ends with Herman’s discovery in 1944 of the tiny mining village of Ystradgynlais in South Wales, where he made his home for the next eleven years and went on to create the monumental studies of miners which were to make his name. Sarah is the Ben Uri Eva Frankfurther Research and Curatorial Fellow for the study of Émigré Artists.

The subject of last year’s hit show at the Royal Academy, The Glasgow Boys interpreted the styles of both Impressionist and Post Impressionist painting in the 1880s and 1890s. Their main influences were that of Japanese print, French Realism, especially Jules Bastien-Lepage and, of course, James McNeill Whistler. We shall be studying works by Joseph Crawhall, Thomas Millie Dow, Sir James Guthrie, George Henry, E.A. Hornel, and E.A. Walton.

10am – 4pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Icon Workshop, Ian Knowles £80, booking required. This two-day workshop spread over two Saturdays is designed for those interested in learning how to paint a religious icon (like those in Greek or Russian Orthodox churches). Have a go at using egg tempera and paint in an ecologically sensitive way. Under guidance from a professional iconographer you will be taken through the process of ‘writing’ a sacred icon of the Face of Jesus, and by the end you should have a completed icon to take home. No previous experience necessary, just a willingness to try a very different technique.

2.30 – 4.30pm Demonstration and Tour: Trevor Haddrell, Relief Engraving and Exhibition. Free, no booking required.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

Artist demonstration and tour to accompany the exhibition Bristol and Beyond.


2012

Diary // June to August

Events, Lectures Workshops, Tours

// Saturday 30th 10am – 4pm Art History Day School: Mountaineers of Modernism, Harriet Batten-Foster MA £30, booking required. // S  unday 17th 11am – 4pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Life Drawing Untutored, model Deb Pearson £28, booking required. Life drawing sessions run by an experienced model. The bias will be towards painters or drawers who require longer poses. Aimed at people who want to draw or paint from the model in a peaceful and professional environment.

11am – 3.30pm Workshop (around Bristol): Out There, Stephen Morris £50, booking required. An inspiring and entertaining day of exploring the mechanics and the ‘vision’ that turn ordinary photographs into great ones. A hands on workshop designed to make simple but dramatic improvements to your pictures of places and people. Get beyond worrying about knobs and dials, think creatively to capture the best of a scene. You will be walking a mile or two, with opportunities for rest and refreshment. Bring a fully charged camera, drink and suntan lotion.

// S  aturday 23rd 11am – 12.30pm Talk: Kako Washi – Its Varieties and Techniques, Elaine Cooper £12 /£10 Friends, booking required. Elaine Cooper presents a fascinating introduction to the Japanese art of treating and processing paper. She will demonstrate the ancient paper art of dyeing ‘Itajumeshi’, pasteresist, ‘katazome’ and painting with paper ‘Chigirie’, torn paper collage. You will learn about the history and traditions of Japanese papermaking and paper craft and be given the opportunity to make a piece of decorative paper.

Braque compared his partnership with Picasso to being like mountaineers roped together; this day school will examine some of the extraordinary partnerships formed in the creation of modern art. These partnerships provided the strength and confidence artists needed to push aside barriers of convention and tradition to create something truly revolutionary. We discuss such partnerships as Picasso and Braque, forged in the creation of Cubism, Matisse’s close association with André Derain and the explosion of colour that led to the Fauvists, and that between artist Robert Delaunay and poet Guillaume Apollinaire.

10am – 4pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Landscape Drawing and Print workshop, Ros Ford Saturday 30th June, and Sunday 1st July, 11am – 4pm Sunday £80, booking required. This two-day workshop is designed for all abilities (including beginners). It provides an opportunity to draw outdoors and learn monotype printing without a press. Monotypes are ‘one-off’ prints. They stand between drawing, painting and printmaking giving a unique, spontaneous quality. With the guidance and support of the tutor, you will use a variety of media to draw from the streets, buildings and parks around the RWA as well as views from the balcony. The drawings made outdoors will be used as a basis to make monochrome and colour monotypes.

July // Sunday 8th 11am – 4pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Life Drawing Untutored, model Deb Pearson £28, booking required Life drawing sessions run by an experienced model. The bias will be towards painters or drawers who require longer poses. These sessions are aimed at people who want to draw or paint from the model in a peaceful and professional environment.

// Friday 13th 10.30am – 3.30pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Botanical Drawing, Julia Trickey £50, booking required. Julia Trickey is an award winning botanical artist and tutor who has exhibited internationally. She is particularly drawn to specimens that are less than perfect, especially leaves, seed heads and dried flowers. On this course she shows you how to produce accurate botanical portraits using line and tonal drawing in graphite and pen. The workshop will concentrate on developing accurate observational drawing skills, including basic line drawings of leaf structures, tonal drawings of fruit and vegetables (using both graphite and white pencils) and pen work.

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RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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// Saturday 14th 10am – 4pm Artist in-situ, Rose Sanderson. Free with exhibition entry. Artist Rose Sanderson will be showing work in the exhibition Unnatural – Natural History and will be working in-situ in the gallery for the day giving the public a rare glimpse into her practice.

10.30am – 1pm Scribble and Sketch Drop-in Workshop: Free with exhibition entry – see June 9th for details. // F  riday – Sunday 27th, 28th, 29th 10am – 4pm Fri & Sat, 11am – 4pm Sun Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Anatomy Drawing, Alan McGowan £210, booking required. This workshop is conducted through demonstration and explanation, reference to anatomical examples, and with an emphasis on drawing from the life model. You will examine the individual elements of anatomy, the main skeletal, muscular and structural forms, whilst being conscious of the overall integrity of the body as a coherent system. While concentrating on anatomy it will also inevitably touch on more general issues involved in drawing the figure: proportion, perspective etc.

// M  onday – Friday 30th July – 3rd August 10am – 12.30pm & 1.30 – 4pm Bristol Drawing School 4 day Course: Life Drawing – Movement and Monotype, Sara Easby and Ros Ford £120, booking required. During the morning there will be a series of exercises with a life model to enable fast intuitive drawing of the figure in order to capture the essence and movement in the human form. The emphasis will be on maintaining fluidity and movement in the drawings and developing ideas from these drawings. The afternoon session will develop these drawings into monotypes. Monotype is ideal to develop marks and is both quick, and easy to learn. The course will cover a variety of mark-making techniques, use of stencils, colour and layers. Environmentally friendly, water washable ink will be used.

August // Saturday 4th 10.30am – 1pm Scribble and Sketch Drop-in Workshop: Free with exhibition entry – see June 9th for details. // Monday 6th 10am – 4pm Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Life Drawing, Ruth Wallace £40, booking required. Spending a whole day drawing from a life model allows you to become fully immersed in the subject and make real progress in a short space of time. In a relaxed environment, students will be supported and encouraged to develop their skills at whatever level they are working, from complete beginners to those with more experience. All abilities.

// Wednesday 8th 6.30pm A Collector’s Perspective: An introduction to collecting Contemporary and Modern Art, Giles H. Brown £5, booking required. In conjunction with the exhibition Unnatural – Natural History this talk will offer a personal perspective on collecting contemporary and modern art; the highs and lows, pleasures and pitfalls. It aims to provide both an introduction to buying work, and to demystify and encourage collecting. Giles will cover a range of practical aspects of collecting art, including editions versus originals, investments versus aesthetics, auctions, commercial galleries, dealers, art fairs, commissioning, studio visits, framing and conservation. This will be followed by a question and answer session with Giles and curators Coates and Scarry.

// Saturday 11th 2pm Gallery Tour and Talk: Unnatural – Natural History Curators, Coates and Scarry. Free with exhibition entry, no booking required. Unnatural – Natural History hopes to question our notions of what can be considered natural, creating a dialogue between art and the natural world. Explore the exhibition first hand with curators Coates and Scarry.

// Saturday & Sunday, 11th and 12th 10am – 4pm Sat 11am – 4pm Sun Bristol Drawing School Workshop: Drawing with Mixed Media £75, booking required. In a relaxed and informal atmosphere we will explore a range of drawing materials including charcoal, graphite powder and ink and experiment with various techniques for using them. We will make sketches outside the RWA on the first day which will be developed into larger scale drawings in the studio on the second day using a variety of media and methods. Come prepared to experiment and get mucky. Materials will be provided but you are welcome to bring a sketchbook. All abilities.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012


// S  pike Print Studio and the RWA: Spike Print Studio and the RWA are bringing you a summer programme of workshops covering a selection of print techniques. Established in 1976, Spike Print Studio is the largest open-access print studio in the South West. Their mission is to provide exceptional resources, inspiration, training and space for artists and the public, and by doing so, advance and educate in printmaking. Our collaborative programme will include a Summer School for families offering fun and informal taster sessions in a variety of techniques as well as more specialised workshops and master classes throughout the summer for all ages and abilities. Details to follow on our website: www.rwa.org.uk

Booking To book events, lectures, workshops, Art History Day Schools, and family activities please call 0117 973 5129 unless otherwise stated. Spike Print Studio and the RWA have collaborated to produce a programme of drawing and print workshops. The programme covers a selection of techniques and practices offering opportunities for all ages to make their mark. To book please call 0117 973 5129. To book Bristol Drawing School workshops go online at www.drawingschool.org.uk or call 0117 906 7601.

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

9


// RWA News

Director’s Column By the time you read this our fantastic new gallery / workshop studio on the lower ground floor will be finished. Providing additional exhibition / education facilities it will also give us the opportunity regularly to display works from our collection. A new lift makes all parts of our building accessible to everyone; so be sure to make the trip downstairs to see the new spaces. Since 2009 there has been a threefold increase in the number of exhibitions and considerable investment in the programme and visitor facilities (see page 46 for more details). Therefore membership represents very good value. Last November the RWA Friends became integrated into the RWA, with subscriptions coming directly to the RWA rather than to a separate charity. All benefits to Friends have remained the same. I am delighted with the continued support we have had from Friends who have transferred to the direct membership scheme and the new Friends who are subscribing each day. The generosity of individuals is a vital source of income that enables us to carry out our work.

Autumn Open Exhibition The selection process for the Autumn Open exhibition gets under way in September. Our online submission opens from 19 June 2012, closing on 19 September 2012. As the name suggests, anyone can enter their work for selection, and the Academy’s 160th Autumn Open Exhibition promises to be a bumper year. Pre-selection begins with the online submissions being judged by a panel of a small number of Academicians representing the Academy, and individuals representing our external partners. As the RWA’s President, Janette Kerr explains: “It’s an immediate response that draws you to the work. We look for quality of execution and what impact the work has; for example, is it intriguing, striking or provocative? The Open needs to be as

representative of current art practice as possible and allude to the full spectrum of medium employed by practitioners today. We do our best to ensure that the Open does this justice.” Janette admits there are downsides to carrying out the pre-selection online, as you can’t experience the textures or dimensions of a piece. Therefore the description of methodology is an extremely important part of submitting your work. The upside however, is that the online submission does allow for many more entrants who may otherwise be excluded from the opportunity because of time and storage limitations. “We are looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us this year. It’s a privilege to be part of the selection panel and a great opportunity to see so much talent and variety.” For more information on how to submit your work for this year’s Open Exhibition go to: www.rwa.org.uk/whats-on/ open-exhibitions/

Recent exhibitions // Alice Hendy meets some visitors

I like everything I’ve seen here. The Ravilious wartime lithographs were my favourite. The lines and the textures he created are inspiring.

It’s interesting and I like seeing books here I recognise. There’s stuff for kids to do like draw and write and my mates like the cartoons.

Alex Higlett, 29: illustrator

Dino, 12: schoolboy (but I want to be an actor)

What I absolutely loved more than anything else is the Penguin cover artwork by David Pelham. I have a copy of Ballard’s The Terminal Beach that I nicked from my school library. I was so in love with the cover that I spirited it away when I left the school. Rudi Millard, 41: web publisher

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Fantastic show, well curated. I love the Peter Reddick work, it’s good to see a local artist’s work at the RWA. I’ve bought a one off of his this evening which is very exciting. Anna Smithson, 35: owner of online gallery

I’ve loved it here tonight, it’s fun to come to these events. The fashion photography stood out for me as I’ve worked in the fashion industry and I like visually arresting work. The jigsaw piece is amazing. Matt Payne, 33: sports development officer

The V&A photography stands out. We’re shown a wide range of what fashion photography encompasses and it’s revealed as an art form in its own right. Hopefully this kind of exhibition will help people to gain an appreciation of the skill involved and the theories behind fashion photography. Rhian Addison, 22: student

I like the diversity of the exhibits from the fashion through to the print work. The Reddick exhibition is a fitting goodbye to a wonderful Bristol artist. Ben Wheale, 26: General Manager, training company

It’s very nice here with lots of different books. I’ve designed my own cover of a Penguin book and have written a story called Emily and the Mysterious Church. Elizabeth Yabsley, 8: schoolgirl


Unnatural – Natural History Hannah Stuart-Leach

The Wards in Jarndyce by Meryl Donahue


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“The work should attract you and repel you at the same time,” said Damien Hirst of his installation Mother and Child (Divided) (1993) featuring the sliced in half corpses of a cow and calf in turquoise formaldehyde vitrines …what’s sad is that if you look at my cows cut up in formaldehyde, they have more personality than any cows walking about in fields.”

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Long after his seminal Natural History series, the Tate Modern man of the moment still couldn’t care less whether his work offends. And as Bristol curators Coates & Scarry argue, the point is: it made people talk about art. With this is mind, their forthcoming exhibition at the RWA Unnatural – Natural History aims to question our notions of what can be considered natural. “We’re hoping it will create a lot of dialogue because that’s all we want to do,” said Chippy Coates in a recent interview with the RWA. “It’s going to create a stir and it’s going to be shocking.”

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The current resurgence of taxidermy and composite assemblage with animals in art brought back powerful memories for Coates of having been shown a taxidermy dodo as a child: “We (Coates and Richard Scarry) talked about what is left of the natural world that is untouched. It’s really interesting that this generation of artists is growing up in a world where environmental science is a very important thing – it wasn’t at all when I was at school.” For the 37 local and international artists exhibiting – some in the UK, or Bristol, for the first time – heightened environmental awareness has doubtlessly been influential in their work. Following in the vein of David Shepherd, who uses his faithful depictions of wildlife to fund a charity for endangered species, other contemporary artists are looking to use their work to similar ends. One of the most powerful tools used to provoke the viewer is taxidermy – so polarising is it that where it enthralls one person on the basis of its ability to preserve, it disgusts another to the point where they

cannot even be near it. Amid the wild menagerie of creatures represented at the exhibition, viewers will find Black and White Cow by Italian Geza Szollosi. The bloated, dumb-looking head of a cow, is at once fascinating and ridiculous and points to Szollosi’s hyperrealistic approach to the traditional, scientific art of taxidermy. He manages to stretch its Greek origins – from the meaning ‘arrangement of the skin’ – to challenging new levels. The most alarming representation of ‘natural’ against unnatural is perhaps in Erik Sandberg’s portrayals of hairy-faced children. Waves of candyfloss pink hair cover one nymph-like figure, appearing at first fun and then causing distinct unease upon closer inspection. The images force the observer to ask, considering what we know of genetic mutations: what is ‘unnatural’ anyway? According to the Los Angeles-based artist, these works use hair as a metaphor to “comment on the synthesised effects contemporary culture has on an individual”. In contrast are the comfortably tender, distinctly romantic brush strokes of

Nicole Etienne from California, who works with the image of women in nature depicting beautifully sincere human encounters. Her verdant watercolour and oil groves are filled with strong, sexual ‘angelic Amazons’ which re-imagine women as heroes. The exhibition will give art lovers the chance to buy some highly sought after work. UK artist Kate McGwire for instance, is leaving people breathless with her incredible feathered installations. Wrote designer and blogger The Jealous Curator (www.thejealouscurator.com) after seeing her work: “I literally had to stop and catch my breath. I’d never seen art that felt like it was breathing until that moment. I’d never been intimidated by a mass of feathers that somehow managed to feel both evil and serene. And I’d definitely never had to look away to gather myself because something was so horrifyingly beautiful.” The mediums the artists have chosen to work with in this show are delightfully diverse. Working with the local preoccupation, graffiti, is ROA from RWA magazine

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Belgium. One of the major players in the international urban art movement he is known for his giant greyscale animals whose postures are often cleverly at home in their environment, whether it’s a water tank or a battered Brooklyn wall. Using digital photography, Bristolbased artist and lecturer Nick Bright explores public and private museum spaces. Using the relationship between light and space to optimum effect he projects, for example, a startled deer in sanitised gallery corridors. Much of the work on display will embroil the visitor in a fantastical other worldliness. Jessica Joslin gives new life to objects as Bright gives it to space. In her collection of functional objects – umbrellas, opera gloves and teapots – she awakes a cornucopia of exotic beasts, such as Raphael, a beady and wise looking duck peering down from a light fixture. Unnatural – Natural History has plenty to both attract and repel, and either way, it is sure to get people talking. For kids, there will be workshops with Bristol-based Jamaica Street artist Rose Sanderson, who has made a name for herself adorning with butterflies and birds the stripped surfaces used by her painter and decorator father. And for the adults, there will be talks by Dr. Giles H. Brown on art buying for beginners and also for artists.

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1 (page 12) Black and White Cow by Geza Szollosi (courtesy of Mauger Modern) 2 (page 13) Sky with Leopard Tee and Boots by Eric Sandberg 3 (page 12) Raphael by Jessica Joslin

4 The Chaos Of Memory 10 by Nick Bright 5 Darwin’s Tea Party by Nicole Etienne 6 Wrest by Kate McGwire (Photograph by Tessa Angus, work courtesy of All Visual Arts)

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Josef Herman:

Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938 –1944

Sarah MacDougall

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Herman’s unfathomable expression in his compelling, unfinished, Self-portrait (1946) conceals the turbulence of his early years, explored in the exhibition Josef Herman: Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938 – 1944, now touring to the RWA, Bristol, after an extended run at Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art. Originally conceived to honour the artist in his centenary year, the exhibition follows Herman’s tumultuous journey as he fled across four European cities in six dramatic years against the unfolding drama of the Second World War. It brings together for the first time much of Herman’s surviving work from this formative period, when his art was at its most

experimental and his use of colour strikingly imaginative. Most of it is held in private collections and therefore rarely seen, and has never previously been gathered together on such a comparable scale. Included are the few remaining works from Brussels, a series of powerfully Expressionist figurative works in oil, gouache and tempera, striking designs for a politically-themed masque and an art-themed ballet, and many works on paper from the series known as the Memory of Memories. Born in 1911 in a mainly Jewish, working-class area of Warsaw, Herman received only a brief artistic training, but the highly-politicised atmosphere of the 1930s nurtured within him lifelong left-wing sympathies and a desire to portray working people with dignity and empathy. In 1938, in an atmosphere of

increasing anti-Semitism and with a false passport, he left his native city forever; he never saw his family again. Later, in My Family and I (1941) Herman recreated an intimate, retrospective portrait of family life in the cramped Warsaw tenement with his beloved mother, Sarah, at the literal and symbolic heart of the family. In a cameo self-portrait at the bottom right of the picture the artist also depicts himself at work: on his easel stands a painting of a masked Purim player playing the violin beneath a full moon against a blue backdrop. These important motifs, referencing Warsaw and the resilience of the Jewish people and their culture amid wartime persecution, recur in Herman’s art throughout his early years. Inspired by the work of Rembrandt and Breughel, Herman headed for Brussels. There, in an arresting genre scene, The Gamblers (1938) – the only painting to be attributed with certainty to his Brussels period – he depicts a traditionally Cézanesque subject in the manner of the European Expressionists – his figures, gesticulating, roughlyhewn and dramatic are rawly alive. Van Gogh’s influence can be seen in a rare pen-and-ink drawing of a peasant driving his horse and cart across a rural landscape against a setting sun. These two works were probably all that Herman

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1 (page 17) Warsaw is Burning 1943 2 My Family and I 1941 (Sir Jeremy and Lady Isaacs) 3 The Gamblers 1938

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took with him when, after the Nazi attack on Belgium in May 1940, along with two million others, he made his way to France. At the port of La Rochelle, mistaken (in his black leather overcoat) for a Polish deserter, he was manhandled by military policemen onto a ship full of Polish airmen bound for Canada but diverted by the threat of submarines to Liverpool. There, ordered to present himself to the Polish Consul outside Glasgow, he arrived in that ‘gaunt Scottish city’ and settled there for two-anda-half highly productive years. Although Herman arrived knowing no-one and speaking no English, he soon established important friendships with fellow Jewish émigrés, the sculptor Benno Schotz and painter Jankel Adler, as well as the Scottish colourist J.D. Fergusson, alongside whom Herman briefly made a considerable contribution to the Glasgow arts scene (their work, as well as that of Herman’s London contemporaries Jacob Epstein, David Bomberg and Martin Bloch, is also represented). The greater part of Herman’s Glasgow work draws strongly on his EasternEuropean Jewish heritage as well as his expressionist roots and addresses specifically Jewish themes. Nowhere is this more powerfully expressed than in the sequence of drawings known as the Memory of Memories. These vivid, often poignant, sketches fired

by recollection and imagination, carried out between 1940 and 1943, bring the memory of Herman’s family (who perished in the Warsaw Ghetto), as well as his lost Warsaw years, back to life. Among them are two little-known drawings of a man in a peaked cap holding a baby, probably based on Sholem Aleichem’s devoted father-figure, Tevyeh the Milkman (later celebrated in the musical Fiddler on the Roof). In the second drawing, as Tevyeh rescues the infant the city blazes behind him. A Yiddish inscription, which translates as Warsaw is Burning, reveals that it commemorates the moment of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on 19 April 1943, lending a particular poignancy to the whole sequence. In this one picture Herman encapsulates a moving story of persecution, flight, loss, compassion, and ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit in adversity. It is a story at once both universal and highly, personally, particular. Throughout the war years Herman also championed his people and culture in his artistic exploration of the Jewish festival of Purim (celebrating the delivery of the Jewish people from a plot to massacre them). In the arresting, vividly-coloured Purim spiele (1943), the figure on the far left holds a gragger (or rattle) used to make a noise during the reading of the Megillah (Book of Esther) every time the name of the villain, Haman (referenced by the pointed

hats), is mentioned. Their extraordinary masked faces may also have been influenced by Herman’s friendship in this period with the sculptor, Jacob Epstein, who attended Herman’s first London exhibition in February 1943. Epstein became a lifelong friend and his impressive collection of ethnographic art also inspired Herman’s own. During this period Herman experienced a state of spiritual and artistic crisis, relieved only in mid-1944 by a chance trip to the Welsh mining village of Ystradgynlais in South Wales, where in a group of miners silhouetted against the setting sun, Herman knew that he had found a potent source of inspiration as well as artistic renewal. Over the next decade the Ystradgynlais works would establish the future course of his work and make his reputation as a painter in Britain. Nevertheless, in the six turbulent years explored in this exhibition, Herman’s early work, colourful, experimental and often arresting, not only mirrors his personal journey but also highlights the universality of the émigré experience. Josef Herman: Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938-1944 is at the RWA from 5 May to 8 July 2012. A fully illustrated catalogue is available.

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James Rosenquist:

David Dalton

Swimmer in the

The Zinacantecos [Indians of the Yucatan] believe all phenomena, even manufactured objects, have ch’ulel – souls – and that the most important interactions in the world are not between people or people and gods, but between the innate souls of people and the innate souls of things. Alfredo López Austin, The Myths of the Opossum


Speed of Light Illustrated

Cosmic Mist


© David McCabe

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If there ever was a painter who could bring the souls of inanimate objects to manic, jumping-out-of-their-skins life it’s James Rosenquist. At his recent retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York your eyeballs pinged up and down the museum’s spiral ramps as Rosenquist’s paintings flashed, blinked, pulsed, and zinged across the Guggenheim’s open rotunda in chromatic conversations. It was like being inside a giant pinball machine. Rosenquist paints the mysterious luminosity of chrome, the radioactive glow of lipstick, the zigzag of tire treads, and the flash of aqua-blue sequined high heels with such hallucinatory presence that you might, like some myopic critics of his early work, come away with the impression that he is in some way celebrating the dream products of American consumer society. His sleight of hand is to cast a cool eye on the glossy creations of the American trance-state without denying these objects their own eerie magic. The truth of the matter is that Rosenquist is profoundly ambivalent about this subject matter – and he wants to put you in the same quandary. “I want people to get my art,” he says, “but I want to put them in a new mind-set.”

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Nothing is ever as simple as it looks in a Rosenquist painting. “Aripeka Jim,” as he’s called in his Florida neighborhood, is a little like Robert Frost in that way: they’re both in the grand old tradition of wily Ameriken just-folksiness. On one level – grades K through 12, say – you can read Frost poems as little homilies about choice, woodpiles, and relations with your neighbors. But with Jim, as with Frost, there’s inevitably an afterburn in which you go, “Now what the heck did he just say?” After all, “Good fences make good neighbors” was meant to be ironic – as is Rosenquist’s quirky juxtaposition of a redhot steel-smelting cauldron, blue venetian blinds, a ballistic array of lipstick tubes, and an upside down bag of groceries in House of Fire. As monumental and dazzling as Rosenquist’s paintings are, their size and garish colors are tools in the service of elliptical objectives such as paradox, peripheral vision, and even abstraction. The subject matter is never the subject of the painting the way it might be in magic realism, for instance. Rosenquist has even gone so far as to say, “The image isn’t important.” The exhilaration comes from the way the various components of the paintings, by simultaneously fusing and clashing, morph into a poetic dimension where the images speak in their own visual idiom: a rebus language of form and sign. The process of creating a Rosenquist painting ain’t simple, either. If you ask him how he came to paint a certain picture, you’re likely to get a serpentine, shaggy-dogish story that involves a handful of personal anecdotes, current cultural issues, aesthetic observations, technical questions, a historical reference thrown in for good measure, and his own idiosyncratic take on things. So, what are they about? Jim’s paintings are neither narratives nor intellectual puzzles that the viewer is

asked to solve. They work on entirely different channels. The subject matter is poised in a way that makes you think, rather than telling you what to think. Like the fragmented surfaces themselves, Rosenquist’s art is one of hashish-like suspension. When you stand in front of, say, House of Fire, the juxtaposed images jam the gears of the mind, and conscious scrutiny evaporates. Although it’s a label he has long outgrown, Rosenquist’s name will always be associated with Pop Art, a movement he pioneered in the early sixties along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, and Claes Oldenburg. Coming in the wake of the Sturm und Drang of Abstract Expressionism, it was a shock. Critics were initially repulsed by Pop Art’s use of crude commercial imagery – even when, as in F-111, Rosenquist, as a life-long pacifist and radical, was clearly outraged by the association of American wretched excess and the life-destroying war machine it had produced. And he isn’t bashful about spelling it out, either: “It’s a life-size painting of a bomber flying through the flack of consumer society; and a statement on all the money and power that buys war weapons to supply this society.” From the start of his career, Rosenquist has been a relentless critic of the dark side of the American dream and of world folly in general, from F-111, his mid-sixties anti-Vietnam war protest, to Industrial Cottage of 1977, to Four New Clear Women, his anti-nuclear annihilation painting of 1980, to the ecological Welcome to the Water Planet series of the late ’80s, to his anti-war paintings of the early ’90s, The Flame Dances to the Mirror While the Charcoal Draws and Masquerade of the Military Industrial Complex Looking Down on the Insect World (always a great inscriber of titles). But he hasn’t just protested with paint; Rosenquist has also


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personally stood up for what he believes in, even if his convictions have occasionally landed him in jail at the anti-Vietnam War protests in Washington in 1972. Still, Jim’s POV is never one of simple propaganda or advocacy. You couldn’t depict the artifacts of American culture as lovingly as he does without a deep affection for their seductive surfaces. If anything, Rosenquist uses the toxins of American glitz and hucksterism in homeopathic doses to defuse their malign spell. For a number of years before he became a full-time artist, he was a professional billboard painter, and one day in 1957, after painting 50 billboards with Schenley whiskey bottles he decided he had to turn the tables or go crazy. “That’s when I asked, What is this bombardment of advertising that’s driving you so nuts? I thought, How can I use this method to show the numbness and emptiness of all this?” The very size of his paintings, some of them, like Star Thief, reaching 17 by 46 feet, has less to do with epic ambitions – as it was for the Abstract Expressionists – than cunning optical devices: the tricks played by peripheral vision, the sensation of being embedded in the painting, and the paradoxical situation of standing too close to something so big you can’t see it – an observation from his days as a billboard painter. You can’t stand back and take in a Rosenquist – the way you can with smaller canvases, so you involuntarily find yourself immersed in it, pulled into a vortex of shapes and colors. In the case of F-111, his famous 86 foot wrap-around painting, you are literally inside this almost 360 degree composition.

Another peculiarity of Rosenquist’s art is his paradoxical use of objects. Like his neo-Dada precursors, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, his paintings, despite their teaming body parts and in-your-face gadgets, are in a curious way non-figurative and non-objective.

you involuntarily find yourself immersed, pulled into a vortex. Surprisingly, Rosenquist sees himself not as a purveyor of the flotsam and jetsam of American culture, but as an abstract artist whose initial intent was to revive abstract painting by using common imagery as elements in an abstract composition. Another lineage connects him directly to the Surrealists – particularly to the image conundrums of René Magritte and the paranoiac-critical method of Salvador Dalí. Despite his almost fetishistic fascination with objects and his uncanny ability to depict the physical, Rosenquist is in essence a metaphysical painter. His paintings are never just about the objects he depicts, they’re about the ideas and emotions – and the disturbing juxtaposition those objects gives rise to. Although his theme is still American culture in all its perplexing, infuriating turmoil, Rosenquist’s art in recent years has evolved exponentially into a visual correlative for consciousness itself – and

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maybe, given his fascination with Einstein and the speed of light, to the cosmos as well. His ribbon-like imagery of the last decades suggests the synaptic blend of images as they collide with the brain – the spaghettification that objects undergo as they cross the event horizon into perception. In the new millennium Rosenquist became obsessed with the elusive depiction of time in his paintings as in his ingenious Time Blades exhibition at the Acquavella Gallery in New York in 2007 and The Hole in the Center of Time and the Hole in the Wallpaper in 2010, which featured spinning versions of elements from his more famous works following the catastrophic fire at his studio and compound in Aripeka, Florida. On January 25, 2012 the Museum of Modern Art recreated the original installation of F-111 – it was stunning to re-experience the flashing chains of imagery again in that small 10’ x 80’ room (the original size of the Leo Castelli Gallery) firing at you from all sides. For all their hyper-realist depictions of things, Rosenquist’s paintings are inherently mental metaphors that settle on the sandy bottom of your mind and stir up images that linger long afterwards – Kirilian x-rays of the American psyche at mid-century, the beginning of the third millennium, or the day before yesterday. 1 Dalton (left) and Rosenquist, 1965 background (L-R) Ivan Karp, Chuck Wein, Andy Warhol 2 Star Thief, 1980 Oil on canvas 17’ 1” x 46’ 3 F-111 installed at Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, 1964–65 Oil on canvas and aluminum, 10’ x 86’

4 Memory Continues but the Clock Disappears 2008, Oil on canvas, with painted and motorized mirror (spinning) 84” x 56” x 6”

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

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John Martin

Robert Parker

and The Apocalypse: then and now RWA magazine

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A beach café in La Ciotat, the meal at the coffee stage. Suddenly dark fingers of clouds stretch down to the sea, turning it from turquoise to bottle green slashed with white. As the clouds draw closer they form a vortex – sky and sea merging into a swirling mass. Instead of abandoning the restaurant the waiters tie parasols together, as red dust flies up and rain pelts down – the elements dancing a wild flamenco. This is a John Martin painting come to life, even though the sea fails to part to let the Israelites safely through. If Alma Tadema was the costume designer for epic movies, John Martin was responsible for special effects.

After years of neglect Martin is suddenly alive again on film, with directors such as Spielberg and Lucas readily admitting their debt.

1 (page 25) Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still Upon Gibeon (detail) 2 The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (detail) 3 (page 28) Pandemonium (detail)

The recent exhibition at Tate Britain highlighted his obsession with cataclysms. I was raised on John Martin in Newcastle, where his apocalyptic visions form part of the permanent collection in the Laing Art Gallery. As a boy, I would sneak a look, fascinated by the cruelty that humanity could be subjected to by vengeful gods. The Great Day of his Wrath shows tiny, despairing humans overwhelmed by collapsing rocks and up-surging fire. This was especially pertinent to me, at a time when the threat of nuclear Armageddon loomed large. After mediocre beginnings as a coach painter and ceramic artist in Newcastle Martin headed south to London. When a foray into landscape art and watercolour proved unsuccessful, he then sought a new approach to catch the public eye. Influenced by diorama projections, a forerunner of CinemaScope, Martin set out to create a series of epic paintings that no-one would be able to ignore. Getting up close to a John Martin reveals an unsurpassed rendering of rocks and flame and architectural detail, but his figures are weak and pathetic compared to the mayhem around them. Martin, whose instincts were those of an entertainer as much as of an artist, suffered career oblivion when his type of picture fell out of favour. Failing to gain a foothold in the art establishment, he was never elected a Royal Academician; he was allowed to slide into obscurity, unregretted. Many of his paintings, left to languish in gallery cellars, were shuffled from collection to collection. This was academic short changing at its worst, for as an originator of breathtaking entertainments where the forces of nature go berserk, his influence stretched way beyond any fame he achieved in his lifetime. John Martin was born in 1789, a time where portents of the apocalypse were abundant. A father who was a fencing teacher, a mother whose religion was of the hellfire brand, a brother who was an inventor, another a distinguished soldier and the most famous of all, Jonathan, who set fire to York Minster; Martin’s family were not ordinary. Raised near Newcastle, he grew up close to steel works where eruptions of flame and molten metal gave him first hand imagery of how Hell might look. His first attention grabber was Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion. Tapping into the vogue for sublime landscape, he portrays a muscle bound Conan / Siegfried figure scaling impossible cliffs towards a mountain burning with mysterious fire. He followed this with something even more colossal, Belshazzar’s Feast. The architecture is stupendous, beyond colossal, with tiny figures once

more insignificant beneath the might of Babylon. Harnessing archaeological interest in the Middle East, he depicted a scene no real civilisation could have afforded to match. It was so grandiose that it influenced D.W. Griffith’s film Intolerance, but even the biggest set in Hollywood history couldn’t come close in scale to Martin. Belshazzar’s Feast was seen by two million people nationwide, and it made him famous. Unlike the psychological complexity of Delacroix’s sex and sadism opus, The Death of Sardanapalus, where the message is that absolute power brings with it total debasement, Martin remains a more straightforward depicter of events, not a commentator on them. Each of the epics that rolled out of his studio – Pandemonium, The Seventh Plague of Egypt, Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still Upon Gibeon – depicts part of a story, but you need to be familiar with the whole narrative before you can fully appreciate the picture. In one of the best known, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, tiny figures flee a huge conflagration, but one lingers behind as a bolt of lightning streaks downwards, confirming what we all know happened to Lot’s wife. Even in a Martin landscape, geological features and the natural phenomena are never understated. In one of his occasional forays into British themes, The Bard, curses rain down on the advancing English with Snowdon looking like the Himalayas. A Scottish Scene depicts huge mountains and frightening vortexes of light and cloud. Martin would no doubt have relished disaster movies, CGI and 3D, and would have been gratified by the influence he still wields. Engravings of The Parting of the Red Sea and the Throwing Down of the Stone Tablets look like images from the storyboard for the movie The Ten Commandments. Cecil B de Mille always pretended to search around for authentic material for his kitsch epics but without doubt he plundered Martin. Latterly the Mount Doom finale in Lord of the Rings looks like a direct take on The Waters of Oblivion. After years of neglect Martin is suddenly alive again on film, with directors such as Spielberg and Lucas readily admitting their debt. It is hardly by chance that his work has resurfaced in national collections; the Tate Britain exhibition was confirmation that it’s time to reassess him, not just as an artist but also as a person. Martin also saw himself as a Renaissance man, and was fascinated by technology and innovation. He once said, “I would have preferred to be an engineer rather than artist’’. Drawing up RWA magazine

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Influenced by diorama projections, a forerunner of CinemaScope, Martin set out to create a series of epic paintings that no-one would be able to ignore.

schemes for a circular railway round London and sewage system that predated by 20 years the eventual solution, he also had grandiose plans for the Thames Embankment that would have made London one of the most spectacular cities on earth. His 1832 Pandemonium concept is thought to be a prototype design. His connections to the establishment of the time were numerous and varied: Dickens, Disraeli, Emerson, Rossetti, Ruskin were in his circle and he had an enduring effect on

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the Orientalist and Romantic Movements in art, both here and in France. His influence also reached out to the writers Jules Verne, Rider Haggard and H.G. Wells. Martin’s considerable work as an engraver was much admired, especially for his pictorial translation of Milton’s Paradise Lost. However, his fall from favour was hastened by his brother’s pyromaniac spectacular at York Minster. The public reaction had been hostile and it was rumoured

erroneously that Martin was also insane. Jealousy amongst fellow artists also played its part in his eventual demise. At the end of his life he was still working on epic themes – The Last Judgment and The Plains of Heaven. In the latter, the Himalayas meet the Lake District, with Heaven appearing to be a rather boring place compared to the whipcrack energy that infuses his invocations of Hell. Though Martin’s work may provide no immediate psychological insights, he did

expose that voyeuristic dark place in human nature that since the days of the Roman arena has relished witnessing the misfortunes of others. John Martin, in common with all great artists, makes you examine your own place in a hostile universe. Hopefully the recent Tate exhibition has finally allotted him a secure resting place in the pantheon of British artists.


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V IEW ON L IN E W H I T E S PA C E A RT. C O M

72 Fore Street Totnes Devon TQ9 5RU t 01803 864088 e info@whitespaceart.com

35 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT t 01225 461230 www.bathcontemporary.com

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

29


The Dinner Party, 1974–79 Ceramic, porcelain, textile 576 x 576 inches (1463 x 1463 cm)

Judy Chicago: the long road to acceptance Richard Storey


Judy Chicago has been at the forefront of American feminist art since the 1970s when she co-founded the groundbreaking Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts and the Feminist Studio Workshop in LA. Her installation, The Dinner Party [1974 – 1979], is an enduring icon of feminist art – emphasising needlework, textiles, ceramics and other crafts traditionally associated with women, and not previously regarded as ‘fine art’. The Dinner Party is now seen as a monumental, multi-media work capable of transforming the viewer’s understanding of art, culture and gender politics. But it was not always so. The long and embattled path to its success, from creative genesis through to its collaborative construction and final permanent home, was never going to be easy.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

The Dinner Party comprises a massive ceremonial banquet, arranged on a triangular table. Each of the three 48 feet long sides has thirteen place settings, commemorating an influential woman from history from Sappho to Georgia O’Keeffe, via Elizabeth I, Hildegard of Bingen and Emily Dickinson. The settings consist of embroidered runners, gold chalices and utensils, and chinapainted porcelain plates with raised central motifs that are based on vulva and butterfly forms and rendered in styles appropriate to the individual women being commemorated. The names of a further 999 women are inscribed in gold on the white tiled floor below the table. Chicago’s paradigm shattering aim in creating The Dinner Party was to try to break the cycle of repetition, which has constantly erased the achievements of women from the artistic and cultural record. She had already published Through the Flower: My Struggle as an Artist [1975] and now she was determined to elevate female achievement to a heroic scale traditionally reserved for men. At the heart of The Dinner Party

is the belief that by understanding the legacy of women’s achievements, women’s perceptions of themselves can be transformed. In the late 1960s, when Chicago first started to think about The Dinner Party, there were no women’s studies programmes and no exhibitions, books or courses surveying women in art. Moreover, the few women artists at the time largely worked alone, while male artists operated in a culture that supported their work, finding it relatively easy to attract the patronage of collectors, the interest of curators, and the attention of critics. Although she started out entirely single-handedly, determined to defy tradition and challenge the usual boundaries of the contemporary art world, Chicago realised hers was not a oneperson project, so set about recruiting several hundred female (and some male) volunteers to help her realise her ambition. Fortunately, the advent of the Women’s Movement in the early 1970s provided Chicago with the possibility of building her own support among likeminded women who seemed hungry for images that confirmed their role in today’s world. She recalls that: “As I was then trying to create a female-centred iconography, for the first time in my life my ideas and the audience meshed …in order for women’s creativity to flourish, there had to be support.” One important outcome was that Chicago’s studio operated somewhat like the traditional atelier system, providing over the course of several years a real-life training ground, something that women at that time seldom had. However, although Chicago garnered her talented and willing core group of volunteers from outside male-dominated institutions and organisations, an interpretation, popular at the time, seemed to be that she was an unscrupulous person who exploited others. This explanation, she says: “…not only demonises me but also demeans those who have chosen to volunteer, negating their personal agency and reducing them to unthinking robots who are easily manipulated …I cannot explain why these accusations have continued to haunt both me and the piece: they have no basis in reality. Perhaps the idea of labouring selflessly for a larger purpose is inconceivable to some people. Our motivation was not money; it was changing history, which was absolutely thrilling. But, along with pride often comes rage …and in my case rage fuelled the creative process.” Often asked how she was able to continue working in the face of so much rejection and misunderstanding, Chicago said that


she would remind herself of what her predecessors had faced. “If they could do it,” she would think, “so can I.” Finally, the five-year struggle to create The Dinner Party was over; the piece was finished and in 1979 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art premiered the work to enormous public enthusiasm. It then embarked on a seventeen-year tour during which the world, even the art world, began to catch up to the point from which Judy Chicago had begun The Dinner Party. However, critical response varied greatly, from praise to loud objections from well-known critics who felt The Dinner Party was not only ‘not art’ but obscene. And – despite touring around the world to fifteen sites, six countries and a viewing audience of over one million people – it became less clear where The Dinner Party fitted in institutions of art. Dedicated people outside the nexus of galleries and museums found alternative locations in which to show it. But most mainstream galleries, with their embedded attitudes, couldn’t engage with the iconography and gendered (and refined) craft skills. The Dinner Party was patently popular, yet not accommodated, which speaks volumes about the gendering of official culture. Institutions don’t like their paradigms to be shattered. So any hopes of permanently housing the work were stalled perpetually, exacerbated by the high cost of creating an ongoing institutional framework in which to locate it. When, with minimal fuss, Chris Ofili has an entire room at Tate Britain devoted to his Monkey Pictures, this entrenched attitude seems to suggest that there may be other issues at stake. By 2000 it seemed that the only realistic option was to preserve The Dinner Party. So, eventually, it was crated and put in storage, with no institutional sponsor in sight. Then, at last, its future was secured by another woman with a mission; one who saw the work as a museum-worthy piece and furthermore one able to endow an institution with the resources to house it. Dr. Elizabeth Sackler, a collector of Chicago’s work, came to a decision: she would offer to purchase the work as a gift to the Brooklyn Museum, NY, of which she is a Trustee. This permanent installation, now the centrepiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, is further enhanced by rotating Herstory Gallery exhibitions, which relate to the 1,038 women honoured at the table. Not before time, The Dinner Party has been given a permanent home – and the public can now enjoy on-going access to one of the most extraordinary and moving pieces of art created in the past fifty years. See it at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, NY

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...by understanding the legacy of women’s achievements, women’s perceptions of themselves can be transformed.

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1 The Dinner Party (detail) Susan B. Anthony place setting 2 The Dinner Party (detail) Mary Wollstonecraft place setting 3 The Dinner Party – runner back (detail) Mary Wollstonecraft place setting 4 The Dinner Party (detail) Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe place settings 4

© Judy Chicago 1979 Images © Donald Woodman RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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RWA magazine Summer 2012


Simon Baker

Southampton’s unmissable treat RWA magazine

Summer 2012

35


I am in Southampton City Art Gallery, one of the finest public art collections in England outside London. A collection of international standing. I have ascended into the gallery’s central hall, a space of light and air. The painted installation of Daniel Burren, With Arcades, Three Colours, spans the vault. Glories of the gallery are on display. Southampton’s strengths lie in its small but choice collection of European Old Masters, its British 20th Century pictures and the contemporary art continuously being acquired. There is regular rotation. Thus for the first time I am seeing Claude Rogers’ masterpiece Miss Lynn, prize winner in the Festival of Britain. Curator Tim Craven welcomes me. His enthusiasm for the Southampton collection and his passion for collecting on its behalf are infectious.

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the story: it is one of fascinating individuals, generosity, collecting acumen and curatorial skill. Incredibly the gallery did not open until 1939 and serious collecting began only shortly before that.

and for the purchase of art. Inspired by his example, in 1925, Smith left his estate in trust to promote the “public opportunity of seeing and studying good pictures”. Chipperfield added the felicitous stipulation to

Director where he felt his style was cramped by a forceful Board of Trustees. At Southampton he was freer and advised on a collecting policy of a small collection of Old Masters, representative 19th Century paintings,

It is vital to buy the art of With over 3,500 works, I ask how these can all be seen and made accessible. Craven replies: “We have a long term view. If work is not on display it will be on display next week, next year, next decade, next century. It will be looked after, managed and conserved.” Southampton’s success in amassing this outstanding collection in a short period of time is remarkable. Craven explains: “We started very late but that has been to our advantage.” He recounts

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

In November 1940 one of 12 Nazi bombs “falling like a ladder from the sky” scored a direct hit on the gallery causing grievous loss of life. The new gallery remained closed for the rest of the War. The foundations had been laid some years before by two benefactors, both City Councillors, Robert Chipperfield and Frederick William Smith. Chipperfield, by his bequest in 1911, endowed the funds for the construction of a gallery

his bequest that pictures could only be bought after consultation with the Director of the National Gallery. In many respects this has been the making of the collection. Craven says: “It is full of such good works because the acquisitions have been made exclusively by the curator and the adviser. There has been no political interference.” The first active adviser was Kenneth Clark, appointed in 1934 at the age of 31 as National Gallery

and a growing collection of modern pictures. Clark insisted: buy quality not the name. Thus the first acquisition on Clark’s advice was of Jacob Jordaens’ Holy Family. Not Rubens. An example, Craven points out, followed 20 years later with the purchase of the wonderful St Catherine and the Philosophers by Goswijn (grandson of Rogier) van der Weyden, outstanding for any collection. It is to Clark’s faultless advice that Southampton owes


1 (page 35) The Afterglow in Egypt, 1854– 63 oil on canvas William Holman Hunt (1827– 1910) 2 The Fisherman, 1884 oil on canvas Jean Louis Forain (1852 – 1931) 3 A Sale at Tattersalls, 1911 oil on canvas Robert Polhill Bevan (1865 – 1925) 4 (page 38) St. Jerome oil on panel Cesare da Sesto (1477– 1523) All images Southampton City Art Gallery, Hampshire, UK / The Bridgeman Art Library

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the inception of its superb collections of French 19th Century and 17th Century Dutch paintings with J.L. Forain’s suspended fisherman and Everdingen’s Allegory of Winter; and the capture of its first High Renaissance

Allegretto Nuzi (1360), St Jerome by Cesare da Sesto, Italian Baroque and Dutch pictures, landscapes by Paul Bril, Ruisdael, Pissaro, Sisley and the Barbizon painters and portraits by Van Dyck and Renoir.

The collection, Craven justifiably claims, “tells the story of western European painting from the Renaissance to the present day”. The British 20th Century collection is a rich roll call of British and émigré greats

veterinary surgeon working in Africa who switched careers and became a Tate curator. Both had lived in the area. In 1947 Jeffress lent a Jackson Pollock to Southampton, the first to be seen in a public gallery in England. Palmer

now while you can afford it Italian painting by Sofonisba Anguissola. All this while there was still no gallery. The first two curators were George Conran, appointed upon the opening of the gallery, and Maurice Palmer in succession to him (1950 – 1970). Working with Philip Hendy, Clark’s successor in Trafalgar Square, they made additions of superlative quality to the Old Master collection including Lotherbourg’s Shipwreck, the outstanding Coronation of the Virgin by

Craven describes the jewel in Southampton’s 19th Century crown as being the unique and treasured Perseus Series of Burne-Jones, ten full-scale cartoons in gouache on paper commissioned by a British Prime Minister and displayed in a single room furnished by Barings Bank. Other significant British 19th Century works are by Blake, Constable, Turner, John Martin, Holman Hunt and Ford Madox Brown.

from Camden Town to Euston Road, Bloomsbury to St Ives; from Sickert to Spencer and Sutherland, from Nevinson and Nash to Nicholson (William and Ben), Bomberg to Burra and Hilton to Hockney and many others. The only obvious gap, says Craven, is Francis Bacon. Two other individuals were critical to this achievement: Arthur Tilden Jeffress, flamboyant gallerist and collector with homes in London and Venice, and David Brown,

was friend of Jeffress and mentor to Brown. In 1961, tragically, Jeffress died by his own hand in a Paris hotel after being expelled from Venice following public exposure of his homosexuality. By his will he had left, with few exceptions, the choice of his stock and collection to Southampton. In 1963 Palmer selected 99 pictures including works by Delacroix, Bonnard, Vuillard, Sutherland, Piper, Freud and the Belgian surrealist Paul Delvaux. RWA magazine

Summer 2012

37


The bequest was transformative. David Brown, avid collector, eccentric and generous, became the adviser (1975-

1986), the role passing from the National to the Tate Gallery. On his death in 2002 Brown bequeathed 220 works to Southampton, immensely

enriching the British 20th Century collection, and gave money for purchasing contemporary British art. This enabled Bridget Riley’s Red Movement (2005) to be acquired. In 1975 Monet’s Church at Vétheuil had come up for sale from a Hampshire collection. By great effort it was secured, Craven tells me, at a cost of as much as the rest of the Old Master collection. It was the last such acquisition and led to a change in acquisition policy. Henceforth this was to collect contemporary art within two years of its making from artists judged to be outstanding and still developing their reputations. The success of this policy is reflected in holdings of works by Richard Long, Antony Gormley, Rachel Whiteread, Lisa Milroy and others. “The curator continues to have access to the best independent advice in the Country” Craven says. “The present adviser is Tate’s Head of British Collections.”

Southampton continues to collect actively; as it always has done using the Chipperfield and Smith bequests to bring in grant funding. Craven sums up: “I do think it is important to keep collecting. It is vital to buy the art of now while you can afford it.” Finally we are in the paintings store. Craven slides screens in and out on which the treasures hang. Here is Sutherland’s great portrait of Jeffress – witty, engaging, about to spring from the chair which he bestrides against a Bellini backdrop. Deep painterly reds in Bomberg’s Cyprus and Hilton’s Autumn seduce me but it is time to depart. Go there. Southampton is an unmissable treat. You will return for another surprise and more enjoyment. The train leaves at 22 minutes past the hour from Bristol.

UNSPOKEN A solo show by Bobbie Russon 2 5 J U N E - 8 J U LY 2 0 1 2 Preview Saturday 23 June 6 - 8pm RSVP 1 Queen St, Bath BA1 1HE | jemma@bo-lee.co.uk 01225 428211 | www.bo-lee.co.uk | 07970 492 858

Contact the gallery for a catalogue and price list.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012


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RWA magazine

Summer 2012

39


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RWA magazine Summer 2012

 

 

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// Gallery review

Antlers Gallery Antlers Gallery champion and support a burgeoning scene of artists who hark back to traditional themes and techniques with fresh and contemporary approaches. Antlers exhibitions often have a focus on drawing and take traditional subjects such as landscape, natural history or anatomy and present new and alternative ways of interpreting these age-old artistic themes.

Dubbed ‘the nomadic gallery’, Antlers moves through different spaces producing high quality temporary exhibitions. Embracing both the digital age and opportunities presented by the economic downturn, Antlers’ only permanent base is online and many of their exhibitions have been in otherwise unused retail spaces. This innovative approach has seen them produce exhibitions in central Bristol locations including Park Street, Christmas Steps and Quakers Friars. Antlers have recently hosted their first show in London and are planning more shows beyond Bristol later in the year. The gallery is run by Jack Gibbon and Juliet Burke alongside a changing cohort of internship assistants. The tight-knit team behind Antlers work closely with both artists and clients building up strong relationships. A very much hands on and holistic approach sees them guide and develop both artists’ practices and clients’ collections. Situating themselves in highly visible and accessible locations, Antlers aim to break down the ‘art world barriers’ encouraging all visitors to enjoy the work in a relaxed and open environment and as such have succeeded in inspiring a new generation of collectors. Antlers Gallery not only produce their own exhibitions but also act as consultants and curators for other institutions. Antlers Director, Jack is currently curating an Arts Council

funded programme of exhibitions and events for the Studio Upstairs project Drawing Through. Antlers has also been commissioned by Bradford Museum to curate a drawing exhibition and manage a hireable project space in the centre of Bristol called Philadelphia Street. The next big project for Antlers, is a solo exhibition of this year’s RWA Emerging Artist Prize Winner – Anouk Mercier. The exhibition Excursus, showcases a new series of drawing and airbrush works in which Anouk continues and develops her exploration into ideas of escapism and suggested narratives. Anouk is concurrently working on a project commissioned by a donor to the Museum, which will see her producing a new piece for the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery’s permanent collection. To catch up on where the nomadic gallery will be next, visit their website or contact juliet@antlersgallery.com / 07766 303 534 to be put on their mailing list. www.antlersgallery.com fb.com/antlersgallery twitter.com/antlersgallery fb.com/PhiladelphiaStreet Between exhibitions Antlers is open by appointment at 6 Philadelphia Street, Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3BZ

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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Inside the artist’s studio A giant sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi stands sentinel outside the Pangolin Editions foundry in the steepsided Chalford valley in Gloucestershire, where the clear waters of the River Frome run through. Evidence of ancient Bronze Age sites can be seen around the South Cotswolds so it is particularly fitting that the foundry is here. The entrance is flanked by two large crucibles planted with a mass of violets, symbolic perhaps of the force and fragility of the casting process.

Jilly Cobbe 42

RWA magazine Summer 2012

Pangolin Editions Founded in 1985 by Rungwe Kingdon and Claude Koenig, Pangolin Editions has grown from the small beginnings of a garage in Oxfordshire to be the largest sculpture foundry in Britain, employing over 100 people. Rungwe and Claude both worked for Lynn Chadwick and are indebted to him for the support he gave them and freely acknowledge the prestige his patronage conferred during those early years. Now, after nearly 30 years in operation, their client list includes Ralph Brown, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst and Peter Randall-Page as well as the late Modernists such as Jon Buck and Terence Coventry. The foundry specialises in the ancient tradition of lostwax block investment casting, and for larger pieces, sand moulding. Renowned for the variety and excellence of their patinations, they now offer more than 100 different finishes ranging from ancient methods resembling Palaeolithic rocks to brightly coloured shiny surfaces that would not look out of place on a Ferrari forecourt. Research is ongoing in pursuit of yet more diverse and unusual textures and effects. The relationship between the foundry and the client is a crucial one and can take various

forms but, as Claude says, the better you know the client the more likely the finished bronze will meet their expectations. The starting point may be little more than a sketch or just an idea. Some long-standing artists may hand over an image and not see it again until transformed into the finished sculpture, such is the understanding that has built up over the years. For a new client however, the whole process may be unknown territory and an exciting if somewhat daunting experience, but Pangolin is keen to explain the different processes and show the work at the various stages of its creation. The initial discussions are therefore key and there needs to be flexibility on both sides for a successful outcome. The largest bronze made by Pangolin can be seen in Brussels and is the monumental 17 tonne Phoenix 44 by Olivier Strebelle. The smallest, a replica of a Palaeolithic Venus, the size of a fingernail on a little finger. Edition size is generally no more than 12 plus 2 artists copies, to preserve the rarity value. The process from drawing to finished sculpture has many stages, from the origination of a maquette, through moulding, investing, casting and patination.

Patination involves chemicals and oxidation and, like cooking, the same ingredients rarely produce exactly the same results. Leaps of faith and moments of trauma and tension accompany these various transformations and there are no guarantees. But, eventually, the moment arrives when the client and the finished sculpture meet, both changed by their emotional and physical experiences respectively. Ultimately, a successful bronze will have within it not only the realisation of the original submission but also biographical elements skilfully incorporated by the expertise of the Pangolin team, who bring their knowledge and dedication to the creation of the desired object. A visit to the foundry is like entering a beehive, the ‘bees’, clad in red boiler suits. Each worker has a specific job and there is an air of confident industry. On a workbench I spy a small green wax figure, barely five centimetres high, looking like a male character from an Edward Hopper painting, complete with hat; in another section, giant moulds are waiting to be fired. At the furnace end of the foundry ingots are stacked and ready, while two metal founders in special heat-resistant woollen suits manoeuvre a red hot


crucible, with the aid of an overhead gantry, and molten bronze is poured into the waiting mould. As I leave the foundry I pass a sculpture of a Dodo. This may be dead, but thanks to the energy and vision of Rungwe and Claude, the Pangolin and the ancient tradition of bronze casting, definitely is not. As well as the foundry there is also an on-site gallery showing regular themed exhibitions of sculpture, prints and drawings. In 2008, Pangolin London was opened at Kings Place behind Kings Cross. A commercial gallery which also exhibits large scale sculpture in and around Kings Place and the nearby canal, they also offer a Sculpture Residency. In 2004, Rungwe and Claude set up a charitable foundation in Uganda to encourage cultural and artistic exchanges between Africa and the UK. The Ruwenzori Foundation Centre has a foundry, gallery

and workshops and offers scholarships, residencies and training for the building of a new artistic tradition. All a very long way from a garage in Oxfordshire. For anyone contemplating a sculpture in bronze, or increasingly gold or silver, please contact Pangolin Editions, 9 Chalford Industrial Estate, Chalford, Gloucestershire GL6 8NT t: 01453 886 527 e: foundry@pangolin-editions.com www.pangolin-editions.com

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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TOP

art b ooks

10

Recently, while regarding a sumptuous Pre-Raphaelite screen, I felt that I neither understood, appreciated or even liked this genre. I was ignorant of the Group’s important influence: what had driven them to develop their distinct styles through detailed observations

of nature, the crucial developments with water colour and new mediums, as in Florence Camm’s lovely designs for stained glass, all culminating in the Arts and Crafts Movement. Of course images, designs and key names – Madox Brown, Hunt, Burne-Jones, Millais, Morris, Pugin, Rossetti, Ruskin and Soloman – were familiar. But I was unaware of why, initially, they were freeing themselves from academic conventions of presentation and the Royal Academy’s specific entry requirements of “...demonstrating proficiency in drawing...” Colin Cruise’s marvellous book, created to accompany the Birmingham Art Gallery Exhibition, is an outstandingly comprehensive journey of an art form, from mid 1800s through to the

1900s, including hitherto unseen, unknown plates, splendidly referenced. All of which provide an understanding of the complex relationships of these artists, and how they handled private portraiture; religious subjects and famously, their female models. This is a book for everyone, wonderfully accessible with excellent and beautifully presented illustrations, whose quality allows one to see detail, the shifts from studies to paint, and how techniques could detract from clarity: Rossetti’s King Arthur and the Weeping Queens (p.152). Cruise’s book also offers a helpful re-evaluation of William Morris’s wallpaper designs and his opposition to “scientific naturalism”, though Ruskin praised him. Thea Bailey

// BOOK

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// BOOK

Joseph Herman: Warsaw, Brussels, Glasgow, London, 1938-44

The Dinner Party Judy Chicago 308pp: Merrell, 2007 ISBN 978 1 858 943 701

Presence: the art of portrait sculpture Alexander Sturgis

This is the most definitive work to be published on Chicago’s masterwork and reveals the visual and intellectual scope of the installation more fully than ever before. It is supported by a new photographic documentary and Chicago’s expanded research into the history of the women represented. We learn of the creative genesis, the dynamism of her collaborative approach to art-making, and the technical processes involved. Chicago’s fascinating book introduces the work to a new generation interested in the relationship between art, culture and gender politics. RS

Published to accompany the exhibition which runs until 2 September, and written by the Director of the Holburne Museum, this short book opens our eyes to the virtues, power and peculiarities of the portrait sculpture. At the same time it draws our attention to the surprising fact that most of the celebrated works by a generation of artists that emerged in the 1990s, including Jeff Koons, Ron Mueck and Marc Quinn, are exercises in, or responses to, this curiously overlooked genre. See the exhibition, then buy this fascinating book. RS

Foyles at Cabot Circus

1

A Yorkshire Sketchbook David Hockney

da Vinci 2 Leonardo Frank Zollner Freud: 3 Lucian Painting People Martin Gayford

Fairy Tales from 4 Six the Brothers Grimm David Hockney

Pictures 5 Hockney’s RA catalogue

// BOOK Pre-Raphaelite Drawing Colin Cruise 248pp: Thames & Hudson, 2012 ISBN 978 0 500 290 293

Lewin: 6 Angie Plants and Places

Leslie Geddes Brown

Blackadder 7 Elizabeth Phil Long Diebenkorn 8 Richard Sarah C. Bancroft Susan Landauer and Peter Levitt

9 Hokusai Matthi Forrer at Work 10 Freud David Dawson

and Bruce Bernard

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

158pp: The London Jewish Museum of Art, 2011 ISBN 978 0 900 157 387

Published to coincide with the exhibition which celebrates the artist’s centenary year, this catalogue examines Herman’s tumultuous journey across Europe. It brings together for the first time much of Herman’s surviving work from this formative period, when his art was at its most experimental and his use of colour strikingly imaginative. The RWA exhibition and this catalogue are part of Ben Uri, the London Jewish Museum of Art’s continuing exploration of the work of émigré artists. Richard Storey

96pp: The Antique Collectors Club Ltd., 2012 ISBN 978 1 851 496 853


// Reviews

// BOOK Outsider Brian Sewell

343pp: Quartet, 2011 ISBN 978 0 704 372 498

Brian Sewell has a justified reputation as a waspish art critic, as passionate in his defence of traditional aesthetics as he is in his condemnation of much of the modern scene. In Outsider, the hugely enjoyable first volume of his autobiography, there are many revelations, not least that he is

the illegitimate son of composer Peter Warlock, who died seven months before Sewell’s birth. The word ‘unconventional’ is scarcely adequate to describe either his upbringing or his extraordinary mother, and he portrays both movingly and with no-holds-barred honesty. At times his frankness is startling: ‘My mother may have been something of a prostitute’. The rigours of a cold night on military exercise on Salisbury Plain relieved only by the delights of a bacon sandwich; the Courtauld Institute under the kindly tutelage of Anthony Blunt; chaotic behind-thescenes life at Christie’s – all are depicted vividly. And who would have thought that this specialist in Old Master paintings and drawings was also a first-class shot with a Bren gun? Mike Whitton

// BOOK Banksy: The Bristol Legacy Paul Gough (ed) 153pp: Redcliffe Press Ltd., 2012 ISBN 978 1 906 593 964

readable book, Banksy is described in ways which he would doubtless approve, from David Lee’s acid: “…a show of facile glibness and perfunctory execution” to the more generous “…an artist in the full flow of his creative powers … capable of working in multiple dimensions on a grand scale.” For those fortunate enough to have witnessed the extraordinary event that was the Banksy versus Bristol Museum show, and for those who missed it, this is the book to own. Greg Reitschlin

Sixteen writers each contribute their take on the elusive phenomenon known as Banksy. We learn everything there is to know about the man, from his early days brightening the streets of Montpelier to his ground-breaking collaborative exhibition at Bristol Museum. Throughout this highly

// BOOK

// BOOK

// BOOK

// BOOK

Prunella Clough: Regions Unmapped Frances Spalding

Pierre Bonnard Foundation Beyeler (ed.)

Hammershoi and Europe Kasper Monrad and Karsten Ohrt

de Kooning: A Retrospective John Elderfield

Bonnard understood that seeing was not a neutral activity but a living exchange between the seer and the seen. For Bonnard objects and the very space between them are alive and charged with the significance of our living interaction with them. His sublime nudes depict not only a body but the intimate intertwined relationship between the self and the other. DT

Danish artist Hammershoi purged his enigmatic paintings of any superfluous elements to produce works which amplify the viewer’s concentration on the moment. In this respect his work owes much to the example of Vermeer, although Hammershoi’s work has nothing of that great artist’s chromatic variety as his palette verges on the monochrome – delighting in tonal variety and subtleties. DT

The sheer visceral energy of de Kooning’s mark is an outstanding element of his work. Smears of oil paint viscous like tar inhabit the canvases of his famed Woman series with their ambiguous mix of high art and low brow pin-up, conveying a curious sense of being attracted to yet at the same time repulsed by sensual abandon. DT

240pp: Lund Humphries, 2012 ISBN: 978 1 848 220 119

Elegance and refinement are the hallmark of the work of Prunella Clough. Her abstraction eschews the guttural gestures of Abstract Expressionism in favour of more complex paint handling. Her work contains the echo of things seen combined with transparent veils of colour speaking of an intricate relationship between the interior life of the mind and the exterior objective world. Darren Tanner

176pp: Hatje Cantz, 2012 ISBN: 978 3 775 732 659

256pp: Prestel, 2012 ISBN: 978 3 791 351 742

504pp: Thames and Hudson, 2011 ISBN: 978 0 500 093 634

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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‘Brilliant exhibitions in a beautiful building’ The past year has seen huge changes to the RWA. Visitors are now able to enjoy delicious food and drink in our café, Bristol Drawing School has settled into its new home at the RWA, and recent building works mean improved access for all our visitors. Popular artists such as Bridget Riley, David Shepherd and Jack Vettriano have exhibited their work in the beautiful daylit galleries, and our artistic programme of exhibitions and events has been broad and wide-ranging.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

Our new gallery space on the lower ground floor opens this summer with a season celebrating the very best in theatre production and design. The inaugural show features first class work by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, followed by costume and set design from Disney’s The Lion King, which kicks off its tour of the UK at Bristol Hippodrome in the autumn. In 2013, our exhibition programme will be bigger and better than ever before. Building works taking place this year in three of

our galleries will be complete, and with the latest in climate control we will finally be able to exhibit sensitive works at the RWA. This means more internationally renowned artists can stage exhibitions here – keep an eye on the website and sign up to our e-newsletter for the latest information. But we still need your help to do so much more and really achieve the full potential of this historic gallery. Complete the form on page 48 now and enjoy all the benefits of being a Friend.


Join us today at the RWA Become a Friend and be part of the most exciting and inspirational regional centre for the visual arts

support the Royal West of England Academy in bringing inspiring exhibitions to the West With your help we can – exhibit exciting and challenging work – inspire new talent – champion emerging artists – represent the best in the West

Bird on Perch, 2008 – Jason Lane, RWA Collection


Friends Annual Membership C60 M35 K30 RWA is C3 M0 Y30 K20 Becoming a Friend ofY0the a great way to enjoy what we have to offer. Friends’ financial support is vital to the development of this wonderful institution.

Join us and you will receive: • unlimited free entry to all RWA exhibitions • invitations to private views and special events for you and a guest • a copy of ART magazine mailed to you • full programme details; early notice of events, lectures, workshops • 10% off delicious food and drink in our lovely Papadeli café title (optional) first name surname title (optional) first name surname address

postcode

telephone

e-mail

types of membership single annual £35

individual life £375

joint annual £50

joint life £500

student (NUS card max three years) £15 total

We can claim an extra 25p from the Inland Revenue for every £1.00 you give us – if you are a I am eligible as a UK taxpayer and consent to the RWA claiming Gift Aid on UK taxpayer. subscriptions or donations I make. You can cancel this declaration at any time by notifying the RWA in writing. You must pay an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax equal to the amount recoverable on your total gift aid donations. Should your circumstances change and you no longer pay sufficient tax, you should cancel your declaration.

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In order to save us postage please consider paying by standing order. Contact Steve Fielding at friends@rwa.org.uk Alternatively please make cheques payable to: RWA and return this section to: Steve Fielding, Royal West of England Academy, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX t: 0117 973 5129 www.rwa.org.uk

Registered Charity No 1070163 Data protection: information given will be used solely for maintaining our membership list and administering activities for the RWA.

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

There are more ways you can help support us C0 M70 Y80 K0

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• d  onate your time and become a volunteer • h  ire our beautiful galleries, in the knowledge that your money goes towards the upkeep of the building • b  uy unique pieces of art through our Gift Shop, your purchase helps to support the RWA and the artist For more information go to: www.rwa.org.uk/support-us/ www.rwa.org.uk/gallery-hire/


Heavenly Handwriting!

and anything which requires a unique finishing touch! 07976 300 252 heavenlyhandwriting@virginmedia.com

Two boat stops from the Biennale Venice Lidofl at Sleeps 2-5 karnoldbaker@hotmail.com

MAntour A

RESTORATIOn & CONSERVA TION ceramics glass stone metal & wood

historicaL–archaEoLogicaL

Amanda Wilkinson BSc Conservation, BA Fine Art t: 0117 909 3851 m: 07907 584566 e: amanda.amandala@gmail.com 48 St Werburgh’s Park, BS2 9YS

Clifton Bristol Arts

School of Art

Club Queens

Submissions of original works of art are invited from members and non-members. Contact the Submissions Secretary on 01275 392141 www.cliftonartsclub.co.uk

Road Clifton Bristol

Open

Wedding invitations Placecards, Table plans Gift tags, Certificates

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Creative handwriting services for every occasion

Exhibition

Paula Harris

July 14-28

2012

JANE CARTNEY ART�STUDIO & Gallery

by Appointment Tel: 01934 418198 www.janecartneyfineart.co.uk

RWA magazine

Summer 2012

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Academicians’ news 50

RWA magazine Summer 2012

David Cobley exhibits recent paintings of Bath at Hilton Fine Art, 5 Margaret’s Buildings, Bath BA1 2LP between 23 June and 21 July. PJ Crook exhibits at Gloucester City Museum 12 May – 30 June, Art & Soul, with invited Estonian artist Jüri Arak. Alderman Knight special school in Tewkesbury have recently acquired a life sized horse sculpture from the artist, installed at the end of May. A large solo show opens 7 July at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, Fukushima, Japan, which holds the largest public collection of PJ’s work. Runs to end November. www.pjcrook.com Ros Cuthbert is exhibiting (with David Cuthbert) acrylics, oils, mixed media and watercolour paintings from around the world. Near and Far will be held at the ART SHED, Winscombe 16/17 and 23/24 June. Private View 15 June 7 – 9pm. Patrick Daw recently sculpted the 1.3 m diameter Rwanda Presidential Crest. The commission was via Ward Signs of Barton Hill with whom Patrick has a close working relationship modelling and painting coats of arms and crests. Anne Desmet is showing at the RA Summer Open Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London: 4 June – 12 August; Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate: 9 June16 September; Bluecoat Arts, Liverpool: 14 June – 11 July; Editions Ltd, Cook St, Liverpool: 14 July – 18 August. She will have an exhibition of new work at Hart Gallery, London, in November. Contact: www.hartgallery.co.uk or www.annedesmet.com Chris Dunseath will be exhibiting in the 2012 International Exhibition of Wood Sculpture in Taiwan. 20 July to 25 September www.wood. mlc.gov.tw/english/ Further information www.axisweb.org/ artist/chrisdunseath Chris Glanville will be showing new works with Pamela Kay NEAC, and Neville Fleetwood at

The Wykeham Gallery, High Street, Stockbridge, Hants., from 21 May. Janette Kerr PRWA has solo shows at 60 Degrees North, Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, South Kensington (15 May – 19 June), and at the Stour Gallery, Shipston-onStour (25 May – 24 June PV 25 May 6.30pm). Janette also has work in the RA Summer Open Exhibition and will be artist-in-residence at Bergen Meteorological Institute, Norway during June. Dawn Sidoli exhibits at Red Rag Gallery in Stow-onthe-Wold in a mixed Still Life show opening on 24 June 2012. Introducing our new Academicians Each year the Academy elects new artists to its membership body creating an evolving entity of new talent. 2012 sees the introduction of two new members, Midge Naylor and Rebecca Cains, elected by the Academician body at the Autumn Exhibition in 2011. Painter Midge Naylor has been based in the West Country a number of years but spent her childhood on the south east coast of Scotland. Landscape bears a strong influence on her work, from the physical terrain of the Scottish coastline, to the torn landscape of Cornwall, dotted with the vestiges of the mining industry. However, there is also a psychological landscape at play in Naylor’s work. Familiar forms come and go scratched out of the paints surface, disappearing in one work only to reappear in the next. Naylor’s earlier work featured abstracted seascapes and landscapes, centred around memories of home on the Firth of Forth outside Edinburgh. Inspired by Peter Lanyon’s work at Tate St Ives in 2004 her work took a new direction actively seeking out balance and harmony amid colour, form, line and texture. Her work is born through a process of reworking, layering, a game of push and pull, burial and retrieval, until

it reaches the perfect point between balance and tension. Autobiography is imbued with a sense of universality, a flicker of recognition that renders the work both intriguing and approachable. Naylor has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art from the University of the West of England, 1994, and is based at BV Studios in South Bristol. She has exhibited in the RWA Autumn Exhibition yearly since 2006 as well as the Open Painting and Open Print exhibitions. In 2007 she was awarded Best Regional Artist and has exhibited in the RA Summer Open Exhibition. She shows with Cube Gallery, Bristol and London, and her paintings and prints are held in UK and overseas collections. For more information see www.midgenaylor.co.uk In contrast to Naylor’s psychological abstractions artist Rebecca Cains works within the traditions of representational painting. Her work features the abandoned and decayed, back streets and broken down vehicles, the every-day and the commonplace, employing a dour palette of greys and browns to depict corrosion. However, like Naylor, her work is devoid of human presence, concentrating on objects and places, offering up a strangely cold and empty view of urbanity. Her work captures places in time, soon to be forgotten. A motif of abandonment runs throughout; Cains’ city scenes are testament to our recent history. The steel framework of the old gasworks in Bath, closed since 1971, still stands proudly, casting geometrical shadows against the skyline. A disused petrol station sits silently by the roadside, the solidity of its concrete awning offering protection from the elements. Cains originally trained as a dancer and interestingly her work now focuses on capturing the moments between movement and time. Abandoned vehicles, a common feature, are either lined up stationary in a junk yard or more poignantly discarded at


Woodland Sculpture Trails

a roadside. Her work seizes these moments, relinquishing the past scene by scene. Cains grew up in the West Country and now lives and works in Paulton, Somerset. She gained her BA Hons in Fine Art painting from Bath Spa University and has exhibited widely including the RA Summer Open Exhibition, New English Art Club, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, RWA Autumn Open Exhibition where she was awarded Best Regional Artist in 2008, RWA Open Painting Exhibition, 2010, where she was awarded 1st Odin prize and was awarded as a runner up at the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition, London in 2010. For more information see www.rebeccacains.co.uk

Courtesy The Woodland Trust: Forest of Dean Sculpture Park: Honours the Forest’s history with over 20 works by International artists.

1 Midge Naylor 2 Anne Desmet 3 Rebecca Cains 4 Patrick Daw 1

The Wildcart Trail, Canterbury, Kent: Kent Wildlife Trust’s Blean Project is a walk of discovery through different woodland habitats.

5 Ros Cuthbert

Hainault Forest Monster Trail, Chigwell, Essex: Myths, legends and spooky characters are waiting to greet you on this fantastic journey.

Peer Critique Group

Grizedale Forest Park, Coniston, Cumbria: 60 sculptures spread over 6,000 acres, including works by Andy Goldsworthy.

The Peer Critique Group was recently formed to provide the opportunity for Academicians and Artist Members to support each other with feedback on their practice. Artists often work in isolation and one of the benefits of being part of an Academy is to learn from other members – many of whom have huge amounts of experience in a range of disciplines. This makes for a constructive and supportive environment in which to discuss artists’ work. The format of the group is a monthly meeting at which two artists bring a question addressing the current concerns in their practice. This scheme not only helps the artists who present work but it is also an opportunity for all artists in the group, to meet and share their experiences and news. The group is open to all RWA artists, who are invited to make use of this vital resource provided by the Academy. Karen Wallis, Artist Member and Joint Coordinator of the Peer Critique Group

2

Keilder, Northumberland: 20 sculptures scattered along a 27-mile forest trail. Includes the Minotaur Maze and a haunted castle. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: For 20th Century British sculpture this should top your list: Hepworth, Gormley, Moore – they’re all here against a backdrop of beautiful countryside. Pressmennan Wood, Dunbar, East Lothian: Pressmennan is rich in wildlife and offers a fantastic and memorable day out for children.

3

Parc Penallta, Caerphilly, Wales: Sultan, the pit pony, is the UK’s largest figurative earth sculpture at 200m long. Wander through the willow tunnel, explore the marsh and take in the surroundings from the Observatory.

If you would like to join the group, please contact Gemma Brace on: gemma.brace@rwa.org.uk 4

5

See also: VisitWoods.org.uk/sculptures – the largest on-line database of publicly accessible woods in the UK with 10,000 listed. RWA magazine

Summer 2012

51


Artful Cuisine

1

An exclusive Directory of places to enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner – all within a short walk of the RWA. 7

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 ourmet G Burger Kitchen

74 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JX t: 0117 316 9162 Gourmet Burger Kitchen is all about the burger. We use the freshest ingredients and have created classic and innovative taste combinations to make the ‘best burgers in town’. Everything we serve is fresh and made to order, so if you want to make the burger your own just choose your favourites from the menu and we’ll do the rest. Our burgers are at the heart of everything we do, made and served by our fun loving staff.

2 4 6 3

5 8

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The Lido

Oakfield Place, Clifton Bristol BS8 2BJ t: 0117 933 9530 www.lidobristol.com Every day 12 – 3pm and 6.30 – 10pm (closed Sunday evenings)

British

Fish

Gastro Pub

Italian

Japanese

Mediterranean

Korean

To advertise please call Angharad Redman on 0117 906 7608 or email angharad.redman@rwa.org.uk

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

The Lido is a veritable oasis tucked within a courtyard of Georgian terraces in the backstreets of Clifton. The Lido restaurant is located on the first floor with sliding glass doors affording fantastic views of the 24m outdoor heated pool and period changing cubicles. The food style is Mediterranean with the focus being on the provenance of the ingredients.


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Noa

2 Waterloo Street, Clifton BS8 4BT t: 0117 973 2881 e: bookings@noajapanese.co.uk www.noajapanese.co.uk Lunch Mon to Sat 12 – 3pm Dinner Mon to Sun 6 – 11pm Contemporary and traditional washoku cuisine where fresh ingredients are seared to seal natural flavours. Starters include a traditional miso made from the finest nutritious soya beans to a wakame (seaweed) salad. Light and crispy tempura, tonkatsu, harumaki; sashimi, cut and served in different ways; all garnished with our range of vegetables and seaweed. Our skilled chef can create mouth-watering sushi delicacies complemented by a choice of side dishes.

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Papadeli

84 Alma Road, Clifton Bristol BS8 2DJ and Café @ RWA info@papadeli.co.uk t: 0117 973 6569 9.30am – 5pm Mon to Sat and 11am – 5pm on Sundays Papadeli make “legendary” cakes, superbly creative salads and light lunches. Our Café @ RWA is a unique place to meet for mouthwatering food in gorgeous surroundings. All the food is made at its ‘mothership’ – deli, café and catering service, just round the corner on Alma Road. “The nicest piece of lemon polenta cake that I have ever had. Great atmosphere, nice staff and wi-fi. It really is good!”

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 rimrose P Café

1 – 2 Boyces Ave, Clifton Bristol Bs8 4AA t: 0117 946 6577 www.primrosecafe.co.uk Daily from 9am – 5pm (9.30am – 3pm Sun) Tues to Fri tapas from 6pm Tues to Sat evenings from 7pm The ideal place to watch the world go by. Al fresco eating, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner all using sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients. Twenty years under the same ownership and a Bristol institution.

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 he T Richmond

33 Gordon Road, Clifton Bristol BS8 1AW t: 0117 923 7542 e: richmondpubandkitchen @gmail.com The Richmond offers a wide range of classic British cuisine with a distinctly modern twist. Food and drinks served in the warm and comfortable surroundings of a traditional British pub, with two open fires and a relaxed, friendly ambience. Offering free room hire for small or large bookings, the Richmond has the facilities to completely cater for all your needs.

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 ockFish R Grill

128 Whiteladies Rd, Clifton Bristol BS8 2RS t: 0117 973 7384 e: enquiries@rockfishgrill.co.uk www.therockfishgrill.com Open Tues to Sat Enjoy the freshest and best seafood simply prepared and served in stylish surroundings. A speciality is cooking over a charcoal fire giving a unique and delicious Mediterranean flavour. Our Seafood Market sells the freshest seafood in town. We work tirelessly with fishermen and merchants to ensure only the best in responsibly caught fish is on the menu. An amazing seafood experience.

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Rosemarino

1 York Place, Clifton BS8 1AH t:0117 973 6677 www.rosemarino.co.uk Open seven days a week from 9am Dinner Wed to Sat from 6pm Rosemarino is a place to enjoy fresh, unfussy, sensibly priced food in a light and relaxed atmosphere. Alongside our extensive all-day breakfast menu, the lunch and dinner menus are based on satisfying regional Italian specialities using the freshest ingredients around.

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Surakhan

52 Park Row, Clifton Bristol BS1 5LH t: 0117 929 0806 e: touedu@yahoo.co.uk Korean food is very different to Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine; made with a variety of fresh vegetables and natural seasonings, a minimum amount of oil and no dairy products it is a very low fat / low calorie option bursting with delicious flavours. In Korea the king’s table is known as the ‘Sura’ and ‘Khan’ is the Mongolian word for King; and so ‘Surakhan’ represents ‘a king’s meal’. At Surakhan we endeavour to provide every guest with a meal fit for a king.

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?

You may have noticed some changes going on at what used to be Bistro La Barrique - so we are writing to let you know that Zazu’s Kitchen is bringing its quirky décor, quality food and friendly atmosphere to Gloucester Road from May 17th. You can look forward to our usual fantastic breakfasts, wonderful lunches, and sublime suppers, together with a brand new tapas menu, and a delightful selection of wines, beers, ciders, and spirits, all of which can also be enjoyed on our heated cosy terrace. We are child and grand-parent friendly, and all those in between, so please come and join us to raise a glass to the new Zazu’s Kitchen.

 azu’s Z Kitchen

225 GloucesterZazuRoad x Bishopston 225 Gloucester Road Bishopston Bristol BS7 8NR twitter @zazuskitchen225 Bristol info@zazuskitchen.co.uk 0117 944 55 00 www.zazuskitchen.co.uk BS7 8NR t: 0117 944 5500 e: info@zazuskitchen.co.uk Enjoy our fantastic breakfasts, wonderful lunches and sublime suppers, together with a brand new tapas menu and a delightful selection of wines, beers, ciders, and spirits, all of which can also be enjoyed on our heated cosy terrace. We’re child and grandparent friendly and all those in between.


// Listings 56th Annual

Open

ART EXHIBITION 11-25th August 2012 10.30am-6pm Sundays 2.00-6pm

Science Atrium Clevedon School Valley Road Clevedon BS21 6AH

For further information regarding entry of work contact Tina Gordon: 01934 834341 or visit our website £1Admission

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RWA magazine Summer 2012

www.clevedonartclub.co.uk

Adam Binder Marston Hill Farm Meysey Hampton Cirencester GL7 5LG t: 01285 711 700 e: adam@ adambindereditions.com 18 May – 23 June Summer Sculpture Exhibition Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, Sussex 2 – 31 August Warner Outdoor Sculpture 2012 Littlecote House Hungerford

Antlers Gallery 6 Philadelphia Street Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3BZ t: 07780 503 180 e: jack@antlersgallery.com w: www.antlersgallery.com facebook.com/ antlersgallery Mon – Sat 11am – 7pm Sun 11am – 5pm 6 – 29 July Anouk Mercier: Excursus Email for advance notice of works and an invitation to the preview evening / artist talk.

Arnolfini 16 Narrow Quay Bristol BS1 4QA t: 0117 917 2300/1 e: boxoffice@arnolfini.co.uk Tues – Sun & Bank

Holiday Monday 11am – 6pm Until 1 July Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction A survey of the recent tendency of artists and filmmakers to create science fiction narratives situated in the African continent.

The Art Room 8a The Strand Topsham EX3 OJB e: theartroom@eclipse.co.uk theartroomtopsham.co.uk Sat, Sun and Weds 11am – 5pm 3 June – 1 July Elizabeth Hunter RWA Hilary Cartmel Figurative painting 15 July – 12 August John Hubbard Paintings from the 70s inspired by Spanish gardens 26 August – 23 September Robert Hurdle Hon RWA

Bath Contemporary 35 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT t: 01225 461 230 e: gallery@ bathcontemporary.com Mon – Fri 10am – 5.30pm Sat 10am – 5pm and by appointment 16 June – 16 July Corinna Button: paintings & prints

Bath Society of Botanical Artists BRLSI, Queen’s Square Bath w: www.bsba.co.uk Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm Admission free Sat 9 June – Sat 4 Aug Plants in the Park: botanical art exhibition Celebrating 125th anniversary of the Bath Botanical Gardens. Paintings, cards, prints and calendar for sale.

Blagdon Hill Artists The Lamb and Flag Blagdon Hill Taunton, Somerset TA3 7SL t: 01823 421 736 e:info@lambandflag.co.uk Mon – Sun 11am – 7pm 8 – 16 Sept Blagdon Hill Artists Original works inc. lighting, sculpture, paintings, illustrated cards, giclée prints, felt vessels, paper art, ceramics and handpainted boxes.

bo.lee Gallery 1 Queen Street, Bath BA1 1HE t: 01225 428 211 e: jemma@bo-lee.co.uk w: www.bo-lee.co.uk Mon – Sat 10.30am – 5.30pm (during exhibitions)


Bristol Contemporary Art 88 Glass Walk Upstairs in Cabot Circus Bristol BS1 3BZ t: 07958 284 654 e: curator@ bristolcontemporaryart.com Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm Sun 11am – 5pm 29 May – 18 June “Storytelling” Exhibition A pop-up exhibition as part of the Bristol Biennial, featuring local artists Abigail McDougall, Leah Heming, Emma Dibben, Rebecca Howard and Bjorn Lie.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery Queen’s Road Bristol BS8 1RL t: 0117 922 3571 e: general.museum@ bristol.gov.uk Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 6pm Free admission To 10 June Ten drawings by Leonardo da Vinci: a Diamond Jubilee celebration From the Royal Collection the exhibition forms part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Selected from the unparalleled holdings of the Royal Library to reflect the whole range of Leonardo’s activities.

R E Bucheli Fine Art Albion House 12A Broad Street Bristol BS1 2HL t: 0117 929 7747 e: gallery@rebucheli.co.uk www.rebucheli.co.uk Tues – Fri 10am – 6pm Sat 11am – 4pm Other times by appointment 15 – 24 June Love Architecture Festival: Albion Bristol – Open Building June – August Artists’ Collective Show

Clevedon Art Club Science Atrium, Clevedon School, Valley Road Clevedon BS21 6AH Sat 11 Aug – Sat 25 Aug Mon – Sat 10.30am – 6pm Sun 2pm – 6pm 56th Annual Open Exhibition Showcases local talent: amateur and emerging artists, leading professionals. Submissions accepted from members and non-members in a wide range of media. Handing in day, 6 Aug. For more info call Tina Gordon: 01934 834 341 or visit our website.

Clifton Arts Club Bristol School of Art Queen’s Road, Bristol 14 – 28 July 104th Open Exhibition Original, affordable

works of art. Handing in day: 8 July 10am – 3pm Non-members may enter up to 4 works; all media accepted. Prizes include £100 Sidoli Prize. For details and entry form send SAE to Submissions Secretary, Clifton Arts Club, 12 Ridgeway Road, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9EU or from: www.cliftonartsclub.co.uk t: 01275 392 141

St George’s Bristol Great George Street Off Park Street Bristol BS1 5RR t: 0845 402 4001 e: administration@ stgeorgesbristol.co.uk Fri 15 June 7.30pm Opera Project: The Barber of Seville Rossini’s relentlessly entertaining comic masterpiece is a glorious showcase of singing for a summer evening.

Diana Porter Contemporary Jewellery 33 Park Street Bristol BS1 5NH t: 0117 909 0225 e: web@dianaporter.co.uk Until 31 July Queen of Diamonds Celebrating all things diamond, from glittering rings to show-stopping necklaces and earrings fit for a queen. Featuring the work of Poppy Dandiya, Ruth Tomlinson, Maya Selway, Frances WadsworthJones and Diana Porter.

Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery Brunswick Road Gloucester GL1 1HP t: 01452 396 131 e: museums@gloucester. gov.uk Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm To 30 June PJ Crook & Jüri Arrak In this, the Queen’s Jubilee year, this exhibition reunites PJ Crook RWA with Estonian painter Jüri Arrak five years after first showing together in Tallinn for the Queen’s visit.

The Holburne Museum Great Pulteney Street Bath BA2 4DB t: 01225 388 569 e: holburne@bath.ac.uk Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm Sun & Bank Hols 11am – 5pm www.holburne.org Free admission, open daily Until 2 Sept £6.95 / concs. Presence: the art of portrait sculpture Heads from ancient Greece and Rome; 18th C masterpieces; 20th C works by Degas, Giacometti and Brancusi, and sculptures by Marc Quinn and Ron Mueck.

Innocent Fine Art 7a Boyce’s Ave Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AA t: 0117 973 2614 e: enquiries@ innocentfineart.co.uk www.innocentfineart.co.uk

Tues – Sat 10am – 5.30pm Sun 11.30am – 4pm 8 June – 1 July Paintings of Tyntesfield Estate, Wraxall Paintings through the seasons by Sarah Brown

Jamaica Street Artists 39 Jamaica Street Bristol BS2 8JP e: jamaicastreetstudios@ yahoo.co.uk JSA Open Studio Private View Fri 8 June 6 – 9pm Sat 9 June 11am – 6pm Sun 10 June 11am – 4pm Mini canvas auction Sunday, 4pm

Jane Cartney Art Studio & Gallery rear 80 Regent St. Weston-super-Mare BS23 1SR t: 01934 418 198 m: 07779 178 736 e: artist@ janecartneyfineart.co.uk Viewings welcome by appointment Jane Cartney: Paintings Recent framed work from the studio of ScottishWest Country colouristexpressionist. Inspired by architecture, cows, sheep. Limited edition prints. Portrait commissions.

Jessica’s Jewellery 13 –19 The Motorcycle Showroom, Stokes Croft Bristol BS1 3PY t: 07531 739 338 e: jess.brown56@gmail.com Tuesdays 6 – 9pm June – July Enamelling Workshop Discover the ancient craft of fusing glass, metal & fire. Extensive jewellery & tiling projects held throughout the term. All levels welcome.

Gallery Pangolin 9 Chalford Ind. Estate Chalford Glos. t: 01453 889 765 e: gallery@pangolineditions.com Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm Sat 10am – 1pm Until 29 June Corpus: Sue Freeborough, solus show Sculpture, prints and drawings centred around the human body. Wry comments on the human condition supported by a thoughtful and intellectual approach and an interest in scientific research. Many of her sculptures use classic imagery as a starting point from which to make contemporary statements.

New Brewery Arts Pop Up Studio Brewery Court Cirencester, Glos GL17 1JH m: 07791 444 521 e: nigel@ nigellambertpotter.co.uk Mon – Sun 10am – 5pm 25 June – 8 July Shuffling Sideways Nigel Lambert, Mariette Voke and Jeremy Steward challenge themselves to create exciting work in new directions and materials.

New Leaf Gallery 19 Church Street Monmouth NP25 3BX t: 01600 714 527 e: info@newleafgallery. co.uk Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm Admission free To 30 June Doug Eaton A solo show from this Forest of Dean artist. Meet him Sun 27 May from 12am – 2.30pm The gallery is within an hour’s drive from Bristol.

Rainmaker 123 Coldharbour Rd. Redland BS6 7SN t: 0117 944 3101 m: 07799 388 632 e: jo@rainmakerart.co.uk Tues – Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm Messengers 2012 Works by eighteen important contemporary Native American Indian artists. Preview 13 June 5 – 6pm. Artists’ presentations, films and book signings on 14 June.

The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen @ The Courthouse Gallery Market Place, West Street Somerton TA11 7LZ t: 01458 274 653 www.somersetguild.co.uk Open six days a week 10am – 5pm Free admission 13 June – 15 July Makers Xchange A reciprocal collection from other premier UK Guilds of new craft designs not normally seen in the gallery. All exhibits for sale; a list of exhibitors is on our website. 7 July – 15 July Summer Exhibition Our members will pay homage to the cultural Olympics, utilising materials, techniques and design to make contemporary craft reflecting the aspiration for Gold. All that glitters...

Spike Island 133 Cumberland Road Bristol BS1 6UX t: 0117 929 2266 e: admin@spikeisland.org.uk Tues – Sun 11am – 5pm To 17 June The Artists’ Postcard Show Featuring works by Ruth Claxton, Tacita Dean, Richard Hamilton and Sara MacKillop.

White Space Art 72 Fore Street Totnes TQ9 5RU t: 01803 864 088 m: 07412 450 776 e: info@whitespaceart.com www.whitespaceart.com Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm 9 – 23 June Emma Dunbar, Wendy McBride, Mary Sumner Naïve and whimsical interpretations of the coast and country from Dunbar and Sumner; atmospheric, light-filled pastels by McBride.

Artful quotations

25 June – 8 July UNSPOKEN: A solo show of new work by London based Bobbie Russon. Please contact the gallery for a catalogue and price list.

“Seeing isn’t just visual, seeing is understanding with all your senses.”

Janette Kerr “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Confucius “The process remains as important as the final statement, for the ultimate truth lies in the searching not the finding.”

Keith Patrick “There is love, he once said, and there is a life’s work and one only has one heart. So he chose. He put his heart into his life’s work.”

John Berger on Degas

“The reality of life is incomprehensible and the artist creates an incomprehensible image of it.”

Cecil Collin “Painting is the result of the receptivity of ink: the ink is open to the brush: the brush is open to the hand: the hand is open to the heart: all this in the same way as the sky engenders what the earth produces: everything is the result of receptivity.”

Shitao “The harder you concentrate the more the things that are really in your head start coming out.”

Lucian Freud “I think all art is an instrument of change through awareness. One of the most important things about art – and I don’t mean sculpture, I mean all the arts – is that it must be a civilizing influence. This is its main value: to make people aware of all sorts of different areas of their minds.”

Elisabeth Frink Chosen by Jilly Cobbe RWA magazine

Summer 2012

55


Back Chat Mike Whitton

Brian Sewell Brian Sewell, controversial art critic of the Evening Standard, life-long champion of artistic conservatism and enemy of the avant garde, talks to Deputy Editor, Mike Whitton:

Would you recommend the career of art critic? If you are content to re-hash the press releases issued by institutions like The Royal Academy or Tate then this is a very easy job. I’m not content to do that. In going to the Courtauld Institute you turned down the offer of a place at Oxford to read History. Any regrets? No, because the wonderful thing about studying art is that it requires you to know your history. A work of art cannot be detached from the circumstances in which it was painted. The problem with much new art history is that it is detached; treated as a sort of separate entity. In my young day you had to know about the Popes and the bankers and the emperors because they were the patrons. If I’d gone to Oxford I would have come to learn the same history, but I would not have been able to apply it to the things that I am most passionate about – art and architecture. You have been described as art critic and ‘media personality’. I am an art critic, yes, but a media personality? Gosh! How could I compare with Waldemar Januszczak? There he is, always

56

RWA magazine Summer 2012

born 1931 on television. So is Andrew Graham Dixon. I don’t get that sort of exposure, yet I don’t think they are described as ‘media personalities’. If a young person was anxious to develop an understanding of great art, which gallery or other location would you recommend they visit? I always get rather cross when I hear it claimed that the National Gallery is ‘small but perfectly formed’. I think it is deeply imperfect. So my natural inclination is to say: go straight to Florence. Get your teeth into the Italian Renaissance, for from that almost everything springs. Is it possible to see greatness in an artist’s work during that artist’s life? There is an important distinction between being ‘great’ and being ‘fashionable’. I think that’s what you now have in David Hockney, for example. Here is a highly fashionable artist whose promise of greatness, which to me was evident in the 1970s, has now simply evaporated. It is possible to identify greatness in the young, but it may be a brief flurry and not much more.

What is your comment on the purchase by Qatar of Cézanne’s The Card Players for £160 million? The question of price I find really rather sickening. We live in a world of enormously rich people whose wealth could be divided by ten and which would still enable them to pay that sort of money. So they never make a sacrifice in order to buy a work of art. I see absolutely no merit in forming, very haphazardly, a collection of European art in a place like Qatar. Those pictures are now virtually lost to Western Europe and bring no real benefit to the Near East. I am deeply pessimistic about this issue. But I rather agree with Charles Saatchi, saying that with 30,000 drawings and watercolours by Turner in Tate Britain you could sell half that lot and not notice. And that would enable you to buy other things. If you could meet one figure from the past ...? Without doubt it would be Michelangelo. He is the creator of the works of art most precious to me. I would want to discuss with him the illusionist architecture of the Sistine Chapel. What on Earth gave him the idea?


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