Well, relatively anyway; whereas the first half of January was artistically dull, four exhibitions enlivened the second half.
The first was not strictly an exhibition, but we go to the London Art Fair in Islington each year as if it were an exhibition. Dozens of dealers, plus numerous projects, display their wares, mostly for sale; and quite a lot of red stickers indicate that works are indeed bought. In one way, the show was as enjoyable as ever, not least because we were given VIP status on the back of my having bought a couple of paintings here some years ago; but in another way, I found the show a little lacking in the vitality I associate with it. May be I’m merging familiarity with decline, but nevertheless some hitherto regular dealers were absent and some of my favourite artists were either unrepresented or few in number. Exceptions were Ivor Hitchens and Paul Feiler whose estates are now clearly organised and being sold off.
Paintings that caught my eye included:
‘Landscape’ by Brian Ingham is a variation very much on what I have been trying to paint, that is the detail of a landscape as viewed from above showing individual fields, continuous lines of hedgerows, and other features embedded in the landscape. In painterly terms I can learn from this work to improve my own next time.
This is ‘Swaledale Painting 2’ by Patrick Oliver, if I read it correctly a sensitive interpretation of the landscape along a valley with unenclosed land to either side. A lovely painting, I thought, whether or not I read it correctly.
I’m going to stop this particular post there, even though it is clearly unfinished. But equally clearly ‘to be continued’