I’ve not written about exhibitions for some time which is a pity for I went to several dozen during 2017: I have kept meaning to write about them but the moment has probably now passed.
I can at least begin 2018 with a note of two visited already; they were rather at either end of the exhibition spectrum. I went the other day to Halesworth to collect my three paintings from the exhibition there at The Cut – yes, three paintings indeed, for I sold none as usual. But it was a good exhibition, well-presented and with some cracking paintings.
Rather at the other extreme, I spent yesterday at the London Art Fair in the spacious Islington Business Centre. I always like going to this annual event, and yesterday did not disappoint. The main attraction for me is that under one (rather large) roof you can see a whole range of paintings by hundreds of artists from c1950 to the present day; so the experience is rather different from going to an exhibition of works by one artist. Examples of paintings by all my old favourites were there – Nicholson(s), Lanyon (I bought a Lanyon once) and numerous others of the ‘St Ives’ crowd’, Feiler and up to the present day with Birkin Haward (several of whose paintings I have bought, but not yesterday). Because I have been an occasional buyer, I know several of the gallerists and can enjoy chats with them in a pseudo-knowledgeable sort of way.
Yesterday was enlivened by the overt rudeness of an unfamiliar gallerist at one of the upmarket galleries. She took exception to my chattily pointing out that a couple of her potters had unconsciously produced pots very similar, in my archaeological eyes at least, to well-known types of pot in respectively the British Bronze Age and the European Iron Age. I just thought this added to their interest; she took the huff and basically told me they were very respected artists and could make pots in whatever shape they wanted to. I would not wish to disagree with that sentiment at all but was denied the chance to say so as I was cold-shouldered out of the way. What a pity I had not been considering buying a £40,000 item: it would have been so gratifying not to proceed and to tell the disagreeable lady why!