Our annual show of work by British Modern artists, focussing particularly on artists of the St. Ives School, is looking good in the main gallery. Dominating the space are a group of large canvasses by Patrick Dolan, and it’s been great to see these works being shown after so long in a private collection. Dolan is remembered, still, in St Ives, by some of our artists and visitors. Bob Crossley and John Emanuel both have strong memories of the artist and his work. And, as one visitor commented the other day, ‘they (this group of works by Dolan) have more energy and strength than anything in the Tate (St. Ives) at the moment!’
Between these monoloithic canvases, a striking range of small and medium sized works by names like Heron, Hepworth, Frost, Scott, etc are strung out in eye catching lines. The early, representational Frost oil ‘Fish Bones‘ is a little gem, and the largish 60s Weschke landscape provides a firm focus to the rear of the gallery. The William Gear painting is brooding and bequiling, there is a rare Fishwick oil and a delightful group of works by a great gallery-staff favourite, Patrick Hayman. These works had originally been slated for a separate show, but have ended up making 2009’s St Ives show a particularly engaging one.
There are several accessible prints, including lithographs, screenprints and/or etchings by Barbara Hepworth, Karl Weschke, William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Bryan Ingham and Terry Frost, as well as more substantial paintings by Margaret Mellis, Michael Canney, Patrick Hayman, Padraig Macmiadhachain, Frank Beanland and, again, Terry Frost. Small sculptures by John Milne and Denis Mitchell sit in the cabinet alongside a few pieces of Troika Pottery. The Troika ‘Ashtrays’ have been re-branded ‘Concave Forms’ by the post-smoking gallery staff.
Do come and see St Ives Exhibition 2009 if you can.