!' I The Scottish National 5 Gallery oi Modern Art has , just acquired an important
Henry Moore sculpture, The Helmet ( 1939-1940). The piece represents something ofa watershed in Moore’s artistic development. it was the ﬁrst time that he used the helmet shape and the maternal image ofone form enclosed within another that would become so characteristic of his work. The Helmet, which has been shown in all major Moore retrospectives. cost £300,000 and was paid for with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. the Henry Moore Foundation and the National Art Collections fund. It joins two of Moore's Reclining Figures at the SNGMA, and is the latest buy in the gallery‘s drive to build up its Surrealist and Dada collection. I More Jennings, 22. a Glaswegian final-year student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. is this year‘s Miller‘s Young Scottish Artist of the Year and the winner of one of the country‘s most attractive prizes: £12,000 prize money and a year‘s stay at an international community ofartists on the banks ofthe Seine, in Paris. His winningentrics. he says. were painted in tribute to his mother. an art teacher. who died four years ago. I The Centre lor Contemporary Arts has invited all Glasgow-based artists to submit a work to their next exhibition. Salon Glasgow. for which the gallery will be marked up into squares. each artist ‘occupying' a square of wall or ﬂoorspace. Works must not exceed 8Scms square and should be brought to the gallery on Mon 15 and Tue 16 Jun. 2—8pm. Call 041 332 7521 for fulldctails. I This year's Prince's Trust Competition invites lX—ZS-year-old artists out of full-time eductation to create an original work ‘expressing your vision for the environment in Europe‘. The prize isone month on a language g course in any European country, the deadline 3 Sept. l-or details write to Judith Staines. European Vision. The Prince‘s Trust. 8 Belford Road, Lﬂidon WC] R 48A.
Dome and see mil etchings
Miranda France is nearly seduced by a bunch of avant-garde British printmakers (1914—1960) at the Hunterian Art Gallery.
The British Museum’s touring show ofprints. presently lodged at the Hunterian Art Gallery, is an exercise in memory-jogging. Who would think that printmaking— etching, lithography, wood-block printing— once represented the height of fashion in the British art world? After the First World War, and before the 19305 Depression, printmakers were celebrities, often knighted and sure of their place in the most exclusive of artistic institutions. The Establishment loved etchers, wood-engravers
Martyn Evans’s The Chess Players,1949. commemorates Stalin and Hitler's
non-aggression treaty, the 1939 Rtbbentrop-Moiotov pact.
enjoyed a cachet connected with the intellectual ‘arts and crafts‘ movement and, although lithographers had to wait longer for their hey-day, they too had quite a following. Then came economic collapse and printmakers were obliged to look for more lucrative ways ofearning a living. It was not until the 19305 that printmaking techniques came back into vogue.
A vant-Garde British Printmaking (1914—1960) homes in on the most inventive artists from both eras. From 1918 there is a bleak Paul Nash lithograph, Void of War, in which tree stumps, slicing rain and sharp, fragmented shapes portray what Nash described as ‘the most frightful nightmare of a country more concerned by Dante or Poe than by nature’. In Edward McKnight Kauffer’s Flight (1919), geometric
black and white birds are subsumed into a geometric black and white background. an illustration of how printmaking‘s angular shapes would later influence the machinery-inspired movements of Futurism and Vorticism. and artists Leger and Paolozzi.
The later group includes 3 Henry Moore, Sculptural Objects (1949), with an interesting story attached: Moore, Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Dufy were commissioned to produce a series of prints for schools. In the event, the works were considered unsuitany modern and the pro jeet flopped.
With its reliance on line and lack of nuance. printmaking lends itself to cartoons, political caricature and bold statements. Cyril E. Power’s swirling, colourful The Exam Room and The Tube Train are the most attractive works on show, along with Sybil Anderson’s linocut The New Cable, in green, brown and blue, which shows solid men , symbolic of industry, heavily unwinding a cable.
In this show, the Hunterian has the best of a very large, and nowadays unfashionable, crop. To the amateur eye they are interesting because they recall the movements usually associated with other art forms — Surrealism, Cubism, Pop Art, Futurism. But they are not shown to their best advantage here, and it must be said that they seem dated now in a way that contemporaneous works in other media do not. Avant-Garde British Printmaking, 1914—1960 is at the H unterian Art Gallery until 27Jun
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, until
21 Jun. Contrary to the Portrait Gallery’s introductory note, the strength ol this show lies more in its illustration of the art ol photography than in the personalities of the artists depicted. Thirty-one photographs oi Scottish artists are on show, spanning a century
John Dellany, potapiied byiRobin Glllanders
and a halt, lrom James Dallantyne to the ubiquitous John Dyme. Unlortunately, only a law creative souls are truly revealed: James Patrick's wonderlully llamboyant 1905 portrait of Hi. Homel, complete with palette, and Ida Kar's striking photograph ol Alan Davie are both magically compelling.
But it is disappointing to lind the Davie portrait undated, along with a number ol others, since its appeal is surely historical as well as artistic.
Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy here, lrom Hill and Adamson‘s pioneering experiments in the 1840s to the recent portraits oi Pradlp Malde and Robin Gillander. Their beautifully textured and controlled photography alone makes this small exhibition worth a visit. (Ross Thomson)
(- IAIN nernrsou
Talbot Rice Gallery, until 20 Jun. Abstract art delivers nothing on a silver platter. You have to hunt, drill and, above all, suppress the anyone-can- do-that retlex. it was in that spirit that i went to see the works oi lain Robertson, the llrst Scottish artist to carry oil the Pollok-Krasner Foundation Award.
At a glance, his works are nothing more than swirls oi paint smudged on canvas. Seen lrom a low steps back, though, the paintings come to tile: bright reds leap lorth; yellows play all greens; blues melt into blacks. Rich blobs oi paint protrude like the leatures ot a lace. (There must be method somewhere in the madness).
Forget about discemlng stories, or even shapes; the titles aren’t much help either. There appear to be ﬂags in Celtic Dream, but then maybe not. Better just to use the symphonic arrangements of colour as a launch-pad to reilection. I don’t know why, but Walk on the Wild Side reminded me at a birthday party long ago. (Carl Honore)
50The List 5:18June 1992