PAINTING REVIEW Gary Hume ****
Gary Hume's Orchid II
Decorative and charming, Gary Hume’s paintings don't appear to plumb any great depths. While other artists consciously load up their work with meaning, Hume seems content to deliver luscious colour.
But look slowly at the expanses of shiny colour, and Hume's picture world steadily becomes more weighted and less whimsical. In this technicolour, spaceless landscape, doe-eyed girls wander and gambling minstrels play. And there is even a blast of passion. Peach And Green Water Painting is a swirl of numerous overlapping pink lines which hint at the outline of the female body.
Hume's paintings are observations. You sense his eye cruises over faces, floral and fauna and just lifts out the essentials. In his abstract Close-Up series, the focus is so close that detail is lost to full-on colour. From this show, Hume does not display any signs of tiring. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Gary Hume, The Dean Gallery (Venue 69) 624 6200, until 77 Oct, Mon-Sat 70am—5pm, Sun 77am—5pm. £2. 50 (£7.50).
About Face * *
The contrast is great between artists
Shelagh Atkinson and Mark Ianson. Although both incorporate the head into their work, they use different media and create very different atmospheres. Mark Ianson produces enormous horizontal acrylics and, at the margins of their blurred surfaces, a single, sinister head looms.
Shelagh Atkinson uses a number of printing techniques, screen-printing, lithography and etching often in the same work. Her pieces are intimate and hint at pop art, mixing found images with personal memories. Two very different versions of the talking head. (Moira Jeffrey)
I About Face: Mark Ianson and Shelagh Atkinson, Reynolds Gallery (Venue 88) 557 0480, until 77 Sep. Mon-Sat 70am-5pm, free.
One of the oldest guilds of its kind, the Royal College of Surgeons celebrates its 300th anniversary with a small exhibition on the action-packed life of Henry Wade, one of the most distinguished Scottish medics of this century. Born in 1876, Wade was a pioneer in urological surgery, cancer research and in modern day blood transfusion.
Wade was also a distinguished soldier, serving in both the Boer War and World War I. Here again he was an innovator, designing the field operating car, a mobile surgical theatre which was first used at Gallipoli. Unfortunately this a disappointingly slight exhibition, but worth a visit for the museum itself. (Marc Lambert)
I Henry Wade, Royal College Of Surgeons (Venue 746) 527 7600, until 4 Sep, Mon—Fri 70am-4pm, Sat 10am-7pm, free.
PHOTOGRAPHY REVIEW Andrew Testa A it it *
Kosovo may have gone off the boil in purely media terms, but these powerful photographs are a reminder of a conflict we might prefer to forget. Freelance photographer Testa covered
About Face: Mark lanson's Moving On
GROUP SHOW REVIEW Lackadaisical Contemporary Art
Bench-travel: Emily Allchurch takes in the sights of New York
Emily Allchurch takes armchair travel to extremes. Keen to get to distant lands, she montages a picture of herself against the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline. Allchurch produces the ultimate in snap-
Downstairs there is the strong aroma of cardamom. Step on a swathe of gold fabric and the smell sharpens; cardamom is underfoot covered in gold. The effect of Karun Thakar’s installation is, perhaps, to excite thoughts of
holidays in the Spice Islands.
Shoestring travellers, however, might be interested in Stuart Reevell's astro-turf work Tax Free Hero Worship, which could be an alternative to costly star veneration. The picture becomes bleaker in the bleached urbanscapes of Tim Braden: heroes don’t inhabit these streets. John Elliot's Metal is a weapon gone musical, where a small hand-gun expands into a trumpet. Elsewhere, Stephanie Colston’s ceramic clay works are a triumph of flower heads and called such things as EasyPeasyLemonSqueezy — Baby.
Selected by artists Sarah Lack and Josephine Burton, this show of twelve recently graduated artists from around Britain is punchy and reveals no evidence of the lackadaisical. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Lackadaisical Contemporary Art, 2 Howe St (Venue 787) 220 3727, until 29
Aug, daily, 70am-7pm, free.
the crisis for The Observer and The Guardian and, even if some of his work may be familiar from the papers, it's another matter to see the images in a cohesive body.
A few months on, the horror has grown rather than faded, whether it's in charred remains or haunted faces. The photographs are displayed on a staircase wall, but it doesn’t matter if you’re going up or down — this is a descent into Hell. (Sam Phipps)
I Andrew Testa, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 4366, daily 9. 30am-9. 30pm, until 37 Aug, free.
GROUP SHOW REVIEW The Unknown Gallery ***
This temporary gallery, on the ground floor of a magnificent townhouse in St Bernard’s Crescent, has thrown its doors open to a host of young and emerging artists. It is an eclectic and
interesting mixture, with all the work on sale.
Familiar pieces include Martin Bence’s photographs of military installations and some miniature sea tapestries by Fiona Hutchison. There are stunning craft installations by Heather Mundells (ceramics) and Inge Paneels (glass). Among the many paintings, Rowan Risby's canvases pay an ironic nod to fashion icons: handbag rivalry between Chanel and Prada.
Between this show and the Collective Gallery's summer shop, there’s plenty on offer for the art purchaser this Festival. (Moira Jeffrey)
I The Unknown Gallery, 0797 785 5964, until 30 Aug, Tue—Sun, 70am-5pm, free.
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26 Aug—9 Sep 1999 THE LIST 85