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Gerhard Richter

What's on: Richter and refrigeration units

Hot shows to see in London this month

The exhibition of new works by Gerhard Richter at Anthony D’Offay, discussed in last month’s column, is the most important exhibition to see in London this month (to 15 June). In addition to a major figure painting of his daughter, and a rare sculpture, it includes a series of large abstract paintings, dramatic and richly coloured but not as oppressive as the black pictures which he showed at the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam eighteen months ago. From this series, the Tate Gallery may purchase the diptych (market value $300,000) which would make a striking conclusion to its survey of Richter’s art opening in the autumn.

In other galleries in Dering Street, Grob is showing eleven new paintings by Gregoire Müller, the Swiss artist who exhibits with Jason McCoy in New York and with whom he inaugurated his gallery in 1988. Five of these paintings are diptychs which juxtapose a naked figure with an abstract panel. It is an interesting device which has been explored by other painters in recent years, but the explicit poses of the models and the mannered portrayal of their bodies gives a vulgar edge to any sense of surprise.

Maureen Paley shows three young artists who are based in London and use photography in their work (16 May to 22 June). Pamel Golden, from Chicago, paints over small found photographs; Markus Hansen, from Baden-Baden, makes installations and sculpture which incorporate photographic images; and Peter Fraser, who was included in the Barbican’s “150 Years of British Photography” in 1989 and has recently received an award to work at the Cartier Foundation for three months.

Annely Juda is exhibiting six large bronze sculptures and a group of drawings by Nigel Hall (16 May to 22 June), who showed recently at Hans Meier’s gallery in Düsseldorf and has been fulfilling a number of public commissions which include work for the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 and for Providence Towers in Dallas.

In and around Cork Street, Waddington gives an exhibition to Fiona Rae (22 May to 15 June). A graduate from Goldsmith’s College in 1987, she is the second young artist to have joined the gallery in the last twelve months in a development which has surprised the art market. Waddington had never previously admitted any interest in new developments in British art. On the basis of her contribution to the Hayward Gallery’s “The British Art Show 1990”, Rae looked to be an interesting prospect, working on her abstract improvisations from all four sides of the canvas. Her distinctive compositions and palette certainly attracted attention when Waddington hung one of her pictures (selling for £4,500) near the window in his mixed exhibition of British art in March.

Victoria Miro is showing refrigeration units by Paul Lincoln (9 May to 7 June) whose work she exhibited in her gallery in Florence shortly before Christmas. There is a second exhibition taking place simultaneously with Christine Burgin in New York. Mark Glazebrook has curated an exhibition of drawings and prints by David Hockney for Knoedler (to 10 May). The period covered by the exhibition is the Sixties, by far the most fertile decade in Hockney’s development, when he had already engineered several swift changes of style. A characteristic Glazebrook vignette in the exhibition catalogue complements the wit of Hockney’s pen.

William Tillyer has demonstrated greater fluency and invention in his recent oil paintings and watercolours and his new exhibition, titled “Living in Arcadia” and shared between Bernard Jacobson and Wildenstein (to 15 June), is an ambitious effort. Tillyer combines rich brushwork which hints at the landscape with passages of pure and flat abstraction. In some of his new pictures, he has chosen to work on panel instead of canvas, from which he has cut out, rather than painted, his elemental abstract shapes. Other works in the exhibition include a large tapestry, based upon one of his paintings, and a series of ceramics.

In other Cork Street developments, Nicola Jacobs has postponed the exhibition of Lisa Milroy scheduled to open in the middle of the month. This exhibition would have introduced Milroy as an abstract painter, although three examples of this unexpected development in her work were seen in Basel in the autumn. Sally Lescher has brought Conservation Management from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to 5 Clifford Street, where she opened in February with a small exhibition of student works by Stephen Conroy.

An enterprising gallery, worth crossing Tower Bridge to visit, is Pomeroy Purdy which is exhibiting new paintings by Arturo di Stefano (17 May to 15 June). He attracted attention with his series of “Pall” paintings, ghostly figures whose images were recorded on fictive veils or shrouds, which the gallery showed in 1987. For his third exhibition with Jayne Purdy, he has created a series of thinly painted monochrome portraits of the great painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Manet, Cézanne, Munch, Picasso and others, based upon contemporary photographs (£800-£2500 depending upon size). Usually the source material was taken by obscure or unidentified photographers, but there is one picture, of Sickert with Helen Lessore, which derives from an image by Cecil Beaton. Other paintings in the exhibition illustrate the sites or landscape of art, such as the Scuola di S. Rocco in Venice, celebrated for its cycle of paintings by Tintoretto, and the sanitarium at St Remy where van Gogh committed himself (£5500). Arturo di Stefano will be the subject of a major exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 1993.

Other exhibitions reported in last month’s column and continuing this month include the exhibition of new works by gallery artists with which Marlborough reopened its Albemarle Street headquarters after an impressive redevelopment (Francis Bacon’s “Study for a figure” is one of those works, to 31 May); Allan McCollum’s drawings at Lisson (to 17 May); Paul Laster, the young Californian assemblagist who attracted notice at last year’s Olympia Art Fair, at Runkel-Hue-Williams (to 17 May); and Gotthard Graubner at Annely Juda (to 12 May). Waddington has sited five large bronze sculptures of hares by Barry Flanagan on the Economist Plaza.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Refrigeration units and fictive shrouds'