Page 20 - Studio International - July 1966
P. 20

ing object, a stuffed colour. It's like a surreal interior
                                                                                decoration, the serious and polite descendant of Bacon's
                                                                                white leather settee of thirty years ago.
                                                                                 Mark Lancaster,  though he has had only half the
                                                                                exhibitions of his gallery stable-partner Cook (i.e. one),
                                                                                shares with him the dubious advantage in this company
                                                                                of being not altogether new to the public. Lancaster's is
                                                                                the only quiet note in the show, subtle and introspective,
                                                                                the Giorgio Morandi of simple pattern. By comparison
                                                                                with his Second spread,  Cook's  Brazen  is brazen indeed.
                                                                                Both artists tread a razor's edge between the subtle and
                                                                                the dull.
                                                                                 Paradoxically Lancaster's pictures are not anaemic. As
                                                                                a colourist his originality lies in his ability to use weak,
                                                                                even sweet, colour and still make a strong un-sickly
                                                                                impression on the spectator. In other hands this would
                                                                                be pure Bircher Muesli, that strange cream fruit and
                                                                                oats confection prescribable on diet for sufferers from a
                                                                                heart condition. With Lancaster however it is a recipe
                                                                                that can be delectable for all.
                                                                                 To the question: where is the essential difference
                                                                                between the artists whose subject is Nothing, or minimism
                                                                                as in Reinhardt, and the great many more who simply
                                                                                have nothing to say? The reply on Lancaster's meta-
                                                                                phorical postcard reads 'Colour. Colour is the Life-force.
                                                                                Colour is enough'.

                                                                                Later a.m.
                                                                                GRABOWSKI GALLERY Victor Newsome and his colleagues,
                                                                                originally grouped in Leicester but now dispersed, are in
                                                                                a class of their own. When they showed together first here
      Mark Lancaster Teller 1965
      Acrylic on canvas 60 x 60 in.                                             in London in 1964 the effect was baffling and uneven,
                                                                                baffling especially to the section of the public which in-
                                                                                cludes critics and official sponsors who could not fit their
      Victor Newsome Spotted flower unfolding 1966                              work into any of the existing slots. Newsome's mysterious
      Wood, acrylic sheet, metal and lacquer 22 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 20 1/4 in.       objects, part fetishistic images of women, part abstract,
                                                                                carried out in mixed materials, are inexplicable in terms
                                                                                of style and inaccessible to reason. These are private
                                                                                symbols enjoyable primarily to amateurs of the cryptic.
                                                                                 The very good thing is the way in which they challenge
                                                                                metropolitan conceptions of style, too often tyrannous.
                                                                                In much of new painting and sculpture, and this New
                                                                                Generation has its share, the question of what happens to
                                                                                the paintings, who the sculptures are for, conjures up the
                                                                                disquieting mental image of a public consisting largely of
                                                                                (what D. A. N. Jones termed Noel Coward theatre
                                                                                audiences) 'Knightsbridge normals'. The sculptural ele-
                                                                                ments in Newsome's work however are miles away from,
                                                                                for example, le style Battersea. You can imagine children
                                                                                exploring and climbing over the sculptures in Battersea
                                                                                Park, indeed they have been photographed so doing, but
                                                                                the only person who would actually play with one of
                                                                                Newsome's objects would have to be weird indeed.
                                                                                Respectfully I prefer to leave the question open.

                                                                                May 28
                                                                                BLACKHEATH  John Carter's  three paintings and one
                                                                                painted box each have their own style but they do not
                                                                                have a corporate style. It's a bit of a group show of his
                                                                                own work. Lever painting is the simplest of his paintings and
                                                                                the clearest illustration of his theme: the poise of weight.
                                                                                 It's an idea most immediately associated in one's mind
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