Dick French: On The Town – September 2017

I’ve just been to see an exhibition by an artist whose name for the moment

me. He is having an exhibition of his
furniture-friendly Pop-Art style abstractions. They’re copies of book covers – title above, abstraction below. A


few years ago there was someone, perhaps it was the same bloke, doing large pictures of penguin book covers. Scrape that barrel.

The only unusual aspect is that the

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hard-edge compositional passages are superimposed on sloppy bits that he lets dribble at the lower edge. It’s a formula he could pursue for the rest of his life.

Some would say “’Twas ever thus!” And thus ’twas, I suppose. But the art world has never been such a joke as it is at present. And it behoves

us all to treat it accordingly. You can go along and have a laugh at White Cube Gallery in

Mason’s google_ad_width = 970; Yard.


style="font-weight: 400;">“Sir!”, as Dr Johnson didn’t say, “The man who is tired of the 24 bus route is tired of life. From


bosky glades of Hampstead Heath it glides gently through
Camden Town and down to
the West End. At


the bottom of Gower Street you can turn left for the British Museum or right to Bradley’s Spanish Bar and Soho. Further on past the guitar shops of Denmark Street, now destined for demolition by the megalomaniac town and railway planners. The 12 Bar Club is already closed down and before that went the wonderful Black

​ Gardenia at the top of Dean Street – all victims

of Crossrail. Stay on to Leicester google_ad_slot = "8637400688"; Square and turn google_ad_slot = "7160667483"; left for the Salisbury or a bit

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further for Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. //--> Thence to Whitehall where I often alight at the Cock and Bottle for a morning draught. Thus refreshed I might continue on foot along Millbank to the Tate Gallery.

The other night

new exhibition by George Rowlett, who has been painting in Italy for a while, taking in the temples at Paestum along with a few land

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and seacapes. While waiting for Mrs Cravat in the Island Queen I google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; noticed a tall
earthenware jar google_ad_height = 90; by the window. Its neck was decorated with fairy lights. It reminded me of Samuel Beckett’s

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great novel The Unnameable, and although some call it /* xin-1 */ The Unreadable I
have always found it most absorbing. In it a creature lives in a jar by
a restaurant, just a stump with

its head poking
out. There’s some sawdust in the bottom and
from time to time it gets mucked out and spread on the roses. At Christmas

an excellent pub. On the way back to the station the barman let us watch a stage of the Tour de France on an enormous screen.

At Pallant House as well as the Minton show there is /* 9-970x90 */ a small


gallery of William Coldstream’s
paintings. I
never realised before how bad he was. The effort he puts in! All those measurements, angles and so forth to achieve such meagre results is astonishing. A kind of constipated
teaching post at the Royal College. It must google_ad_height = 90; be the first and only time an art school teacher has done that.

Pictures I thought worth looking at were The Desolate Stage of 1939, The Road to Valencia of 1949 and English Landscape of 43. There’s an amusing section called ‘Exotic Fruits’ of half-naked black men picking bananas.

News from the Grotto… The //--> sage is confined to headquarters for the duration of the Appleby Horse Fair.