Each of the galleries poses special problems for its hanger, but the Wohl Central Hall is especially difficult because of its octagonal shape and its prominence at the very end of the exhibition. Paul Huxley, one of the three co-ordinating hangers of the whole show (the others were Ian Ritchie and Bill Woodrow), knew that he had to accommodate large-scale works by members, one of which would be a text-piece by Richard Long occupying one wall on its own.
Two big abstracts by Maurice Cockrill have another wall, and another is occupied by a group of organic abstract compositions by Anthony Whishaw. Yet another is dominated by John Bellany’s colourful triptych. John Wragg, represented here by some relatively small-scale figurative paintings, has changed radically since the last Summer Exhibition; he used to be an abstract sculptor.
All these artists are members, but there are non-members here too. One is Janet Nathan, whose wood reliefs hang above the Bellany. Another is Tatsuo Miyajima, whose floor piece dominates the entire space and complements the coolness of the Long while providing a contrast to the heat and insistence of the Bellany. The work consists of a shallow pool in which countless green LED numbers, irregularly flashing on and off, are submerged. The effect is almost hypnotic. Are they meant to remind you of koi carp grazing in filtered sunlight or silver coins tossed into the water for luck?