Donald Hamilton Fraser, 'Abstract Blue Background'. Oil and Collage. Image: 380mm x 305mm. Donald Hamilton Fraser RA
Railings Gallery, 13 – 29 June 2013
The landscapes of Donald Hamilton Fraser (1929-2009) used to light up the Academy’s Summer Exhibition, so I’m looking forward to a show at the West End’s Railings Gallery that opens this Thursday, in which a selection of paintings, drawings and screenprints released by his estate go on show.
With dexterous sweeps of a palette knife, the painter rendered sky, sea, cityscape, cliff and countryside in both sections of unmodulated colour and areas of more subtle, gradated tone. Hamilton Fraser’s canvases always bring to my mind the jagged, dense, almost geological works of American expressionist Clyfford Still, but the Academician pursued his own personal path between figuration and abstraction, looking outward and inwards simultaneously.
Bill Jacklin RA
Marlborough Fine Art, 5- 29 June 2013
When Hamilton Fraser represented the human figure, it tended to be studies of solitary dancers either resting back stage or dancing by themselves. Academician Bill Jacklin describes his inspiration as "the pulsating energy of the crowds in Times Square… the rhythmic and repetitive movement of the figures and their shadows diving into the waves in Coney Island or Cape Cod."
Bill Jacklin, 'Clouds over the City', 2013. Oil on canvas. 152.4 x 182.9 cm.
As a new exhibition at Mayfair’s Marlborough Fine Art evidences, Jacklin’s sense of place is rooted in the people who populate it. His figures are non-specific – sometimes featureless, sometimes like shadows – but their forms in motion express all the dynamism of Jacklin’s New York, as well as his strong emotions towards the city that has been his home since 1985.
Cornelia Parker RA and Anthony Caro RA
Frith Street, 7 June – 27 July 2013
Gagosian Gallery, 6 June – 27 July 2013
Two Academician sculptors from different generations, Cornelia Parker and Anthony Caro, have opened significant solo shows in London this week. Both were anticipated in the recent issue of RA Magazine. Parker’s exhibition at Frith Street Gallery includes casts of the gaps between the pavement and cobblestones beneath our feet; Amy Macpherson recently accompanied Parker as she cast a section of road near her studio.
Anthony Caro, ‘Morning Shadows’, 2012. Steel, rusted. 236 x 630 x 197 cm. Copyright: Barford Sculptures Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo: John Hammond.
Caro accompanies his retrospective at the Museo Correr in Venice with a show at Gagosian Gallery in London’s Kings Cross, which presents an array of works related to his planned project to install a public sculpture across three blocks of Park Avenue.
A Crisis of Brilliance
Dulwich Picture Gallery, 12 June – 22 September 2013
Also in the summer issue of RA Magazine, Richard Cork reported on a show at Dulwich Picture Gallery, opening this week, which examines how the First World War effected the progression of British artists such as Nash, Nevinson, Gertler and Bomberg.
Paul Nash, 'The Void', 1918. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The French cubist Léger wrote from the front that the war was "the perfect orchestration of every means of killing, both old and new", and such a horrific spectacle put pay to Futurist-style developments in Britain, encouraging young artists, in their distress, to follow other avant-garde avenues.
Pace, 6 June – 27 July 2013
The American James Franco has of late gained a reputation as an artist as well as a film actor. Pace London presents a project by Franco that conjoins both visual art and cinema, in a series of multi-media installations that rework the world of the Bates Motel, the memorable location for murder in Hitchcock’s 1960 horror-thriller Psycho.
Image from Psycho Nacirema. © 2013, James Franco, courtesy Pace Gallery.
Franco, in his own words, has “sculpted into new work” the scenes and stage-set of the fictional film with which we are all so familiar, but he has also overlaid a true-crime story: the 1921 case where Fatty Arbuckle was tried for the murder of actress and model Virginia Rappe.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine