Hugh Mendes has a show at Charlie Smith. I went there for a private view. My first private view at a commercial gallery. It was an interesting experience. The gallery is on Old Street directly above the Reliant pub indeed the best way to get there is to go through the pub and up the stairs at the back. This aids greatly to the lubraction of the patrons.
I was familiar with all the works on display having seen them hanging in Hugh's studio and in some cases seeing them in production as it where. What struck me was how different they looked in this new context. They looked much better. The theme is Dead Artist's, done in Guardian obituary form. There is something about the idea of an artist painting dead artists that reverberates with people. The Nancy Holt picture (above) is one of my favourites and it looked even better in the gallery environment.
The first night was packed with people including Edward Lucie Smith who had been the judge at my first exhibition with the Law Society Art Group. At Hugh's event he was sporting the most fabulous coat.
The picture that was most transformed though was the Dorothea Tanning (above). In this new context it looked very sweet and had an emotional power that I hadn't perceived before. Discussing this all with Hugh afterwards he said this is one of the reasons he moves his pictures round in the studio to see what they look like. It made me think what other pictures, particularly mine, would look like in different environments.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.