This show is taking place from 4 March to Ist April, at the Harleston Gallery, 3 Old Marketplace, Harleston, Norfolk, IP20 9BE, Tuesday to Saturday,10 to 4 (tel. 01379 855 366; harlestongallery@btinternet.com).  I shall have more to say about this, and how it came about, and prudery in Norfolk etc.  Meantime here is a short review  of the exhibition by Robert Radford.

 

One of the agreeable extravagances of the English language is that it offers us the two words ‘naked’ and ‘nude’ to speak of the body without clothing. The first suggesting exposure and shame, the second, exhibition and celebration – the particular province of art.

It must be said that the current show at The Harleston Gallery ‘Have I Got Nudes for You’ steers energetically towards the pole of celebration.  Around forty artists from across Norfolk, from Cromer to Yarmouth, have contributed to the show with work ranging through oils, drawings, prints, sculpture and painted tiles.  The visitor will also be aware of the complex mosaic of styles and approaches represented by this company of highly individual artists.  There is much evidence of the accomplished and concentrated study of the traditional male and female life model, which many artists would still insist provides  the necessary discipline at the foundation of their activity.  There are knowing homages to Manet and Beckmann and even to the Classical frieze.  There is wit in plenty, especially the animated and annotated underwear displayed on the stairwell, and eccentricity enough, look out for the still life with the toes and bacon.  But there is also expressionist rage and bitter satire against media intrusion.  A carnivalesque encounter between farmyard animals and a nude that can only be described as ‘in your face’ will be long remembered.

Essentially, this feast of creative expression is to be heartily recommended to both the open-minded and the open-eyed.

Honi soit

Advertisements