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Studio: international art — 2.1894

Seite: 223
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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1894/0235
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0.5
1 cm
facsimile
The Goupil Gallery

M

> you look into the picture it is not particularly

R. PHILIP WILSON STEER S facile or clever in execution. It is young work

PAINTINGS AT THE GOU- with no affectation of dash or experience. The

PIL GALLERY. painter is justified, because he has something

precise and profound to say. He says it ade-

A lady was overheard in the quately, because he knows the capabilities of his

Goupil Gallery, during the recent exhibition of medium like a scholar. For a certificate of

Japanese prints, before Shunsho and Kiyonaga, mastery look at No. 42, Girl in a Large Hat;

before Utamaro and Hiroshige: "So these are or (19), A Bouquet; or at The Hotel "imperial,

the works of the Japanese artists. I thought they Boulogne (23).

would have done them better than this." Here we If ever electricity takes the place of horses for
have the exquisite, the flawless crystal of ignorance, all ordinary purposes of traction, it is probable
not always easy to secure in its perfect state, that the breed of animals which will then be main-
Mr. Steer's exhibition will certainly be the occa- tained, purely as a luxury, by those who can
sion for the formation of others in the same kind, afford to do it well, far from suffering, will gain
not destined all, alas ! to such perfect and concise immensely by the change. The magnificent de-
expression, nor to capture and preservation by velopments in the mechanical production of
the jealous collector. As, " It may be all very paintings on an enormous scale for exhibition
well, but I confess I am not educated up to it; " or, purposes is tending to produce a new type of

" A daring experimentalist, no doubt; but--;" painter, or is tending rather to revive the real

or, "I confess I am too old to--or, and painter of an earlier day who, when the camera

perhaps this is the way out most in favour just was unknown, and the ephemeral competitions of

now, "Though I have actually gone so far as the cosmopolitan gaffs undreamt of, painted

deliberately to approach these things with a enduring pictures on a scale and of a quality

sincere wish to understand them, yet I have suitable to the dwelling-rooms of private houses,

failed. Therefore they cannot be good." Mr. Steer favours the good old breed.

For those of us who can neither claim the Walter Sickert.
immunity from understanding claimed for age or
lack of education, it is interesting to inquire what

effect this assemblage of works, some old and f ^ LASGOW INSTITUTE EX-

some new, by the same hand, has on our judg- / HIBITION. BYD AV I D

ment of, perhaps, the most disputed talent of the I MARTIN

day. The painter is evidently not, fortunately for ^

his enduring reputation, dans le mouvement. If ^^^-^ It is more than passing strange

his work is not destined to become old-fashioned, that in Glasgow, which claims to be

it is because he has never been new-fangled. He in the van as regards art matters in Scotland, and

is not Dieu merci, " up to date," or vingtihne stick, is in many ways one of the strongest art centres

or nouveau salon. He is not a decadent nor a in the world, the hanging of the annual exhibi-

symbolist, nor a Rosicrucian. It is impossible to tions at the Institute should continue to follow

fit him with any of the labels of chic journalism, the old convention of crowding picture upon

He belongs to no local or temporary school. He picture, from floor to ceiling, as high and as low as

does not paint in the key of mahogany, so that he it is possible to hang them; whereas at Edinburgh,

may hang as a stopgap in the darker places in both in the Royal Scottish Academy and Society

collections of the recently invented Barbizon of Scottish Artists' exhibitions, they hang practically

school, or of Bond Street " Romanticists." Nor, only but three rows. In the thirty-third exhibition

on the other hand, does he vie with the last thing now open in the Glasgow Institute, the hanging

out in transparent nudes of iridescent glass. He gives an impression of overcrowding, want of

has, moreover, refused himself the two luxuries balance in the placing of many of the exhibits

without which our palpitating modernity asserts (except perhaps in gallery No. 1), and a general

art to be next door to impossible. He has man- feeling of unrest, which is particularly hurtful to

aged, and apparently without an effort, to do, in the tone of the whole display. The overcrowding

his pictures, without either blasphemy or indecency, is not perhaps the fault of the hangers, for it is

And yet he contrives to interest us. The canvas an open secret that the Council desire' as many

that terminates the collection (43) seems to me, works as possible to be hung • so, as a rule, too

though it is an earlier work, eminently represen- many canvases are selected, especially small ones

tative of the painter's personal point of view, if of the most mediocre description, which should

such a selection be not always an impertinence. never have been hung at all. It is these small

I have never seen a canvas that is more like sun pictures, placed in every corner and along the top

and wind. The pink cotton frocks cling and line, that lower the general effect,

flutter round the little figures. The figures stand Nigh on seven hundred and fifty pictures in oil,

up to the wind. You feel their weight, and that water-colour, and pastel have been hung ; not

they are alive to the finger-tips. You feel that separately, as usual in picture exhibitions, but

sunshine and wind and youth are glorious things, together, which does not in any way help the

and that life, if it be only a reprieve, renewed efiect of the water-colours.

from day to day, is a gift to be grateful for. If When one examines the pictures individually, it
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