11 NOVEMBER 1949, Page 14

ART THE exhibition of modern German graphic art, which has

been assembled at the headquarters of the Arts Council by the Council and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, is representative and varied. It does not dwell unduly upon the more horrific aftermath of the First World War (George Grosz, for instance, is seen only in a pensive and big-eyed girl drawn about 1939), but neither has it anything to do with that other Germany in which (so revealingly) a photographer was made official adviser on art to the head of the State. All the great and well-known names of expressionism are here. Many are still active, and, as teachers in the art schools of today, arc responsible for the guidance of the new generation.

Of current tendencies no very clear picture seems to emerge. Contemporary tricks of texture jostle angular abstractions that were more at home on textiles in the 'twenties ; echoes of the " new objectivity " adjoin blurred emotional fragments. Bernhard Heiliger, who is not unknown in this country, and whose sculpture recalls that of Marino Marini in Italy, is clearly a talented younger artist. On the whole, however, one senses a largely undirected struggle to rejoin the main European stream, and it is the older names who supply the assurance and conviction.

Those who find Kokoschka often distasteful may see here how excellent a draughtsman he is. Barlach the strong is represented by gentle lithographs, and Kathe Kollwitz the humanist by a Ruf des Todes. Nolde and Schmidt-Rottluff arc at their least brutal. There are Klees, Feiningers of an almost eighteenth-century balance and restraint, and, perhaps most lyrical of all, a delightful lithograph of a girl by Carl Hofer. However diverse their manner and medium, these works all take their place in a solid national tradition com- pounded of an emotional, transcendental melancholy allied to that hard, linear precision which equally sustained the Gothic woodcut and the jagged, angular distortions of thirty years t.go.

The way this exhibition has spilled over adjoining halls and lobbies at St. James's Square only emphasises the enormous advantages that will be gained by the Arts Council's acquisition of the New Burling- ton Galleries, which reopened this week under their auspices. * * * *

Elsewhere, Parisian views of some charm may be seen at the Marlborough Gallery. Mr. Victor Pasmore's astonishing progression through the last hundred years of art history has now, in his new show at the Redfern, reached the collage stage, though it is hard to believe that his gifts for colour and romantic vision will permit him to daily there long. At the St. George's Gallery Mr. Leonard Roso- man shows recent drawings and ballet designs—some inconsiderable, some well worth considering, and nearly all showing an acute