15 AUGUST 1947, Page 14


IN London the roadmenders come out in force, the House goes into recess, and the summer shows are with us again. Fame and Promise are returned to their summer residence in Leicester Square; more pompously, De Lumine et Colore has arrived at Gimpel Fils ; Frances Hodgkins has become a signpost on Olympus in Sickert to Hodgkins at the Lefevre ; the Redfern's show alone remains discreetly tideless as Summer Exhibition. . In effect, at this time of the year, the galleries combine to form an inchoate Salon des Independents. Admittedly wall-space is not to be procured merely by subscription, as it was for Seurat and his associates sixty years ago, but the range and catholicism of selection do provide a ready chance for younger painters to try their wings in public. A hasty calculation reveals that at these four exhibitions alone no less than 385 painters are represented. One or two are so far from being contemporary that we have celebrated their centenaries ; more are members of, or exhibitors at, the exhibiting societies and may there- fore be seen elsewhere. There remains however a very considerable body of work by names that are largely unknown, and in this alone lies the indisputable value of the summer show.

The Lefevre have achieved the most coherent effect by repudiating the monster lucky dip and hanging pictures by :ach of a restricted number of painters in groups of six or so—only, that is to say, by virtually eliminating Promise, which is perhaps a pity. Among several excellent canvasses are some decorative still-lifer by McBryde, who has temporarily forsaken the human figure, and a fine portrait by Minton, who is coming to grips with it again. The latter promises interesting developments. Gimpel's small show, at the other extreme, contains one picture only by each contributor, but has obviously been chosen with care and an eye for quality. The exhibition at the Redfern is as fluid as the sea, and each tide throws up new works. At the time of my last visit there were some particularly good Pas- mores, a nice David Jones, and admirable things by Sigmund Pollitzer, Prunella Clough and a dozen others. Finally at the Leicester Galleries, the two oils by William Scott demand special attention. Were I to mention all the other names I marked in my catalogue, I should overrun my space. M. H. MIDDLETON.