4 JULY 1952, Page 18


It is sad if not altogether surprising to find, if one finds rightti that anguish, or dread, or anxiety, or at least foreboding, are dominant notes. Permeke's sad sunset and chilly wintry landscape Kirchner's writhing portrait ; the frenzied distortions of Picassol weeping woman ; the raw grin of Rouault's woman with the rot rose ; and, to come to our own time and place, the heavy mine and lurid street-scenes of Josef Herman—among these a sense unease comes to sit on the spectator's shoulder. Even the expressio of joy have something frenziedly forced in them—Picabia's su road and the twisted trees at its edge ; the hysterical yellow explosi of Kirchner's bay and bathers. Chagall's gentle fantasies are exception, and so are the two scenes by Kokoschka, and Pechstein sunny sailing boats. There are a few others, also, to correct t idea that modern expressionism in northern Europe has been entir one long groan, wail or shriek in paint—and yet, to offer a subjecti reaction to a subjective art, one returns to the street and the passers-bt and the bright red buses of actuality with that mingling of guilt allc relief experienced when escaping from the company of acquaintance OF the many mixed exhibitions in the galleries at the moment that Rowland, Browse and Delbanco's speaks with the harshest acce for all (or nearly all) the pictures fall well within that generously wi category which we call, for the sake of convenience, expressioni The selection is limited in one sense by its lack of masterpieces, b it is comprehensive in another, for it exhibits the multiplicity styles which the category has contained without bursting since V Gogh sot flowing with a vengeance this particular stream of northe art. All art is in some degree " expressionist," but we allow specialised label to those artists whose subjectivity is so intense an compelling that the interest of their work lies almost entirely the communication of a mood or emotion and to hardly any exteg in the subject which inspired it.

obsessed by some bare intensity of emotion.

H. tan0,