20 NOVEMBER 1926, Page 14

Art Exhibitions


THE New English Art Club's exhibition gives one the sensb.- tion of meeting a number of intelligent people of like education, capable of wit and charm, varying greatly as individuals, but getting on well enough together without striking any deep note of feeling or aspiration held in common. A great number of the smaller works engage one's curiosity and hold one's interest. The large ones are less satisfactory, some lack sufficient breath for the effort, and many are without the organization needed to tell at a proper distance. A remark- ably sure and vigorous painting is Professor Frederick Brown's portrait of himself, which stands rather formidably among the works of so many Slade students. Mr. Wheatley's large The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Kolbe hesitates uncomfortably between official and intimate portraiture. A single figure piece by Mr. W. L. Clause holds together well in design, and Miss Ruth Harmon's cook in the drawing-room has a telling system of colour masses, but remains rather painty and poster-like in effect. A complete contrast is Mr. Lowinsky's Dawn of Venus, ingeniously planned and remarkable in insect-like delicacy of detail : its colour is cold and deathly. Mr. Francis Dodd's Castile is a relentless illustration most truthfully observed, and at the opposite pole is an amusing picture, Father and Children, by Miss Lilian Whitehead, charmingly designed in flat tones recalling the daguerreotype, and drawn with refinement.

Among the landscapes Mr. Wilson Steer's Digging for Bait carries on with lovely purity of colour the enchantment of evanescent light and form which was Turner's discovery. There are brilliant impressionistic landscapes by Mr. Lucien Pissaro, Miss L. Pickard and Miss L. Fisher Prout. It is interesting to see a penchant for Peter Breughel among the young, an admirable master for revitalizing painting after the exhausting successes of abstract design, but the acuteness and profundity of his realism is far to seek and lies deeper than the comical. There is perhaps more of the Breughel spirit in Mr. Nichol's Giant Slide than in the paintings Two water-colour drawings by Mr. John Nash have great beauty, by virtue of their shapeliness and concentration of feeling. Mr. D. S. MacColl's water-colours reach a kind of perfection in deftness and choice : his ship in harbour sparkles with the gaiety of morning light, and his tiny Alsace is very large in effect. One can but mention generally the land- scapes by Sir Charles Holmes, Professor Rothenstein, Mr. Jowett, Mr. Gwynne-Jones and Mr. Cundall in an exhibition which gains by a lingering visit after some disappointment in the centre gallery.