22 MAY 1993, Page 24

Small and ravishing

Sir: Giles Auty is a hypocrite. It is he who is trying to shock us by displaying his unwill- ingness to understand the art you employ him to report.

As her dealer, I can vouch for the fact that Alison Wilding does not deliberately set out to shock (Arts, 1 May). Perhaps her use of a harsh material such as polyprope- lene says something about her views about a world damaged — conceivably irre- deemably — by industrial pollution. That `it's the new action man.' may be a problem which requires a little earnestness, and Wilding may bring to the issues surrounding a threatened Nature both powerful imagery and timely debate — if the likes of Auty might but ponder her sculpture awhile.

I want to stress that I have no idea whether or not these concerns are actually those of the artist: but looking at the two new, large, stark pieces at Charlotte Street, barely held together, seemingly, by their own components, I am most certainly reminded of them myself. Perhaps in his rush to avoid the uncomfortable resonances set up by these works Giles Auty did not notice the small and ravishing carved alabaster and wood wall-piece, praising, in its beauty, of its own natural materials.

By the way, would her commitment to her work — in terms of her tools and work- ing hours — have caught his notice were she to have been, as he is, a man?

Richard Salmon

Karsten Schubert Ltd, 85 Charlotte Street, London W1