Iain Gale on exhibitions

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The Independent Culture
Anthony Eyton is a bastion of the British art establishment. Now in his 73rd year, he is a distinguished academician, a past winner of the John Moore's competition, a member of the Royal Water Colour Society, the London Group, and The Royal West of England Academy and one of the principal teachers at the Royal Academy Schools. Happily, though, he is also a great artist.

Eyton's latest exhibits at Browse & Darby are a testimony to his continuing skill and ability to deal convincingly with a diversity of subjects. India is familiar territory, and the large pastels in which he recalls his most recent visits convey the extent of his understanding of that complex country. Religious festivals at Varinasi, women washing in Udaipur (below) and the bustle of the street market at Bannu all come under Eyton's inscrutable gaze. On first sight they might appear quite free of structure - unconstrained by any compositional contrivance. On closer inspection, though, they yield the squares and lines of a careful, draughtsmanlike framework, recalling the method of Coldstream and Rogers. Never, though, does Eyton allow this to interfere with his feeling for the subject. His Indian women - often conveyed with no more than a few strokes of the pastel - shimmer in veils of pure colour. Similarly, when painting his own back garden, he allows the foliage to take over, inviting the viewer in to investigate the depths of a greenness which echoes late Monet.

Most recently, Eyton was commissioned to capture the essence of the great Turbine Hall of the Bankside power station before it was gutted to make way for the Tate. While his pictures convey the enormity of this vast chamber, at the same time they speak in terms of texture and presence of the rusty metal monoliths which were its last inhabitants. We should hope that in the not too distant future there will be room for more than one Eyton within its newly scrubbed walls.

Browse & Darby 19 Cork St, London W1 (0171-734 7984) to 27 Apr

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