Visual Arts: Focus is at the Blue Gallery at Window 20 of Selfridges, Oxford Street, London WI, to 20 April and at 93 Walton Street, London SW3 (0171-589 4690)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
The Blue Gallery, usually located in Walton Street, a rather bijoux corner of Knightsbridge better known for rich people's trinket shops than for its art galleries, has relocated for a few weeks to a window of Selfridges department store in Oxford Street. The management of Selfridges, spurred on presumably by acres of recent newsprint proclaiming London's place at the epicentre of the art world, have not only invited the Blue Gallery to dress their window, but are allowing them to use the space as a commercial gallery.

In response, the gallery has come up with a two-part show under the title Focus, "exploring the links," as they put it, "between photography and painting". This is old territory of course - one has only to look at Degas' fabulous portrait of the Princess de Metternich in the National Gallery to realise that the debate has been on for well over a century, but they have put together an interesting group of younger artists with something new to say on the well-worn theme.

The artists in Focus are roughly split between those who make paintings to look like photographs and those who make photographs to look like paintings. My favourite of the Blue Gallery's selection is Claus Goedicke, a German photographer who works with one eye on colour and the other on art history. Simple still-life elements are set against dazzling backgrounds: detergent bottles re-invented after Morandi in technicolour (above) and a bunch of asparagus dropped by Manet into a world of pink and blue Formica. Goedicke's works are also on display at the Blue Gallery's regular Walton Street address until 12 April.


On Paper showcases younger artists whose work blurs the line between photography and painting. There's new work from painter Mark Wright and photographer Robert Davies, as well as Andrew Grassie's tiny but subtle temperas. Jason & Rhodes Gallery, 4 New Burlington Street, London W1, to 12 Apr