January gets off to a good start at at the Angel Row Gallery in Nottingham with an exhibition of paintings by Ian McKeever, who uses veiled layers of paint to make essentially abstract paintings with a wintery feel and a lingering sense of place (right).
In February, in Glasgow, Philip Reeves offers another very satisfying brand of landscape-based abstraction at the Glasgow Print Studio and on the other side of Scotland, in March, the sculptor David Nash builds on a successful year in 1996 with a show of new work at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery.
In April, the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London is celebrating the work of the great St Ives painter, William Scott, while down in St Ives in May, the Tate Gallery's summer show, "A Quality of Light", will include work by Roger Ackling, a sculptor-magician who makes quietly contemplative sculptures using old wood, a magnifying glass and the sun's rays. Found wood also features in the driftwood constructions of Margaret Mellis, one of the survivors of the original St Ives scene. These days she lives in Suffolk and the Redfern Gallery in London will be showing some recent work in June.
The summer is traditionally the art world's quietest time, but this year promises a selection of unmissable shows at some of the larger public venues; there is Raeburn, at the National Gallery of Scotland in July, Mondrian at the London Tate in August and the weird and wonderful Belgian James Ensor at the Barbican in September.
By October, the commercial galleries are back in business; the Fine Art Society in London promises a long-awaited show of Ian McKenzie Smith's utterly beautiful and calming paintings. Tranquillity of this sort will be in short supply at the Tate in November during the annual Turner Prize squabble. Which brings us back to December and the usual run of Christmas shows including the Small is Beautiful exhibition at Flowers East in London.
Happy New Year.Reuse content