VISUAL ARTS With Richard Ingleby
The Eye on Visual Arts
Saturday 02 November 1996
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (0131-556 8921) today to 19 Jan
is one of those artists whose work spans the range from the good to the truly bad. Since her death in 1965, she has become one of the most popular 20th-century Scottish painters, known for her rich colours and strongly handled paint - a gutsy style, but one that has sometimes worked against her.
A new exhibition in Edinburgh, the most comprehensive for more than 20 years, has been carefully selected to show her best side and the result makes for very pleasing viewing. Domestic scenes were her forte: topsy turvy roomscapes and quiet still lives of familiar household things painted with a cosmopolitan flavour: a touch of Bonnard for intimacy, Matisse for style and design; both served with a twist of the Scottish East Coast.
"The Indian Rug" is typical of Redpath at her best. It works through clever patterns with objects tilted and space flattened. This sense of design characterised much of her interior work and also found its way into her depictions of landscape. As she grew older, her work became increasingly expressive and loosely painted, but always with one eye on the patterns of the natural world.
In part this was learnt from Matisse, and from the work of the Italian primitives, but also from her father, a designer of tweeds in the Scottish Borders. As she put it, rather humbly: "I do with a spot of red or yellow in harmony with grey, what my father did in his tweed."
EYE ON THE NEW
John Hubbard, winner of this year's Jerwood Prize, has announced a plan to spend pounds 25,000 of his prizemoney on the purchase of "good paintings by living artists". He is looking for a regional museum or suitable public space to collaborate on what must be one of the most public-spirited shopping sprees of recent years. An exhibition of the generous man's own work is currently showing in London.
Purdy Hicks Gallery, 65 Hopton Street, London SE1 (0171-401-9229) to 23 November
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