GALLERIES by Leigh Hatts
PUBLICLY funded galleries are still staging substantial exhibitions despite the recession and now the government's surprise Min for a European Arts Festival later this year could benefit the visual arts in the regions.
The major 1992 exhibition is Rembrandt which comes to London in March from Amsterdam, with paintings at the National Gallery and drawings at the British Museum.
It will include paintings once attributed to Rembrandt who had a habit of signing students' work. Controversial research has reduced recognised paintings from 1,000 down to 300. There is even greater debate over downgraded drawings which one former British Museum curator believes may yet be reinstated.
At the National Portrait Gallery Eve Arnold is showing prior to a tour starting in Bath. Although known for her Marilyn Monroe book, the American born photo-journalist has worked in the United Kingdom since 1961 and from those early years come her preVatican II pictures for a "Bride of Christ" convent feature. She also has a shot of Richard Burton modelling for a St Thomas Becket tomb.
The Barbican Art Gallery has two potentially outstanding shows lined up. Next month Van Gogh In England will focus on the 1870s when the artist worked in Covent Garden and preached in Richmond Methodist Church. Work by Millais, Tissot and others
admired by the Dutch artist will be on show.
In November the Barbican is staging the first exhibition to examine the sculpture of Eric Gill. Over 60 stone carvings, including many from America, will be brought together for reassessment.
In March the Tate Gallery Liverpool is belatedly celebrating Stanley Spencer's centenary with its collection supplemented by loans and the artist's own written commentary. At the same time the Tate Gallery London will mark the centenary of Otto Dix who was regarded as a "degenerate artist" by the Nazis.
Although little known here he is recognised in Germany as a painter who exposed suffering and corruption.
Industrial revolution problems are dealt with in an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Rerum Novaruns encyclical at the Braccio de Carlo Magri° in Rome.
The Work of Man in Painting from Goya to Kandinsky (it includes Cardiff Docks by Lionel Walden) is the first in a series using art to promote understanding of the church's role in society, In May the Society of Catholic Artists will be attempting to do that at Brighton where the 1992 Festival theme is "Saints and Sinners".