Between Piccadilly and Millbank
By Iris Conlay IT is monstrously unfair to compare the Academy exhibition with that of the Tate.
Naturally, the Academy show is a poor second to the Tate-but if the Tate has acquired works of the greatest contemporary artists why do we not see in the Academy at least lesser examples of the works of those artists promoted to the Tate? Comparing catalogues it will be seen that the Academy shows no John Armstrong, no Edward Rawden, no Edward Burra, no Lawrence Gowing, no. Duncan Grant, no Anthony Gross, no Allan (iwynneJones, no lristram hillier, no lvon Hitchens, no Frances Hodgkins, no Angustus John, no David Jones, no Wynutiam Lessis, no Henry Moore, no Charles Murray, no ben Nicnolson, no Sir William Nicholson. no victor Pasmore, no Joon rime, te, Ceri Richards, no William Roberts, no Albert Itulherston, no Matthew Smith, no Stanley Spencer, no Graham Sutherland, and no John
On the reverse side Dame Ethel Walker is representen in both exhibitions, so surprisingly enough is edward Wadsworth, wnose kiowerpiece is relegated to the south room, where the "eccentrics" are given a playroom well out of the way. John Nash has a place in both, too, also Henry Lamb, Charles Ginner, Ihilip Connard and Leonard Appelbee.
It becomes quite a polite parlour game to discover works m the Acauemy wnicn would nang honourably in the Tate and a very rude one indeed (and to co tne 'late justice, a very aitilcult one) to relegate Tate acquisitions to the Academy. If the late Pierre Bonnard qualified for the distinction the first Academy entry that would transfer to 1VItilhank IS " 13o1 de Nit." Then, as I still think the English genius is happier expressing its visual side in watercolours, 1 would cart off several Pitehforth sensitive and atmospheric watercolours and a Rowland Sudda by, too—" The River Stour," which is particularly English. Augustus Lunn's " Philosopher with Perspectives completed from Fragmonis " is an-interesting picture, but not quite interesting enough for the Tate bag. From the large galleries my first choice would be " Tree in Blossom," by James Fitton, who sees the world in a glowing haze of glory, and then perhaps something from his counterpart, Thomas Carr, whose vision is soft and quiet and unobtrusively rich. He is the perfect man to paint Ireland, and his " Kilcoo Road" stands out from the blare of noisy landscapes and brassy people. Card l Wright's sprightly pictures are a pleasure but riot yet Tate standard and there were no outstanding portraits at AL nor any religious paintings to impress the memory.
WORKS FOR CHURCHES
The sculpture rooms. on the contrary, had some work which I would rather see in our churches than in any gallery-the Tate not even excepted. Josephine de Vasconcellos' " Angel of Judgment," for example; the quite exceptionally dignified and prayerful " St. Joseph," by Darsie Rawlins, has, I understand, found a home at Bexhill church; and I hope T. M. Foord-KeIcey's " Stations of the Cross" in relief in Mopton Wood stone (one example shown), will also find a church to appreciate their reverence and skill. Other exquisite nieces of relief sculpture include Peter Watts' "Expulsion from Eden" and May Blakeman's terra cone " Nativity." Good workmanship, in which the religious idea has perhaps been overstrained, is nevertheless to be admired in Allan Howes' strong Madonna and Child," Arnold Machin's a Mary Magdalen;' and Constance A. Parker's realistic " Black Madonna."
I have left myself very little space to express the pleasures of the Tate Gallery. Perhaps because the pictures are in the main already well known and well loved they are without need of recommendation. Among all the glories, though, I was delighted most by the simple self-portrait of Gwen John and by those figures of awe the grey sleepers in the Tube, by Henry Moore.