Summer Madness!

No! This not a recipe for going mad in the summer, but the title of a new exhibition venture at the Mall Gallery, the home of the Federation of British Artists. I am sure that you are all aware of the annual exhibitions held at the Mall Gallery by the various societies such as NEAC, The Pastel Society, Royal Society of Marine Artists, etc. However, this year they put on an exhibition at which any member of the nine attached societies could enter works to be sold at affordable prices the proceeds to go towards the FBA's charitable work.
Over 500 works were on display. with prices going from £50 up to £2000 with the majority being priced under £500. Good prices for works by some of the UK’s best artists, such as Tom Coates, Nick Tinam, David Sawyer, Moira Huntley and many other well known names.
I would guess that some of the works were from earlier in their careers, or sketches for larger works, but the standard nonetheless was very high. One of the things which I found very interesting, was seeing works in other media or styles than the one that the artist normally worked in. For instance, landscapes by Geoff Hunt, famous for his maritime paintings, life watercolours from Trevor Chamberlain and portrait painter David Graham’s landscapes.
I found a series of 10 life drawings by Julie Jackson (NEAC ) really exciting and at £95 each real bargains.
Overall, I found it one of the most interesting exhibitions I have been to this year, and, if it were repeated next year, I would recommend that you do not miss it. But go early. I went on the first day morning, and, as you are allowed to take purchases away with you, there were all ready many gaps and paintings were selling fast.
Did I buy anything? No, I was under strict instructions not to!
Bernard Victor