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Welsh portraits, Sri Lankan potters, Italian fashion - and more!

— July 2014

Associated media

Sue Ward, Editor

Art in Britain has long been influenced by what was happening abroad, and several items in this month's issue  look at some of the international figures and movements that have inspired British artists.

 Richard Wilson transformed the status of landscape painting in his lifetime and his work inspired Turner and Constable, but when he died it was unfashionable and neglected. A new show of his work will shortly be arriving in Cardiff after a successful showing in America; Robert Radford looks at Richard Wilson's achievements. Currently at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff, is the exhibition ‘Landscapes by J.D. Innes: Beauty Most Wild’. This exhibition and its catalogue, reviewed here by Veronica Davies,  attempts to redress the fact that the work of this Welsh artist has been so long overlooked mainly as a result of his tragically early death from tuberculosis at the age of 27 in 1914, which coincided with  the outbreak of the First World War. This show closes on 20 July so don’t miss it!

Alexander Adams went to Tate Liverpool to view ‘Mondrian and his Studios’. During his artistic career Mondrian worked in 14 studios and this exhibition shows you how his studios reflected his painting aesthetic. You can catch this exhibition until 5 October. Jankel Adler was  a Polish Jewish refugee during the Second World War, bringing to England a host of continental influences. A current exhibition on Adler is giving his work the exposure it deserves, as Philip Vann describes. Susan Grange went to the National Gallery, London for the exhibition ‘Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting’. In this exhibition, on until 21 September, ‘you appreciate how architecture encourages the viewer to enter a picture’. Painters can be so clever at pulling you into the picture that it can be easy not to notice how they do it – this exhibition makes you think about how architecture was used in the Renaissance to draw in the viewer.

Ros Ormiston conducts our interview this month with the distinctive portrait painter Janet Lance Hughes. We find out how Janet’s father influenced her decision to  follow an artistic career, and her pleasure at just how much talent comes out of the small country, Wales. Jenny Kingsley contributes two articles for us this month, both connected to British banks. She  discovered how a project  backed by Hoares bank has developed the  idea of ‘working with artisanal potters in Sri Lanka helping them to develop processes, techniques and designs that could be produced simply and marketed abroad to buyers such as Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home and Habitat’. She also visited the Fleming museum, the only museum to feature only Scottish art. Started in 1968, by David Donald, a director of Flemings Bank, as a means of brightening up the bank’s interior, it was saved in a financial crisis in the 1990s  by becoming a charity and opening to the public.

When an academic art historian and  Spanish speaker, Jacqueline Cockburn, and her husband Ian, also an art historian,  decided to start an art history travel business in Spain they found it ‘was quite a challenge’. Here you can read about the story of how they set up their successful Iberian business. Our writer Sarah Lawson found that ‘any hotel has the odd picture on the wall, but the  Hotel Cavalieri in Malta devotes its public spaces to serious exhibitions’. Here she saw an exhibition of  the work of Agostino Baldacchino, a noted Maltese photographer. Meanwhile in London Roy Clark visited the inaugural exhibition by Heist. Housed over three floors of a west London townhouse, this ‘self-styled “anti-gallery” concept created by Heist dispenses with the traditional exhibiting arrangements of a gallery altogether, to create a new type of viewing experience’. You can share this experience until 6 August.

Book reviews this month are as usual an eclectic mix. Clare Finn points out that our view of the past is often based on what is left, but a book entitled Magnificent Entertainments: Temporary Architecture for Georgian Festivals, looks at the evidence for the splendid displays enjoyed by Londoners two centuries ago. Robert Radford reviews Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting. This book accompanies a show that is currently on display in Cardiff. Amy Sargeant writes on the book the Glamour of Italian Fashion, the title published to accompany the V&A exhibition of the same name.

After three years of running Cassone’s Facebook page, Ann Bach is stepping down owing to pressure of other work. Ann has graciously agreed to remain as a social media consultant for Cassone. We are very grateful to her for all that she has done for the magazine. Sue Ecclestone has taken over as our new social media director, with responsibility for Facebook, and we warmly welcome her onto our team. If you have not yet visited our Facebook page,  please do take a look.

Enjoy our July issue and don’t forget we will publish updates on the art world in our Art News pages throughout the month.

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Cassone – ca-soh-neh – the elaborately  decorated chest that a wealthy Italian bride of the Renaissance period used to hold her trousseau; a box of beautiful things.




Sue Ward

Editorial —


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