Marcel Duchamp once remarked art has its sell by date, being cynical but also wise about the marketing of art. Previous Dadaist, and cultural saboteur par excellence, he continued the anti art tradition of Dada which was a profound disquiet with the great slaughter of world and the taste and culture of those who affected it. History now has proved World War 1 was not the war that ended all Wars.
Ms Laura Lovelace’s exhibition at the Sea Lane Gallery is an example of an artist in pursuit of good taste wrapped inside the trappings of the local avant garde tradition that died in St Ives many years ago. The ghost of Ben Nicholson Barbara Hepworth and Patrick Heron are present in spirit but not in the paint surface or even the painterly flesh of flesh of application, in this exhibition of 15 watercolours and 9 oil paintings. This exhibition is the nearest it is possible to get to a gift shop and have the tag of advanced art, a variation on themes of paint and abstraction that had meaning in the 50s but not today.
Ms Lovelace is a technically accomplished painter and occasional print maker. Her affection for the environment is clear. Her colouring reflects the unique quality of light that is present in the Tt Ives bay. They are a little too intense to pick up the finesse of Cornish Landscape which has has spoken to legions of artists for two hundred years. However beauty is a dangerous game, which has trapped Ms Lovelace as many others.
Fashion is not a many splendid thing. Mrs Lovelace is on the edge but not quit there yet.
Sea Lane Gallery 14, Upper Tremeare Hill, St.Ives – Price range £40 – £350
Volume 30 number 4 March / April 2016 p 40