Tony Bevan RA, Head. Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 267 × 297 cm Photography: John Bodkin, DawkinsColour
Mick Moon, who, with Paul Huxley, hung this, the largest and most imposing gallery in the exhibition, makes his task sound easy.
‘The end wall hung itself,’ he says, ‘and everything else followed. The paintings by Christopher Le Brun on the end wall are especially beautiful, and they make an effective contrast with the strong, attention-grabbing Tony Bevan in the centre. This juxtaposition gave us a clue to hanging the rest. Tony Bevan is one of the newer Academicians, and I think it’s good to have his work in here, together with that of Lisa Milroy, another of the more recent RAs.’
Milroy’s largest contribution, a resplendent diptych, is of fish, seen as though during a scuba-dive off the Maldives, while Maurice Cockrill’s insistently vertical abstracts include a group of large, memorably vigorous ink and gouache compositions.
On the opposite long wall are two paintings by Michael Craig-Martin in which letters are combined with the outlines of objects, all in the artist’s characteristic boiled-sweet colours (the letters read ‘Lust’ and ‘Death’). Playing with expectations of symbolism, Craig-Martin depicts repeated objects drily, soberly and in layers.
Meanwhile, Anthony Whishaw is showing a group of expansive, tonal and enigmatic abstracts, and Adrian Berg is represented by a polyptych of agricultural fields, and a knowingly artless depiction of a steam train crossing a bridge, almost an illustration from a story book.