Visual Arts: The Art of Perception

Article excerpt

In the Eye of the Beholder, the inaugural exhibition at Blains Fine Art in Mayfair, is subtitled "The portrayal of women in art over the past 200 years" - quite a mouthful and, for a new gallery opening its doors for the first time, quite an ambitious note on which to start. The title sets up expectations of a definite thesis, or, at least, of some sort of theme: that the exhibition will reveal something happening to the portrayal of women in art over the years.

But no. As it turns out this is a rather loose collection of paintings and sculpture which might have been titled "Works with women in by artists whose names you ought to know". It's an odd and indiscriminate selection in which some really good things - particularly the smaller bits of sculpture, such as a Henry Moore maquette and a little figure by Niki de Saint Phalle - mingle with a lot of second-rate works by first-rate artists.

There's more to curating exhibitions than the gathering of pictures, but it's early days at 23 Bruton Street and Blains may yet become a worthy addition to London's gallery scene. …