Group7 - Group Show (3 stars)

The Pentagon, Glasgow until Fri Nov 3

Group7 - Group Show

The Pentagon acts as an alternative to the tradition gallery space, the supposed credibility of the old water flat student set up, and the established artist-run spaces located around King Street. Group7 brings together the work of seven painters, who have previously exhibited in the Pentagon, with the show acting as both a line drawn under the last few years of the gallery’s existence, and a statement of intent declaring the new direction that will be taken.

This small review of painting wraps neatly around the labyrinthine space, with less successful paintings secreted in niches and dead-ends (they should have been left in the studio). But the work of four of the artists make the trip worthwhile: Martin McInally, Stuart Mackenzie, Craig Peacock and Mark Campbell’s work shine. Peacock’s landscape is reminiscent of George Henry’s ‘Galloway Landscape’ (1889), with its flattened space and dark pockets of abstracted surface matter. McInally’s cityscapes resemble Redonesque aureoles peppered with Whistler’s fireworks - they are both primordial and eerily Modern. Mackenzie’s seascapes and women are the result of hard graft subsumed by simplicity, with calligraphic anti-lines where paint has been removed, and scarlet erogenous zones expanding like ink on wet paper.

You can half close your eyes but there is no denying that this is difficult foyer area branching out through the ground floor of an office complex, so ignore the whirr of the photocopier and the industrial carpet; most of the paintings inhabit another space.

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