In February 1970, in what seems another era, Angela Flowers established the Flowers Gallery, one of the longest-running in London, now with two locations, one on Mayfair and one in Shoreditch, representation in New York and a new gallery planned to open in Hong Kong in 2020. Sadly, with the Coronavirus situation, the galleries are closed, but in February the two galleries in London celebrated this milestone with two 50th anniversary exhibitions together showing the breadth and quality of the artists the gallery represents.
As with many gallery spaces in Mayfair, the space reflects the high cost of rent and business rates with a relatively small ground floor facing onto Cork Street and a further space downstairs, spaces in which Flowers has always managed to pull an artistic punch, especially when, as with the recent exhibition, art on the wall is juxtaposed with sculpture in the centre of the gallery. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Cork Street was showing work by several well-known artists including John Bellany, Prunella Clough, Anthony Earnshaw, Nancy Fouts, Terry Frost, Derek Hirst, Paul Neagu and Eduardo Paolozzi, executed during their lifetimes and hinting towards future exhibitions, for example one planned of the work of John Bellamy.
Kingsland Road in Shoreditch is different, much larger and, as might be expected in that part of London, has a warehouse aesthetic. Here different spaces allow different emphasises and the gallery displayed archival material related to the artistic successes of the last 50 years along with new work which had been created by 50 of the gallery’s artists especially for the anniversary. I have to admit that I had never made the journey to Kingsland Road before, but now that I have discovered it I look forward to returning, especially when the nearby Geffrye Museum of the Home reopens on completion of its current refurbishment.
in Mayfair sh