When in London, it’s always a pleasure to duck into the Chris Beetles Gallery, on Ryder Street, but until November 2 there’s a special reason it’ll be worth a pause in your day: an exhibition devoted to the important landscape painter Albert Goodwin (1845–1932). Primarily a watercolorist, the prolific Goodwin, who was influenced by Turner, Whistler, and the Pre-Raphaelites, produced some 800 works, many of them landscapes, and many of those based on his extensive travels, including trekking through Europe with the critic John Ruskin.
Some 200 of Goodwin’s works—watercolors, pen and ink, pencil and crayon—have been collected for “In Search of Sun and Shadow: The Art of Albert Goodwin RWS,” and they reflect his peripatetic impulses. Here is High St., Infracombe, there The Chapel Bridge, Lucerne. The cities of Canterbury and Cape Town are represented, as are Palma and Agra. (There are even “subjects from the imagination”—Sindbad, Ali Baba, Robinson Crusoe—for those who enjoy their art even farther flung.)
“Goodwin and I have been very good to each other over the decades,” says Beetles. “He was always my favorite artist when I was a collector.”
Beetles did his first Goodwin show 33 years ago, and when he was recently able to buy an estate’s collection, he felt the time was right for another: you function as a kind of custodian, he explains, who can introduce an artist to a new generation.
“It’s serendipity that I’ve been able to fly the flag for him,” Beetles says. And it’s our good luck, too. The pictures are wonderful. —George Kalogerakis