From someone entirely self-taught, Patricia Howitt's exhibition of nearly four dozen acrylics, oils, prints, and drawings represents a considerable feat.
Maybe it might have
benefitted by cutting down on the acrylics (in
which similar ground is covered here and there)
and the space used instead for a more generous
display, but this doesn't diminish her
In a show incorporating several different styles, from hard-edge to etching and screenprint, well over half are abstract acrylics in which the chief feature is the use of loose washes of color interacting to create more or less accidental textures. The result is seductive, but rather lacking in form, substance and draftsmanship.
The eight pencil drawings are better, particularly Hinauri's Fish, the basis of an illustration in the Sunday Times. The two hard-edge acrylics, Rear Vision and Hamilton's Eye, have something worthwhile to say and should appeal to the more literal-minded viewer.
It is possible, too, that something more might have been made of the acrylics by simpler framing and mounting, but this could be a matter of taste.
[Very tough local art critic, renowned for his hard-hitting reviews.]
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