Harry Barr - Watercolour Artist

Fine handling of a British medium

The Morning Star, April 2nd, 2023

Watercolours hy Harry Barr (Richmond Hill Gallery, Richmond)

OVER 100 of his watercolours, in the medium to which Harry Barr is now dedicated, fill this interesting and characterful gallery in one of London's rare, near-pastoral spots.

They themselves are pastoral, uncomplicated, indeed innocent, and show great expertise in the handling of watercolour, recalling at their best the work of that wizard-craftsman, Wilson Steer.

They are very British in this sense, in their delicate use of line, being reminiscent of the Nash brothers.

They all carry the happy view of a man of discriminating eye, of lyrical turn of mind, and of strong visual articulateness.

Sometimes they break through to an economy of tone and statement that is postively Japanese (which is permitted in British waterdom), as specially in Burnt Gorse, Headley and Snow-Regents Park. In both the balance is very finely held.

Sometimes the luminosity of pearly water and sky in the section titled Fog, Mist and Storm has an enlarged scope of view that also lifts the viewer's sense of space.

The Sea-Shoreham is particularly notable for its lyrical economy of handling. In the landscape Above Eyemouth, the large rolling of the ground and of the sky above it become one movement.

In fact, it is clear that Harry Barr's own dedication to the expression of these lyrical moments that have to remain inarticulate in most people's experience, successfully evokes for them the extended experience of really grasping them afresh with their own eyes.

The exhibition runs for three weeks, till April 17. lt is open through the week.

Barbara Niven

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