at Jonathan Clark Fine Art “I like sculpture to look as if it happened, to express an idea as simply as possible,” the late sculptor Kenneth Armitage (1916-2002) said of his work. This exhibition, which concentrates on the artist’s later years, is a testament to the stylistic clarity he aimed for. Armitage’s work was always visibly indebted to ancient sculpture, but he filtered these influences through a distinctly humorous lens of modernism. Looking at his figures here, you could be forgiven for seeing a link to both Cycladic statuary and Keith Haring’s “dancing babies”, with perhaps a dose of Tony Hart’s plasticine “Morph” figures thrown in for good measure. Other works on show take a turn for the sinister: limbs protrude from slabs of bronze, as if attached to ineptly entombed bodies, and strange little structures resemble ritualistic charnel houses. The real thrill, though, comes with Armitage’s delightfully expressive drawings. They are almost childlike in their simplicity, but seem to crackle with energy. Prices range from £4,500 to £75,000. 18 Park Walk, London SW10 (020-7351 3555). Until 2 December. A painting by John Constable is to be sold at auction, after the Tate gallery reluctantly accepted that it was “Nazi-era loot”, says The Art Newspaper. Beaching a Boat, Brighton (1824) was donated to the Tate in 1986 by a Mrs P.M. Rainsford. However, its provenance before 1962, when it turned up in London, was murky, and the heirs of Baron Ferenc Hatvany, a Hungarian art collector, recently made a claim against the Tate. The UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel found that the painting was stolen during the German occupation of Hungary: Hatvany had put the Constable, along with other works, in the vaults of a Budapest bank, from where it was later looted by Nazi officials. The Tate took the unusual step of asking the panel to reconsider its decision, and submitted further evidence – to no avail. The painting was returned to Hatvany’s descendants earlier this year. It will be auctioned next month in London, with an estimated price of £600,000 to £800,000.
Design for a Wilderness No. 4 (1971)