A Cumbrian art gallery has been named by The Times’ chief art critic in a national top ten list of galleries to visit when lockdown eases next week.
Public museums and art galleries can’t open until May 17 but commercial galleries such as Castlegate House Gallery in Cockermouth can reopen from Monday along with non-essential retail.
Castlegate is one of just three galleries outside London to be highlighted by The Times’s Rachel Campbell-Johnston as she encourages art lovers to get out again and go face-to-face with great art.
“Britain’s independent art spaces frequently put on top-quality shows,” she says. “What’s more, being smaller and more intimate, they can offer a more intense experience than the massive blockbuster. Better yet, if you find yourself falling in love with an artwork you won’t have to make do with the gift shop postcard.
“At Castlegate House Gallery you can enjoy a range of British works, which will be showing pieces by, among others, Patrick Heron, David Hockney and Frank Auerbach.
“However, the main exhibition will be the early work of little-known Bob Crossley, a northern-born artist who captures the post-war atmosphere of this country in dark, brushy paintings. A new figure to follow emerges from the gloom.”
Castlegate owner Steve Swallow said he was delighted to have been picked out by The Times as he prepares to reopen to visitors on Thursday.
“To be listed alongside some of the capital’s top independent galleries is a real feather in the cap and shows how far we have come,” he said.
“We’re also really excited to reopen with this rare collection of early works by Bob Crossley. They display all which we love about British mid-century modernism in art, a period which for us can’t be equalled in Britain over the last two centuries.”