Mixed show of paintings

Viewpoint by Marshall Baron, of Bulawayo, The Chronicle
It is difficult to make a sober assessment of Captain E.M. Channing-Renton’s paintings now-on-show at Meikles. More than 150 paintings have been crowded together on a small wall area, giving the exhibition a regrettable resemblance to an oriental market.

Even allowing, though, for the unsympathetic hanging, the works made a very mixed impression. Too many of these small landscapes are neither sufficiently sharply observed nor skillfully enough executed to succeed in this overworked genre.

At their best, these paintings have charm and some technical facility.

The Old English scene – No. 115 – is sensitive and completely successful, as re 79 (River Reflections) and 113 (Landscape, Rhodesia).

I cannot help feeling that the artist would have been well advised to choose coldly and carefully – the best 50 or 60 of these works for showing. The present indiscriminate offering cannot enhance his reputation.

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