Our storage crisis continues to grow apace with the arrival of another seven boxes of tea-towels; reprints of those that have sold-through and Country, a new companion design for last year's Town.
It's a hotchpotch idyll, wholly imagined from the heart of the city, but I hadn't realised an errant Mediterranean motif had crept in too! Wonderfully frond-like, I'm unsure how standard these doors are on the continent or if they'd work as well in a less leafy colour.
As a one-room overview, I may have enjoyed the Philip Guston's Works on Paper even more than the Royal Academy's bombastic retrospective of 2004. Meandering through the becalmed back streets adjoining Grosvenor Square to Berkeley (away from phone-unlocking, cheap booze and bushmeat), you could even develop a tender, touristic eye for this city.
Philip Guston, Works on Paper
31 Dec - 20 Feb 2010, Timothy Taylor Gallery
15 Carlos Place, London W1K 2EX
• studio shots: Denise Hare
Clearly, different lovers express themselves in very different ways. Lisa's folks yearly exchange the same (cellophane wrapped and unwritten) wedding anniversary cards. February 14 is not ringed red on their calendar. Conversely, my mum's had the same Valentine hanging framed since I can remember... a sentiment that's outlived the marriage by 30 years already.
This romantic plate was a great little find. Revisiting the shop a year later, and hopeful of another rewarding rummage, we found only empty walls of white peg-board (save for the inverse-shadows of long-gone goodies).
• 'Spring' by Bjørn Wiinblad for Nymolle, diameter 27cm, undated, Denmark
There’s an abundance of wry innovation in modern illustration, but I'm sympathetic to the mania for classic kid's lit and the wistful retreat into yesteryear. For reassurance on layout work recently, I looked to one vintage book in particular; Maureen Roffey's Who Killed Cock Robin? is a paean to bold, cut-out simplicity, integral text and colourful spreads.
Though still wonderfully prolific, it's Roffey’s earlier output that feels so fine-tuned to the here-and-now. Sadly, this period gets short-shrift online: a flat-pack dolls' house from 1967; a pretty poster for London Underground in 1968 and some silk-screened toys in 1977s Things to Make and Do... in short, enough to keep me searching every-now-and-then.
As if one talent in the family wasn't enough, this astonishing study is from Bernard Lodge, Roffey's husband; a pivotal figure in TV graphics, latterly turned wood-block/lino-cut printer. Lodge’s interests are broadly mythical, but it's when focus pulls to the contemporary or quotidian that the work, paradoxically, grows wings.
• Who Killed Cock Robin?, Maureen Roffey, 1971, Bodley Head
• Girls' Night Out, Bernard Lodge, three-block linocut, undated