Sunday, 25 September 2016

LIFE BEYOND LONDON: THE MANCHESTER CONTEMPORARY 2016

Alex Gene Morrison at Charlie Smith

Manchester Contemporary (22-25 Sept www.themanchestercontemporary.co.uk) styles itself as the leading fair outside London for ‘critically engaged art’.  But how does it compare with the smaller London fairs? The Old Granada Studios prove an excellent location, though you do have to run the gauntlet of some pretty dire preliminaries – in the form of the Buy Art Fair – before reaching the 34 booths of  The Manchester Contemporary itself. Several galleries with a  London presence made the trip – The Ryder, Castor Projects, Charlie Smith, Copperfield, Division of Labour, IMT, Transition, Vitrine – and their quality was no surprise, But what of the other galleries? Here, too, there was plenty of merit, making it easy to choose half a dozen interesting examples of ‘life beyond London'. Average quality here is a good deal better than at START, for example, and the prices are modest.


Jamie Fitzpatrick at Vitrine (photo Harry Meadley)
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Tom Ireland: still from  The Heavens, 2016 at OBJECT | A (Manchester)

Tom Ireland says he’s interested in space and the things which fill it, and his film's double-aspect filled four minutes very nicely. On the one hand, its mirroring of the universe in a silver rabbit is a surreal reductio ad absurdum of the problem of space junk orbiting round the earth; on the other hand, it's a cunning art play at two removes, acknowledging both Jeff Koons’ fetish finish reflective sculpture and Mark Leckey’s previous repurposing of Koons' rabbit through what it reflects.


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Broomberg & Chanarin: Z is For Zoom from 'Humans and Other Animals' (2016). at Field Editions (Liverpool)

Among many attractive photo editions here were the Anglo-South African collaborators’ playful sign-language A-Z, for which they hand-draw bright vectors indicating the movements to be made onto black and white images from the Getty Archive, leaving us to wonder when a picture becomes a symbol and when a symbol becomes a text. These then feed into a children’s book made for Tate.


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Phil Illingworth: Mr Soft, 2016 at Platform A (Middlesbrough)

Phil Illingworth makes what look like wall-mounted sculptures, but are better seen as expanded paintings which toy with the conventions while using characteristic materials. Just so, Mr Soft combines acrylic on canvas with a wooden frame, even if neither are shaped as you’d expect. The eccentric wit of the title is also typical: is it a simple contradiction of the visible angle of erection, or a more nuanced put-down of the possibility that some Tarzan-styled hardman might wear the funfur loincloth it sports?


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Marielle Hehir: Fireworks, 2016 at LLE (Cardiff)

New artist-run space LLE (both Welsh for place and a play on the initials of its founders) featured several lively painters. Like Illingworth, recent Slade graduate Marielle Hehir moves away from flat painting, but with a less traditional ground: this spatial eruption of flares is painted onto latex. It yields what the title suggests might be seen as a landscape-come-skyscape in which the artificiality of the colours are paralleled by the artificiality of the material to suggest the paradoxical beauty of the 'toxic sublime'.

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Mollie Milton and Holly Hendry at Collar (Manchester)

Collar’s excellent booth set off two young sculptors to advantage:  six of Mollie Milton’s incredibly delicate bronze castings of somewhat bedraggled teasels (That Which Is Living Can Only Die, 2016) and four of Holly Hendry’s enjoyably indelicate Band-Aids-as-tongues, blown up in suitably bendable silicone (Plastered, 2015). Hendry’s on her way, forthcoming with Limoncello, and Milton deserves a wider showing, too.


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Maurice Carlin: Temporary Custodians of Islington Mill 2018-28 at Islington Mill (Manchester)

Maurice Carlin had some alluring abstract prints on show, but to see the full extent of his 'performance publishing' project a visit to nearby Islington Mill was recommended. There you can see lined up on their sources a hundred monotypes Carlin has made from of the stone flags of the 5th floor. Rendered with CMYK colours in differing orders, and influenced by both his actions and the undulations of the surface, they are remarkably varied and painterly.  Moreover, all are for sale (at £1000 each) in order to fund the building’s own renovation.



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

START HERE


The START fair (15-18 Sept) is well-served by the Saatchi Gallery as a venue, and it's interesting mix with 60+ galleries from 35 cities.  I won’t pretend that the quality is generally high. It’s badged as focusing on emerging artists, but most of those shown will probably never be all that visible. But it’s not a write-off. Here are half a dozen booths to look out for if you're there.  



Kristof Kintera: Praying Wood, 2014

Prague’s DSC Gallery (at stand 5.1) shows several seriously worthwhile Czech and Slovak artists. Kristof Kintera combines and silver-sprays found branches to make his Praying Wood figures, which I took to represent how we ought to subordinate our desires to the needs of the environment as well as suggesting the uselessness of any sylvan appeal to forest-clearers to desist.



 


Suzanne Moxhay: Mezzanine, 2015

One of the solo projects sees the reliable Suzanne Moxhay achieving elegiac effects in her photos of stage set-like collages combining her own images of derelict sites with found images, beautifully lit to ambiguate the space. She’s British, but it’s the Indian gallery THE LOFT (at 11.8) who presented the most Moxhays I’ve seen at one go.






Ádám MagyarUrban Flow 1865, New York, 2015 (detail)

Ádám Magyar at Faur Zsófi (7.2).  The suitably-named Hungarian photographs a super-narrow (in fact, pixel-wide) vertical section of the streetscape repeatedly at 300 shots a second - as in sports' photo-finish technology. That yield pin-sharp and yet distorted parades of passers-by, better seen at www.magyaradam.com than above. Hungary does well at START, as ART + TEXT BUDAPEST at 1.4 is also one of the best stands




                            

Minchung HuanOut of the Window, 2016 

It was a good idea to dedicate a room (‘Future Island’, curated by Mehta Bell Projects) to an ‘emerging place’, this year Taiwan. Minchung Huan generates a compellingly alienating effect akin to 3D images seen without 3D glasses, mainly by manipulating scale (Out of the Window is 1.45 metres high) and colour (no use of blue).




            


Ruben Brulat: Joyaux brisés, Danakil, 2014 - Self-portrait


I’ve previously been impressed by young French photographer Ruben Brulat’s photographs of volcanic landscapes with remote nude figures. Now (at LAMB Arts / NContemporary, 8.4) his process is documented with video and performative paintings which use the materials – ash, dirt, sulphur – to hand – and its him who’s exposed in the landscape . 






Fergus HareA Path Through The Trees , 2015


There is plenty of ominous work. New Art Projects (14.3) has the quietest. Fergus Hare’s small memory-based paintings of the sky on the cusp of darkness, along with cloud studies drawn at a similar hour, and two paintings alluding to outer space via rocket and satellite dish, make for an effective cycle.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

BELLA EASTON: THESE OUTER SHELLS


BELLA EASTON: THESE OUTER SHELLS

Gallery Elena Shchukina, 10 Lees Place, Mayfair (access from Shepherd's Place)

25 Aug - 16 Sept: http://galleryelenashchukina.com/

Evening opening with artist and curator: Wed 7 Sept, 6-9 pm

I'll also be there 5.00 - 5.30 on 25 Aug and 1.45 - 2.30 on 10 Sept




Caterpillar: The question you need is Who Are You?


Aly: Tell him he can see perfectly well who you are

Alice: You can see perfectly well who I am.

Caterpillar: But that’s not true, is it? These outer shells are only versions of ourselves...[i]


Bella Easton develops, replicates and reflects on apparently straightforward scenes from everyday life to generate a complex account of the multiple relationships and contradictions between inside and outside, natural and artificial, open and enclosed, chaos and order, uncanny and familiar, light and dark. In so doing, she takes her source material through a dizzying range of transformations to suggest the various selves that might be in play when we formulate our own identities.  
 
Identical Twins

Identical Twins, 2013 is an immersive landscape - of One Tree Hill in Honor Oak, near Easton's home in the south of London - that has been fragmented into 48 smaller elements. That arises from Easton’s characteristic hybrid technique of painting and printmaking. Here she has etched copper plates, printing each onto a single piece of paper, the inky marks from which are then offset onto a second piece of paper by running it through the press again – so producing its mirror counterpart. She has repeated this many times incorporating watercolour and graphite powder.  The Rorschach-like result is a coming-together that may look like one complete object or view, but is actually a doubling of two halves. The titles refers to the tendency of such mirroring to set up our natural potential to read faces into the image: that pareidolia emerges as skull-like forms here, and recurs across the related series of works. Those halves are often noticeably different, due to glitches and variations in depth of tone, completeness of impression, or sharpness of registration. Easton accepts and even encourages those chance effects by using the same source repeatedly – ‘murdering the copper plates’, as she puts it, ‘till you can’t get any more from them’. Her method, she says, ‘is a kind of controlled spontaneity which generates abstract effects on the figurative ground. Each section has its own personality, so that when the family of panels are spliced together, harmonies and dissonances arise’. Identical Twins, a one-off by the very nature of how it’s made, acted as the source image for the ‘Chiral’ (meaning ‘hand’ in Greek) series of etchings, drawings and paintings. 


From the Chiral etching series

Each of the Chiral etching series, 2014, selects a detailed sector of Identical Twins for further development, notably by adding watercolour layers to give greater depth and illusion of light, and by cutting in some elements and swapping them over. Hence what look like double moons, which cannot be mapped when superimposed over each other - like opposite hands, they have ‘chiral symmetry’. ‘Creating’, says Easton, ‘is a journey of complementary opposites. I employ actions that are contradicted or opposed until equilibrium is reached’.

Chiral I

These etchings initiated larger works in which selected motifs are reconfigured into immersively-scaled fabrications using a geometric framework: Chiral I, 2014, and Chiral II, 2015, onto 128 and 50 oil painted linen panels; Chiral VI, 2015, in graphite and coloured pencil on 50 paper panels. The process, as shown in the filmed documentation of the progress of Chiral I, scales up and mirrors the minutiae to an almost perverse extent. Each section is individually rendered by applying thin layers of oil paint over a long period of time. These paintings don’t use etching, but relate directly to the etched works as weight, pressure and touch are similarly employed to offset the oil painted and hand drawn marks from one panel to its counterpart, so creating a mirror image - the paint from each of the sections on the positive (left) side is squashed across onto the right.
Chiral VI

Chiral II adds an extra layer of illusion and depth of light by including the green tinge of a synthesized lens flare as if from off kilter photographic documentation. Again, the mirrored circles can read as eyes, but possibly more those of an insect:

Chiral II

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A further step then sees Easton come inside: not to the studio - in line with the expected artistic tradition - but into her house, which has a distinctive mixture of Edwardian original features, silkscreened wallpaper by the artist, and Japanese decorative papers used to cover furnishings and fittings. At first it seems that Easton has transported the house, as an autobiographical account of her decorative taste, into the gallery. The Myriorama Room Series - Fireplace, Armchair and Lamp (all 2016, each made from 88 copper plate etchings) give context to what now seem to be windows letting onto landscapes. Yet closer examination reveals that those objects are not so straightforward: each are chiral versions of the same 44 parts twice – so, for example, we see two sets of bellows in the fireplace – or rather, the same pair of bellows twice. Each section is also printed twice with separate colours: first Indian Red, and then black. 


Fireplace

 And while the individual units which make up the chiral forms are mosaic-like squares, the totality of the images combine in a different way. Look at how the skirting boards and picture rail line up: a continuity and interchangeability is implied. We could move the depicted furniture around the room and maintain that. This, consistent with the era of the house’s contents, is a version of the parlour game Myriorama, in which imaginary landscapes could be made by reordering cards designed to ensure matching continuity of the horizontal markers of form.
Armchair

Is that all? No, the dialectic of inside-outside acquires another shift when we notice that there’s a mirror above the fireplace, and what we see in the mirror is Chiral VI. That hangs on the wall in Armchair, and Fireplace shows its reflection in a mirror – or, rather, half of that reflected image, doubled. Could the domestic intimacy get more fragmented, and the outside come in more complexly?




Lamp

Through all these transformations, Easton’s work picks up an aesthetic of its own, one which destroys colour and completeness of form to arrive at a washed out process-contingent amalgam of parts. The established romantic appeal of ruins is in the background as the chiral play, near-repetition and range of imperfections are displaced at first glance by a frisson of beauty. That’s only the surface, of course - we shouldn’t need the caterpillar or the artist to remind us of that - but we also know how disturbingly easy it is to slip into equating shell with content, beauty with virtue, appearance with underlying reality.

The construction of the self is also a matter of balancing the interplay of inside and outside. Using the suburban view out to stand in for society, one might draw a comparison with the ‘dialogical self’ propounded by Hubert Hermans. According to him, the self isn’t something internal in the mind, but combines internal and external dialogues so that a ‘society of the mind’ results. That is populated by a multiplicity of ‘self-positions’ that themselves inter-relate – with scope for internal conflict and development.  What Easton gives us is more a ‘society of the chiral’.  Can we ever truly know the inside of another person, whether dialogical or not? It’s an old philosophical conundrum. You can’t expect a painting to answer it, but Easton can be read as posing the question in a way which is true to its peculiar complexities.


Curated by Paul Carey-Kent 


Works in show:

Identical Twins, 2013 - 48 copper plate etchings printed onto watercolour and graphite on 400 gsm velin arches paper, 168 x 121cm

Chiral etching series I - VI, 2014 - hand coloured copper plate etchings on velin arches paper, 59 x 36cm, Edition 5

Chiral I, 2014 - Oil on 128 pieces of linen, 294 x 134cm

Chiral II, 2016 Oil on 50 pieces of linen, 200 x 80cm

Chiral VI, 2015 Graphite and coloured pencil on 50 pieces of paper, 150 x 72cm

Fireplace, Armchair and Lamp, 2016  each
88 copper plate etchings on 400 gsm velin arches paper in handmade Japanese paper frames, 97 x 110cm, Edition 10





[i] Moira Buffini in ‘Advice from a Caterpillar’ in ‘Alice in Wonder.land’, a version of Lewis Carroll’s classic tweaked for the digital age.

Friday, 2 September 2016

CHOICES FROM MAY - AUG 2016 NOW CLOSED



Katherine Murphy: Decay @ Patrick Heide, 11 Church St – Edgeware Road

 To 17 Sept
www.patrickheide.com

Labour + Repetition = Decay (no.9), 2015

Katherine Murphy gives obsession a political inflexion, as her labour stands in for the under-acknowledged toil of the many carrying out repetitive tasks in the broader economy. That's explicit in her timesheet-based prints, but equally present in two new streams of work (and I mean work) in this, her first full solo show. The series Labour + Repetition = Decay requires the folding and unfolding of paper over several weeks to reach an aesthetic of ditressed geometry. For Decay by 100,000 pinholes Murphy has pricked as many as that into a large piece of paper, using a decreasing number of random numbers to decide where to pierce, so that ‘blank’ patches increase towards the right. That was six months of labour for – even if the piece is sold – no more than pin money.

 
Katherine Murphy in front of thousands of holes, not easily spotted in a photograph

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Overlay @ White Rainbow, 47 Mortimer St – Fitzrovia


To 17 Sept: 
www.white-rainbow.co.uk
Installation view with Zoë Paul's Moths and Lizards, 2016, in front of Nancy Holt's Trail Markers, 1969

In the inspiring presence of Nancy Holt’s Trail Markers, four young artists pick up on its aspects of journeys, materiality and sexual roles with an underlying contrast of natural and artificial. Cathy Haynes constructs an alphabet out of plastic imitation wood, each letter framed in real wood faked to look like oak; Claire Potter films herself in male action mode but taking mockingly little action; Zoë Paul plays with ritual through volcanic rock faces, marble staging, and mist machines; Hannah Lees explores wine as paint, incense as a sculptural element, and the detritus of river walks as content immured in plaster. The whole creates a subtle but immersive interplay: kudos to curator Jeremy Millar as well as to the artists.



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Niki de Saint Phalle: je Suis une Vache Suisse @ Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art, 21 Conduit St - Mayfair


To 10 Sept:
www.otca.co.uk

Je Suis Une Vache Suisse, 1991 - oil, pencil and mirror on wood, 99 x 96 x 20 cm

There are some superb historical shows on at the moment: Louise Nevelson at Pace, Jean Dubuffet at Timothy Taylor, Gego at Dominique Lévy... Less obvious, perhaps,. is this co-selection with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park of Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 - 2002). It's seeded with darkness, All Over being one of the collages of everyday items (somewhat akin to Mike Kelley's later 'Memory Ware' series) which she stated making while in a mental institution following depression and prior to her famous shooting paintings. Omitting those, the show fast forwards to her brighter and more animalistic side, including the eponymous Swiss cow with cheesy holes; her usual fun with birds and snakes; and the plaster work showing her friend Clarice Rivers (Larry's wife) pregnant - which was to swell into the Nana series.


All Over, 1959-60 - objects i plaster on wood panel
 
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Ragnar Kjartansson @ The Barbican

To 4 Sept: www.barbican.org.uk

Detail from Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage, 2011

The most talked-about show in London now is this one: as many as ten guitarists loll around singing the same phrase all day; two Edwardian women kiss for two hours; a band sings the same song for six hours straight; mother spits at you every five years with no end date set - and plenty more   Ragnar Kjartansson takes the simple idea of repetition and applies it to crazy excess to see what emerges: difference, of course, and an off-beat humour, but also unpredictable outcrops of emotion. And it makes for a challenge: how much can you watch? How much do you want to watch? 

Second Movement, 2016
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Performer / Audience / Mirror @ Lisson Gallery, 68 Bell St - Edgeware Road 




Still from Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: Worship, 2016


One of the Lisson's gallery has three rooms dedicated to consective screening of three programmes of films by 18 artists, each emphasising one of the triad performer, audience and mirror from  Dan Graham's seminal performance of that name, here presented within a Dan Graham pavilion. It ranges across classics such as that, Marina Abramovic's combing frenzy Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful and Rodney Graham's Vexation Island to less famous works (Ceal Floyer's Downpour (Thorstrasse), 2004 is particularly neat)  to  new work, notably Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg's first claymation film for five years, whihc is relishably fruity. It;s also on line, and while not all the films are easy straight-through watches, especially if you don't plan to stay the whole day, you can ask to have them reordered...


Still from Marina Abramovic:  Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful, 1975



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Francis AlÿsCiudad Juárez projects  @ David Zwirner, 24 Grafton St – Mayfair

Paradox of Praxis 5: Sometimes we dream as we live & sometimes we live as we dream Ciudad Juárez, México, 2013 - Video, 7:49 minutes
The Mexico-based Belgian Francis Alÿs has a rare ability to cut through complex plenitudes to memorable metaphor. Here we have the latest in two long-running series: his engagement with children’s games shows us tag with shards of mirror in the notorious ‘murder capital’ of Ciudad Juárez; and the fifth of his ‘paradoxes of praxis’ takes on the aphorism ‘Sometimes we dream as we live & sometimes we live as we dream’ by kicking a flaming football through the streets of by night – a violent yet beautiful way to fleetingly illuminate the city’s problems while suggesting that the failure to grapple with them fully may be represented by ‘kicking the can down the road’.

Children's Game #15, Video still, in collaboration with Julien Devaux, Felix Blume 
and Alejandro Morales, Ciudad Juárez, 2013. Photo:Francis Alys

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The Pineapple Show @ Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland St – Fitzrovia

To 13 Aug: www.tiwani.co.uk
Still from Ayana Evans and Zina Saro-Wiwa: Parasol, 2016


For a refreshing summer-themed show, try Tiwani’s annual hosting of an African Gallery: this year it’s curated by the founder of Nigeria’s Boys’ Quarter Project Space Zina Saro-Wiwa, who focuses on the cultural import of the pineapple (be sure to ask for her informative notes on each work). She contributes three short films of her own in which the fruit acts as a pendulum; gets chopped; and plays its exotic, stylish and sharp-leaved aspects into a performance by Ayana Evans. I also liked Odila Donald Odita’s apparently abstract pair of paintings which evoke a pineapple eating trip with the artist’s twin uncles, as shown in a snapshot alongside; Arlene Wandera’s evocation, voiced from a pineapple tin, of the thirteen cultivars of pineapple that have vanished in the past 150 years due to the commercial pressure for standardisation; Elizabeth Columba’s palpably modern self-portrait set as if she’s eating one in the times when they were prized rarities in Europe.


Elizabeth Columba: Through the Heart, 2016 (detail of watercolour)
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Metatextile: Ruptured Narratives Exchanged Values @ Edel Assanti, 74a Newman St – Fitzrovia

To Aug 13: www.edelassanti.com


Nevet Yitzhak: War Rug #3, 2014 - 8 min video loop



Textiles have been on the way up as an art material in recent years, but you want a show of them to do more than illustrate that  - as ‘Metatextile' does by drawing a parallel  between form and content: just as  textiles challenge the hegemony of oil on canvas, so 15 large examples challenge social hierarchies and perceived value systems. We’re led off by the historic examples of Liubov Popova’s hammer and sickle design (1923-24: she found great satisfaction in a peasant woman buying her material for a dress) and an Alighiero Boetti Afghanistan-made Mappa from 1983. And the most interesting strands stay east; both Adrian Esparza and Nazgol Ansarina unpick and differently restore existing piece of cloth; there are two of Pio Abad’s series of silk scarves in which he preserves with almost perverse colour crispness the personal possessions of Ferdinand and Imedla Marcos;  and a digital version of one of the many ‘war rugs’ being made in Afghanistan , but with animated explosions turning it into a literal battlefield.


Pio Abad: Every Tool is a Weapon if You Hold it Right XXXVI and XXXVII, 2014 - acid dye print on silk twill



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Wolfgang Tillmans @ Maureen Paley, 21 Herald Street* – Bethnal Green



To  7 Aug: 
www.maureenpaley.com





The State We’re In, A -  unframed inkjet print, 2015 - 273 x 410 cm - exhibition view, ground floor gallery



Here’s another show with a different atmosphere post-Brexit: Wolfgang Tillmans’ pro-EU posters take on a mournful air outside the main rooms, in which he orchestrates three clusters of works cleverly tied in to ‘the visible and invisible borders that define and sometimes control us’. The stand-out photographs are a huge print of the open water of the Atlantic Ocean where international time lines intersect, and an image of blood flowing through plastic tubes, outside of the body during surgery. Tillmans runs through his range of distinctive installation methods, including the table grouping used for his truth study center series (2005 – ongoing), here giving minimalism an imaginative twist by presenting various national sizes of blank office paper, which come across as more unified than you might expect.  



I refuse to be your enemy, 2, 2016 -  wood, paper - exhibition view, first floor gallery

*  This is the outstanding show in an increasingly rich art block centred on Tillmans’ gallery and his former studio. With recent arrivals Division of Labour and Breese Little, there are now seven spaces well worth visiting.  Actually Tillmans, Francis Alys, Mona Hatoum (Tate), Rana Begum (Parasol Unit), Bas Jan Ader (Simon Lee), Mary Heilmann (Whitechapel) and the cornucopias at Camden Arts Centre and the Foundling Museum are probably the outstanding shows in London just now, but I’ve written  about most of those elsewhere…


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Charlotte Colbert: Ordinary Madness @ Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover St – Mayfair





Untitled Psychosis 2, 2016 - digital bromide

Charlotte Colbert shows 20-odd atmospheric photographs and a sharp 15 minute film. The former, looking like an update of Francesca Woodman’s aesthetic, see naked friends act out to camera wearing emoji masks in derelict settings. Strategic use of double exposure and blurring confuses the action and hints at the possibility of a dimension beyond.  The film, The Silent Man, is a sex-reversed take on the true story of Oskar Kokoschka, who ordered a life-sized replica of his muse Alma Mahler when she left him in 1918. Here a woman takes delivery of her potentially ideal, as maximally compliant, mannequin mate - but of course it does not end happily ever after. 



Still from The Silent Man (dummy on right)

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Sam Lewitt and Lucy Raven: Wild Sync & Weak Vocals @ Piar Corrias, 54 Eastcastle St – Fitzrovia

To 5 Aug:  www.pilarcorrias.com

Installation view of Sam Lewitt: A Weak Local Lexicon (MHTL), 2016

Entering Pilar Corrias, a well-established tease seems to be in play: have they finished installing the show? Of course, they have: the rather Beuysian combination of copper-clad heating circuits on felt packing blankets, together with digital counting units, is the work; and the door of the cupboard containing the gallery’s electrical switches is open for a reason. New York artist Sam Lewitt is treating the gallery as a computer unit in the copper-coated units maintain the temperature, and those alarm clock displays show its recalibration in response to as vistors' movements changing it. Global travellers have a parallel collective effect on the wider environment, connecting in turn to what the circuits can just about be seen to spell out, though it’s easier to cheat by looking at the diagrams in the cupboard: the Air B&B slogan 'Belong Anywhere'. Downstairs, just as interestingly, Texan Lucy Raven meshes surveillance, film history, searchlights, Robert Smithson and institutional scrutiny in a looping rotocaster light projection.


Installation view of Lucy Raven: Casters, 2016

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This is a Voice @ the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road – Euston


Marcus Coates: stills from 'Dawn Chorus'
 After a rather successful venture into monographic presentations, the Wellcome Collection has returned to its primary mix of art and artifacts linked to body and mind in medical science. ‘This is a Voice’ is the best such show yet: it teems with fascinating and obscure byways from voice disguisers to hunter-gatherer music to an ammoniaphone, though simply the chance to see and hear Becket’s ‘Not I’, Marcus Coates’ ‘Dawn Chorus’ multi-screen presentation of birdsong impressions, Laurie Anderson’s ‘Oh Superman’, and Ted Kotcheff’s film-length phone call ‘The Human Voice’ would be plenty of reason to visit. Moreover, the rotating element in the less impressive second show ‘States of Mind’ is Kerry Tribe’s affecting 20 minute film study of ‘H.M.’, a man whose memories were blank from 1953 until 20 seconds before the present when he was filmed 50 years later.

Kerry Tribe: still from 'M.B.', which plays on two screens with a twenty second gap
                                          
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Secret European Studio @ ARTHOUSE1, 45 Grange Rd - Bermondsey

To 30 July:   www.arthouse1.co.uk

Installation view with Simona Brinkmann and Willem Weismann


In the wake of the unfortunate Brexit vote, I – admitting some bias here – have brought together six European artists working in London, whose work illustrates some of what London gains from the current ease of movement. Carlos Noronha Feio (Portugal) makes paintings which seek abstract equivalents for power structures, and also sets the show’s soundscape as he reflects on what ‘Universism’ might be; Alzbeta Jaresova (Czech Republic) puts her figures into tense psychological relationships with transparent yet unfathomable versions of London’s infrastructure; Simona Brinkmann (Italy) uses metal and foam-padded leather to form half-fetishistic, half-architectural objects which suggest shifting boundaries between private and public; Willem Weismann (Netherlands) seems to mock both dystopia in general and the putative death of painting in particular in his colourful cartoon-tinged tableaux; Franco-German collective Troika bring sublimity to trauma as they draw intricate webs of lightning, and run a smoke bomb through a labyrinthine maze; and Nadege Meriau (France) lets snails and mushrooms impose their own dark logics on her photographic underworld. The works emerging from these Secret European Studios cohere in a darkly intelligent overview of where we are now, with border issues recurrent and a tendency to yoke beauty to violence.



Nadege Mariu's lightboxes 'Petite Morts'
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Self @ Massimo De Carlo, 55 South Audley St – Mayfair






Kaari Upson Kiss (Woven), 2009-2015

There are plenty of self-portraits around at the moment *. The most imaginative are here: Kaari Upson's 'Kiss' diptychs in which she presses her self-portrait onto that of an unknown man to yield a disturbing merger; the four-strong Austrian collective Gelitin presenting themselves as mirrors so that they combine with the viewer; Paweł Althamer as the Polish cartoon character Matołek the Billy-Goat with a startlingly-lit heart - against the background of Dan Colen's after party scatter of the hand-made sculptures of fag-ends and empty wine bottles; Andra Ursuta scattering the promise of her readiness to please as an artist in the form of hundreds of cards advertising an 'ethnic bimbo' offering ‘all services’… and a dozen more.
* See for example the exhibitions culled from the Ruth Borchard collection at the Jerwood in Hastings and at King’s Place in London
Installation view with Paweł Althamer and Dan Colen (Todd-White Art Photography) 
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Gabriele Beveridge: Eternity Anyways @ Chewday’s, 139 Lambeth Walk – Vauxhall


 
To 9 July:  www.chewdays.com




Dead Skin Living, 2016 [detail] chrome, hand-blown glass


You’d be a bit daft - if taking in the Koons - not to drop in on Chewday’s, just 100 yards south. Gabriele Beveridge’s best-known stream of work, appropriating hairdresser’s demo photos with variable fade, takes the window. Inside is an all-encompassing installation which has transformed the former clothes shop using… reconfigured clothes shop fittings, titivated by blown glass hung on clothes hanging fitments and the powder-coating of selected elements. The effect is more painterly than sculptural, in a way which suggest that the personal leaks through whatever the setting.


Clouds (I), 2016 found shop panels, powder-coated shop panels, uprights, pegs, hand-blown glass
 

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Rubén  Grilo: Proof of Concept @ Union Pacific, 17 Goulston St -  Aldgate
To 2 July  www.unionpacific.co.uk

1 Milka Avellanas Enteras 32 Bites (Aprox), 3 Lindt 30 Bites, 1 Smarties Sharing Block 16 Bites, 4 Kit Kat 16 Bites, 5 Nestle Aero 28 Bites, 3 Green & Black‘s Thin Milk Chocolate 8 Bites, 4 Valor 11 Bites and 2 12 Bites, 3 Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Cookie Nut Crunch 16 Bites, 2 Reese‘s Filled with Peanut Butter 15 Bites, 4 Niederegger Lubeck Marzipan Classic 10 Bit, 2 Galaxy Smooth Milk 42 Bites, 2016, Tinted hard plastic, magnets, aluminum foil, laser-cut, bent and powder coated steel sheet, 179 cm x 73 cm

All the press release for this show says is that Spanish sculptor Rubén Grilo claims no credit for it. But whoever is responsible, it’s an enjoyable if head-scratching experience to ponder what concept is proven. I’ve previously seen his grids made from casts of chocolate. which bring modernism and consumerism into a tasty set-to. Here they’re mounted on bales of hay, suggesting rough and ready building blocks at odds with factory production, which is further undermined by the table-come-plinths on which Grilo shows other sculptures: he exposes their construction and puts a lot of effort into sanding back new components to make them look old. On them are giant versions of the shapes made by biting - presumably into chocolate...



Sincerely Yours (Outer Left Section), 2016, Automotive clay and clay modeling film on extruded polystyrene foam, mirror, chipboard, steel table and paper cups, 150 cm x 63 cm x 196 cm



                                      

____________________

Lisa Milroy: Out of Hand @ Laure Genillard, 2 Hanway Place – Tottenham Court Road

To 25 June: www.lglondon.org


Handbag, 2014, mixed media. approx 90 x 100 x 25cm.  (FXP Photography, London)


Lisa Milroy takes over the whole gallery-flat at Laure Genillard as art blends wittily into fashion and lifestyle to question their boundaries. There  are stops at all of the Slade Head of Painting’s distinctive modes: a painting of shoes serried animatedly on off-white harks back to the 1990’s; figures evoke the Japanese influences which followed; then there are reversible paintings, one of them doubling as a handbag;  woven paintings, some with bags fronting them up; dress ‘n’ painting combos, one with a bedspread thrown in; lipsticks aplenty in the loo; and Lisa’s own range of hand-painted  dresses.   


The Lisa Milroy collection of Hand-painted Dresses
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Tomma Abts @ Greengrassi, 1a Kempsford Road – Kennington


To 18 June: www.greengrassi.com

Menso 2016 - acrylic & oil on canvas and bronze 48 × 38 cm



2006 Turner Prize winner Tomma Abts has made a move  parallel with Beveridge’s part-powder painting of the found object. She’s known, of course, for meticulously unplanned and purely additive face-sized paintings, resulting in illusionistic yet inconsistently rendered patterns and shadows, the history of making which builds up surface textures. Abts has previously cast some of these in bronze or aluminium so preserving just the sculptural raising of the paint. All that is enjoyably present here, but so is a new hybrid: Menso is part-canvas, part-bronze. 

Opke 2015 - acrylic & oil on canvas, 48 × 38 cm

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Alberto Giacometti & Yves Klein: In Search of the Absolute @ Gagosian Gallery,
To 11 June:  www.gagosian.com


Installation view (photo Mike Bruce)


Gagosian’s best London show since Serra in 2014, and the best yet in the airy new  central space, has three components. First, 25 works by Giacometti – top notch, but less surprising than the National Portrait Gallery and Luxembourg & Dayan’s recent focus shows. Second, 30 works by Yves Klein, which do indeed  form a dazzling and unpredictable overview. There are, for example, ‘dynamic’ Athropometries which obtain very different results from naked women as blue paintbrushes than do the more often-seen ‘static’ versions, and also a fire version. The third component is the idea of combining the two, which also works brilliantly, pinpointing the existential angst and human traces in Klein’s fire and action paintings and  the conceptual purity of Giacometti’s etiolations.



Yves Klein: Peinture de feu sans titre (F 80), 1961
Scorched cardboard on panel, 175 × 90 cm



                                  
Unseen: London Paris New York at Ben Uri Gallery, 108A Boundary Road - St John's Wood


To 29 Aug: http://benuri.org.uk/exhibitions/unseen/



Rasha Kahil: Anatomy of a Scandal @ Art First Projects, 21 Eastcastle St – Fitzrovia


To 11 June: www.artfirst.co.uk



Dorothy Bohm: Paris, 1955
 Following on from the jamboree of Photo London, there are many photography shows to see, from large and pretty patchy (Barbican, V&A, Parasol Unit, Photographer’s Gallery) to twenty-odd small shows, several of which are rather well-formed; the second instalment of White Rainbow’s survey of Shigeo Anzai’s evocative documentation of artists at work or in performance; Dafydd Jones’ witty account of the upper classes at Art Bermondsey Project Space; Ori Gersht’s beautifully pitched reflections, inversions and layerings of Buddhist gardens at Ben Brown; and ‘Unseen: London, Paris, New York’ at the Ben Uri Gallery, which visits the three cities in the thirties, fifties and sixties respectively through atmospheric outsider views by the little-known but engaging trio of Jewish outsiders to the relevant city: Wolf Suschitzky, Dorothy Bohm and Neil Libbert. This curation by Katy Barron acts as a lower key, more place-oriented take on Martin Parr's much bigger exploration of related themes at the Barbican.

 


Yet perhaps Rasha Kahil’s is the most unusual. The Beirut-born photographer and art director (of the Evening Standard's magazine) presented ‘In Your Home’ a series of nude self-portraits taken covertly in friends' houses which I commended here, in 2011-12. Only two years later did a TV mention lead to a blizzard of publicity ranging from condemnation to messages of support (some, it’s true, somewhat creepy) to offers of work as a pornographic actress. Kahil appropriates the original programme and email streams, and riffs on the now-censored versions of the original series so that one show generates the next to demonstrate, exploit and counter the power of social media.

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Christodoulos Panayiotou; ‘False Form’ @ Rodeo, 123 Charing Cross Road – Tottenham Court

To 19 June: http://rodeo-gallery.com  


Untitled, pendant. Actinolite pseudomorph after diopside,18ct yellow gold
Christodoulos Panayiotou (well-received as Cyprus’ representative in Venice last year) presents an unorthodox theatrical examination of transformation and iconography. There are four components: a painting which applies traditional icon-painting techniques to – perversely - an abstraction; a dozen jewellery-as-sculpture pieces which you can ask to be shown, present for their status as pseudomorphs*; a walk to the British Museum 600 meters away, in the course of which there is plenty of transformation and iconography to be seen; and, when you get there, the designated last work in the show, the earliest known depiction of the restoration of images in Byzantium after a period of inconoclasm. All of which plays with the possibility of the staging upstaging the work…

* a mineral having the outward appearance of another mineral that it has replaced by chemical action. 

Triumph of the Orthodoxy (c.1400, Marmara Region) in the British Museum
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Charlie Warde: Concrete Legacies @ the Muse Gallery, 269 Portabello Rd - Ladbrook Grove

To 19 June: www.themuseat269.com

Mike Ballard: Capital Slang @ Lubomirov / Angus Hughes, 26 Lower Clapton Rd
(at the junction of Urswick Rd) - Hackney

To 26 June: www.lubomirov-angus-hughes.com/

Charlie Warde: Slab #8 and Slab #9 (Trellick Tower), 2016 - Acrylic on Aluminium, each 

20 x 20 x 2.5cm



Iavor Lubomirov has a hand in two congruent shows. Out west he curates Charlie Warde, a big fan of Erno Goldfinger’s buildings who sees them as harking from 'a time when the state provided'. Warde puts in the time to show his love by, for example,  reproducing Goldfinger's architectural surfaces in the double-take medium of acrylic paint. So what you have above is ‘paint on the paint’, as Warde reproduces graffiti markings on Trellick Tower.  Back east, in the gallery Lubomirov runs with Angus Hughes, Angelica Sule is the curator for Mike Ballard’s constructions out of wonderfully weathered found hoardings (which Ballard arranged to replace with new) and his blow-ups to Ab Ex scale of paving stones as paintings.  They feature real chewing gum and authentically sprayed utility markings*, alluding to the hidden world beneath our feet

·       *  According to Ballard it’s yellow for gas, red for electricity, blue for water and green for cable TV.

Mike Ballard installation view

Simon Mullan: Die Fläche * @ PM / AM, 259-269 Old Marylebone Road - Edgeware Road


To 30 May: www.pmam.org



If, Spotify-style, you like Thomas Grünfeld (a favourite of mine who’s now showing at MdC) then you’ll also enjoy Berlin-based Simon Mullan’s similarly sleek series-based way of repurposing design and fashion as art with social import. This impressive  installation in a former underground car park presents Mullan’s bomber jacket collages and geometric abstractions from cut tiles against the backdrop of a dark dance film. The film's audience, if you will, is Mullan's newest stream: self-standing metal frames which add an extra dimension to the pattern of the grout from the tile pieces, but without any tiles.   

*The Surface






Dalila Gonçalves: The clock has no place in the woods @ Lamb Arts, 10 White Horse Street – Green Park


To May 19:  www.lamb-arts.com


Edge, 2014: Plastic meridian of a desk globe and light and rotation mechanism

An artist asked to use found objects to explore time and materiality might fear the best ideas had already been taken. Still, how about turning the implied time of playing a CD into a Judd-like specific object of 750? Or arranging coins in order of the extent to which time and human agency had worn away the faces on them? Not bad, but it would be a step up to immerse lumps of dried clay in an aquarium and record and project the  break-down and its rumbling sound as if the scale and speed were geological; and a museum-worthy coup to set the arm from a globe spinning on the wall, creating an implied diurnal temporality out of the absence of our planet, and casting a sundial of shadow. All this and more is in the first London show by Porto-based Dalila Gonçalves. She brings something of a Brazilian sensibility to her practice, though maybe it’s Portugal having a London moment, as another fine show is Carlos Noronha Feio’s at Narrative Projects.


Untitled (CD's), 2016, 750 CD's
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Francis Bacon / Darren Coffield @ the Herrick Gallery, 93 Picadilly - Central

To 21 May -  www.herrickgallery.com

Francis Bacon (?): Untitled, (blue pope) pastel and coloured paper collage, 148x99cm
Alice Herrick, who moved east to west last year, has come up with a fascinating pairing here: the first London chance to see the large drawings somewhat controversially attributed to Francis Bacon (whether his or not, I don't much like them); photos of Bacon by Neil Libbert; and new work by Darren Coffield, who knew Bacon and is working on a history of his habitual haunt, the Colony Room Club. Coffield (best known for jumbling faces' ups and downs) shows paintings which are cut into puzzle templates, scrambled and reconstituted so that, as Eric Morcambe might have put it, all the right notes are present, but not necessarily in the right order. This proves a perceptual game with some queasy punch, especially in multiple portraits of a curiously disparate group Coffield happens to know: here are 5 Alexei Sales, 4 Peter Tatchells, 3 Margaret Zuckermans and 3 Hattie Hayridges, the pieces swapped across each the groups and sometimes extra unseen versions, too.
 
Darren Coffield: Peter Tatchel (i), 2015, acrylic on die-cut board, 42 x 32cm
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Michelle Dovey The Colourful Sausage Trees @ Gimpel Fils, 30 Davies Street - Mayfair













 Midsummer Red Trunk (Colourful Sausage Tree), 2015 - oil on canvas, 92 x 122 cm
There’s no shortage of art gardens and flowers available for spring, principally at the Royal Academy and the National Gallery, but Gimpel Fils provides an alternative splash of colour for spring. Michelle Dovey calls her current subject ‘sausage trees’, hinting slightly comically at how the forms are broken down. They’re made in one-off wet on wet sessions in her back garden in Wales, derive from her favorite oak, and utilise all the colours she sees around her but not (as Eric Morcambe might have told her) necessarily in the right order. The observation in all weathers take us to Monet, while her intuitive derivation of colour taken from - but free of - nature might place her somewhere between Matisse’s Fauve and late periods. Can that be such a bad place to be?


Self Portrait as a Dancing Tree, 2016 - oil on canvas, 92 x 122 cm
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Bonheur de Vivre @ Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 28 Duke St - Central


Henri Matisse: Jeune femme assise en robe grise, 1942
  
Most shows reflect something of their gallerist, but rarely as explictly as Bernard Jacobson here declares ‘this is me’ through the art joys in his life. Matisse is God in Jacobson’s world, and he makes an annual pilgrimage to the painter’s grave in Nice. Matisse leads by way of colour and light to Miro, Calder, Sam Francis and the show’s only living artist, William Tillyer. Jacobson regards Robert Motherwell as the greatest ever American painter. We differ slightly, as I don’t even rate Motherwell as the best painter in his own house during his marriage to Helen Frankenthaler*, but it’s good to see such a passionate show, and the selection of 16 works is exemplary enough that I was surprised to learn it’s all for sale.  

*that said, I haven’t read Jacobson’s book on Motherwell, which doubtless makes a case


Joan Miró: Femme et oiseau devant la nuit, 1944


                                                       _________________________



Jane Bustin: Rehearsal @ Copperfield, 6 Copperfield Street - Southwark


Faun (2015) acrylic, polyeurathane, copper pins, balsa wood, 50cm x 100cm
There are, I’d say, three ways of ‘infecting’ minimalism with the personal and lyrical: gesture, fragility and implied personal connections or narrative. Jane Bustin’s rigorously poised and openly beautiful geometries typically incorporate backstories, and here it is Nijinsky - in rehearsal, on the stage, in costume - as filtered through her son, who is himself a dancer and whose bodily dimensions are incorporated into the work. There is also some fragility: both in her characteristic use of potentially tarnishable copper, and in her new adoption of porcelain so thin it looks like paper. There’s also a hint of gesture in the circles formed on the porcelain by the rims of beakers – catching not just an implied choreographic movement echoed by studio practice, but Nijinsky’s favourite shape.

La Ronde (2015) Oxides on porcelain 23cm x 18cm

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John Smith @ Kate MacGarry,27 Old Nicol St - Shoreditch





Still from ‘Dad’s Stick’, 2012

It’s good to see John Smith showing solo in a commercial gallery in London, where his wry, structurally-aware films have tended to be shown more often institutionally. Kate MacGarry brings together a neat quartet of films themed for alterations in language: the comical effects of a smartphone’s translator app on the archetypal information overload of shop signage (‘Steve Hates Fish’, 2015); Smith’s droll assessment – heard forwards and backwards – of life in pre-1989 communist regimes (‘White Hole’, 2014);   a portrait of his father which feints towards interpreting his DIY enthusiasms as the art moves of a precursor (‘Dad’s Stick’, 2012); and the 1975 favourite ‘Associations’. 



Still from ‘Steve Hates Fish’, 2015
 
                                                       _________________________
                                

XL Catlin Art Prize @ 28 Redchurch St, Shoreditch to 22 May; Aglaé Bassens: Front Parting @ Cabin, Southfields to 11 June; Martine Poppe: Crinkled Escape Routes and Other Somewhat Flat Things @ Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Wandsworth to 18 June; Bread & Jam @ 52 Whitbread Rd, Brockley 27 May – 5 June

Jane Hayes Greenwood: In Bits, 2016 (detail, photo Tom Carter)

Early next year, I’ll be curating a show of my favourite young figurative painters, and three of the four just opened on the same night of 5 May! Jane Hayes Greenwood has gone big to big effect in the Caitlin prize show, in which Jamie Fitzpatrick (frenetically), Neal Rock (subtly) and Christopher Gray (horrifically) also stand out for distinctiveness of language.  On to Southfields, near Wimbledon, where Aglaé  Bassens has a beautifully nuanced interplay of transparences*; then Wandsworth, where Martine Poppe’s takes her feathery technique to the cusp of abstraction in paintings derived from photographs of an American road trip.  As for the fourth, Emma Cousin, she’s not idle, but will soon be playing curator herself at the latest of the adventurous Bread & Jam shows in Brockley (https://breadandjamwhitbread.wordpress.com). 

* See my text at www.Cabin-gallery.com for more

Martine Poppe installation view with tumbleweed scrunched versions of the photographs featured


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Jane Bustin: Rehearsal @ Copperfield, 6 Copperfield Street - Southwark


Faun (2015) acrylic, polyeurathane, copper pins, balsa wood, 50cm x 100cm
There are, I’d say, three ways of ‘infecting’ minimalism with the personal and lyrical: gesture, fragility and implied personal connections or narrative. Jane Bustin’s rigorously poised and openly beautiful geometries typically incorporate backstories, and here it is Nijinsky - in rehearsal, on the stage, in costume - as filtered through her son, who is himself a dancer and whose bodily dimensions are incorporated into the work. There is also some fragility: both in her characteristic use of potentially tarnishable copper, and in her new adoption of porcelain so thin it looks like paper. There’s also a hint of gesture in the circles formed on the porcelain by the rims of beakers – catching not just an implied choreographic movement echoed by studio practice, but Nijinsky’s favourite shape.

La Ronde (2015) Oxides on porcelain 23cm x 18cm

                                                     _________________________


Dalila Gonçalves: The clock has no place in the woods @ Lamb Arts, 10 White Horse Street – Green Park


To May 19:  www.lamb-arts.com


Edge, 2014: Plastic meridian of a desk globe and light and rotation mechanism

An artist asked to use found objects to explore time and materiality might fear the best ideas had already been taken. Still, how about turning the implied time of playing a CD into a Judd-like specific object of 750? Or arranging coins in order of the extent to which time and human agency had worn away the faces on them? Not bad, but it would be a step up to immerse lumps of dried clay in an aquarium and record and project the  break-down and its rumbling sound as if the scale and speed were geological; and a museum-worthy coup to set the arm from a globe spinning on the wall, creating an implied diurnal temporality out of the absence of our planet, and casting a sundial of shadow. All this and more is in the first London show by Porto-based Dalila Gonçalves. She brings something of a Brazilian sensibility to her practice, though maybe it’s Portugal having a London moment, as another fine show is Carlos Noronha Feio’s at Narrative Projects.


Untitled (CD's), 2016, 750 CD's
                                                    ________________________


Francis Bacon / Darren Coffield @ the Herrick Gallery, 93 Picadilly - Central

To 21 May -  www.herrickgallery.com

Francis Bacon (?): Untitled, (blue pope) pastel and coloured paper collage, 148x99cm
Alice Herrick, who moved east to west last year, has come up with a fascinating pairing here: the first London chance to see the large drawings somewhat controversially attributed to Francis Bacon (whether his or not, I don't much like them); photos of Bacon by Neil Libbert; and new work by Darren Coffield, who knew Bacon and is working on a history of his habitual haunt, the Colony Room Club. Coffield (best known for jumbling faces' ups and downs) shows paintings which are cut into puzzle templates, scrambled and reconstituted so that, as Eric Morcambe might have put it, all the right notes are present, but not necessarily in the right order. This proves a perceptual game with some queasy punch, especially in multiple portraits of a curiously disparate group Coffield happens to know: here are 5 Alexei Sales, 4 Peter Tatchells, 3 Margaret Zuckermans and 3 Hattie Hayridges, the pieces swapped across each the groups and sometimes extra unseen versions, too.
 
Darren Coffield: Peter Tatchel (i), 2015, acrylic on die-cut board, 42 x 32cm
                                                               ________________________

Das Institut @ the Serpentine Gallery – Kensington




One of the 80 slides in the series 'When You See Me Again It Won't Be Me', 2014
Das Institut’s show applies a wide range of languages (graphic alphabets projected in light; slapstick slideshows; self-portrait photograms; marbled paint on mylar; stained glass brushstrokes…)  and a cornucopia of identities – solo, dual, collaborative, fragmented, disguised, subconscious, oppositional. All to the point as the umlauted German duo Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder* explore the annihilation of the self through cooperative action (rather than losing one’s identity in the corporate and commercial world).  Rebecca Lewin’s catalogue essay cites Deleuze’s notion of the ‘dividual', as a ‘a person made of data which can be endlessly subdivided and recombined. It’s complex, yes, but worth spending time on – the more so as the midpoint of a wander via Hilma Af Klint at the other Serpentine space and Slate Projects’ latest at the Averard Hotel.


* say ‘Bretsch’ and ‘Rerder’


Three of Adele Röder's 'Solar Body Prints', 2013

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Graham Hudson: I lost my body but found my mind (Or, my only regret, is I did not fuck Che Guevara) @ CANAL, 60 De Beauvoir Crescent - Haggerston

To 14 May: www.canalprojects.info




Without saying you need to be mad to be an artist, it can sometimes help…and Graham Hudson seems to be drawing parallels with the clinically deluded in a show titled for quotes attributed to Jane Fonda. He cites a case study of someone with Cotard's Syndrome, in whihc you think you're dead, along with a revolving umbrella-heavy installation on which a light bulb is the stylus for a vinyl record of ‘test sounds’ such as traffic, table tennis and a fire alarm. Another room contains what could be an ironic self-portrait as a tub of muscle-builders’  supplement. However big his body (of work) might look, it seems, the artist will be convinced of its alarmingly slimness. No wonder Jane Fonda’s self-improving mindset comes in for mockery. So can Hudson square the circle of self-doubt and public presentation? He gets as far as rectangling a roll of tape by looping it onto the wall with fluent straightness.


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About Me

My photo
Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09) and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.

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