Sunday, 14 May 2017


Elger Esser: Morgenland  @ Parasol unit, Wharf Rd - Hoxton 

Salwa Bahry I (detail), Egypt, 2011. C-print, Diasec, 97 x 124 cm

The key to German Elger Esser’s photographs of conflicted territories which appear ‘too quiet’, in the classic Wayne-spoken formulation of the American Western, is his perfect pitch. That brings just the right degree of implication to modest-sounding proposals: ‘fake an archive of views from Israel / Palestine in 1948’;  ‘make big modern photos of Lebanon and the Nile look like fading postcards’; ‘ask another artist to complement your travelogue with paintings of local orchids’ and, best of all, 'show either side of a border view printed on either side of a sculpturally propped sheet of copper’. 

Installation view with 'One Sky' series centre: Photography by Ben Westoby, Courtesy of Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
George Rickey: Sculpture from the Estate & Sarah Braman: Here @ Marlborough & Marlborough Contemporary, 6 Albemarle St - Central
To May 20 (Rickey) / May 27 (Braman):

George Rickey: Column of Six Cubes with Gimbal, 1996 - Stainless steel, polychrome 83 x 32 x 32 in.

Marlborough has two outstanding sculptural shows by American artists. Downstairs are the elegant kinetics of George Rickey (1907-2002), all powered with expert calibration by the odd ceiling fan: not just his gleaming geometrical transformations, but a wild carrot and a sample of his more painterly late style - the  rotating coloured cubes of which  link seamlessly to the language of Sarah Braman upstairs. Her radical combinations of high art and vernacular, natural and fabricated, industrial and organic elements fuse, for example, tinted glass and welded cubes of steel with salvaged doors and rough-hewn tree stumps (she’s really enjoying a new chainsaw, she says). They include this fantastical parody of a bookcase, which is fully usable - but for just the one book.

Sarah Braman: Learning to Read, 2017, found chair, wood, fabric dye, acrylic paint, book, 49x49x42in.


Katarina Rankovic: ‘Vernacular Spectacular’ in Xhibit 2007 at Art Bermondsey Project Space, 183-185 Bermondsey St – Bermondsey

The Widow

There are obvious and less obvious reasons to visit Bermondsey at present: Larry Bell’s sculptural rooms of glass at White Cube, David Batchelor’s first wall paintings at Matt’s, Waltercio Caldas’ resonant precision at Cecelia Brunson Projects, Anita Klein’s joyous linocuts at Eames, a delightfully sharp survey of the ‘Eccentric Geometric’ at ARTHOUSE1…  There’s also a showcase for 32 University of the Arts London students, of which one would expect less. Yet several interesting works feature across three levels, and the basement includes a showreel of films by Katarina Rankovic which piqued my interest as much as anything in the area. Her practice, which she describes as a ‘one woman empathy circus’, sees her adapt her appearance, accent and manner to a range of characters in short monologues. They are knowingly theatrical yet convincing, astutely witty, and carry their sub-texts about the construction of the self and the making of art with a natural ease.   Go there or – as there isn’t long left – to

Others Will Love Me

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About Me

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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, The Art Newspaper and Border Crossings. I have curated five shows in London during 2013-15 with more on the way.Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.