Gallery run 7th February

Stan Douglas at Victoria Miro Gallery. Split-screen film with two narratives.
A returning astronaut occupies two realities simultaneously. One is hostile one is friendly.

Kings Cross cranes.

Li Qing at Almine Rech with double-paintings (amongst other works) which suggest “this” or “that” of various experiences.

Melvin Edwards at Stephen Friedman. Metal chains, locks , and here barbed wire symbolise imprisonment and containment, pertinent especially to slavery.

Hedda Sterne at Victoria Miro Gallery with horizontally divided paintings suggestive of seascapes with added layers to complete the composition.

Isa Genzken at Hauser And Wirth with an in-flight experience.

Alina Szapocznikow at Hauser And Wirth with resin sculptures depicting human forms and states.

An My Le at Marian Goodman Gallery with photos that evolved from Vietnamese photo- journalism, focussing on politics.

Massimo Bartolini at Frith Street Gallery with a sound organ artwork. The rotating drum yanks at pull-chords for loud blasts and catches hanging metal strips for delicate chimes.

Gallery run 29th November

Richard Deacon at Lisson Gallery with strained, stressed and, here, undulating forms.

Tony Cragg at Lisson Gallery with stacked forms with highly worked and intricate surfaces.

Bright oil pattern on a sunny day.

Hilary Lloyd at Sadie Coles with images and sounds from her adopted Thamesmead.

Erik Lindman at Almine Rech with attractive, shard-like paintings with glimmers of light and colour set in plain backgrounds.

Merlin Carpenter at Simon Lee Gallery with bright well-worked paintings offering some surreal twists.

Ged Quinn at Stephen Friedman Gallery with images that carry interesting surface markings that work with and against the 3d landscapes depicted.

Mark Bradford at Hauser and Wirth with amazingly intricate paintings that have underlying stacked paper structures.

Fiona Banner at Frith Street Gallery with sea-like images and objects plus a marvellous text detachable from a giant pile at the gallery entrance.

Gallery run 7th November

1361Art Marathon. Weekly runs tracked on GPS with stats, plus drop-ins at 8 galleries.
Eight pictures posted weekly plus the updated map.

1362Patrick Staff at Serpentine Gallery explores some of the problems humankind faces. Acid rain is simulated in the gallery with this metal drum filling up with lactic acid and acetic acid. For those into biology, these are mild organic acids important in cell metabolism.

1363Peter Doig at Michael Werner.
Gallery 12 on my map.

1364Alvaro Barrington at Sadie Coles HQ with evocative paintings.
Gallery 13 on my map.

1365Claire Tabouret at Almine Rech with elegant portraits.
Gallery 15 on my map.

1366Cy Twombly at #GagosianLondon with classic style sculpture made from simple materials and some then cast in bronze.
Gallery 14 on my map.

1367Lisa Brice at Stephen Friedman exploring alternative representations of the female figure.
Gallery 21 on my map.

1368Grayson Perry at Victoria Miro Gallery with pots and woven carpets that explore social themes.
Gallery 22 on my map.

1369Betty Parsons at Alison Jacques Gallery with beautiful painted wooden sculptures.
Gallery 28 from my map.

Gallery run 20th June

1331Dulwich Pavilion inspired by the Nigerian cloth patterns of artist Yinka Ilori‘s native country. Pricegore architects complete an impressive team.

1332Serpentine Pavilion, what a fantastic jagged roof it has!

1333It’s here!
This year’s Serpentine Pavillion has arrived, curtesy of the architect Junya Ishigami. The rock-covered roof was the chief design consideration and all else is periphery. A crow was the inspiration , the wings mimicked by several tons of slate. Destination, due South!, since for added impact the roof is also aligned to due South, tapering to the rear in the NE and NW directions.

1334He’s still as ascerbic as ever. Blah, blah, blah. The colours are stunning, helped by the velvet fabric. The old print set hasn’t changed but the experimentation with paint continues apace. Mel Bochner at Simon Lee Gallery.

1335Jannis Kounellis at Almine Rech Gallery.
These striking letter-canvases are inspired by ship’s lettering in the artist’s native home of Piraeus, Greece’s shipping port close to Athens.

1336Howardena Pindell at Victoria Miro with collages comprised of paper chads- those circular discs of paper made from hole punchers. Not to be confused with hanging Chad or Florida 2000. These artworks are very beautiful and represent the artist’s mature phase, set against her determination to recover from a severe car accident.

1337Well this is the subject of many an art school dissertation on movement and it’s arrived in London, in the flesh, as it were. Even in its latent state with power switched off it can’t resist a few impromptu light events, Obviously the shadows below are staged, but the refractions further up casting light pools on the surrounding walls are more telling of the machine’s potential to play with light. This is Lazlo Moholy Nagy‘s light machine -a sort of hybrid cross between film projector and stop-motion light house. On show at Hauser and Wirth.

1338Keith Tyson at Hauser and Wirth exploring the genre of flower painting. This is the standout example for me as there are allusions to swamps and a wider ecosystem. A question, though, to an old colleague and technophile. Is single, vanishing-point perspective appropriate, for rendering nature?
Nature is no friend of our Cartesian systems as the ironic quoting of equations attests. But the flowers are nevertheless signifying something with their spiral patterns in these photorealistic paintings. Do we consider the Aesthetics, or do we look deeper at some strange flower-sprouting- laws based on osmotic pressures and electric field lines, perhaps?

1339Francis Bacon at Gagosian Gallery They are all behind glass which makes them a pain to photograph, oblique angle photo to remove my own reflection followed by correction using the tilt toolbox- is not really the way to experience art. Being there , however, brings a few sublime moments and the eye’s remarkable ability to selectively choose its depth of field offers are far more forgiving editing of miscellaneous reflections.

Gallery run 3rd May

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Julian Opie at Alan Cristea Gallery with the ubiquitous vinyl support now raised to the level of very good, high art.

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Helen Frankenthaler at Victoria Miro.

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Richard Serra of Gagosian with thickly covered sheets of paper, revealing uncovered edges built into the composition.

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Matthias Bitzer of Almine Rech Gallery with faces, mediating mathematical forms and his characteristic alternating light and dark bands of paint.

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John Chamberlain of Gagosian with posthumous artwork of crushed car parts shown in conjunction with his estate.

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Urs Fischer of Sadie Coles HQ with an emerging nude figure.

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Eric N Mack at Simon Lee Gallery with multi-media images and spaces.

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Karen Kilimnik of Sprueth Magers with small, vivid paintings. The effect of her imagination is clear from the explosion and bullet traces that have been frozen for the single moment of the composition.

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Spot the front door with letter box and street number 69, drawn onto this shelter along with the more obvious added brickwork.

Gallery run 9th March

The day begins with a jog up to White Cube Gallery in Mason’s Yard. Minjung Kim has used traditional Korean craft techniques to lay down layers of ultra-thin mulberry tree paper into rhythmic compositions. The paper has many uses outside of art in the artist’s native country including as window panes, due to its strength even in thin layers allowing light to diffuse between the various natural fibres. Downstairs, the artworks are vividly coloured. The paper has been dyed and applied in layers, with each piece burnt along one edge in a ritualistic gesture by the artist, one that we are told is accompanied by the smell of incense and a discipline of complete silence. The overall effect on the artworks is to create textured regions of intense colour reminiscent of flowers and natural vegetation.

In Sprueth and Magers just across Piccadilly, Anthony McCall is displaying a light installation. His use of a smoke-like mist in these light-works, allows the experience to be a 3D one rather than just the conveyance of an image from one flat medium, a digital Jpeg in a projector, to a screen on the far wall. Yes, the screen is still present as the final destination for the image, but the light wends its way through wisps of smoke, like in those cigarette-friendly cinemas of one’s youth, catching the little eddies of particles on the way, creating straight shimmering beams of light across the room. The image itself is simple enough, a single line that is curved into an ellipse, sometimes perfectly rounded, sometimes dislocated into a stepped join between end and beginning, but the transition between the two is captivating as the digital projector slowly cycles from the one to the other.

At Grosvenor Hill a few hundred metres further on, is the Gagosian Gallery. A burst of applause echoes from within the furthest room. Glenn Brown had given me a great tutorial twenty years ago and he is instantly recognisable as the same chap. With his address to a group of visitors in the background and my own sketchy knowledge of some of his main artistic concerns gleaned during that generous four hour tutorial, the work on display takes on an extra depth. The painting is ultra flat as many of us would be familiar with, whilst the waxy trails of paint from the historical canon he explores, are simulated with intricate brushwork. These labour intensive works used to net the artist just a couple of pounds an hour, a fact which he presented as a footnote to the precarious business of being an artist, during the aforementioned tutorial. It was interesting to hear from this address that whilst the paintings are still labour intensive, twenty years later, the intricate sketching style of some of the accompanying drawings is actually very quick to execute. Here, expertise of his medium appears to have allowed the artist to bend some of those time constraints of the beautiful painted works, and create an image that takes on the same rapid fluidity as those very lines he has imitated.

A second major gallery sits just round the corner and is the home of Almine Rech. Gunther Forg has several large photographs on display of variously imposing buildings. These are neo-classical in style and each is emblazoned with a title depicting the particular institution it houses. Whilst the titles such as GEOLOGIA and MUSICA are true to the original photographs, rendered in various block capitals in concrete or metal, and sitting above the grand entranceways, they nevertheless form a more extended and general index of knowledge, one which is familiar to us from library shelves and TV documentaries. Meanwhile, the buildings have a grand scale themselves, both in their photographic representation and in their actual physical size. Presented together along one wall, the images appear monumental and we get that rare sense of an illusionistic space that is actually bigger than the expansive gallery it has been presented in.

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Minjung Kim at White Cube who makes images from thin layers of mulberry tree paper.

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Tonico Lemos Auad of Stephen Friedman.

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Bjarne Melgaard of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac with recently finished work that fills the room with an aroma of linseed oil and paint from their drying surfaces.

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Sturtevant at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

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Anthony McCall at Sprueth Magers with slowly moving light projections, which uses a smoke-like substance in addition to a screen, to capture the image. The public are encouraged to move through the space and disrupt the image.

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Bosco Sodi of Blain Southern with a piece at Philips.

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Glenn Brown of Gagosian showing paintings where the brush marks of oil paint are simulated with a flat almost photographic surface.

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Gunther Forg of Almine Rech.

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Sculptures on Grosvenor Hill.

Gallery run 20th October

At Stephen Friedman Gallery Rivane Nauenschwander has produced an installation based on the Brazilian version of the board game known in the UK as risk. Flags represent the individual countries that the players would normally roll dice for in their pursuit of world domination. Long all-nighters with friends playing this game have imbued this artwork with a particular aura for me. Round the corner in Grafton Street Sprueth Magers have been doing a refit to their gallery. It looks very slick and the formerly creaking floorboards have now been lovingly preserved and firmly secured. Gary Hume has experimented with gloss paint on paper and the effect is very interesting. The painted surface takes on a mottled form due to the paper support yielding in some way to the gloss, yet it still looks as though it has the solidity of a worked and beaten metal support.

Further down Grafton Street at David Zwirner, Sherrie Levine is displaying work made by re-photographing some iconic images made in a 1940 project to document rural American life during The Great Depression. The display itself is striking with about 50 images hung in a perfect grid on the gallery wall. After visiting this hub of three closely placed galleries the next stop is Grosvenor Hill where Almine Rech and Gagosian have created a new hub comprising two expansive white spaces. The former gallery is showing Ernst Wilhelm Nay. The abstract paintings are reminiscent of seeds and foliage yet they are not restricted to this interpretation. This ambiguity lends them an additional magic which also complements their perfect balance of colour.

The word is out that Almine Rech and Gagosian have teamed up with the estate of Tom Wesselmann. Both galleries have produced identical press releases describing the artist’s shaped canvases that predominate in his series of bedroom paintings. Various bedside objects such as clocks and designer lamps interweave the limbs, feet and hands that the artist has sketched and then blown up into full size paintings. In the Gagosian on Davies Street a subtle black and white maquette of two painted boards placed in front of one another simulate the two ends of a bed. A large pair of elegant feet obscure the rest of a body whilst the lamp peers out from further behind. This completes the Mayfair region for today and now it is time to embark on the old favourite route along the Regent’s canal whereupon one arrives at the gas storage frameworks that offer a familiar landmark for Hackney.

Two of the new galleries exhibiting at Frieze this year are Campoli Presti and Hales gallery, whilst a new artist has been taken on at Herald Street, called Jessi Reaves. These additions offer the chance to see three new artists in this region of the city which is really the birthing place for new talent and with its exceptionally high rate of Turner Prize nominations is also sustainable in its own right with no need to interact with or be fostered by the Mayfair galleries to the west. Jessi Reaves is an American artist and hence of international importance, who makes sculptures from old furniture. The assistant in the gallery invites me to sit down on the rebuilt comfy chairs and this highlights the critical space that the work operates in, being utilitarian in some respects but stripped of any designer chic. Concluding this exploration after a quick stop at Beigal Bake is a visit to Hales gallery. Since its early days on Deptford High Street as a well respected gallery cafe, it has now become important internationally. Frank Bowling is one of seventeen artists on their books and he is showing colourful abstract paintings incorporating small objects offered up by friends, as well as cutting and sewing, which all contribute to a complex and interesting surface.

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Rivane Neuenschwander of Stephen Friedman Gallery with an installation based on the board game risk. Each flag represents a risk territory. On the back is written “war”. This would be “risk” in the Uk version.

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This paving slab on Grafton Street appears to be made up of two parts?

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The gallery is open again! Gary Hume of Sprueth Magers uses his trademark gloss to produce a mottled finish on paper in his new works.

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Sherrie Levine has rephotographed and appropriated American Depression photos of farmers by Russell Lee. What was once an attempt to boost morale when they were made in 1940 has now become historical document. Shown at David Zwirner gallery.

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Ernst Wilhelm Nay at Almine Rech Gallery. Beautiful images with natural motifs but in bright colours.

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Brice Marden of Gagosian using terre verte, green earth pigment, from several well known paint suppliers, has produced 9 canvases of varying greenness.

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Tom Wesselmann at Gagosian with Bedroom Paintings.

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Jessi Reaves of Herald Street with sculpted furniture, cut up and reassembled.

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Frank Bowling of Hales Gallery with abstract compositions on stitched canvases.