Gallery run 29th January

Leake Street, love the different fonts.

Joe Bradley at Gagosian London with vivid abstract piece in a group show.

Edward Ruscha at Gagosian London with a painting of a blown out truck tyre on an open road.

Edward Hopper at Gagosian London in a group show.

Duan Hanson sculpture at Gagosian London. It really does make you do a double-take even with the expectation of seeing such a piece.

Josh Blackwell at Kate MacGarry with artworks made from bags that have been joined together into single artworks, perhaps using a hot press.

Katy Moran at Stuart Shave Modern Art showing abstracts that have used repurposed old paintings as a source of paintable surface and perhaps also of inspiration and context.

Rubem Valentim at Approach Gallery with sculpture and paintings that develop a Brazilian symbolism.

Josh Brand with quirky photographs at Herald Street.

Gallery run 14th November

Gallery run.

Sterling Ruby of Gagosian had commandeered huge welding tables and attached pans and faucets. The effect is a sort of romanticised blue-collar aesthetic.

Andrea Buttner at Hollybush Gardens has made a great version of the azure blue ceiling in the Arena Chapel at Padua by Giotto.

Torey Thornton of Stuart Shave Modern Art with paintings and objects closely relating to paintings. These seem to deliberate on nature and abstraction and the relation between them. Here we see chromosomes in an abstract composition.

Doug Aitkin of Victoria Miro Gallery with glowing sculptures depicting our Information Age.

Celia Paul of Victoria Miro Gallery with delicate portraits.

Peter Davies of Approach Gallery with gestural-abstraction-works inspired by small structured studies. The transition from study to the movement of paint splattering is unclear, which is a good thing.

Hana Miletic at Approach Gallery explores the craft heritage of Croatia and its capital Zagreb . Some of the work is aesthetically attractive, some is edgy and interesting. A zig zag of woven fabric copies the blue tape over a broken window that the artist had photographed.

This week’s update on the Gallery Runner route (yellow line). A longer run down the Regent’s Canal has taken the route off the map and onto the frame surrounding it. Lovely run, with sun and galleries. Today was 31 miles. Divide this by 20 and we get the body mass burnt off which is 1.55kg.
Here’s a thought. All too often such discussion leads to the “health” of losing weight, but isn’t the exact opposite the amazing thing. That the human body needs to use so little resources to propel itself round this distance. It will be about 50 of these runs before I have even used up my own body weight!

Gallery run 5th July

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Rosa Loy at The Approach with great German symbolic realism.

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Kasper Bosmans at The Approach with a small cosmic-looking painting. Fab piece.

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Brick Lane doorway. Love it, by the way!

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Collier Schorr of Stuart Shave Modern Art in a reclining pose for a selfie.

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Cosmic! Michelle Stuart at Alison Jacques Gallery with a grid made in 1969 and inspired by the moon.

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Keren Cytter of Pilar Corrias with imaginative use of reflective sheet that turns the gallery floor into a sort of makeshift projector screen helped by the intense spotlights coupled with dim over-lighting.

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Urs Fischer of Sadie Coles HQ with iPhone artworks showing the wit of the artist.

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Leonor Antunes at Marian Goodman Gallery with screens based on architectural and art motifs including those of Anni Albers.

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Juan Munoz of Frith Street Gallery with vividly drawn objects.

Gallery run 26th April

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Rezi Van Lankveld of Approach Gallery with great surreal, abstract paintings.

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Evren Tekinoktay at The Approach.

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Spencer Finch of Lisson Gallery showing at Whitechapel Gallery in Art For The Elizabeth Line.

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Paloma Varga Weisz of Sadie Coles HQ showing at Whitechapel Gallery.

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Maria Bartuszova of Alison Jacques showing at Whitechapel Gallery.

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Sondra Perry at Serpentine Galleries with a reinterpretation of a tragic event, originally depicted by Turner, of sick and weakened slaves being thrown overboard a ship to cash in on insurance payouts.

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Stefanie Heinze at Saatchi Gallery.

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Chris Hood at Saatchi Gallery.

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Pasta hanging off sculpture in preparation for studio lunch, with machine in the foreground. Iconic Peckham show with ArtCPGalleria.

Gallery run 15th December

Trinity Buoy Wharf lies in the crook of land between The Thames and the River Lee. Because of the two converging rivers, this area feels fairly isolated from nearby Canary Wharf and the Millenium Dome across the water to the south. It accommodates an artist community, as evidenced by the strange and beautiful sculptures that are scattered around, but it also enjoys a strong connection to the surrounding waters. A lightship is moored at one end of an open yard whilst opposite stands an assembly of crisscrossing shipping crates, populated by creative types who can observe their environment through circular porthole windows. After a bacon roll in Fatboy Diner the time has come to make an arching detour round the loops of the River Lee and across the top right of London’s map into Hackney.

The Approach gallery has drawings and paintings by Bill Lynch, who as we understand from the press release led a free-living existence, taking on decorating jobs to make ends meet, all the while exploring the intricacies of fluid mark-making, prevalent in the tradition of Japanese landscape drawing and calligraphy. A tree appears in one of the artist’s paintings and it is opening up its foliage with the energy of small coiled springs, a state of affairs depicted with tight, circular brush marks amongst the living network of dark twigs and branches.

At Maureen Paley, a neighbouring gallery in this East London cluster, Andrew Grassie has made paintings that rival even Vermeer in their precision and use of colour. They are barely bigger than postcards yet carry a wealth of detail. The white beams of an open roof space recede towards a vanishing point, whilst objects associated with a functioning studio, since this is the chosen subject matter of the series of seven paintings, appear as if by magic with minute flecks of coloured paint, all the while being contained within a flawless, photographic-like surface. A few doors away in Herald Street Gallery, a dinner plate sits on a plinth. Oliver Payne seems more interested in the various distractions that might divert us away from art rather than the many objects catalogued in the previous show that are intended to make us think of art-making itself. Indeed, it is a testament to the left-field nature of the present show that none of its objects conform to the canon outlined in the previous show, neither the plate of cold chicken and pasta sitting on the plinth nor the array of eight I-pads that, despite all their powerful processing capacity, have been requisitioned purely for the purpose of displaying a single image, something of course, which could have been done with a piece of back-lit cellophane, were the artist not interested in turning his critical eye on digital technology itself.

Finally, back south of the river, Gilbert and George have been having a giggle thinking up how the F-word can be inserted into short pithy slogans. As the eye scans across the alternate red and black fonts of F-word wallpaper a kind of rhythm emerges. The two artists switch between being the randy agents of various described acts outlined in block capitals on the one hand, to being puppeteers of the English language on the other. Familiar slogans become wilfully distorted as the artists introduce the necessary four letter insert. A game is being played, for which we know the rules, and which all the while is being powered by the free-flowing imaginations of G and G, revealing in the process a sort of inner portrait of the two artists.

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at Tate Modern with layered images.

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Trinity Buoy Wharf.

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Bill Lynch of The Approach Gallery with paintings on wood that appear to be inspired by the Japanese tradition of prints and calligraphy.

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Jack Lavender of Approach Gallery with assembled rocks and taxi cards.

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David Noonan of Stuart Shave Modern Art. The artist was there talking to friends about his work and it was great being able to eavesdrop!

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Andrew Grassie of Maureen Paley with photorealistic paintings.

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Oliver Payne of Herald Street with a new display format of wall-mounted iPads carrying a single image.

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Florian Meisenberg of Kate MacGarry.

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Gilbert and George at White Cube with rude words wall paper.

Gallery run 27th October

The main feature of today’s run is the exceptionally long and attractive stretch between Camden Arts Centre in the west and The Approach Gallery in the east of London. Over half of this journey is off-road.

Rewind two hours and I am in Newport Street Gallery at Damien Hirst’s fifth show since opening the showcase space for his own collection. Like Jeff Koons from an earlier show Dan Colen, along with Hirst himself, are all on the books of Gagosian. Without really following the logic of an argument, this simple association suggests maybe there is some swapping of priceless art pieces between these giants of the contemporary scene. Colen is included in this accolade because he is a rising star and his limited edition of glass bottle and glass cig butts on sale at the entrance for £1600 looks good value on this account. Colen’s works are summarised as essentially self-portraits, by the blurb, and that seems right. For as well as the photo-realist self portrait with its cartoon-like addition, featured, the sculptural works all involve an activity by the artist, be it sticking chewing gum to a canvas or collecting rubbish from New York’s streets and then turning it into improvised paint brushes.

The run north is a long one and features the Zabludowicz collection and the elegant pub-style carpet by Rebecca Ackroyd, before arriving at Camden Arts Centre. Language is a feature of Christian Nyampeta’s show. Some words, he argues, such as philosophy cannot be translated easily into his native tongue of Rwanda. Far from being a deficiency of his country’s languages it is almost the opposite. Western thought has ignored an important concept, which he refers to as “Being”, or more specifically “good will to fellow humans”. In contrast, words from his own culture, he argues, carry these additional connotations as part of their overall meanings. In the other gallery Nathelie Du Pasquier continues her foray into the London consciousness after having recently shown at Pace, and in this gallery she has made a brightly coloured installation suggestive of industrialisation through the tripling of her motifs which is reminiscent of the three phase power supply that remains segregated from generator to power line to factory.

The intermission referred to at the beginning, the long run between west and east, begins with Hampstead Heath. The hard-won altitude gained at Hampstead is quickly surrendered as one approaches the three ponds and with Highgate church now looming above, it is this ascent that will then provide the fantastic views across London before one enters the trees and scrubland of Parkland walk. As mentioned in previous runs, Parkland Walk is a disused railway line and thankfully today it is on a downwards gradient and, with its array of bridges over low roads and ornate arches under the higher ones, one that is remarkably constant in its gradual descent.

In the east, three artists are showing at The Approach gallery, whilst outside the downstairs pub police-style tape causes momentary alarm as it surrounds the railings of the outer seating space, before revealing its joke on closer inspection, as a Halloween prop and not the site of major incident. Artworks feature motorways and smoke from three of the gallery’s strong list of regulars.

Nearby, the building formally inhabited by Wilkinson gallery has been taken over by Stuart Shave. Josh Kline has cast familiar objects in concrete and then smashed them up slightly, whilst other objects have been cut in half with some extremely effective cutting tool. Having achieved the precision of a smooth cut through the variety of materials making up consumer objects, the plastic of a knob and the steel of a fascia, the artist has then taped together two incongruous halves. A twin of different shape but similar function ensures that this part of the process looks impromptu and scruffy like some final ironic comment about the objects and perhaps also about the process of making art.

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Dan Colen represented by Gagosian showing at Newport Street Gallery. Beautifully painted and a witty dialogue between cherub and a rather austere looking silver medallion.

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Rebecca Ackroyd at Zabludowicz Collection with a carpet design that explores Britishness referencing, in particular, the pub carpet.

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Christian Nyampeta at Camden Arts Centre with an installation and video work that explores the problem of translating western concepts such as philosophy into the language of the Rwandan people.

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Nathalie Du Pasquier at Camden Arts Centre with bold images using isometric drawing, a graphic technique that doesn’t rely on perspective.

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Sam Windett of The Approach with paintings incorporating collage based around the themes of roads and driving.

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John Stezaker of The Approach with pictures of smoke without its cause, in other words heavily cropped chimneys.

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Lisa Oppenheim of The Approach with solarised smoke photographs.

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Josh Kline at Stuart Shave Modern Art with cut up and reassembled objects.

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Tim Rollins and KOS of Maureen Paley with drawn-on texts.

Gallery Run 6th August

Sculpture in the City 2017 is a trail of artworks in London’s square mile and is the destination for today’s run. With the sun shining I head towards Limehouse Basin before taking an eastwards loop that comprises the three links of the Limehouse Cut, the River Lee and finally the Hertford Union Canal. Having effectively done three sides of a square, the loop rejoins the Regent’s Canal and the waterway makes quick progress along its direct route towards Islington. It drops me off at Old Street and from here there is only a short distance to go before the beginning of the trail on the A10 near Tower 42.

Mark Wallinger’s sculpture of a thoroughbred horse stands sleekly in the lunchtime sun absorbing the rays through a dark bronze patina. A group of children stand by it and pose for a family snap. Just down the A10 is the next piece by Martin Creed. He has used plastic bags placed amongst the branches of a tree to create a colourful spectacle whilst copying the manner in which an individual bag might create an unfortunate eyesore, thereby allying this attractive artwork to its antithesis created by chance from the city’s litter.

Last year the route was V shaped and the apex of the V was Leadenhall market. This had provided an enchanting gateway to the blue chip buildings that cluster around the core of the City in homage to some of the world’s finest architects. This year the destination is the same but the numbering of the trail suggests a more prosaic progress along the trail with a simple left turn off the A10. The magic is quickly restored, though upon seeing the next two artworks lit by shafts of sunlight that have made their way through this towering core of buildings. Ryan Gander’s artwork continues the theme of an incidental object that has attached itself to a tree. Not a bag this time but a parachute. Alongside this are four blue tanks and when put together the narrative suggests perhaps a vertical descent of some vital supplies over a last few fictitious seconds before becoming embedded amongst the branches one is currently looking at. In contrast, Paul McCarthy’s work nearby uses none of the resident objects in the plaza to create its narrative but rather through its scale looks as though it has always been here. It consists of two giant figures that are almost as big as the trees populating the plaza. Characteristic of the artist, little nut-like protrusions give the figures a cartoonish quality.

The remaining artworks are an eclectic mix. Daniel Buren presents a classic four colour composition with accompanying black and white striped frame whilst Gary Webb has used the natural colours of exotic materials to create a delicious looking sculpture stacked up like a fruit sundae. A little further along the street Damian Hirst presents a colourful bronze anatomical figure of a man. Finally Karen Tang’s piece called “Synapse”, a large fibreglass construction comprising five or six yellow and green sausage-like elements, gets the biggest endorsement of the day from a group of kids who rush over to it saying “wow”!

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Regent’s Canal.

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Mark Wallinger of Hauser and Wirth, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Martin Creed of Hauser and Wirth, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Ryan Gander of Lisson Gallery, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Paul McCarthy of Hauser and Wirth, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Daniel Buren of Lisson Gallery, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Gary Webb of The Approach Gallery, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Damien Hirst, Sculpture In The City 2017.

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Karen Tang, Sculpture In The City 2017.