Gallery run 22/2/19

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Tracey Emin at The White Cube Bermondsey until 9th March. Work entitled Another Goodbye in the show A Fortnight of Ashes.

This show focuses on the powerful feelings evoked by love, sex, death and loss. In this piece, located in a room Tracey has renamed the Ashes Room, is a remembrance of the artist’s dead mother.

Remembrance and memory are the themes of this show and the power that they hold over us are clearly visible here. For Tracey, the memorabilia of her past are displayed in glass vitrines, rather like the sealed vessels of Prousts Remembrance of Things Past that hold the long forgotten memories of past habits and routines shared with loved ones. Just as Proust’s vessels burst open when triggered with a sensation often of smell or taste, it looks like these glass vitrines too have been smashed apart and plied their powerful subject matter upon the work in the show.

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Staging Jackson Pollock at The Whitechapel Gallery until 24th March. Not so much about the American artist himself as rather a narrative of two intertwining events. Firstly, the display and eventual purchase of a beautiful painting called number 9, Summertime, by the Tate Gallery and secondly the ground breaking exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery back in 1958, of Jackson Pollock’s works, where this painting was originally displayed on a bespoke wall by modernist architect Trevor Dannat. The wall ran right through the middle of the gallery and epitomised the brutalist architecture of the day. Alongside all this archive material is the real thing. Number 9 has been lent back to the Whitechapel for this show and it is still looking resplendent.

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Woskerski mural near BrickLane.

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Hyon Gyon at Parasol Unit, until 31st March. Work entitled We Were Ugly.

This enormous work running the length of the gallery is composed of 17 styro-foam blocks in the traditional builder’s dimensions of 4 feet wide by 8 feet high. Here the similarities to the building trade comes to an end, however. The bright painted surfaces have been burnt with a soldering iron revealing the blue granular layer that comprises the region behind the picture surface. Paint fuses into this nether world and offers a comparison to the artist’s own psyche, we are told.

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Me in front of my works Life In A Cell and Psychic Space exploring the hidden realities in nature and science.
This is my base in Peckham, Ideas Lab and the start point for each #galleryrunner event.

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John Korner at Victoria Miro until 23rd March. Work entitled Apples as Architecture, 2019 in the show Life in a Box.

For John Korner, apples are a mini-theme and one that I both recognise and love. Previous apple works are Apple Bombs and Running Along Apples. This mini-collection of apple works also offers a clue as to why this show should seem to be all about dynamism, with its running figures, sports track and climbing-frame bar where you receive free alcohol shots on a Friday afternoon, yet its title Life in a Box should simultaneously seem so static. The apples in Korner’s paintings are not strictly still, but pulse across the picture surface leaving behind their glowing after-images. Thus grids and boxes as exemplified by these vibrant apples are therefore only temporary states. Everything is ultimately dynamic and changing.

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Peter Joseph at Lisson Gallery, until 2nd March. Work entitled Dark Blue, Mushroom, Light Blues, Greens and Yellow 2016

These enigmatic works give little away on an intellectual level but nevertheless show the acute aesthetic sensitivity of a 90 year old artist at the top of his game.

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Liu Xiaodong at Lisson Gallery, until 2nd March. Work entitled Weight of Insomnia (Beijing) 2016, in the show Weight of Insomnia.

In a glass vitrine we see a typed proposal for a kind of painting machine, three in fact, that could work tirelessly for several weeks depicting three different landscapes from digital images captured by CCTV. By a certain good fortune one of these CCTV regions would be outside the artist’s own apartment and is the image shown here.
This and the other two images were a great success in the artist’s native China and the project continued to grow, incorporating iconic squares and public spaces in many other countries. The machines are still painting night and day, and one of them is even on show and at work in the present exhibition, where we see scaffolding, some delicate wires, a kind of makeshift print-head and finally a small laptop displaying the CCTV image providing the electronic subject matter of its current painting of Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square.

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Miroslav Balka at White Cube, until 9th March. Show title, Random Access Memory.

Walls are the theme of many news stories currently and here we have two. They are made of corrugated metal sheet, heated to a temperature of 45 degrees, which apparently is the temperature at which the enzymes within organisms begin to denature and their cells die, but when this temperature is delivered by objects resembling giant radiators, they actually feel lovely to rest against. Random Access Memory, the type used by computers to store data, is the show title that adds a more sinister note to these giant structures straddling the galleries.

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Gallery run 10th July

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Angela De La Cruz of Lisson Gallery with paintings and metal shutters pulled off their frames.

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Christopher Le Brun at Lisson Gallery with abstract paintings. Some have the paint applied straight from the tube which leaves pleading scratch marks from the nozzles.

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Edward Keinholz at Blain Southern with sculptures from found objects.

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Alex Hartley of Victoria Miro with two-layer paintings combining foliage and architecture.

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Pipilotti Rist at Hauser and Wirth. Trust me!

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Fischli and Weiss at Hauser Wirth with a giant vase.

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Alexander Calder at Ordovas with a black flower mobile.

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Cindy Sherman of Sprueth Magers with film star style self portraits. A hint of cleverly contrived faded glamour too.

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Lydia Okumura at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac with a retrospective. Made with painted wire mesh.

Gallery run 17th May

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Ian Cheng of Pilar Corrias at Serpentine Gallery with animated figures that follow their own wills created by AI programming.

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Hermann Nitsch at Massimo De Carlo with paintings inspired by controversial performances by the artist, involving public dissections of bulls and other animals intertwined with religious themes.

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Sarah Cain at Timothy Taylor with great abstract paintings.

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Markus Lupertz of Michael Werner with a series of tent paintings he made in the 60’s from catalogue photos.

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Newly decorated phone box outside Lisson Gallery.

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Mary Corse at Lisson Gallery with highly reflective paintings that use micro glass beads familiar from road signs.

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Richard Long of Lisson Gallery with a flint circle.

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A radiant glow from a government building no less.

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Dieter Roth at Rob Tufnell with a piece referencing the Daily Mirror newspaper.

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 13th April

Like last week, this Gallery-Run-write-up has been reduced to the individual photo captions, shown further down the page, in order to make room for a temporary project called Plus 1 that now follows. Guests join me, hopefully, on a gallery run and will share ideas. Alas there are still no takers, though admittedly I still haven’t really asked anyone else yet, beyond the hopeful invitations shown last week. This week’s article features something entirely different, though still comprising a sort of plus 1, whilst also verging on the confessional! For two months I learnt the names of artists associated with London-Frieze-exhibiting galleries, from lists of paper whilst out jogging being careful not to run into lampposts or pedestrians. Each list could be hand-held and studied. Some even show the effects of rain or of being stuffed into a pocket. Along with a two word summary of something that each artist did, the process helped to create a stack of memory boxes that follows the sequence of the numbered lists shown in the photograph below. The memory boxes automatically bring forth the next in the stack, provided they are cycled through in recall about once every fortnight. The boxes also bring with them an essence of each artist, since they have gradually filled up with experiences of gallery visits. Memory is a strange thing and this sequential recall is probably born through the need to piece together consecutive events in time, something the philosopher David Hume considered to be the rather unphilosophical survival function that shapes the human brain.

listsThe Lists Cycle. Gallery Runner lists in the foreground.

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Pablo Bronstein of Herald Street Gallery with a film that crosses the glam game show format with some of the grand narratives of Greek mythology.

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Bernard Cohen at Flowers Gallery.

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Elizabeth Murray of Pace Gallery showing at Victoria Miro with what looks like biological imagery on the shaped canvas.

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Joan Mitchell at Victoria Miro in a group show.

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Carlos Garaicoa at Parasol Unit with reconstructions of tiled Cuban adverts, albeit with a few alterations.

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Fab boat in Camden.

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Ryan Gander of Lisson Gallery with carved shapes from an important mathematical blueprint. Meanwhile the black pile of sand steadily grows during the show from a thin stream of sand falling out of a hole in the ceiling.

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Pedro Reyes of Lisson Gallery with a room full of sculpture and wall tableaux forming a complete system of ideas, some executed and some pending.

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Ian Cheng of Pilar Corrias showing at Serpentine Galleries. We see what appears to be a simple animation but gradually learn that the creature is living in real time and using a sort of AI to try things out and get used to its rather unusual body.

Gallery run 15th February

Gallery runs by artist, jogger and London explorer Julian.

Gagosian Gallery, which is on Brittania Street near Kings Cross, has been between exhibitions for several weeks and the two present shows by Nancy Rubins and Vera Lutter are therefore much awaited. They don’t disappoint! The scale of work by both artists is stunning. For Nancy Rubins the scale requires engineering solutions to hold her sculptures together. Assembled metal objects originating from scrap yards and fairgrounds are secured to a network of cross linking metal cables. These cables allow the sculptures to project way beyond the relatively small plinths that they sit upon. Furthermore, the placement of these cables forms an elaborate system of cantilevers which incorporate the various objects on display into their design. The art objects then, rather like Calder’s mobiles, serve both as surface for contemplation as well as physical mass within this larger system.

In contrast Vera Lutter’s works, whilst being physically large, draw their true impact from the scale of the machinery that underpins them. Her works are giant negatives which are about 3.5 metres high, roughly 100 times the height of old fashioned film negatives. It is of no surprise, therefore, that the object she has used for a camera carries a similar multiplication of scale. It’s a shipping container no less. The various expanses of photographic negative before us in the gallery are a sort of physical trace of the walls of this container that they would have been stuck against during their exposure and on this account they bring with them a sense of the magnitude of the container itself, its steel plate and enormous mass. If this double reading were not enough, though, the artist has then presented yet another level of engagement with the images. For they are of the world’s largest radio telescope and this creates a powerful metaphor of observation through use of only the faintest of signals. The faint traces of energy from outer space would be equivalent in some way to the almost imperceptible light reaching the pieces of film inside the container.

The next section of the run is over the hill at Angel. This means leaving the canal behind as it disappears into a very long tunnel and hot-footing it across to the other side. Back by the water, another lock serves to drop its level, before a spur of water branches out sideways past Victoria Miro gallery. A great show by David Altmejd at Stuart Shave Modern Art, a gallery slightly further on, is followed by a return to the canal and a visit to Stuart Shave’s second gallery space in Hackney. Paul Lee has produced several combinations of canvas and tambourines, the latter being a familiar trope for the artist, and they have an interesting sensuous quality due to a sort of exchange of physical properties from their close proximity. The tightly stretched skins of both objects, both sitting about 2 inches away from the wall, unite to produce a sort of extended space across their combined surfaces.

In contrast to these, the artist has produced four wall-mounted objects that appear, at first sight, to be no more than a cluster of recyclables, fabrics and bits of wire. However, they have a great sense of freedom to their forms, something that would require either chance processes for their assembly or else the application of sound artistic principles to block any unwanted rational processes of repetition, use of pre-established pattern or over reliance on an external narrative. None of these deficiencies here and what’s more for good measure, the central core of each object, which may well have been fashioned from a fizzy drink can, offers the one-off surprise to a viewer taking a closer look, that they are actually portraits of a male face rendered in black screen print style ink. Though small, this figurative element offers a strong contrast to their constructivist style.

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Antonio Calderara at Lisson Gallery.

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On the Regent’s Canal. A new layer of image just added with the yellow sign.

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Nancy Rubins of Gagosian Gallery.

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Vera Lutter of Gagosian Gallery with images of one of the world’s largest radio telescopes made using a giant pinhole camera constructed from a shipping container.

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David Altmejd of Stuart Shave, Modern Art with plaster reliefs inspired by the complex biological evolutions of organisms.

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Paul Lee of Stuart Shave, Modern Art.

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Eddie Peake of White Cube with an immersive installation.

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He Xiangyu of White Cube with small clusters of wire and pieces of metal that had benn smuggled out of North Korea to China for a pitifully small cash price.

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Andrea G Artz has produced novel photographic origami pieces at Crol And Co.

Gallery run 20th December

Rose Wiley has a show at the Serpentine Gallery and the jog out west from Peckham proceeds over Lambeth Bridge, along the Embankment to Chelsea before finally reaching the damp Autumn grass of Hyde Park. In the show, a great painting made of several panels, has been installed where two walls meet at right angles. A sort of half panorama is the result. Several figures float around the space, sporting tabs like the kind that were used in children’s cut-out kits for adding outfits and interspersed amongst these figures are various symbols such as ovals and bits of text, each deeply evocative. The overall effect is a painting that feels like a powerful memory since, in addition to the aforementioned symbols, there is also an extensive network of completely untouched canvas. The artist hasn’t tried to fill this space, as would be the case in a normal panorama functioning as a window on the world, but rather has left the raw canvas as a conduit allowing the eye to move smoothly from one symbol to the next.

To the north of Hyde Park lies the little cul-de-sac of canal called the Paddington Basin, and it is via this little stretch of waterway that one then arrives at Lisson Gallery, spared in the meantime from hearing the thunderous A40 traffic, by a sort of emotional bubble that this charming stretch of canal has put in place. Carmen Herera paints jagged forms that jump across the canvas like lightening bolts and it is in the first of Lisson’s two galleries that the viewer encounters them. In addition there is a surprise. The artist has installed a three-dimensional structure, about the size of two back to back wardrobes and with its shiny blue paint, it seems to encourage various dialogues with the other brightly coloured paintings in the show.

In the second gallery are artworks by Roy Colmer from the 1970’s. Think back to the tech prevalent then and we have bulky old TV sets with horizontal band patterns, flickering away due to the limits of their technology. These are exactly what the artist has evoked in his paintings with their uniformly wide bands of colour. The unique quality of these bands is that they change colour during a single pass and this is what makes them hard to pin down as simply a band of coloured paint, a feat achieved, we are told, by the artist having rigged the spray gun to switch colour whilst still applying the paint in a continuous stream.

Lastly, in Brewer Street, Amanda Wilkinson has set up a new gallery after the restructuring of what was previously Wilkinson gallery. She has taken approximately half of the original artist list and of these artists, Jewyo Rhii, is showing a great installation of make-shift printing devices. Reversed lettering and some strange pivoted arms along with black lettering marks on the gallery wall accompanied by various drips and splats, provides the evidence that these machines actually work, up to a fashion. A lump of rock has been placed in a makeshift tray and this seems to function quite literally as a power supply in the manner of the swinging motion of a pendulum in a clock. With this low tech set-up the artist has enabled the viewer to turn away from the immediate function of a printing device and, rather as Roy Colmer had done, in fact, with his depictions of the TV raster pattern, offer instead a profound meditation on the general nature of the reproduced image without the burdensome presence of the duplication devices themselves.

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The Gingerbread City in Museum of Architecture with different companies of architects offering various cameos that have fitted together in this carefully designed edible city.

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Rose Wylie at Serpentine Gallery with a panoramic artwork that uses a novel method to portray the human figure.

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Carmen Herrera of Lisson Gallery with evocative hard edge paintings.

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Roy Colmer at Lisson Gallery with subject matter based on old flickering 70’s TV sets, but using a cleverly rigged spray gun that can change colour on a single pass.

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Susan Hiller of Lisson Gallery with painted over wallpaper allowing bits of cartoon and word-caption to show through.

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Bex Simon has designed this great public participation artwork on Westminster Magistrates Court.

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Gower Street birthplace of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood.

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Polly Apfelbaum of Frith Street Gallery with a show themed around a foot drawing by Dubuffet.

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Jewyo Rhii at Amanda Wilkinson Gallery with an imaginative design for a printing press. The rocks help the hidden upper sections swing against the gallery wall, imparting black ink from the various word moulds in the process.