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.

1303
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 23rd August

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Tracy Emin of White Cube with a delicate bird on pole sculpture. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Simon Periton of Sadie Coles HQ with a delicate cut-out made from painted metal sheet. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Conrad Shawcross of Victoria Miro Gallery with a labyrinth. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Rachel Feinstein of Gagosian Gallery with a florid sculpture set in Regent’s Park at the Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Virginia Overton of White Cube with fab artwork reminiscent of blue collar fabrication. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Bharti Kher of Hauser And Wirth at Frieze Sculpture Park.

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John Baldessari of Marian Goodman Gallery with a 6’7” penguin. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Kiki Smith has created a figure out of a fairy tale. At Frieze Sculpture Park.

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Elmgreen And Dragset of Galerie Perrotin at Frieze Sculpture Park.

Gallery run 17th August

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Franz Ackermann of White Cube showing memories as a vortex of bright colours.

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Ellen Altfest of White Cube with an intense depiction in oil paint of fibres in a fabric.

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Eddie Peake at White Cube with a striking image using reflective paint and slogan.

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Sign near Tower Bridge.

1265
Katja Novitskova at Whitechapel Gallery with an installation that combines mechanical rocking chairs for babies, shown, along with images of cells and capitalism.

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Michael Armitage of White Cube with an image of armed terrorists in a shopping centre.

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Georg Baselitz of White Cube with a delicate image.

1267
Volker Huller at Timothy Taylor

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Antoni Tapies at Timothy Taylor with the canvas detached from the support and then knotted together.

Gallery run 7th June

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Helen Beard at Newport Street Gallery with brightly coloured figures in intimate settings.

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Sadia Laska at Newport Street Gallery with artwork referencing the New York music and cultural scene.

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Boo Saville at Newport Street Gallery with vividly painted found images from Google searches on the internet.

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Seung Taek Lee at White Cube with great sculptures made from brightly coloured vinyl sheet stretched over sculptural supports.

1175
Julian Schnabel at Pace Gallery has painted expressive black marks reminiscent (to me) of ploughs and pitch forks, on blown-up prints that originally celebrated country life. The prints were made by a Royal Academician and for those in the know Pace shares a building with the RA who are celebrating 250 years and this body of work is a nod to that anniversary.

1176
Adboulaye Konate of Blain Southern showing at Stephen Friedman Gallery in a group show that celebrates African art and culture.

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Florence Mytum at Slade postgraduate show. The stone structures of the art school’s architecture have been softened with extruded sponge.

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Gabriela Giroletti at Slade postgraduate show.

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Charlie Barlow at Slade postgraduate show with clusters of spots all over the corridors and even into the loo.

Gallery run 10th May

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Beatriz Milhazes at White Cube with a 15m long tapestry in her characteristic style.

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JeffKeen at Kate MacGarry with an early example of spliced 8mm film intercut with animation.

1133
Birgit Jurgenssen of Alison Jacques Gallery with delicately presented photographs using gauze fabrics to give a soft focus and welded metal frames which she made herself.

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Wilhelm Sasnal at Sadie Coles HQ with paintings in his distinctive style.

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Christian Boltanski at Marian Goodman with films of interventions and installations in deserted landscapes.

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Juan Usle of Frith Street Gallery with delicate brushwork.

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Rose Wylie at David Zwirner with evocative paintings made from the artist’s memory and images she finds in her studio.

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Alvaro Barrington at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac with paintings and sketches.

1139
Joseph Beuys at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac with a big retrospective and here a transformer and felt installation.

Gallery run 23rd March

A classic stop-off point is Brick Lane, at Beigel Bake to be more precise, where apple strudel costs just 80p. From here I move on from some of the galleries in the east of London towards the west end and on the way encounter Hollybush Gardens in Farringdon. On show is Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid. The room is full of wall paintings extending onto some additional objects propped upright on the floor. It is fascinating that the original utility of these painted objects, such as piano lid, is still immediately recognisable.

Jogging west past Holborn, the Mayfair galleries are finally reached. David Zwirner on Grafton Street is hosting Andrzej Wroblewski, a Polish artist who oozes Eastern Block charm. His Chauffeur series features drivers with their back turned to the viewer. A Gauguinesque blaze of colour near the driver’s head appears to demarcate that area of the vehicle window where the subject’s own psyche has intervened into this external world.

Then doubling back slightly, for a reason I can no longer remember since this is a slightly stripped down and edited re-write, Sophie Von Hellermann has been exhibiting some lovely loose paintings at Pilar Corrias. Formally of Vilma Gold, which shut last Autumn, the artist has found a good replacement with this gallery on Eastcastle Street.

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Lubaina Himid of Hollybush Gardens with a painted piano lid.

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Jose Damasceno of Thomas Dane Gallery with a small intervention on the eyes of Brazilian money-prints.

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Pier Paola Calzolari at White Cube who uses refrigeration units in his sculptures to produce pure whites.

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Mel Bochner at Mazzoleni Gallery.

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Andrzej Wroblewski at David Zwirner with an image from his Chauffeur series.

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Roy Newell at Simon Lee Gallery with meticulously worked miniature paintings.

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Michelangelo Pistoletto of Simon Lee Gallery with shelving images on his characteristic mirror backgrounds.

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Jean Dubuffet at Timothy Taylor with one his familiar cellular-based sculptures.

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Sophie Von Hellermann of Pilar Corrias with colourful paintings from the imagination.

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.

1042
Tonico Lemos Auad of Stephen Friedman.

1043
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.

1046
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.