Gallery run 29th March

Greenwich Foot Tunnel is the gateway to the Isle of Dogs. Here the perimeter of the City Farm allows a sort of detachment from the nearby main roads, before a short excursion along the River Thames leads to The Regent’s Canal and another 20 minutes of peace and harmony. At Stuart Shave’s gallery, Eva Rothschild has made enormous sculptural pieces to harmonise with the internal space.

A watery theme continues with Jessica Warboys at Frith Street Gallery. She has created some great canvases using the sea as a fluid medium to move pigments around and to deposit additional silt-like particles of matter onto their surfaces. They have a delicate appearance with rhythmic patterns that make them look as though they were actually being viewed through water.

Finally the day is capped off with the much awaited arrival of this year’s fourth plinth sculpture. Michael Rakowitz has a majestic sculpture on view made up of old date box labels. Their localised bursts of colour, and exotic providence, have been used to recreate a Syrian sculpture that was recently destroyed.

Eva Rothschild of Stuart Shave with various sculptural objects carefully presented in the space.

Ricky Swallow of Stuart Shave with cast bronze objects based on incidental interior features.

Jessica Warboys at Frith Street Gallery with images made by immersing pigmented canvases in the sea.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd of Sadie Coles HQ with gothic imagery based on bats and theatre props presented against flat photo backdrops.

Thomas Struth of Marian Goodman with a photo of physics objects that would make one’s hair stand on end.

Cristina Iglesias of Marian Goodman with a hard looking cage-like structure which on closer inspection is delicate and made of a granular substance that actually smells quite nice.

Giuseppe Penone of Marian Goodman with a characteristic adaptation of a natural object.

John Riddy of Frith Street Gallery with photo images of stained brickworks made during a stroll through South London.

The fourth plinth has arrived. Michael Rakowitz has built a replacement for the original stone treasure recently destroyed, out of tin cans.

Gallery run 8th September

From the Peckham Festival through St James’ Park to Sadie Coles HQ. Along the Regent’s Canal to Stuart Shave Modern Art and finally Marian Goodman’s opening of Giuseppe Penone.

Nicolas Deshayes at Stuart Shave Modern Art. The pipes are hot!

Uri Anan at Sadie Coles HQ with altered objects arranged in boxes and on tables.

Dorothea Tanning FlowerPaintings at Alison Jacques.

Jack McConville Capital Depths at IBID London. Money as water in these paintings.

Giuseppe Penone at Marian Goodman Gallery. Art Povera.

Dinh Q Le The Colony in The Peckham Festival 2016. The use of drones for filming makes for stunning footage about the guano harvesters on a Peruvian island.

Rachel Rose Lake Valley at Pilar Corrias. Animated film with childlike imagery but dealing with universal themes of rejection and loneliness!

David Korty at Sadie Coles HQ with collages text portraits.


Sculpture in the City 2016, 12th August

Michael Lyons’ sculpture, Centaurus is hard to understand since its name seems to suggest a constellation of stars. Yet its placement in Sculpture in the City seems to suggest just the opposite, tall office blocks and busy traffic. The trail itself, of 20 sculptures is excellent. By good fortune the meaning, as I understand it, of Centaurus has just come to me a couple of days later. A run along the Thames has precipitated this and it is one of those moments where, with a fine, glowing sunset, the City is actually looking quite nice.

Here is the background. Sculpture in the City is a trail of art that extends in a southwards direction from the NatWest Tower, as I’ve always known it to be called, to just beyond the Cheese Grater, as I still prefer it to be called, and then back north to the Gherkin, which will always be its true name. In short, the trail has a North-to-South orientation forming a sort of point at its southernmost extent, though this could well be a coincidence. It is near this point that Michael Lyons’ Centaurus is located. It is a simple looking object reminiscent of a Totem or tall sundial with a semi-circular, metal feature at the top of a tall, nicely corroded metal stand or plinth.

From afar these three buildings, which frame the sculpture trail, again announce their North-to-South geometry, this time emphasised with the red ridges of a setting sun shining off their southern facades like the red paint sometimes used on bar magnets to indicate their polarity in old science labs. I think they still do that, don’t they?

Anyway a quick browse on the internet before writing this confirms that Richard Rogers, whose Cheese Grater is the dominate element of this little, red, glowing constellation, is obsessed with due South and has located his building precisely in that orientation. This is fortunate because the plaza in which it is located and which precedes it by many years, also has this orientation extending to the buildings in it and the paving slabs on it. Finally it is on the very edge of this plaza that Centaurus has been installed, holding true to the principles of the space in which it is located. Its rectangular plinth is perfectly aligned, meaning of course that its semi-circular head faces due South in the manner of all its surrounding architecture. Presumably the additional privilege it has of being a work of art is that it can subtly draw attention to this fact. I don’t know where Centaurus is in the sky but the name corresponds well to Michael Lyon’s artwork insofar as the sculpture seems more concerned with the cosmic relationships of alignment in the City’s architecture than with its own physical appearance, beautiful though that is.


Centaurus by Michael Lyons. The sculpture faces due south, as do the surrounding buildings, in fact, and is the inspiration for this week’s blog, the London Compass.

Gavin Turk in Sculpture In The City

Huma Bhabha of Stephen Friedman in Sculpture In The City.

William Kentridge of Marian Goodman gallery. The artist has produced a composite portrait of a poverty stricken figure selling coals.

Sarah Lucas of Sadie Coles HQ in Sculpture In The City.

Ugo Rondinone of Sadie Coles HQ in Sculpture In The City.

Lukas Duwenhogger at Raven Row. Exotic symbol-laden paintings.

Giuseppe Penone in Sculpture In The City. Bronze tree with smooth boulders.

Brick Lane activity.

Anthony Caro of Gagosian in Sculpture In The City. Made from additions to a sea floatation tank.