Gallery run 20th January

Plinth shortlist and along Thames.

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Andrea Zittel at Sadie Coles HQ in a group show exploring rooms as psychic spaces. This is part flotation tank and part survival space.

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Michael Andrews at Gagosian Gallery with 5 series of paintings including one of Uluru or AyersRock.

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Charles Avery at Pilar Corrias with more drawings from his imaginary island.

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Bright sun today casting a mysterious green glow thanks to a nearby building.

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Huma Bahbah of Stephen Friedman Gallery showing as a short-listed artist for the 4th plinth. The artist is inspired by science fiction and ancient cities.

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Heidi Bucher who shows at the Approach Gallery featured here in a group show at Sadie Coles HQ featuring rooms as psychic spaces. This is a latex imprint of her father’s study.

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Adrian Paci at Frith Street Gallery with a series of drawings on found black board materials.

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Sarah Lucas at Sadie Coles HQ with a smoking room fashioned from tabloids headlines many of which I remember from the 90’s.

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Photograph of the The Shard placed by Tom Wolseley in the entrance hall of his exhibition. Two hall mirrors make for an interesting viewpoint. Vertical Horizons is the title of his work.

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Gallery run 8th December

Battersea Park, Hyde Park.

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Magnus Plessen at White Cube with painted portraits of him and pregnant wife.

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Zaha Hadid at the Winton Gallery of the Science Museum.

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Richard Oelze at Michael Werner with slightly surreal landscapes.

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Zaha Hadid early paintings at Serpentine Gallery. This is London with a skewed viewpoint in the artist’s customary (as we discover) style.

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Gavin Turk with his famous blue plaque given pride of place in Newport Street Gallery. There is plenty more and a great show.

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Huma Bhabha at Stephen Friedman with carved polystyrene figures.

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Lee Friedlander at Pace Gallery with an ironic take on the subject object relationship in photography. It’s his shadow not mine!

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Peter Peri at Almine Rech with circular heads on the bronzes made of cast tape rolls and loo rolls.

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David Shrigley of Stephen Friedman Gallery exhibiting on the 4th plinth.

Sculpture in the City 2016, 12th August

Some artworks take time for their significance to be fully absorbed and this was the case with Michael Lyons’ sculpture, Centaurus. As a consequence of this, the present gallery run, based on a trail of 20 sculptures called Sculpture in the City, is described on two separate time scales, the day itself and a few days later. On this later occasion  I looked across an expanse of water to the City from the banks of the Thames whilst on a separate run and at a greater distance. The inspiration for a double narrative of this sort was also inspired by the writer Marcel Proust who used the changing distance of a spectator to reveal different truths about a cluster of objects whether they be artworks or the steeples of rural churches.

Close up, Sculpture in the City is a trail that extends south from the building formerly known as the NatWest Tower which bares, for those who are interested, the bank’s logo in its section. It then doubles back at Leadenhall market and one soon arrives at the grand plaza of the Leadenhall Cheesegrater, and then further back, the plaza of the St Mary’s Axe Gherkin. This doubling back at Leadenhall gives the sculpture trail an overall V shape with the Cheesegrater near the tip.

It was these same three buildings I would see from afar as I jogged round the long curving banks of the Thames a few days later. They formed a slowly rotating compass which would constantly pick out due south thanks to the illumination of a rather vivid red sunset reflecting off the Cheesgrater’s long south-facing facade. Thanks also to Michael Lyons’ sculpture, this overview of the whole sculpture trail would inspire me on my return home to write the present account, mindful of the fact that some artworks give a delayed reaction to the understanding of their truths.

On the day, Michael Lyons’ sculpture appeared sited on ground level in a plaza close to these iconic buildings. It had a roughly worked steel form and stone plinth and what looked like a gestural curve applied to a horizontal steel plate as a head and this sat atop a thick tapered pole in reference to a neck. It had a presence a bit like a sentinel and its name Centaurus suggested it was referencing a point or constellation in the southern sky, despite the bright midday sun temporarily obscuring any poetic reference to the stars. Then comes the moment referred to at the beginning of this account, of realisation. The sculpture was actually in alignment with the paving slabs of the plaza and this in turn, through the vision of architects, extended to an overall south facing aspect for all the buildings in that little region of the City. Thus from afar on the Thames I was looking at London’s Compass as the three buildings of the trail formed a V shaped constellation brought to life by its glowing tip as the evening sunset shone off the slope of the foremost building, the Cheesegrater. This is a compass that any city visitor can henceforth use to pick out due south and guide them on their way.

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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.

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Gavin Turk in Sculpture In The City

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Huma Bhabha of Stephen Friedman in Sculpture In The City.

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

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

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

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

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

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Brick Lane activity.

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