Gallery run 1st February

This is Condo season where many London galleries participate in an exchange scheme with galleries from around the world, offering a platform for their artists and a diversity of artistic themes that the London viewing public can experience and enjoy. The day begins with a jog along the Regent’s Canal to Hackney and a first stop at Maureen Paley Gallery. Downstairs, Eduardo Sarabia has exhibited paintings and ceramic vases. The vases contain icons from his Mexican home and though they are rendered beautifully in slick drawing further enhanced by the glazing from a subsequent firing, the viewer quickly realises these are not intended for decorative effect since they depict weapons and the paraphernalia of drug taking.

On the way to the next gallery a stunning house catches the eye. It is large, white and clearly a grand design, but the dissonance that makes it stand out is the large amount of black paint that has been expertly brushed, thrown and sprayed all over its walls in an act of sublime disdain for the modernist ideal of a white cube. These days street art, which is what is on display here, is increasingly engaging with mainstream architecture and it turns out from further internet browsing that this property is by the architect David Adjaye R.A. and proudly bears the name “Dirty House”, whilst its occupants were and may still be the artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster.

At Mother’s Tankstation, a gallery further west in Holborn Viaduct, there is another helping of Condo. Mairead O’hEocha catches the eye with a vivid painting of flowers which is exhibited amongst a group show that combines resident artists with those from the visiting guest gallery. The flowers themselves have distinct patterning and the eye moves from one bloom to another like a hungry bee, no less!, enjoying the sensations of light and colour that the artist has imbued in them.

Finally, back south of the River there is an emerging hub of galleries near Lambeth Bridge. Though the most well known of these is Damien Hirst’s Newport Street gallery, a smaller very interesting space can be found on Lambeth Walk which runs parallel. Here Rob Tufnell has moved into an old shop and located his London gallery. Do not underestimate the importance of this space by its humble context. This is an outfit with a second gallery in Cologne and frequent participations at the international art fairs including Frieze. Amongst a selection of exhibitors, the art collective Inventory has a great sculpture on display consisting of a ladder-like arrangement of computer keyboards. The keyboards are attached like the horizontal bars of the ladder to a vertical hanging structure, but at the base of this display entropy appears to have taken over in the only way possible with such keyboards, namely that their various letters seem to have FAL_EN O_T, causing them to scatter and roll like dice across the gallery floor. LJ.BL..T……K……X..C………L…………….F!


Eduardo Sarabia at Maureen Paley hosted as part of Condo London 2018.


Michaela Eichwald at Maureen Paley hosted as part of Condo London 2018.


Tom Burr of Maureen Paley who are hosting Condo London 2018.


On Chance Street and Whitby Street near Brick Lane.


Andrea Geyer at Hales Gallery with socially charged logos from 60’s women’s publications.


Great Eastern Street art intervention billboard, by Sr.X


Mairead O’hEocha of Mothers Tankstation who are hosting Condo London 2018.


Sam Anderson at Mothers Tankstation as part of Condo London 2018.


Inventory at Rob Tufnell hosting Condo London 2018.

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Gallery run 14th July

The annual Goldsmiths MA show is the first stop on today’s run. Spread across the old swimming baths and the stunning Ben Pimlott building with views across London, the show has a variety of interesting architectural back drops. These are matched in no small part by a great painting from Daniel Arcand displayed on the top floor of the Ben Pimlott building. The artwork has a Manga-like quality to it with excellent mark-making and a great economy of design.

From here, the quickest route to Victoria Park is through the Greenwich foot tunnel and then north along the Regent’s canal. The Approach Gallery is showing a retrospective of its artists as well as previous exhibitions spanning twenty years. Works by Rezi Van Lankveld and Gary Webb stand out in the group show, whilst in a side room there is a film of speeded-up highlights from the previous shows here from which I recognise in their younger years some of my former Goldsmiths colleagues.

Then after a stop at Wilkinson Gallery with some evocative work by the late Derek Jarman, Herald Street plays host to the next three shows. At Maureen Paley there are abstract sculptures depicting cubic volumes of mainly empty space, adorned with a few intriguing objects including books and carpet tiles. Tom Burr is a thought provoking artist and writer who is new to this gallery having transferred from Stuart Shave Modern Art. A few doors down at Laura Bartlett, a group show has lovely small pieces by Koak who depicts female figures in slightly unusual ways. The images seem to fulfil their remit of challenging the viewer’s gaze by showing the figures engaging only with each other and without any additional acknowledgement of the viewer.

At Herald Street Gallery there is a great installation by Klaus Weber. The gallery assistant warns me of the hazards of a temporary rickety floor and protruding cactuses. The planks spring up slightly across the joists, whilst the cactuses penetrate these planks through round holes. Meanwhile a policeman-figure is kneeling down, with head below floor level accessed through yet another circular hole. There is also a stack of coloured glass spheres raised up on a plinth that, we are told, represent a type of humanoid figure. This perhaps needs more explanation and comes from a story told in Plato’s symposium. Essentially these figures were described by the Greek philosopher as mythological beings that Zeus callously cut into two halves, bisecting them from top to bottom. As these half-beings entered into ancient history they then matched up to the anthropomorphic form we currently reside in. The truth of this myth seems to lie in its ability to articulate our constant psychological need to find our other missing halves.

After a quick lunch at Bagel bake, which seems to have had a cash injection as there is now a new air conditioning system and workmen replacing tiles, I stroll down to Kate MacGarry Gallery finishing off a last few bits of apple strudel. Inside there are works by four artists including Francis Uprichard. She has presented two gothic figures that resemble harlequins. They are smaller than life size, but have a powerful presence due partly to their positioning on plinths but also because of their excellently rendered faces imparting, not for the first time today, a challenge to the gaze of the viewer. With that now recorded and the Hackney galleries fully explored, there just remains a return back South to complete this week’s run.

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Daniel Arcand at Goldsmiths MA Degree Show with a great fluent painting with drawn outlines.

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Rezi Van Lankveld of The Approach with a lovely loosely rendered painting.

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Gary Webb of The Approach with a colourful resin-based wall sculpture.

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Derek Jarman of Wilkinson Gallery with a series of black paintings incorporating objects.

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Gretchen Bender at Wilkinson Gallery with works that explore how images are propagated through our media.

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Tom Burr of Maureen Paley.

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Koak at Laura Bartlett Gallery with figurative paintings that have a strong drawing quality to them.

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Klaus Weber of Herald Street with sculptures that depict a mythical human form made from globes that Plato had written about.

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Francis Upritchard of Kate Macgarry Gallery with gothic figures.