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London Art Choices For April 2014 By Paul Carey - Kent - ArtLyst Article image

London Art Choices For April 2014 By Paul Carey - Kent

29-03-2014
 
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Paul Carey-Kent reveals his pick of the 'ART' Exhibition crop for London in April. It is a diverse gathering choices ranging from painting to installation to video art.

The latest in his rolling top ten, together with previous picks will help you plan your month while stimulating  your retina, inner ear and spacial awareness.

TEN CURRENT CHOICES

Let's start with textile matters, including well-dressed artists, then then move on to text...



Louise Hopkins: Settings @ Mummery & Schnelle, 44a Charlotte Rd – Shoreditch

To 3 May: www.mummeryschnelle.com

The highlights of Glasgow-based Louise Hopkins’ gently analytical watercolours are several  overpainted maps, including the flag-like result above of allowing Greenland and the Black, Red and (slightly less famous) Yellow and White seas to have their colour influence; and Bull Table Photograph, 2013, which amounts to three works:  one she’s seen to be painting on hands and knees, a painted bull which seems to stand on her back; and the photograph in and on which these elements come together.  It’s all consistent with her overall practice of using supports which already contain information, so that the original, its transformation – sometimes a near-annihilation - and the relationship between the two are kept in play. She's often used patterned fabric: not here, but...



Liang Yuanwei: The Tension Between a Bow and an Elephant @ Pace, 6-10 Lexington St - Soho

To 26 April: www.pacegallery.com


Chinese artist Liang Yuanwei specialises in paintings which originate in floral fabric patterns and end up approaching the immediate impression of wallpaper, but with very obvious brushwork up close and a spontaneously generated rhythm as she repeats close to the same  wet on wet markings in successive horizontal strips as she works her way down the canvas. This new stream of 11 variably sized, coloured and constructed paintings all derive from the same fabric pattern, and Liang has declared her intention of carrying on with that one pattern indefinitely. I like the sounds of such an obsessive focus, though you could say it just points up the way in which most painters carry on portraying just the one world…

Lara Schnitger: @ Modern Art, 6 Fitzroy Square – Fitzrovia

To 26 April: www.modernart.net

Textiles have always been at the core of LA-based Dutch artist Lara Schnitger’s practice, mainly in banner-like quilts of feisty females wittily asserting their sexuality, and beguilingly-patch worked assemblages. They’re joined here by a new stream: for want of something she wanted to wear, Schnitger started making clothes. At the opening, she not only sported her own range – now on sale separately – but used them to dress her sculptures of flattened people.  The first time I’d seen that particular combination…

See Top Photo

Rosson Crow, Francesca DiMattio & Mickalene Thomas: Domestic Unrest & Yinka Shonibare MBE: Phallic Stalactites and Stalgmites @ Pippy Houldsworth, 6 Heddon Street - Central

To 26 April: www.houldsworth.co.uk

In a neatly conceived triumvirate of American hasslers of home comforts, Thomas and DiMattio make delirious collages of interiors, Thomas with rhinestones and enamel maxing the variety of surface, DiMattio faking it with what turns out to be just paint; while the painterly Crow brings Jason Rhoades’ vulgar neons into her own fluorescent space, and imagines herself diving out of a party in a reverse girl-from-a-cake move, with plenty of violent pink to make the point that pretty need not be tame. Those three feel a feisty match for Yinka Shonibare’s box project, a mirrored riot of batik-clad dildos which teases at Yayoi Kusama’s infinite and phallic modes.

Société Réalist: Mottopsy @ Tenderpixel, Ten Cecil Court - Leicester Square

To 26 April: www.tenderpixel.com

The Parisian cooperative Société Réaliste are self-professed radicals who examine ‘the interlacement, divergence and manifold interdependence between political entities and cultural fields’. That may sound forbidding, but their methods of ‘averaging’ the meanings of national representation are very user-friendly.  The walls  are covered with text, in their invented typeface ‘mediapolice’, which enacts an averaging twice over: the 20 nouns most frequently featured in national slogans are each laboriously stencilled out of three from a range of 60 typefaces lifted from geographically-titled newspapers around the world, to generate a striking fragmentation. Meanwhile, the computerised combination of the audio files from the UN’s 193 national anthems yields a cacophonous Universal Anthem pretty much as you might expect.

Sam Jackson: Colossal Youth (Part 2) @ Charlie Smith London, 336 Old St – Hoxton

To 3 May: www.charliesmithlondon.com

Sam Jackson’s small (20 x 20 cm is typical) yet titularly collosal paintings of faces, body crops  and seedy acts are full of contrasts: alluringly repulsive,  dark brown but impactful, loose yet precise, painterly though photo-inspired (by the punk era work of Derek Ridgers). The underlying approach is decidedly classical, but Jackson’s recent addition of graffiti-tinged texts emphasises their  modernity and also triggers a diverting interplay between image, text and title.  Super Mansty would have had me scrabbling for a dictionary had Jackson not  been there to tell be that ‘mansty’ is an American slang term for a state of sexual anxiety.  Actually, I can't see it in the dictionary…

Rachel Pimm: Plants Under Glass @ Enclave, Resolution Way – Deptford

To 19 April: www.EnclaveProjects.com & www.rachelpimm.tumblr.com

Still from Princesses of the Vegetable Kingdom, 2014

On-the-rise Rachel Pimm (who’ll show at Anita Zubludowicz in June) invites us into a sleek green world full of how we relate to nature, as filtered through a consideration of cultivating plants in homes and workplaces. Why can’t some hybrids be returned to the wild? What is the process of ‘greenwashing’ a company’s products? Can plants be bred to imitate artificiality? Have you ever seen 1930’s neon bulbs shaped as flowers?   How many words can you think of to describe a rubber plant’s leaves? Her videos and installations pose, and sometimes answer, the questions with style…

Camille Henrot: The Pale Fox @ Chisenhale Gallery, 64 Chisenhale Rd - Globe Town

To 13 April: www.chisenhale.org.uk

There’s a lot to take in at New York based Parisian Camille Henrot’s Chisenhale show: no surprise when this is the installation version of the 13 minute film history of the world, which won the Silver Lion for a young artist at last year’s Venice Biennale: anthropology, Leibniz, Chinese calligraphy, modernist shelving, a gothic radiator and any amount of stuff off Ebay in an undersea-blue hall. It’s very democratic: I was rather taken by Henrot’s own sculptures but she presents them as just another aspect of the mix. A radio-controlled snake gives the attendant extra purpose as it charmingly follows you around. I emerged, to be honest, no wiser – yet strangely satisfied…

Charles Atlas: Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha @ Vilma Gold, 6 Minerva St – Cambridge Heath


Charles Atlas’ five screen anthology of dance snippets against a blazing background of his favourite orange may look a little like Christian Marclay’s recent territory… but it was made 14 years ago.  Virtually anything, it seems, can be categorised as dance, from ballet to calisthenics, from go-go grinding to whirling willies; from sliding down stairs to footage of any film character called Martha in this not-especially reverent tribute which - breaking down her name -  teases Graham (1894 – 1991) as the Ma Ma of dance, as well as setting up comparisons with the ‘art’ in ‘Martha’. As a portrait, then, it’s rather indirect, but as entertainment its seven minutes pass fast.

To 12 April: www.vilmagold.com


Enantiodromia @ Fold Gallery, 15 Clerkenwell Close - Farringdon To 26th April: www.foldgallery.com


Simon Callery has spoken about how the physical qualities of a painting involve the viewer in an encounter analogous to the experience of being in a landscape, and that’s aided here by the absence of any flat rectangles. Callery, Lawrence Carroll, Angela de la Cruz and Onya McCausland all invade the gallery space to make this a painting show which you literally have to walk around. And the land feeds directly into McCausland's process of digging the pigment - chalk, coal, iron oxide - out of the earth for her tensile yet balanced dual abstractions. As for that tricky title, in Jungian terms, 'enantiodromia' refers to an excess of one thing producing its opposite: here, I guess, the contemporary super-abundance of digital imagery has yielded material abstraction.

PREVIOUS CHOICES STILL ON

 Walid Raad: Preface to the first English edition @ Anthony Reynolds Gallery,
60 Great Marlborough St - Soho

To 5 April: www.anthonyreynolds.com

Having grown up in war-torn Libya and come to notice with his convincing fictional research documentary of its conflicts, Walid Raad’s current rigorous-looking and yet somehow mysterious  long-term project considers the reception of Arab art and its means of institutional display. Starting from the plans to construct a branch of the Louvre  in Abu Dhabi, Raad also finds plenty of beauty in the three combined elements which make up the bulk of this first British version: a wallpaper made from overlapping images of museum vitrines; small black and white illustrations of some of the 18,000 Islamic items in the Louvre’s collection; and large photographs of those objects, set in coloured overgrounds based on the peculiar irregularities of disintegrating manuscripts. A film of morphing artifacts similarly suggests how travel, means of display and historical context will affect these works’ reception.

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind & Ham Steinbach: once again the world is flat @ the Serpentine Galleries – Kensington

To 21 April: www.serpentinegalleries.org

The Viennese Actionists have had little recent exposure in London, and so this twin-sited show provides a welcome introduction to how, in Otto Muehl ’s 1962 words, ‘the aesthetics of the dung heap’ were made ‘the moral means against conformism, materialism and stupidity’ for him and Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. The shows are at something of a safe remove from the original visceral and bodily performances (though there is a film evening on 27 March), but we do get Nitsch’s ritualistic red drip paintings, photos of many a naked provocation by Muehl, using his body as a canvas, and his later paintings, like van Gogh on acid; and a Schwarzkogler sequence which turns a head into a still life. Given the phallic nature of refusing to hold back the master artist’s expression with petty Freudian concerns, I warmed especially to a Günter Brus photo which is all balls and no visible cock…

AK Dolven: Teenagers Lifting the Sky @ Wilkinson Gallery, 50-58 Vyner St – Cambridge Heath

To 6 April: www.wilkinsongallery.com

A striking combination of rectitude and revelation in paint and sound: the paintings, made with oil on hammered aluminium, are barely-there traces of white on black or vice versa, but bear eloquent traces of the artist’s movement. The sound is the 22 minute collaboration JA as long as I can with Buddhist performer and poet John Giorno which features just the one word repeated by both:  Dolven’s Ja is her native Norwegian, expressive and sensual, and I wasn’t surprised when she told me she’d had her eyes closed tracking back through memories.  Giorno’s Ja is a deep and constant chant, but also affirmative in his lover’s Swiss-German.

AK Dolven: Teenagers Lifting the Sky @ Wilkinson Gallery, 50-58 Vyner St – Cambridge Heath To 6 April: www.wilkinsongallery.com


A striking combination of rectitude and revelation in paint and sound: the paintings, made with oil on hammered aluminium, are barely-there traces of white on black or vice versa, but bear eloquent traces of the artist’s movement. The sound is the 22 minute collaboration JA as long as I can with Buddhist performer and poet John Giorno which features just the one word repeated by both:  Dolven’s Ja is her native Norwegian, expressive and sensual, and I wasn’t surprised when she told me she’d had her eyes closed tracking back through memories.  Giorno’s Ja is a deep and constant chant, but also affirmative in his lover’s Swiss-German.


 
Elisabeth Scherffig:New Works @ Faggionato, 49 Albemarle Street - Central

To April 17: www.faggionato.com

I guess it’s a simple idea: to make literal the pasts we sense all around us by using tracing paper to layer drawings of city maps from various eras over each other. But add in a realistically drawn aerial view of how it looks now, section the results off in the style of map folds or windows, and Elisabeth Scherffig’s evocative results are too complex to unravel with any confidence. Add mind-maps in the form of delicate heads in unfired fragments porcelain on silk, and the patterns of vineyards traced on steel, and the Düsseldorf-born (1949) Milan-based  (since 1970) Scherffig provides a sensitivity to history and line which is well worth exploring. 


He Xiangyu @ White Cube, Bermondsey St - Bermondsey

To 13 April: www.whitecube.com

This plus Darren Almond’s night photos and Franz Ackermann’s cathedral of cities in the 9x9x9 space make for a good trip to Bermondsey, not to mention there’s an excellent show across the street at Vitrine. The young Chinese conceptualist He Xaingyou, ranges from the one child policy (a lone egg in a gold eggbox), Tiananmen Square (a deflated leather tank), consumerism (rocks which look like coke as in coal turn out to be the residue of burnt coke as in cola) and his loneliness away from home (copper casts derived from the internalising move of feeling his mouth with his tongue, set in an a palate-pink room). My favourite work is the smallest: a pagoda which personalises a surreal pun by incorporating his own wisdom teeth.

Images courtesy the relevant artists + galleries
Posted by Paul Carey-Kent at 20:46 No comments: 


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