London Art Exhibitions For August 2015 Chosen By Paul Carey Kent
Here is the latest in Paul Carey-Kent's rolling top ten, together with previous choices which you can still still see...
Alex Cecchetti: the printing house of hell @ Kunstraum, 15a Cremer St – Hoxton
It says something for Alex Cecchetti’s charisma that the audience stuck with him during the two hour tour of the building which kicked off this show, and which you can now sample on video. The Franco-Italian artist runs the gamut of performative approaches: he draws clouds (without looking, so as to surprise himself) then has the viewer fly among them by following his lines while playing a birdcaller; dances round teapots, outlining their phallus and womb spouts and interiors as he goes; pays homage to the movement required for female masturbation in a wall drawing made with blackberries; and requires that the gallerist leaf through fifty drawings of lovers entwined just once for each visitor, so that they become unrepeatable actions. Then there’s a Blakean backstory, and sculptures…. quite a quantity of diversions for a small space.
Alex Cecchetti showing his erotic Memoires, 2014 at the opening
Object Painting – Painting Object @ Jonathan Viner,
Aaron Bobrow: Untitled, 2015
‘Invited’ is a pop-up in a just-renovated and surprisingly extensive Notting Hill house in which many separate spaces are turned over to a mixture of contemporary art and medieval carvings as the property is marketed. I was almost bound to like it, as Flora Fairbairn and Philly Adams’ curation could have been derived from Paul’s Art World: I’ve written on recent shows by Jodie Carey, Alastair Mackie, Liane Lang, Alejandro Ospina, Jodie Carey, Rafael Gómezbarros, Boo Saville, Dominic Beattie, Phoebe Unwin and Tim Ellis… and they all have good work here! And yet I was most struck by the new to me Alexi Williams, who has three rather baroque plaster sculptures on dollies: they look a little as if Rebecca Warren has turned to working with a cake decorating gun, but were made by filling and casting the somewhat floral complexities of cows’ stomachs.
Imi Knoebel @ White Cube, Bermondsey and Lars Wolter: Framed @ Rocket, 4-6 Sheep Lane - Cambridge Heath
Oddly, White Cube has the first solo London by the seminal German abstractionist Imi Knoebel, who has had any number of such shows elsewhere, and it's well worth seeing. There's also a table by Knoebel at the beautifully appointed new premises of Jonathan Stephens' Rocket gallery, together with new work by another German minimalist with a wider crossover with furniture. Lars Wolter makes all his own superbly crafted painting-objects. Here he has four separate streams of work, much of it - like Knoebel's - exploring colour, but I also like the more chromatically restrained series which can be read as a sleep-scape punctuated by dream events.
Thomas Eggerer: Ozone @ Maureen Paley, 21 Herald St - Bethnal GreenTo 23 Aug: www.maureenpaley.com
Untitled, 2013 - collage, 63 x 50 cm Thomas Eggerer’s show isn’t called 'Ozone' because it has an environmental message, but because the aerially viewed characters, often glimpsed partially, seem to be in a zone of their own – the O–Zone, it’s implied – and inhabit abstract areas of areas of misty colour as if it were their world. I like them, but was especially struck by the New York based German’s less often seen collages. The first two in a group of five fold and reflect repeated images of sculptures by Anthony Caro into more quotidian scenes, the next repeats the trick with a Calder, and the other two use modernist architectural details to a parallel effect. Not only is the splicing of form and content elegantly persuasive, it’s topical ahead of this year’s major restrospectives of Caro in Yorkshire and Calder at Tate Modern.
Matthew Higgs and Clive Hodgson & ‘Figuratively’ @ Wilkinson, 50-58 Vyner St – Cambridge Heath
Emily Young: Call and Response: London @ The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond St
To 29 Aug: www.faslondon.com/fine_art_society_contemporary/exhibitions
Emily Young, though born in London was partly raised in Rome and recently returned to live in Italy, where she works with the most traditional of means– free carving in the manner of Michelangelo. Yet there's a 60s counterculture feel to how she sees her conversation with stone as being 'small part of mankind's most serious, most elemental conversation, that with Earth'. So it makes some sense that in her youthful days experimenting with drugs she was the Emily in Pink Floyd's 'See Emily Play'. Here, in the London half of a show shared with Venice, she shows an ability to release faces from a huge variety of minerals - typically discards from defunct quarries, which she prefers for their characterful imperfections.
Verdite Forest Head, 2015Verdite 23 x 23 x 20 cm
To 12 Sep: www.carrollfletcher.com
To 14 Aug: www.davidzwirner.com
Black Mould / Juggling with Fiery Limbs II, 2015 - oil on wood, 34 x 28 cmJust when you thought the dead good of Guston (Timothy Taylor to 11 June) would overshadow any living painter, up steps Michaël Borremans with a tour de force of dark and sepulchrally presented ritual. Goya, Abu Ghraib, and Japanese theatre meet dance to the implied sound of Black Mold, a chunk of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's alternative rock. Downstairs Pogo is one fifteen part work isolating black-robed figures as a prelude to their full-scale interaction above, where robes are lifted, a severed hand used as a tool and the mood ambiguated by the introduction of a badger, whose song we can only imagine as his score is a blank sheet of paper. Surely it's not from 'The Wind in the Willows'?
See Top Photo Black Mould / The Badger's Song, 2015 - oil on wood, 22 x 31 cm
PREVIOUS CHOICES STILL ON
To 14 Aug: www.artfirst.co.uk
The Greenhouse, cyclamen and tomatoes, 1935