Sabine Moritz’s first solo exhibition at Pilar Corrias is hung in two parts: new paintings in the main gallery are seen against earlier works downstairs. Drawn from her own memories, family photographs and news archives, this stark, powerful work is a response to a childhood spent in East Germany during the uncertainty of the Cold War.
The show opens with ‘Frigate Berlin’ and ‘Manoeuvre (Baltic Sea)’, but it isn’t clear whether they are wartime or peacetime exercises. And this unease sets the tone for the show. Five paintings reference the killing of Peter Fechter on 17 August 1962, shot trying to escape to the west. Reports of the incident were suppressed in Eastern Europe, and it is this sense of distrust, of fear, of loss, and of living everyday under intense scrutiny and psychological torment that informs the work.
The filmic framing of the images suggests documentary or reportage. The paint-surfaces are a fractured, nervous matrix of vertical and horizontal marks, and grids within the compositions formed of barbed wire and fence posts and telegraph poles and façades of buildings echo it. And together they lock-down the spaces. The colours are controlled too, and, together with the harsh flat light in the paintings, they intensify the unease.
A painting of Moritz’s childhood home in Gatersleben leads into the work downstairs: from the early to mid-1990s, the first Lobeda and Jena Dusseldorf cycles are two series of paintings based on her memories and experiences of the rapidly developed cold and functional modern urban areas in which she lived before moving to the west in 1985.
Pilar Corrias: Sabine Moritz: Home 24 January–20 February 2014
Pilar Corrias, 54 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EF
Now Showing: A Group Exhibition of Artists’ Film Carroll/Fletcher
17 January-22 February 2014
Next door but one, nine filmmakers or filmmaking duos explore “the fundamental elements constituting filmic work”. Included is
Aleksandra Domanovic’s riveting, crazed rifling through Getty Images archive set against the audio from Woody Allen’s, Annie Hall; Mika Taanila’s unsettling showing of Louis Malle’s, ‘My Dinner with Andre’, minus it’s multi-layered dialogue; and the ‘Retrace, Erase, Repeat’, the superlative software-driven film by Michael Joaquin Grey, which “reinvents the autonomic drawing machine to retrace and erase Goya’s series of etchings, The Disasters of War, over a 24-hour period.” It is like a slowly remembered distant memory that gets close to but never quite recalls the original moment.
Carroll/Fletcher, 56-58 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EF
Matter & Memory: Alison Jacques Gallery
16 January-15 February 2014
This amazing exhibition is about the processes of perception. It explores the relationship of an object to the environment in which it was made, the timeless performative processes of the makers practice, and our perceptions, through the work of seven artists dating from the 1960s to today. From Charlotte Posenenske’s forthright, ventilation ducts which could confidently dominate any space in which they are place, to Irma Blank’s private diaristic scribblings, where the act of writing marks the passing of time, the marking of the course of a life, and N. Dash’s worry-worn cloths, the turning of materials into finished things is a process of care, nurture and tenderness.
The space is full, but nothing gets swamped. Twenty pieces fully occupy the walls (one enormous work by Philomene Pirecki fully occupies one wall), and the the floor, and an untitled plaster by Maria Bartuszova hangs from the ceiling, but there is a very easy dialogue between the various materials and textures and sizes and scales.
Alison Jacques Gallery, 16-18 Berners Street, London W1T 3LN
Anissa Mack: Body Copy Josh Lilley (See Top Photo)
17 January-20 February 2014
Focusing on ideas of repetition, fragmented and revised memories, and nostalgia, Mack’s new work is drawn from half-remembered and bastardised sources. Shapes, textures and repeated imagery chase restlessly through the gallery looking for shared meaning where something hybrid and new can form. Exploring notions that we attach narratives and emotions to disposable objects, Mack reinterprets their meanings – and delights in doing it.
Josh Lilley, 41-46 Riding House Street, London W1W 7EX
Emmanuel Barcilon: Penetrating Stillness: Rosenfeld Porcini
29 November-30 January 2014
Barcilon’s seductive process-driven paintings are built up of thin successive layers of pure pigment and varnish poured on to wooden supports. Their uneven edges show something of the process by which they are made.
Each is a palimpsest of blotches and imperfections, drawings and lettering, buried deep in rich monochrome colour. They hint at the look of old light-damaged albumen prints, or the surfaces of Witkin’s sinister photographs, but any romantic notions of the mystical and sublime are held back by their physicality. They have the substance of objects: they are tactile and material.
Rosenfeld Porcini, 37 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1NZ
Ricardo Alcaide: From Disruption to Abstraction: New Art Projects
8 November-31 January 2014
Alcaide’s first solo exhibition in London looks at the different ways in which people from the extreme ends of society live. Upstairs hang glossy magazine pages of stylish mid-century interiors partially over-painted by curious pastel-coloured shapes, and downstairs is a series of black and white photographs of models based on the shelters in which the marginalized poor nomadic people at the other end of society live.
New Art Projects, 17 Riding House Street, London W1W 7DS
Words: Robin Page © Artlyst 2014 Photos: 1,2,3,5 Robin Page 4 Courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery 6 Courtesy New Art Projects