Here is a selection of must see London art exhibitions for August 2014
Sigrid Holmwood: A Peasant Painter’s Garden @ ASC Gallery, Erlang House, 128 Blackfriars Rd – near St George’s Circus, Southwark
To 8 Aug: www.ascstudios.co.uk
Three Women and a Cow, 2013: Mushroom pigment made from blood red webcaps (cortinarius sanguineus), chalk, chrome yellow, indigo, and red lead bound in egg on hand woven linen
Anglo-Swede Sigrid Holmwood, whose family background is in farming, has studied how the peasant paintings of South West Sweden emerged from medieval sources. Seeing them as an alternative to bourgeois accounts of art history, she’s remade the types of brush, and the earth, mineral and plant-based pigments they used, and depicted the peasant painter’s world as one ‘full of magic, where meaning and emotion are inscribed into all materials, and the animal, vegetable, human and super-natural are all interconnected’. Her way of painting parallels returning to traditional farming in contradistinction to modern machine-dominated methods. Holmwood’s lively style is at one with a filmed performance in which she rides a giant paintbrush-come hobby horse as if it were a broomstick…. Add spalting, secret hex signs, mycorrhizal relationships and the modern twist of using mushroom colours, and there’s plenty going on.
Sigrid Holmwood with brush
Samara Scott: High Street @ the Zabludowicz Collecton, 176 Prince of Wales Rd – Chalk Farm
Top Main Photo
Samara Scott describes her practice as a ‘slow digestion of cosmetic, edible and chemical cultural bedris’. That turns out to be largely a means of trapping the fluorescently pastel-coloured experiences of a synthetically freed body. The key development in her language here are resinous horizontal paintings – come sculptural accumulations – come low tables – come flatbed scanners, raised on various props. Add a toothpaste drawing on the wall, rolls of sellotape inserted into textile, and a multi-hued painting featuring the gussets from tights, and plenty else, and you have one of five good reasons to visit Anita Z’s summer shows, the other highlights being a persuasive selection of Sam Falls’ paintings, sculpture and less often seen videos; and a rebooted version of Rachel Pimm’s excellent show from Enclave in April.
Rasbs Blubs Strawbs Glee, 2014 – styrofoam, tight toes, tight crotches
Flat Pack/ Wrapped/Stacked @ Punk & Sheep, 5th Floor, 30 Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf
Jonathan Trayte: Unifine and Rob Leech: Barry Box prominent and Sam Plagerson’s improbably-sized contribution at the back.
This appointment only space on a Canary Wharf 5th floor, named for the gallerist couple’s pet names for each other, currently features 30 artists whom curator Tim Ellis invited to produce a sculpture not to exceed 50 x 50 x50 cm and to cost less than £100 to make, and to be posted to the Gallery in a box on which they are displayed with the artist ‘relinquishing control’ from then on. The prevailing mode of quiet wit includes several cunning wheezes to bend the rules – Kate Howard’s inflatable, Graham Reid’s sections to be reconstructed ceiling high, Rob Leech’s box which makes for a big two box sculpture – and a couple of the blatant cheats which I feel Ellis should have cut in half. It’s all well-suited to the surrounding financial services industry. I particularly liked Jonathan Trayte’s iron and ceramic full box-worth of bread, a move on from his fetishitically finished fruit to a sort of reductio ad absurdum of mass food production – though I did wonder about the £100 limit…
Installation view with Kate Howard at the front and Graham Reid showing height
Schema – Sukima @ Laure Genillard, 2 Hanway Place – Tottenham Court Rd
Installation view with Yasuko Otsuka left, Kenneth Dingwall ahead,
Yoko Terauchi right
This six-strong Anglo-Japanese curation by David Connearn can be viewed at two levels, and not just Laure Genillard’s ground floor and basement: on the one hand, a post- Heideggerian account of Kant which uses the linguistic coincidence set out in an accompanying newspaper that the English schema (plan) and the Japanese sukima (crevices) are pronounced the same as a starting point (phew!) or as a delicately beautiful collection of interventions which contrast eastern gradations (Yasuko Otsuka’s subtle duochrome lithographs on cotton, Yoko Terauchi’s shifting perspective of the gallery space using graphite on paint to shadow the floor, Hakudo Atsuo’s silver dust drawings) with western clarity (Gary Woodley’s line sliced through the stairs, Kenneth Dingwall’s more logical colour-sets, Tom Benson’s white painting with an accompanying text which makes for a neat face-off with the canvas at the centre of Yasmina Reza’s play ‘Art’). Recommended either way.
Gary Woodley: Impingement no. 62. double helix, 2014
Keita Miyazaki (& Bongsu Park): Sound & Vision @ Rosenfeld Porcini, 37 Rathbone St – Fitzrovia
Collective Practice, 2014: aluminium bronze, felt, exhaust pipe
Young Japanese artist Keita Miyazaki has a resonant-enough central idea for his new sculptures, which look to create some sort of utopian mode, however ironic, out of post-tsunamic landscape by combining parts of old car engines, festooning them with colourful origami forms, and building in public jingles from the Tokyo soundscape. That said, I can imagine it turning null, but Mizazaki’s forms take on an unpredictable almost animal life as their contrasts hint at post-recessionary flowering, industry in the community, and party streamers threatening to trump environmental issues. The no-nonsense aesthetic and political charge of the car engine have made it a fairly frequent component of conceptual art – see Thomas Bayrle, Matthew Barney and Roger Hiorns (though not John Chamberlain: ‘I didn’t want engine parts, wheels, upholstery, glass, oil, tires, muffler systems or transmissions. Just the sheet metal’).
Quarantine, 2014: felt, paper, exhaust pipe
Eric van Hove: V12 @ Copperfield Gallery, 6 Copperfield Street – Southwark
V12 Laraki: Alternator (2013): Yellow copper, red copper, nickel silver, mahogany wood, cedar wood, cow bone, sand stone, cotton, ram’s horn, cowskin, tin, chinese superglue and cow horn.
In an unusual twist on work not being what it seems, the apparent bling of intricate abstract sculptures in the second show of the third gallery to use this spacious former church hall is far from the point. Rather, they’re part of a project which revisits a failed dream of manufacturing a luxury sports car wholly in Morocco by commissioning to-scale versions of the 463 components in the Mercedes V12 engine which Abdeslam Laraki was eventually forced to use in the ‘Luraki Fulgara’. As such, it’s a social sculpture project orchestrated by the multi-national Van Hove to empower 57 of the estimated three million self-employed Moroccan craftsmen to make something other than tourist fodder. They worked reclaimed and traditional materials such as cow bone and recycled aluminium to the point of looking precious, so harnessing traditional skills in a sort of reverse engineering of factory line production.