Simon Callery: Flat Paintings @ FOLD, 158 New Cavendish St – Fitzrovia
Flat Painting Bodfari 15 Caput Mortum, 2015 – 237 x 178 x 26 cm
Simon Callery presents two types of paintings which – though categorisable as ‘flat’ – build up considerable interior space. The fold in the FOLD gallery comes from 125 meters of canvas rucked up to make the 75kg of Wallspine (Leaf), 2015. The other three large works are stratigraphic layerings built up at the archaeological sites which inspired them, their earthy tones considerably weathered by the practical necessity of being left out during the months of their formation on Welsh hill forts. The holes let into their inner voids are derived from the locations and shapes of artefacts found, but make, along with cutting and re-stitching, for a convincing exposure of process and excavation of painting.
Flat Painting Bodfari 15 Caput Mortum in progress on site
Frank Stella @ Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 28 Duke Street St James’s – Central
To 21 Nov:
Tell Shimshara, 2002 Mixed media on cast aluminum – 137 x 152 x 58 cm
Sticking with the archaeological inspiration, this zappy Frank Stella retrospective includes to wall mounted scultures named after key sites in ancient Anatolia: Stella threw found elements into a sandpit, poured in aluminium and stirred to taste. They’re from an early 80s series mounted on rings which, unusually, allow them to be rotated so that they can be displayed stably at any angle. That aside, Bernard Jacobson makes the most of his capacious new space to show the 4.26m square Michael Kohlhass Panel #7 and the linked sequence of seven canvasses Die Marquise von O… which is – at over 13m wide – easily the biggest artwork within 200 metres (ie until you get to Ai Wei Wei at the Royal Academy).
Die Marquise von O…, 1999, mixed media on seven canvas panels, overall 305 x 1,317 cms
Eric Bainbridge / Joel Kyack @ Workplace London, Mezzanine Floor, 61-65 Conduit Street – Central
Joel Kyack: The Very First Day, 2015 Bucket, pump, plastic finger, dye, water, tile and wood
129 x 41 x 41 cm
Chiming with that Stella, LA artist Joel Kyack has a penchant for setting localised world records, mocking the Guinness Book (which, come to that, he claims to have thrown further than anyone, albeit without official recognition). Gateshead’s Workplace as a supra-local outpost in London, currently showing Kyack’s sculptures – such as an endlessly spiralling balloon and a putple-watered start of the world Fountain which conjoins creation and urination – together with 10 new examples of Eric Bainbridge’s rather staisfying paintings using his signature material of synthetic fur fabric. He told me that this stream of production – less known than his fur sculptures – rather annoys painters, which makes them all the more fun to make.
Eric Bainbridge: Untitled, 2015 Fur fabric and acrylic – 140 x 140 cm
Gerard Williams: Cultural Currency @ Handel Street Projects, 14 Florence Street – Islington
On the back of thirty years’ work emphasising our personal and social preconceptions, Gerard Williams shows thirty double-sided birch plywood tablets. Small windows are cut from each face to highlight details of two or three banknotes enclosed within. This economical collision of art and value might ask whether, as Dave Hickey has put it, art and money are parallel cultural fictions – based on demonstrations of trust – which have no intrinsic value. If that’s the question, one answer might lie in the aesthetic interest which accrues from revealing evocative image fragments while turning the tableaux into compelling abstract arrangements.
Prem Sahib: End Up @ Southard Reid, 7 Royalty Mews – Soho
To 14 Nov: www.southardreid.com
The three potential meeting spaces of Prem Sahib’s extensive and well-received ICA show each create clinical and yet intense atmospheres, and there is in effect a fourth at his gallery a kilometre north: Southard Reid is boarded up as if to suggest an unofficial occupation. A fading neon, the eponymous END UP, flickers between a closing down or having reached a goal. Inside, you’re in changing rooms, complete with benches, gay scene magazines and new objects through which Sahib can apply his brand of sensual minimalism: several silicone rubber rolls of paper towels.
Neil Gall: Arrange your face @ DomoBaal, 3 John St – Holborn
Nightwatch, 2013 – oil on gesso panel, 52 x 36 cm
It’s ten years since Aberdonian Neil Gall showed solo in London: he’s still painting from photographs of the models which he constructs of studio bric-a-brac, but his sources have become less sculptural. The faces in these models, which cohere into caricatural types through a nice mix of strategy and accident, invade the viewer’s space with a flattened-up-close intensity. That’s enhanced by Gall’s uneven, paint-like use of varnish, which glistens sensually. The title ‘Arrange your face’ picks up on the Arcimboldoesque aspect, but is also a phrase common in Wolf Hall: that fits particularly well with the contrasting pair of ‘Nightwatch’ and ‘Cut-Out’, as the latter is an empty version of the former’s headspace, bringing to mind the iconoclastic smashing of the Reformation.
Cut-out – oil on gesso panel67 x 51cm _________________________
Mustafa Hulusi: Flyposting @ London Metropolitan University, 59 Whitechapel High St
Olive trees on the street
This unusual show brings the history of London-based Turkish Cypriot Mustafa Hulusi’s flyposting practice to the gallery context, starting with late 90’s declamations of his palpably alien and then unknown name, merging it with disco effects to confuse more categories than just the fine art / graffiti / design divides. 2005 saw the debut of what became his graphic signature, the ‘expander’ which suggests heightened states of consciousness, be they aesthetic – as when paired with flowers – or otherwise. They were popular enough to stay on London’s sites well beyond their planned couple of weeks. More recently the sensual excesses of giant pomegranates and the Levantine image-as-ground of gnarled olive trees have taken centre stage. As well as posters on the wall, we get a documentary slide show and a broadsheet of further images.
Pomegranate in the gallery