London Gallery Lockdown 4/05/2020: Greta Thunberg would undoubtedly agree with the first statement, and the second one would be a bit more contentious, is she old enough to engage in the debate yet? Yeah, of course, she is…
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Anyways in this visually driven feature, we set our aperture to as large as the o-zone layer thanks to a GH5 & a 12-60 Panasonic Leica Lens & snap London by night, and by day, night displaying favouritism to some of London key arts institution & Premier League (TM) galleries. Most of the shots were taken mid-week between 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm The lack of human presence is astounding for London.
Day is an easier shoot done entirely on an iPhone X. Some of the leading commercial galleries are featured along with a few public offerings. This is an unprecedented time that will be part of our makeup for years to come. We will need to remind ourselves how the entire world as we knew it shifted unrecognisably in a few short weeks, from all go to living through the world’s most prolonged bank holiday weekend. We will persevere, as we drift rudderless into an economic meltdown, here’s how it looked visually.
1) Phillips De Pury. It seems oddly unsettling to see this Mayfair auction juggernaut ground to a halt on the runway; perhaps its founder can drop some tunes on Instagram to cheer us all up in its absence
2) Stephen Friedman Gallery looks more closed than it is, well obviously it’s shut, it’s not a rogue barbershop on Kingsland road; however This photo was acquired at 3 am, the Witching hour, so everything looks creepy. SF Gallery count’s the likes of David Shrigley & Yinka Shonibare in it’s starting eleven, so could make a cup run against anyone.
3) White Cube in Masons Yard looks like they have just send a destroyer ship to visit Damien Hirst after he did the numbers and decided to start his own record label, what would he call it, Shark Dot Formaldehyde …….
4) Well, Tate Modern isn’t short on decent exhibitions currently, I am sorry to break it to you, they are closed, which seems a fucking travesty as both Steve McQueen and Andy Warhol have retrospectives on. McQueen is a leading voice in Cinema & visual arts, pushing the type of unflinching honesty discoverable in a Mike Leigh film, but tackles such topics such as addiction, sacrifice, suffering and betrayal unlike any has before with the care of a forensic.
5) The Hayward Gallery has written this caption for me; however, the Hayward has been shaping the artistic agenda since it’s inception in 1968, Viva La Revolution, so what do you expect?
6) The RA does precisely what it says on the tin, but don’t expect a summer exhibition this year.
London Gallery Lockdown Night – Photos/text: Oliver Malin © Artlyst 2020
London Gallery Lockdown Day
Out for a quick lockdown drive through Mayfair between 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm last week. Here are a few offerings illustrating the state of the London art industry. The absence of people is mind-blowing. The West End looks like its trapped in a semi-permanent timewarp of 6:00 am Sunday morning. I have left out Gagosian Grovsner Hill as it always looks closed anyway.
1) Hauser & Wirth Gallery: Savile Row, Mayfair – This gallery is closed but currently has stuff up on the walls if you want to do some window shopping.
2) The developers may have wreaked havoc on Cork Street, once the epicentre of the London art scene, now a shadow of its former self. The lack of people and cars echoes the emptiness of the street.
3) Next, we find Victoria Miro’s Maddox Street Gallery you can almost picture tumbleweed blowing down the centre of the road.
4) London’s National Gallery should be in full swing, however with the Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition postponed the police distancing enforcement officers outnumber the joggers and cyclists out for their daily hour of exercise and not a floating Yoda or Bretton-shirted mime to be seen. The Fourth Plinth remains empty until further notice.
5) Frith Street and Marian Goodman both shuttered Golden Square looking more like tarnished brass than gold.
6) Zabludowicz Collection in Chalk Farm NW London Life under lock and key. Looking forward to getting London moving again but only when safe, and this probably means when a vaccine is readily available.
Day – Photos/text: Paul Carter Robinson © Artlyst 2020