All Visual Arts (AVA) has announced its much anticipated autumn show mounted in the Marylebone Church Crypt, during Frieze week. Entitled ‘Viewing Room’ it follows the successes of Vanitas: the Transience of Earthly Pleasures and Metamorphosis: the Transformation of Being, presented in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
The concept of Viewing Room is to present a salon style installation, including works that have been commissioned by AVA over the past five years. On the approach to the majestic Soane church, several sculptures are visible in the west gardens. Walking along the garden path to the entrance of the Crypt is Fiamma Colonna Montagu’s Had We the World Again and Time, a series of four massive spinning ceramic globes that depict the Earth at different stages in its evolutionary history. Just opposite is Uzbekistan sculptor Unus Safardiar’s life-sized horse’s head that appears to be made from mechanical parts. At the entrance of the exhibition, one is greeted by Bloody Forever by Sue Webster and Tim Noble; the flashing word ‘forever’ built with 325 red UFO reflector caps dripping blood using a digital DMX sequencer.
John Stezaker and Ambrosine Allen’s exquisite landscapes rethink the legacy Caroline Smit take on the Vanitas theme of death and regeneration; porcelain flowers emerge from refuse laden earth; a macabre maiden lovingly embraces a human skeleton that sports the skull of a horse. Downstairs in the main viewing area, hovering between narrative and abstraction, G.L. Brierley’s Agatha, an idiosyncratic portrait painted using her extreme version of the techniques of the Old Masters, makes for a startling contrast to Jonathan Wateridge’s cool, Rothko-like Fog, a painting of group of climbers almost entirely enveloped in thick mountaintop mist. Three sculptures by Hilary Berseth explore the alchemy of organic materials; one entirely constructed by bees and the two others composed of dendritic crystals, the result of electroplating metal armatures in super-saturated copper solutions for up to six months. Further explorations in the alchemy of carbon are Reece Jones Panavista, a charcoal drawing of a 19th century sublime landscape with an enigmatic, movie screen shaped light source hovering in the background and Henry Krokatisis’s Chandalier 3, a chandelier rendered in candle smoke on paper.
Alastair Mackie’s Complex System 465, made entirely of intricately interlocked cuttlefish bones, create a rhomboid geometric pattern rooted in the serial form of minimalism of the 1960’s. Similarly, the plans for Polly Morgan’s Picking Progress to Pieces, a tower of 3428 Jesmonite-cast crow femurs, each painted by hand, are taken from Sol Lewitt’s square spiral structure.
Wolfe von Lenkiewicz’s coalescence of Holbein’s portrait of The Ambassadors hangs directly across from Jason Brooks Mr. X, a larger-than-life-sized painting of the torso of a man covered entirely in tattoos, air brushed in hyper-real black and white. Tom Ormond’s cyber-sublime Limitless Energy, depicts a rural, ramshackle, solar energy machine. Dolly Thompsett’s Grand Interior Space, invites the viewer into a vicarious journey; intricately painted architectural landscapes reveal themselves and then fade away into others, much like the process of memory.
In the adjacent corridors a series of boxes by Charles Matton, displaying miniature environments from libraries to empty hotel corridors, sit side by side a series of undulating biomorphic forms intricately veneered in feathers by Kate MccGwire.
Artists in the exhibition will include: Ambrosine Allen, Guy Allott, Bertozzi & Casoni, Hilary Berseth, G.L. Brierley, Jason Brooks, Jonas Burgert, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Adam Fuss, Steven C. Harvey, John Isaacs, Reece Jones, Henry Krokatsis, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Juliette Losq, Alastair Mackie, Haruko Maeda, Frank Magnotta, Charles Matton, Kate MccGwire, Fiamma Montagu, Polly Morgan, Tom Ormond, Unus Safardiar, Dennis Scholl, Erinc Seymen, Carolein Smit, John Stezaker, Mircea Suciu, Dolly Thompsett, Ben Tyers, Jonathan Wateridge, Tim Noble & Sue Webster
Viewing Room. Conceived and curated by Joe La Placa and Mark Sanders, this exhibition brings together 36 contemporary artists that have been represented or affiliated with the organisation since its advent in 2008. The exhibition will take place at the Crypt of Marylebone Church, No 1 Marylebone Place, adjacent to the Frieze Art Fair, and will be on display from Monday the 14th October to Sunday 20th October.