Friday, 26 August 2016

CHOICES UP NOW


Up Now in London


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Samara Scott: Developer @ Battersea Park



Just south of where the Thames forms Battersea Park’s border is one of those works likely to be differently classified by the passing public. Is it that some vandal discoloured the Mirror Pools with noxious chemicals and then dumped builder’s tarpaulin and scaffold netting? Or has Samara Scott summoned the spirit of Monet’s water lilies to arrange paintings without paint, which evocatively refer to the locality? Under Option 2 the use of chemicals to keep algae away will act like an old-style photographic developer to change the pools' colours over time, and suggest the saltpetre works which once  caused fabric production to thrive locally; while the submerged fabrics from the building trade bring to mind the other sort of developer, whose extensive construction works characterise Battersea just now.
 

_________________


 

The highlight of the Waddington Gallery’s Barry Flanagan retrospective earlier this year was his film sand girl, 1970, even though it wasn’t terribly well displayed. The Welsh artist (1941-2009) is better far better known for his adventurous early sculptures (quite often using sand) and later self-identification as a mischievous hare. So it’s good to find that Tate bought sand girl in 2012 and is now displaying it on a monumental scale in a dedicated room, so making the most of the chance-driven details in this 17 minute proto-exemplar of action, time and gravity as sculpture. Flanagan's student Cheryll Potter is transformatively trickled on by sand leaked from a bag swung over her. It settles into granularity, seethes with her movements, forms abstractions on closeup, and plays hide and seek with the landscape as body.


_________________


Clarisse d'ArcimolesForgotten Tale @ Photographer's Gallery

To 23 Sept

The installation

When she was a girl in France, Clarisse d'Arcimoles persuaded herself that old back and white photographs showed that the world was not then in colour, feeding what proved an ongoing desire to enter the monochrome world as used to be. She's often played on that urge by casting herself – with enough seriousness to emplo a period specialist hairdresser - into remakes of Victorian photography, several of which are on view here. But after some years pursuing the funds, d'Arcimoles has finally realised the grander ambition of recreating the childishly assumed world itself. Her installation replicates the location of a family photographed in a common lodging house in Spitalfields in 1902, the whole walk-in scene meticulously painted in black and white.

The original photograph

_________________



MADE YOU LOOK: Dandyism and Black Masculinity @ The Photographer’s Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies St – Oxford Circus



Jeffrey Henson-Scales, Young Man In Plaid, NYC, 1991

Introducing his show, curator Ekow Eshun summairses how black men can be both hyper-visible (due to racial stereotypes of criminality and sexuality) and yet invisible (in terms of their inner life and own concerns). That’s the context for images in which black men assert themselves beyond the constrictions of the white gaze as complex and flamboyant rather than other or estranged, and do so through a dandyism which is less a matter of fashion and pose than a  means of constructing a self-identity. Morrocan-born Hassan Hajjij’s extravagantly patterned friends framed by packets of local products, Samuel Fosso’s self-reinventions, Jeffrey Henson-Scales and Malick Sidibé are among the telling choices.
Hassan Hajjij: Mr J-C Heyford, 2012
                                                              _________________

Ragnar Kjartansson @ The Barbican

To 4 Sept: www.barbican.org.uk

Detail from Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage, 2011

The most talked-about show in London now is this one: as many as ten guitarists loll around singing the same phrase all day; two Edwardian women kiss for two hours; a band sings the same song for six hours straight; mother spits at you every five years with no end date set - and plenty more   Ragnar Kjartansson takes the simple idea of repetition and applies it to crazy excess to see what emerges: difference, of course, and an off-beat humour, but also unpredictable outcrops of emotion. And it makes for a challenge: how much can you watch? How much do you want to watch? 

Second Movement, 2016
                                                            _________________


                    

Performer / Audience / Mirror @ Lisson Gallery, 68 Bell St - Edgeware Road 

Still from Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: Worship, 2016


One of the Lisson's gallery has three rooms dedicated to consective screening of three programmes of films by 18 artists, each emphasising one of the triad performer, audience and mirror from  Dan Graham's seminal performance of that name, here presented within a Dan Graham pavilion. It ranges across classics such as that, Marina Abramovic's combing frenzy Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful and Rodney Graham's Vexation Island to less famous works (Ceal Floyer's Downpour (Thorstrasse), 2004 is particularly neat)  to  new work, notably Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg's first claymation film for five years, whihc is relishably fruity. It;s also on line, and while not all the films are easy straight-through watches, especially if you don't plan to stay the whole day, you can ask to have them reordered...


Still from Marina Abramovic:  Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful, 1975

                                                             _________________


Katherine Murphy: Decay @ Patrick Heide, 11 Church St – Edgeware Road

 To 17 Sept
www.patrickheide.com

Labour + Repetition = Decay (no.9), 2015

Katherine Murphy gives obsession a political inflexion, as her labour stands in for the under-acknowledged toil of the many carrying out repetitive tasks in the broader economy. That's explicit in her timesheet-based prints, but equally present in two new streams of work (and I mean work) in this, her first full solo show. The series Labour + Repetition = Decay requires the folding and unfolding of paper over several weeks to reach an aesthetic of ditressed geometry. For Decay by 100,000 pinholes Murphy has pricked as many as that into a large piece of paper, using a decreasing number of random numbers to decide where to pierce, so that ‘blank’ patches increase towards the right. That was six months of labour for – even if the piece is sold – no more than pin money.

 
Katherine Murphy in front of thousands of holes, not easily spotted in a photograph

                                                                                   ______________


Overlay @ White Rainbow, 47 Mortimer St – Fitzrovia


To 17 Sept: 
www.white-rainbow.co.uk
Installation view with Zoë Paul's Moths and Lizards, 2016, in front of Nancy Holt's Trail Markers, 1969

In the inspiring presence of Nancy Holt’s Trail Markers, four young artists pick up on its aspects of journeys, materiality and sexual roles with an underlying contrast of natural and artificial. Cathy Haynes constructs an alphabet out of plastic imitation wood, each letter framed in real wood faked to look like oak; Claire Potter films herself in male action mode but taking mockingly little action; Zoë Paul plays with ritual through volcanic rock faces, marble staging, and mist machines; Hannah Lees explores wine as paint, incense as a sculptural element, and the detritus of river walks as content immured in plaster. The whole creates a subtle but immersive interplay: kudos to curator Jeremy Millar as well as to the artists.



______________



Niki de Saint Phalle: je Suis une Vache Suisse @ Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art, 21 Conduit St - Mayfair


To 10 Sept:
www.otca.co.uk
Je Suis Une Vache Suisse, 1991 - oil, pencil and mirror on wood, 99 x 96 x 20 cm

There are some superb historical shows on at the moment: Louise Nevelson at Pace, Jean Dubuffet at Timothy Taylor, Gego at Dominique Lévy...  Less obvious, perhaps,. is this co-selection with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park of  Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 - 2002). It's seeded with darkness, All Over being one of the collages of everyday items (somewhat akin to Mike Kelley's later 'Memory Ware' series) which she stated making while in a mental institution following depression and prior to her famous shooting paintings. Omitting those, the show fast forwards to her brighter and more animalistic side, including the eponymous Swiss cow with cheesy holes; her usual fun with birds and snakes; and the plaster work showing her friend Clarice Rivers (Larry's wife) pregnant - which was to swell into the Nana series.

All Over, 1959-60 - objects i plaster on wood panel
 
______________
       

Jeff Koons: Now @ Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street –  Vauxhall


 

'Play Doh', 1994-2014
Damien Hirst, in his more than impressive new space, provides a punchily presented and much less predictable overview of Koons than I’d expected: hoovers and basketballs present and welcome, but also early inflatables to tee up the later stainless steel blown-up big ‘can’t-believe-it’s-not-vinyl’ ones; a bigger balloon ‘celebration’ than has been shown in London before; giant eggs as well as Jeff’s own sperm on Illona’s face; the 27 aluminium casts which make up the monstrous child’s play of ‘Play Doh’… 



Three Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr JK Silver series), 1995
                            

                                           _________________________


                               

Images courtesy / copyright the relevant artists and galleries 




   

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CHOICES UP NOW


Up Now in London


Page down to end of current choices to sign up to my mailing list  



Samara Scott: Developer @ Battersea Park



Just south of where the Thames forms Battersea Park’s border is one of those works likely to be differently classified by the passing public. Is it that some vandal discoloured the Mirror Pools with noxious chemicals and then dumped builder’s tarpaulin and scaffold netting? Or has Samara Scott summoned the spirit of Monet’s water lilies to arrange paintings without paint, which evocatively refer to the locality? Under Option 2 the use of chemicals to keep algae away will act like an old-style photographic developer to change the pools' colours over time, and suggest the saltpetre works which once  caused fabric production to thrive locally; while the submerged fabrics from the building trade bring to mind the other sort of developer, whose extensive construction works characterise Battersea just now.
 

_________________


 


The highlight of the Waddington Gallery’s Barry Flanagan retrospective earlier this year was his film sand girl, 1970, even though it wasn’t terribly well displayed. The Welsh artist (1941-2009) is better far better known for his adventurous early sculptures (quite often using sand) and later self-identification as a mischievous hare. So it’s good to find that Tate bought sand girl in 2012 and is now displaying it on a monumental scale in a dedicated room, so making the most of the chance-driven details in this 17 minute proto-exemplar of action, time and gravity as sculpture. Flanagan's student Cheryll Potter is transformatively trickled on by  coloured filters and sand leaked from a bag swung over her. It settles into granularity, seethes with her movements, forms abstractions on closeup, and plays hide and seek with the landscape as body.


_________________


Clarisse d'ArcimolesForgotten Tale @ Photographer's Gallery

To 23 Sept

The installation

When she was a girl in France, Clarisse d'Arcimoles persuaded herself that old back and white photographs showed that the world was not then in colour, feeding what proved an ongoing desire to enter the monochrome world as used to be. She's often played on that urge by casting herself – with enough seriousness to emplo a period specialist hairdresser - into remakes of Victorian photography, several of which are on view here. But after some years pursuing the funds, d'Arcimoles has finally realised the grander ambition of recreating the childishly assumed world itself. Her installation replicates the location of a family photographed in a common lodging house in Spitalfields in 1902, the whole walk-in scene meticulously painted in black and white.

The original photograph

_________________



MADE YOU LOOK: Dandyism and Black Masculinity @ The Photographer’s Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies St – Oxford Circus



Jeffrey Henson-Scales, Young Man In Plaid, NYC, 1991

Introducing his show, curator Ekow Eshun summairses how black men can be both hyper-visible (due to racial stereotypes of criminality and sexuality) and yet invisible (in terms of their inner life and own concerns). That’s the context for images in which black men assert themselves beyond the constrictions of the white gaze as complex and flamboyant rather than other or estranged, and do so through a dandyism which is less a matter of fashion and pose than a  means of constructing a self-identity. Morrocan-born Hassan Hajjij’s extravagantly patterned friends framed by packets of local products, Samuel Fosso’s self-reinventions, Jeffrey Henson-Scales and Malick Sidibé are among the telling choices.
Hassan Hajjij: Mr J-C Heyford, 2012
                                                              _________________

Ragnar Kjartansson @ The Barbican

To 4 Sept: www.barbican.org.uk

Detail from Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage, 2011

The most talked-about show in London now is this one: as many as ten guitarists loll around singing the same phrase all day; two Edwardian women kiss for two hours; a band sings the same song for six hours straight; mother spits at you every five years with no end date set - and plenty more   Ragnar Kjartansson takes the simple idea of repetition and applies it to crazy excess to see what emerges: difference, of course, and an off-beat humour, but also unpredictable outcrops of emotion. And it makes for a challenge: how much can you watch? How much do you want to watch? 

Second Movement, 2016
                                                            _________________


                    

Performer / Audience / Mirror @ Lisson Gallery, 68 Bell St - Edgeware Road 

Still from Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: Worship, 2016


One of the Lisson's gallery has three rooms dedicated to consective screening of three programmes of films by 18 artists, each emphasising one of the triad performer, audience and mirror from  Dan Graham's seminal performance of that name, here presented within a Dan Graham pavilion. It ranges across classics such as that, Marina Abramovic's combing frenzy Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful and Rodney Graham's Vexation Island to less famous works (Ceal Floyer's Downpour (Thorstrasse), 2004 is particularly neat)  to  new work, notably Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg's first claymation film for five years, whihc is relishably fruity. It;s also on line, and while not all the films are easy straight-through watches, especially if you don't plan to stay the whole day, you can ask to have them reordered...


Still from Marina Abramovic:  Art must be beautiful /Artist must be beautiful, 1975

                                                             _________________


Katherine Murphy: Decay @ Patrick Heide, 11 Church St – Edgeware Road

 To 17 Sept
www.patrickheide.com

Labour + Repetition = Decay (no.9), 2015

Katherine Murphy gives obsession a political inflexion, as her labour stands in for the under-acknowledged toil of the many carrying out repetitive tasks in the broader economy. That's explicit in her timesheet-based prints, but equally present in two new streams of work (and I mean work) in this, her first full solo show. The series Labour + Repetition = Decay requires the folding and unfolding of paper over several weeks to reach an aesthetic of ditressed geometry. For Decay by 100,000 pinholes Murphy has pricked as many as that into a large piece of paper, using a decreasing number of random numbers to decide where to pierce, so that ‘blank’ patches increase towards the right. That was six months of labour for – even if the piece is sold – no more than pin money.

 
Katherine Murphy in front of thousands of holes, not easily spotted in a photograph

                                                                                   ______________


Overlay @ White Rainbow, 47 Mortimer St – Fitzrovia


To 17 Sept: 
www.white-rainbow.co.uk
Installation view with Zoë Paul's Moths and Lizards, 2016, in front of Nancy Holt's Trail Markers, 1969

In the inspiring presence of Nancy Holt’s Trail Markers, four young artists pick up on its aspects of journeys, materiality and sexual roles with an underlying contrast of natural and artificial. Cathy Haynes constructs an alphabet out of plastic imitation wood, each letter framed in real wood faked to look like oak; Claire Potter films herself in male action mode but taking mockingly little action; Zoë Paul plays with ritual through volcanic rock faces, marble staging, and mist machines; Hannah Lees explores wine as paint, incense as a sculptural element, and the detritus of river walks as content immured in plaster. The whole creates a subtle but immersive interplay: kudos to curator Jeremy Millar as well as to the artists.



______________



Niki de Saint Phalle: je Suis une Vache Suisse @ Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art, 21 Conduit St - Mayfair


To 10 Sept:
www.otca.co.uk
Je Suis Une Vache Suisse, 1991 - oil, pencil and mirror on wood, 99 x 96 x 20 cm

There are some superb historical shows on at the moment: Louise Nevelson at Pace, Jean Dubuffet at Timothy Taylor, Gego at Dominique Lévy...  Less obvious, perhaps,. is this co-selection with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park of  Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 - 2002). It's seeded with darkness, All Over being one of the collages of everyday items (somewhat akin to Mike Kelley's later 'Memory Ware' series) which she stated making while in a mental institution following depression and prior to her famous shooting paintings. Omitting those, the show fast forwards to her brighter and more animalistic side, including the eponymous Swiss cow with cheesy holes; her usual fun with birds and snakes; and the plaster work showing her friend Clarice Rivers (Larry's wife) pregnant - which was to swell into the Nana series.

All Over, 1959-60 - objects i plaster on wood panel
 
______________
       

Jeff Koons: Now @ Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street –  Vauxhall


 

'Play Doh', 1994-2014
Damien Hirst, in his more than impressive new space, provides a punchily presented and much less predictable overview of Koons than I’d expected: hoovers and basketballs present and welcome, but also early inflatables to tee up the later stainless steel blown-up big ‘can’t-believe-it’s-not-vinyl’ ones; a bigger balloon ‘celebration’ than has been shown in London before; giant eggs as well as Jeff’s own sperm on Illona’s face; the 27 aluminium casts which make up the monstrous child’s play of ‘Play Doh’… 



Three Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr JK Silver series), 1995
                            

                                           _________________________


                               

Images courtesy / copyright the relevant artists and galleries 




   

Subscribe to our mailing list



* indicates required



   
   



   
   



   
   



    Email Format
   


   

       

       

   
   
   

   


   


About Me

My photo
Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09)and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, The Art Newspaper and Border Crossings. I have curated five shows in London during 2013-15 with more on the way.Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.

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