Existing galleries continue to expand and new ones to open. Among the heavyweights Sadie Coles has four shows at the moment, and Pace moves into Burlington House and David Zwirner into Grafton Street in October. And almost all of this month's ten are recent expansions or creations - including a whole clutch in Deptford ...
There are times when I groan ‘enough skulls!’, but this modern reworking of black humoured momento mori motifs isn’t one of them. The highlights include artist-curator-gallerist James Hopkins’ sculptural mirror anamorphosis, which turns a jaw-bone-like shape into a full skull when seen reflected in a beer can; Darren Coffield’s upside-down skull paintings; and mordant Dane Peter Callesen’s intricate paper cut-out of a skeleton looking back at the man he used to be, presented alongside a film of the artist in a cemetery, reading out his own drily absurd eulogy (‘how many nights we sat up late talking…’). Mat Collishaw, Hugh Mendes and John Stark are among those adding to the gloomy entertainment.
Kaari Upson: Baby Please Come Home @ Massimo De carlo,
To 30 July: www.carlsongalery.co.uk
After lying low a while in Heddon Street, Milan’s biggest contemporary gallery has expanded into what looks an impressive two room space at street level even before you find the six subterranean rooms. They contain the first substantial British showing of work from on-trend LA artist Kaari Upson’s ‘Larry Project’, in which she picks over the personal papers and largely burnt-out remains of a house inhabited my a seedy man she never knew, but whose identity she seeks to hijack. Ritualised drawings, durational video performances and dramatic installations rendered from the house in charred wood, latex, mud and silicone all pile on the intense analysis of herself through him.
|porn star eyes|
To 14 July: www.wilsonwilliamsgallery.com
The ‘elephant in the room’ at WW’s new space is tackled head on in the collage of that name, in which a 50s housewife gets to grips with a phallus almost as outrageously-sized as those which do duty as lighthouses elsewhere. The brazen invention continues as we find ourselves looking up a skirt made of hair while swimming goggles bat their eyelashes and a zimmer frame prepares to party. More subtly, the acting modes of wholesome advertising and pornography collapse into each other as we struggle to read a lack of innocence into stuck-on porn star eyes. Laugh as we might, Hennessy hits the target of how sexual commodification gets in everywhere.
|Installation View with 'Stripped Biographies' and 'Press Release'|
James Brooks: The Information Exchange @ Domo Baal (co-presented by Man & Eve),
Lucy Newman Cleeve’s excellent notes do more justice than I can to the subversive conceptual play behind James Brooks’ formally elegant work, a sort of imageless and textless critique of how we use images and text. Thus are newspapers obliterated by their own ink as if in a surfeit of news, stories layered into geometries which emphasise the trammeling formats they must follow; and disparate lives unified by the stripping of 26 biographies’ dust jackets, and the show's press release turned into a work. There’s sound too, and Phil Spector’s becomes a wall of discord when 21 of his tracks are played at once…
Angel Vergara: Berlusconi Pasolini @ news of the world, Enclave 3,
To 29 July: www.thecentreofattention.org
|Nadine Fecht: 3 by 4|
|Russlan Daskalov: on the beach at the sunsetsunrise|
La Düsseldorf @ Hidde van Seggelen Gallery,
To 28 July: www.hiddevanseggelen.com
|Anthony Hall: Continual Slow Drip|
On the Move @ The Gazelli Arthouse, 39 Dover St - Central
To 16 Aug: www.gazelliarthouse.com
There’s dark life at the heart of Gazelli’s four-artist third show following its move to a permanent space. Charlotte Becket makes angular crushes of discarded black plastic which turn out on closer engagement to be expanding somewhat creepily into your space, with a sound whihc could be of crystalline growth. Science serves artistic flow in Anthony Hall’s liquid sculptures: a ‘Perpetual Puddle Vortex’ makes oil disappear into the middle of a plinth, only to reappear thanks to interior motor and marbles; and ‘Continual Slow Drip’ effects a globular take on Charles Ray’s 1987 ‘Ink Line’ by having a mixture of olive oil and black paint blink its way down a fishing line. Hyo Myoung Kim and Giovanni Ozzola also make their moves.
Images courtesy of the relevant artists and galleries + Andy Keate (Brooks)