Thursday, 28 July 2011


July into August is traditionally time the time of summer group shows, and there are some good ones around: at Frith Street, Poppy Sebire, the Zabludowicz Collection, Calvert22, Ancient & Modern, Galleri8, Salon Vert, Simon Lee, Asylum, Fold and Seventeen, for example, or the Hungarian photography at the RA and the festival of animation at the Barbican – to stretch the concept a little. But I’ve concentrated mostly on ‘dual shows’: one artist in more than one gallery, or the two-person exhibition which allows for contrast while showing a substantial amount of each artist’s work. Despite looming summer breaks, all these shows run well into August, at least.

Jake or Dinos Chapman @ White Cube East & West

To 17 Sept:

‘Sensational’ may be too tired a word for the lovable(?) rogues’ vast two gallery survey of their tendencies, but it feels apt. Children’s book drawings, cardboard sculptures, defaced Goyas, re-faced mannequins, altered old paintings, it’s all here in bulk plus the new and memorable 30-strong troop of jet black Nazi art enthusiasts at Mason’s Yard and accretions of bronze cotton buds (don’t use them at home!) at Hoxton Square . The publicity emphasizes that the brothers worked separately, but de-collaboration doesn’t seem to have changed their style. They still ought to be shortlisted as one artist for next year’s Turner Prize, along perhaps with Mike Nelson, Tacita Dean and Tracey Emin to guarantee that it goes to one of the non-winners who’ve done more than most of the winners to set the direction of British art in the last twenty years...

Nicolas Poussin: Apollo and the Muses on Parnassus

Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

To Sept 25:

The relationship between Poussin and Twombly feels somewhat overcooked here, no matter that they both arrived in Rome at 30 with a love of myth and literature. That’s more than offset, though, by the sheer pleasure of so much Poussin alongside the now-memorial selection of Twombly. Plus there are three bonuses: five of Poussin’s great series of ‘Sacrements’ shown separately, Tacita Dean’s latest sensitive portrait of a soon-to-die old man of the arts (Mario Merz, Michael Hamburger and Merce Cunningham having preceded this film of Twombly), and of the course the permanent collection from dress-sweep of Gainborough to milk-spray of Rubens.

Giuseppe Penone: Skin of Graphite

Richard Long & Giusepe Penone @ Haunch of Venison

To 20 Aug 2011:

This second heavyweight pairing of the summer is the last in Haunch of Venison’s huge temporary home before they move back to the yard which gave the gallery its name. On one side Richard Long, 72, who trains by walking everywhere; on the other, the Italian arte povera star Giuseppe Penone, 64, in his most extensive London showing yet. It includes the largest-scale set of his ‘Skin of Graphite’ drawings that I’ve ever seen, turning the body's surface into topography, along with a representative selection of sculptures -   mapping trees from inside and out and musing beautifully on man and nature.

Paul Etienne Lincoln: installation view of 'Aurelian Labyrinth'

Tue Greenfort: Where the People Will Go & Paul Etienne Lincoln: An Aurelian Labyrinth and Other Explications @ the South London Gallery, 65 Peckham Rd – Peckham

To 11 Sept (Greenfort) / 18 Sept (Lincoln): http//
Environmentally-inclined Dane Tue Greenfort’s soft parquetry, mushroom growths, wood decay demo and critique of the structure of London local government through its binbags are well worth pondering. But the upstairs space finds New York based Briton Lincoln in super-charged imaginative form which put me in mind of Raymond Rousell: detailed descriptions, drawings and maquettes relating to some compellingly ludicrous installation proposals. The titular piece, for example, envisages that a Bach score be fed into the mechanics of an irrigation system to produce maze patterns on a field of genetically modified pansies, chosen – need you ask? - for their petals’ similarity to the wings of the Camberwell Beauty butterfly.

Still from 'Golden Underground'

Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom & Gabriel Hartley: Peacock Trousers @ Josh Lilley Gallery, 44-46 Riding House St – Fitzrovia

To 10 Aug:

There’s a certain perverse pleasure to be had from Gabriel Hartley’s fey-monumental sculptural forms which turn out to have been built from rolls of paper, but for me the main attraction here is the sharp and amiable wit of the impressively named Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom, who presents the surreal afterlife of implied performances. ‘Peacock’ conjures multiple resonances from a succession of bulbs lit by variously-coloured light: from snooker to still life to eggs to interrogation to pondering the light in or out of a painting; and the jaunty paintbrush-plays-a-piano video loop ‘Golden Underground’ is somehow made more entertaining by the absence of an image for most of the time.

My Sun's Holiday

Patrick Hughes at Flowers & Flowers East

To 3 Sept:

You may think you've seen enough of Patrick Hughes’ crowd-pleasing reverse perspective paintings, which appear to move as you do, and of which there are plenty of new examples in the Cork Street half of this show. Still, it's refreshing to be reminded of the variety of witty ideas which Hughes has come up with over the years in the extensive retrospective at Flowers East: the painting as suitcase, for example, the sun at rest, the sexual jigsaw, the self-masturbating penis, the rainbow hung on the moon. And actually the reverse perspectives do move on, recently playing with internal repetition and infinite regress. The painting may be  more functional rather than inspired, that’s also an avoidance of distraction that fits in with Hughes’ obvious affinity with Magritte.

Mat Collishaw in Ron Arad's 'Curtain Call' @ the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd - Camden

9-29 Aug:

This Bloomberg Summer exhibition isn't strictly dual, but centeres around Ron Arad’s 5,600 suspended silicon rods serving as a novel screen in the round (which you can view from inside or outside) for the 15 projectors used for Mat Collishaw’s new video work 'Sordid Earth'. That will depict flowers in a panoramic landsape over the course of a day: the flowers will blossom and contract digitally added infections - which lead to sores, pustules, decay and death in typically melodramatic Collishaw style.  Ori Gersht, David Shrigley and Christain Marclay are among those who will also feature in the wide-ranging programme.

Jess Flood-Paddock: Fantastic Voyage @ Carl Freedman, 44a Charlotte Rd - Hoxton

To 13 Aug:

Young sculptor Jess Flood-Paddock is highly visible at the moment: anthropomorphic versions of Japanese snacks at Wilkinson; a Del Boy car in this year’s Bold Tendencies, the entertaining summer sculpture survey in Peckham Rye’s multistorey car park; and her own show at Carl Freedman. ‘Fantastic Voyage’ sets a tent-sized hip-hop-trendy New Era 50 baseball cap with a brain design on it against a backdrop of membranous tie-dyed pink fabric. That hints at being inside a brain, too, perhaps one covetous of the latest consumer fashion. Comical, and yet enough to spark matters in your own head.

Michelle Sank: Bye Bye Baby III
Anthology @ CHARLIE SMITH London, 336 Old St - Hoxton
5-20 Aug:

I have to declare an interest here in that I was one of the five judges for the open competition leading to a choice of ten artists for this prize show. There were 650 applicants, and the spread of good work was such that 43 entrants were in the top ten of at least one judge! Not surprsingly, the show is interesting, and includes several artists I particularly like. I’ve posted a sample of the finalists and wider entries at which shows what I mean. The winner - Tom Ormond - was chosen on 4 August from a field which ranged from English painter Andy Harper’s vegetative abstraction to the social documentary portraits of South African photographer Michelle Sank to sculpture made for viewer participation by Australian Steven Morgana.

Flowing in Black

Marta Marcé @ Riflemaker, 79 Beak St - Soho

To 3 Sept:

Last month’s selection of ‘galleries you could walk by unknowingly’ might have included Riflemaker, which is still disguised as a gunshop eight years after opening. Three previous exhibitions already made the Anglo-Spanish painter Tot and Virginia’s most-shown, and now Marta Marcé returns – or at least her paintings do, as she herself is stuck in Barcelona, too pregnant to fly. Here s sequence of six big canvasses, three of them diptychs, test the dimensions of the rickety space. They provide the grandest exploration yet of Marcé’s signature use of games, such as tangram, as a means of driving purposed abstraction. Geometric, yet warmly engaged.

Image credits: relevant artists and galleries.

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About Me

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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, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.