Thursday, 10 September 2015


The 50 stand START (Sept 10-13 at the Saatchi Gallery) is a typically uneven youg art fair, and doesn't feature heavy hitting galleries. Still, there is interesting material among the less persuasive fare, and the selection of solo projects on the top floor is good - 'Start from the top' is my advice. Here are ten to look out for:


Piedad Tarazona at MAS Arte Contempor√°neo (Bogot√°): she's a Colombian flower painter who retained a floral aspect to her serial structures - actually built from ceramic clitorae, which I got the feeling wasn't widely  noticed. 

Rikizo Fukao at Elena Shchukina (London): The Japanese artist has a bold way of merging modernism with origami in his 'Black & Red' paintings which look like collages but aren't - you could see how he found his way onto the Fair's tote bag. 

William Mackrell at Ryder Projects (London): the most imaginative performance-driven work at the fair from a promising young gallery. 'Sleep (Negative)' shows what happened when his bed was carbon paper.

Weixin Chong at A.I (London).: samples from three thoughtful and attractive series of conceptual photographs playing off the real and artificial.

Robert Larson at CES Gallery (Los Angeles): life seeps into graduated minimalism of 'White Squares' through a vast compilation of cigarette packets. 

Ahmad Zakii Anwar at Galerie Huit (Hong Kong): witty paintings of still life interactions with reference to human relationships, as in 'Mango / Banana'.

Aida Silvestri at Roman Road (London): rather current account of migration stories, here from Eritrea, showing routes, edited dialogue and portraits blurred in recognition of the danger of reprisals.

Jonny Green at Carter Presents (London): his big paintings of small models have found a convincing range here, and 'Live at the Witch Trials' gets bonus points for referring to a favourite band of mine, The Fall.

Molly Blunt at Julia Page / Joanna Bryant (London): a standout work even though by an undergraduate was this Victorian ceiling rose meets weightlifter combination 'Sub Rosa'. I Googled her, incidentally, but mostly got asked 'is it best to smoke Molly from a blunt?'

Conceptual Art in Slovakia 1965-89 @ SODA Gallery (Bratislava): impressive slice of history  somewhat atypical of the Fair, with Julius Koller to the fore (seen here playing table tennis against his wife in 1970).

Looking at that, I see a London bias - but most of the best work is being shown by London galleries, more so than in, say, Art15, and I could have chosen more London-based artists, including such as Liane Lang, Martine Poppe and Rae Hicks who've I've probably mentioned enough elsewhere...

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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.