Sunday, 12 August 2018


Up Now in London

See also my Instagram feed as paulcareykent

Bomberg @ Ben Uri Gallery, 108a Boundary Rd - St John's Wood
To 16 Sept

Racehorses, 1913

The Ben Uri Gallery  is somewhat under-appreciated. Certainly the current survey of David Bomberg is excellent: a national touring show featuring plenty from the gallery’s own collection. That includes ‘Racehorses’, 1913, a black chalk masterpiece of Bomberg’s vorticist style in which I find it takes a while to ‘see’ how the race operates from left to right and make out the spectators talking to bookies in the foreground – but then it all clicks dynamically into place.The later Bomberg is appreciated most for self-portraits and foreign landscapes in which precisely simplified architecture meets light to reveal what he termed ‘the spirit in the mass’. ‘Cathedral, Toledo’ 1929 is typical.  ‘You must remember’, teased Bomberg,‘I was a poor boy from the East End and I’d never seen the sun before’.

Cathedral, Toledo, 1929


Luiz Zerbini: Intuitive Ratio @ South London Gallery

To 19 Aug 2018

Detail from Concrete Jungle, 2011

Luiz Zerbini is essentially a painter who feeds off day-today observations of Rio de Janeiro, but his practice expands to cover membership of the performative collective Chelpa Ferro, and this ten year survey show includes a ‘3D painting’ / sculptural installation, monoprints made directly from plants, and films of Brazilian landscapes. A glitch in one of the films added coloured squares which Zerbini then adopted as a motif in his paintings, serendipitously linking that to tiling and architecture in his dense combination of natural and manmade. The whole makes for a rich account balanced between psycho-geography and aesthetics, as well as between intuitive and rational.

Still from Sertão, 2009 - colourful reflections in a river with added glitch colours.

Yuko Mori: Voluta and Peter Fraser: Mathematics @ Camden Arts Centre 

To 16 Sept 

Seasonal light on two Untitled images from Mathematics - chairs and a thinker.

Camden’s latest pairing is of Peter Fraser’s saturated photographs with Yoko Mohri’s cutely contingent orchestration of objects. Is there a connection?  Maybe, if you see the Japanese artist’s way with fish, spoons, bells and percussive Venetian blinds as a model of our thoughts pinging round our brains. For Fraser’s untitled photographs form the project ‘Mathematics’, which show (i) scenes which remind him of how maths underlies reality and (ii) portraits of people asked to imagine that something they had long held to be true had just been proved false. So both can be related, but abstractly, to thought: for we can’t see what Fraser’s subjects are thinking, and pretty much any items might have illustrated the metaphysics of maths, given it’s attributed to everything.  Both shows prove to be metaphysically knowing in a wryly amusing way.

A spoon prepares to play a bell in Voluta


Dialogues with a Collection @ Laure Genillard, 2 Hanway Place – Tottenham Court Rd

To 16 Sept

Lucy Heyward: Face Up Face Down, 1998

The premise for Laure Genillard’s new show sounds a tricky one to pull off: ask 11 artists to show their own work as complement to one of the works she has in her own collection. It turns out, though, that the original works, the new works, the pairings, and the precise explantory texts supplied come together beautifully. Highlights include Gerhard Lang’s ‘visus signatus’ (unsighted) drawing of clouds alongside their meteorological data in response to Frank Heath’s penetratingly funny project of inscribing computer back up in laser cut form; Sarah Staton’s updating of the language in Stephen Willats’ 1960’s rearrangable clothing with text (‘poor / rich / sick…’) with categories from 2018 (‘pangender / neurodivergent / aromantic…’) and Lucy Heyward's 'Face Up Face Down', which seems to derive some sort of merger of sex and forensic anthropology from the attractively tweaked logic of displaying a photogram of a plate-stand on that very plate-stand as if it were itself a plate.. Laure also has as a good a Tomma Abts as you’ll find at the Serpentine…
Tomma Abts: Zerka, 2015

Caroline Jane Harris: A Bright Haunting @ ASC Gallery, Taplow House, Thurlow Street - Elephant & Castle (to 10 Aug) and Superimposition @ Partners & Mucciaccia, 45 Dover St - Mayfair (to 31 Aug)

Caroline Jane Harris: Shroud, 2018 - hand-cut archival pigment print, 130 x 100cm

I’d better start with a double bias-alert. I chose Caroline Jane Harris as winner of a solo show at ASC Gallery; and I helped write the text for the rather substantial catalogue of Catherine Loewe and Michael Stubbs' curation. All the same, here are two excellent shows which investigate the nature of image-making today. 

Caroline Jane Harris: Monolith II (detail) 2017–18 - white pencil rubbing on archival Kozo pigment print, 112 x 66cm

Harris uses all manner of technical processes to expose and work through the digital aspects of such quotidian views as clouds seen through a window, which becomes the screen of post-production. The intricately beautiful results emerge not as a critique of any truth attributed to  analogue indexicality, but (to quote Jon K. Shaw's catalogue essay) as ‘an affirmation of the visual mysteries of the everyday’. 

Paul Morrison: Pyxide, 2010 - gold leaf and acrylic on linen, 72 x 54 cm

The superimposition in 'Superimposition' can be seen various ways: Barry Reigate mixes modes over each other – carton, graffiti, abstraction. Mark Titchner imposes language on pattern to baroque effect. Michael Stubbs obscures graphic signs with abstract overlays. Paul Morrison ruptures space by combining different scales and sources within the same pictorial space – an implied planar superimposition. All of which suggests the digital overlaps of the screen without using its technologies directly, and makes for a highly stimulating conversation of contrasting yet related voices. 

Mark Titchner: Up, 2012 - carved wood and imitation gold leaf, 141 x 141 x 10cm     

Images courtesy / copyright the 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.