Saturday, 19 January 2019


Jerwood Solo Presentations 2019: Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom / Kitty Clark / Sofia Mitsola at the Jerwood Space to 10 March

In the Jerwood's new three -person presentation two rooms appeal to me. Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom brings together drums, vegetation and Russ Meyer to set up a performative space without - until you arrive - people, and Kitty Clarke has an equally effective immersive space, setting evocative snatches of dialogue into a version of fairground ghosthouse architecture (installation shot above).

Amie Siegel: Backstory to 16 Feb at Thomas Dane Gallery

The presence or absence of Bridget Bardot in 'Contempt' lies at the core of Amie Siegel's dizzying combination of text and film works playing off Goddard's 1963 film and Alberto Moravia's novel 'A Ghost at Noon', 1954, on which it is itself based. Quite possibly the cleverest show currently on view - as I explain more fully in the February issue of Art Monthly.

Markéta Luskačová at Tate Britain to 12 March


Among the widespread moves to enhance the visibility of neglected female artists, Markéta Luskačová (born 1944) has a notably strong case, so it’s great to see that Tate Britain have dedicated a room to both her East European and – after she left Prague in 1975 - British photographs. This,  from the series ’Seaside, North East England' is typical: a grittily surreal monochrome which works in the detail as well as in the overall compositional, documentary and emotional aspects.

Hannah Luxton and Julie F Hill: Of Stars & Chasms at ArthouSE1, Bermondsey to 24 Feb

You don't have to travel so far as Katie Paterson's big show at Margate to get an art-dose of the universe in action (though I recommend it - as here). This combination of Hannah Luxton's cosmically minimal paintings ('Star Stream', 2019 above) with Julie F Hill's entrancing 40 minute film of deep space  and cascading sculptures of stars in a river of time will also do the job.

Peter Matthews: The End Is Where They Start From at Beers London to 23 Feb

Fans of process-driven abstraction would do well to visit Sadie Coles for Ryan Sullivan's jazzy improvisations, and catch Peter Matthews and Rebecca Meanley at the Concept Space in Bermondsey, as well as Beers' solo presentation of Matthews. His is the ultimate seaside studio, as the chance and weather-affected results of the two halves of his 'hybrid paintings' come out of time living in a tent beside the Pacific and Atlantic coasts (here - 'Chaac', 2018 -  Mexico and Cornwall). 

Martin Creed: Toast at Hauser & Wirth to 9 Feb

A thoroughly enjoyable parade of wit over two twenty minute cycles in a recommended viewing of painting, sculpture, performance and film: one in a darkened space with films, one in the light with performances. 'Work No. 2919 Tree of art' 2018 is the most visually minimal in a packed show of 'difficult thoughts' which prove disarmingly simple. It seemed a touching metaphor of creative growth until I started reading it as 'Fart'.

Jesse Darling: Art Now - The Ballad of Saint Jerome at Tate Britain to 24 Feb

‘Epistemologies (shamed cabinet)’ 2018 sees wounding and liberation – here from the constraints of institutional display – come together in the limping potential escape of a cabinet. What’s more, they’ve found a use for lever arch files, of which a huge pre-digital surplus remains. Darling makes an intriguing job of the ‘Art Now’ room, sparked by the story of St Jerome and the lion, more typically an art historical subject but here the starting point for an epistolary exchange between Darling and a priest who is also transgender, and which leads in to the room’s many and varied works on themes of healing, control and the subjugation of otherness.

Heather Phillipson: My Name is Lettie Eggsyrub at Gloucester Road underground station - throughout 2018.

Phillipson is a vegan who says that eggs are subject to torture - would you like to be cracked or boiled? - when we forget they are potential lives. So her whole-platform eggstravaganza questions consumption, bit it's more obviously a fun thing to go to work alongside, with farting eggs making especially wacky sense.

Through the Looking Glass at the Cob Gallery, Camden to 26 Jan

44 artists contribute small works to the highly entertaining show 'Through the Looking Glass': ideal holiday season fare, but with plenty of yuletide food for thought as well. James Capper, Polly Morgan, Gavin Turk and Paul Benney, with his boldly punning locket and clasp 'Story of the Eye' above, excel. As do two artists invert each other: Nancy Fouts' 'Happy Pills' 2018 are actually ladybirds trapped by a visual pun; whereas there really are pills inside Alice Anderson's worryingly totemic 'Sedatives' 2018.

Robert Rauschenberg: ‘Spreads’ 1975-83 at Thaddaeus Ropac to 26 Jan

I took a dozen people – mostly artists – round a dozen West End shows. Everyone agreed the stand-out was Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘Spreads’ 1975-83 - in which all manner of content from his classic combines and solvent transfers are spread onto the toast of the simpler, silken ‘Jammers’ (1975–76) without any of it looking muddled. ‘Rumor (Spread)’ 1980 also benefits from a title pun...

Andy Harper: Plastic Fox at Patrick Heide to 12 Jan

The 'Plastic Fox' is not just a painting's title, but an item Andy tells me he's always wanted but never found. Now he has one!? 'Pocket of Straws' (above) demonstrates his new method - consistent with the natural-artificial mixture of a plastic fox - of puncturing the surface of his vegetational density with what could be computer swatches (but are actually shapes masked out with Frisket Film at the start of the process, then painted as the last step). Plus upstairs, an informal retrospective selection.

Pacific Breeze at White Conduit Projects, Islington to 13 Jan

For this unusual show, 70 artists have created contemporary versions of fans, which are beautifully displayed on shelves in a custom made stand design. There's plenty of beauty, and just as much humour; and a mix of the fan influencing the production (as in '130°' by Takumi Kato) and the fan as a novel place to paint. I'm a particular fan of the contributions by Ryan Gander, Glen Baxter,  Jane Bustin, Juan Bolivar, Marta Marce, Sally Kindberg, Sally Osborn, Susan Sluglett and William Mackrell… 

Meiro Koizumi: Battlelands at White Rainbow to 12 Jan

The key work in this first UK exhibition by Japanese artist and filmmaker Meiro Koizumi is a one hour film starting on the hour: his edit of a four year project in which five US veterans imagine themselves back into traumatic wartime experiences which they recount as they move, blindfolded, around their everyday spaces: a dramatic visualisation of how conflict imposes itself on ordinary life, and possibly the best follow-on I've seen to Martha Rosler's famous Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful, 1967-72. 

Brent Wadden: sympathetic resonance at Pace Gallery to 10 Jan

Brent Wadden's untitled works look at first like Trockel knitting machine knock-offs, but... the fibres are all from found garments, unpicked; the apparent symmetry, hand woven, is undermined by glitches, flocking, fraying and curve distortions; and neither the horizontal zips (which are threaded) nor the vertical zip (which is a join) are zips in the jeans or Newman sense. And so I find I'm sympathetic to the resonance of the Canadian's anti-technological paint-free paintings...

Gabriele Beveridge: Live Dead World at Seventeen Gallery to 15 Dec

You have to hand it to Gabriele Beveridge – literally in the case of the 49 which make up 'Memorial': her latest show pushes her emphasis on display to new heights of installation. Relevantly to that approach, you might call her glass works ‘support-specific’: they take form as they cool on the brackets on which they sit, as in 'The Spine through the Guts' 2018. Plus the new use of deliciously filigree roots as a found (or should I say arduously sourced?) material.

Hiding in Plain Sight at the Amar Gallery to Dec 13


Ethel Schwabacher's 'Warm Rain' 1959 appears in the Amar Gallery's impressive survey of 11 female abstract expressionists, with top works by the obvious Frankenthaler and de Kooning but also Grace Hartigan, Yvonne Thomas, Amaranth Ehrenhalt... Schwabacher, who was close to Arshile Gorky, is inspired by nature and psychological states - and 'Warm Rain' feels like a relief from traumas, of which she had a few.
Neil Zakiewicz: Working at DomoBaal to 15 Dec

Neil Zakiewicz's new 'Clay Work' series achieves casual formalism (or should that be 'formal casualism'?) naturally enough to suggest that is a common combination of attributes. Turd/intestine/pipe forms - fired extrusions of clay - are jauntily balanced on angular hardwood shelves/frames, where they pick up on the domesticity and banisters of  the space. Plus there's a selection of Zakiewicz's previous two streams of comparably cunning work: the paintings with hinges and the spray painted carpentry.

Melanie Manchot: 'White Light Black Snow' at Parafin to 17 Nov

This capture from 'Cadence' comes from four minutes which makes good use of a drone to capture a lunged horse to make a cosmic drawing in the snow. It's the only film in this superbly choreographed show, which concentrates on Manchot's photography, with a light upstairs and dark downstairs supporting an impressively handled glut of other oppositions: fire/ice, vertical/horizontal, black/white, object/image as well as dark/light and above/below.

 Jan Henderikse: Mint at the Cortesi Gallery to 20 Nov

Dutchman Jan Henderikse is a long-term practitioner of emotionally charged accumulation with a Zero-tending aesthetic. Cortesi has a fine survey covering 60 years and ranging from number plates to bars of soap to shredded bank notes. ‘Untitled’ 2017 bitter-sweetly conjures celebration through the detritus of its passing, and also provides a nice word: these are champagne muselets (from the French museler, to muzzle). 

Rashid Khalifa: Penumbra: Textured Shadow, Coloured Light at the Saatchi Gallery to 19 Nov

This walk-through grid maze is from the series 'Penumbra' 2018 The Bahrain artist Rashid Khalifa's recent series of colourful constructivist riffs on the mashrabiya operate through interpenetrating maximimalist geometries. They're inspired - like rather comparable strands of Rana Begum's work - by the light and colour of walking along the street, and are as good a reason to visit the Saatchi Gallery as the typically patchy main show 'Black Mirror'.

Michael Sailstorfer: Tear Show at KÖNIG LONDON to 19 Nov

Michael Sailstorfer’s first UK solo show is impressively orchestrated. He combines heavy electronically controlled drumming with the lightness of tears in 21 lipstick paintings and 100 glass tears. The two come together satisfyingly in the film ‘Tears’ 2015, in which giant teardrops fall from the sky with sufficient velocity to destroy a country house in eight minutes. Hypocritical weeping at the damage done?

Suspension: A History of Abstract Hanging Sculpture, 1918-2018 at Olivier Malingue Gallery to 15 Dec

Suspension stands in for psychological tension as Karl Shapiro's constuctivist 'Untitled' 2014 takes on human form. It's not often you see a new category of exhibition, but  Olivier Malingue can claim that for this 12 artist survey, with more on display in Paris. 

Sue Williams at Skarstedt to 24 Nov

Seven new works provide a treat. 'All Quiet' 2018 looks abstract from a distance but mixes doodly figuration of personal and political resonance: houses, testicles, filing cabinets, an obfuscated Pentagon and a DIY model of it, unfolded... These delicately bombastic elements may hint at Trump and his slippery notion of truth, but Williams told me it's only indirect because 'he gets enough publicity and makes you throw up'. 

Yelena Popova: Her Name is Prometheus @ l'étrangère 
to 3 Nov

The chance to rearrange an interactive sculpture-come-non-competitive-game (as demonstrated by the artist herself above) epitomises this show of heavy issues presented lightly, as the parts can make up the plutonium atom and the colours are for  'danger'. Likewise a female Prometheus, the great physicist Lise Meitner, synchronised swimming and nuclear fission all feed in to various works..

Paul Anthony Harford at Sadie Coles Davies Street to 10 Nov

Paul Anthony Harford's 'Untitled (artist attacked by gulls)' is typical of the many seaside graphite drawings with a surreally rudderless undertow made by Paul Anthony Harford (1943-2016) who lived in Southend and Weymouth but was no outsider but always refused to exhibit his work.

Rodney Graham: Central Questions of Philosophy at Lisson Gallery to 3 Nov

Rodney Graham's typically recursive new lightbox 'Vacuuming the Gallery 1949' 2018 sees him pretending to be a gallerist hoovering up with pretend late 40's abstracts which turn out to materialise in the gallery. We're left with such questions as: 'wherein lies Graham's art?' and 'why is there no real carpet, the more so as Lisson's other space currently sports one for Rodney's non-brother, Dan?' Add plays on the philosopher AJ Ayer, Popeye's tattoos and an Arabic translation of Robinson Crusoe, and there is plenty to ponder here.

Prevent This Tragedy @ Von Goetz to 14 Nov


This, the last show in Von Goetz's expanded  space at Brixton, allowing space for nine artists to contribute substantial exploration of materiality and abandonment in a post-industrial setting. Unusually for a none artist group show, all seem like highlights: credit to  Jodie Carey, Nika Neelova, Evy Jokhova, Jim Woodall (shown left to right above), Simon Linington,  Frances Richardson, Vasilis Asimakopoulos, Simon Callery, Andrea V Wright and the curators, Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell.
Martin Maloney: Field Workers at JGM Gallery to 26 Oct.

'Baba Yaga' 2013 is one of ten monumental combinations of figure and landscape with considerable zing and such abiguities as vegetation which could be headwear and bodies through which we may be seeing the land. Their basis - Slovenian 'field workers' awaiting passing lorry drivers - adds to the disorientation.

APT + ONE at the APT Gallery, Deptford to 14 Oct

In which 41 artists from the Art in Perpetuity Trust studios each show alongside an invited artist, throwing up many compelling - and indeed, apt - conjunctions. As illustrated, studio holder David Webb's painting on a game board is paired with his guest Tom Hackney's 3D depiction of the moves in a chess game.


Hugh Mendes: Autorretrato at Charlie Smith to 13 Oct

For a decade Hugh Mendes has been combining still life (of a newspaper clipping, here imagined) with portraits, and his new show also amounts to an intellectual self-portrait through his versions of how the 13 painters who have meant most to him portrayed themselves. 'Obituary: Egon Schiele' sees him fresh faced and less tortured than usual. Hugh explains that this is the only one in which Schiele looks directly back at the viewer, something he wanted in all the faces.

Loie Hollowell: Dominant / Recessive at Pace Gallery to 20 Sept

'Double Hemisphere (Ovulation)' is one of the many not-so-abstract - indeed, sexually explicit - sculpturally-shaped paintings in her show at Pace. Hollowell's own notes on a preparatory drawing mention butt cheeks, the drip drip time of month, and speculate that 'two solid red dots would look too much like buttons'.

A Romance of Many Dimensions at the Sid Motion Gallery to 22 Sept 

Matthew Barnes, Hannah Hughes and Abigail Hunt make for an interesting group show in which a painter, sculptor and photographer by training all converge on means of collage. Matthew Barnes presents his photographs in effective sculptural ways: 'Palace Walls' 2016 sets an image of security fencing on such fencing to suggest that a royal residence has become not merely an empty facade, but just the facade of protection.

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.