Thursday, 12 May 2016

Amongst the cool kids

Apart from the stunning collections held by the national institutions, London is home to a huge number of private art galleries.  And most of them are quite welcoming to all guests, even those who clearly aren’t going to be making a purchase! Geoff and I like to wander in, acting like we sort of know what we are doing, and avoid eye contact or any awkward questions. 

Sometimes these private galleries are easy to find, and packed with visitors.  Like when we saw the Steve McCurry exhibition at Beetles & Huxley, you know, he of the famous Afghan Girl TIME magazine cover.  We were three deep in front of the limited edition print, and there were people outside trying to take photos of the photo.  The remainder of the exhibition was equally as visually stunning – McCurry has a very strong eye for colour.

On other occasions the galleries are still easy to find, but the shows are not as intensely popular, so we can enjoy the pieces with clear space between ourselves and the next person.  Over the weekend we visited 3 small galleries, all on various side streets jutting off Regent Street (after eating burritos for lunch). 

Firstly, we saw the Ettore Spalletti ‘Every dawn, is first’ at the Marian Goodman Gallery.  Spalletti combines painting and sculpture to create large, mostly monotone, canvases that torque off the walls in different directions.  The cavernous exhibition space emphasises the vertiginous feeling, as even whispers echo around the room.  The most visually arresting work was two canvases, painted a summery sky blue, that came towards us, and each other, and as they reflected the blue light was luminous.

Over the road at Pace London, we saw another painter/sculptor, Keith Coventry and his exhibition ‘White Black Gold’, who created beautiful curves slightly raised from the canvas, either all white or gold, to create beautiful lines and subtle shadows. The curves are apparently the famous golden arches, but not obviously so, even when the canvas is cast in gold.

Finally, at the Stephen Friedman Gallery we saw a quirky exhibition, ‘Horizon That Appears Out of The Sleepy Woods’ was a collaboration of 4 artists; my favourite of which was a series of Scandi/folk art influenced art works where the woodland creatures came out of the artwork, and onto the wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment