ORGAN THING: Elements, salt blocks, Coffee Mills, Duchamp, two Friday night art show openings in East London…



So Elements opened in the darkness last night, salt bricks caught in the lights from the flats on one side and the windows of the Angus Hughes gallery on the other, the natural city light rather than any specific lighting. A new outdoor gallery, out in the elements and almost hidden around the back of their sister artspace. Elements Gallery is a new dedicated outdoor artspace in the yard on what is now known as the Lubomirov/Angus Hughes gallery up on the borders of Clapton and Hackney, London E5.

Artist Phillip Hall Patch has installed a rather intriguing piece called Salt Field No. 3. How long will it last out there in the elements? The exhibition opened last night and is scheduled to be in the space until June 26th (Friday to Sunday midday until 6pm, or by appointment), there in place, there in the back yard that is now a dedicated outdoor gallery space, there hiding behind a big black gate (indeed, almost gave up looking for it, why don’t galleries ever have signposts? Is engagement such a crime?, apparently the curators who have their own show opening in the main gallery had unhelpfully objected to any kind of communication or indication as to where Elements is, no indication at the front of the Lubomirov/Angus Hughes space and a number of people slightly lost, I guess there’s a tiny argument for the unhelpful curator enclosing his own show and not engaging with anything else, drawing the boundaries as it were, but there’s a body of people here for the opening of Elements and some of us can’t find it, we later learn that some actually give up assuming they had got their dates mixed up). 

So, London’s “first dedicated space for outdoor art, which engages directly with outside conditions responding to, rather than withstanding the elements. For the inaugural exhibition, Elements Gallery curator Rebecca Feiner presents Philip Hall Patch – Salt Field No. 3” and yes, the interesting thing here will be in observing how this is going to evolve, both the salt blocks and the space. Last night was all dark shapes and silhouettes, hints of what was out there. How will it be documented? Will people engage? Will it be about social media? Will it be time-lapsed? Will someone be on hand to capture the vital moments of storm or sunlight? How long will it last? Is it melting already, it is warm in East London this morning?  I rather like this, the key is going to be in the going back to see again, to see in the light, in the rain, in the sun, taste the salt again and again, rather like the idea of art formally engaging with the elements….watch this space as the show and the salt evolves… (sw)

There’s more about the Elements space here

And while Elements was opening, what was happening in the main gallery last night? The opening of Elements and Phillip Hall Patch’s salt blocks were our reason for heading through the Narrow Way to the edges of Clapton last night, no idea that anything was happening inside the Lubomirov/Angus Hughes gallery, apparently there was, a very formal rather minimal show called Fourteen Turns.  The gallery is busy

“Fourteen Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill presents work by fourteen artists who have been asked to respond to a modest painting by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), the Coffee Mill of 1911 (oil and pencil on board, 33 x 12.7cm, Tate Gallery, London, also known as the Coffee Grinder). To this end the artists were supplied with a wooden support of exactly these dimensions and asked to use this, as well as aspects of the now extensive literature on Duchamp, as starting points for their contribution to the show”.

The pieces are playful, playfully reconfiguring, different flavours, shots, syrups, fourteen turns of a coffee grinder and a rather full opening night that makes serious viewing rather difficult.  There’s some intriguing pieces. some rather different interpretations, some rather alive pieces and a room hanging as one, fourteen configurations, paintings and pieces made to be mounted on a cupboard door? Expanding on the idea, meditations of a coffee mill, art from Tabatha Andrews, Wolfgang Berkowski, Keith Bowler, Louise Bristow, EC, , Nooshin Farhid, Peter Fillingham, Susan Hiller, Simon Patterson, James Rogers, Peter Suchin, Suzanne Treister, Julian Wakelin, Sarah Woodfine and a show that really needs to be explore without all the chatter and the elbows and the people standing in front of the art… We shall go have another look when next we go to explore the salt, shame about the lack of engagement though, art can be far too unfriendly and dare we say a little too much up-its-own-self at times, surely a friendly sign or two doesn’t demean?  (sw)

The Fourteen Turns show runs until 1 May, Friday to Sunday 12-6pm, or by appointment at LUBOMIROV / ANGUS-HUGHES, 26 Lower Clapton Rd, (at the junction of Urswick Rd), London, E5 0PD

Click on an image to enlarge or run the slide show and a small taste of things….


Further reading and details of the Fourteen Turns show

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