Revolution? What happened to the Revolution show that opened on First Thursday over at the Black And White building? We did go to the East London group show over on Rivington Street, but the place did have an awfully off-putting commercial vibe, a “brand” feel, not the kind of place for Revolution to evolve in or indeed for any kind of meaningful art to thrive. Surely the clue was in the name of the show though? We were there on the opening night, some interesting art, some strong pieces, some artists we know well, it felt a little out of place in there, that could have been turned in to some kind of positive, artists taking it on to alien ground? A hint of a bit of a rage against the machine, it didn’t really work though, it just all fell a little awkwardly out of place in the “branded” venue. A slight hint of revolution and some interesting art yes, but offensive? Really? Hardly! Kind of offensive that anyone should find Glenn Fitzpatrick’s gun anything but powerful.
“At a packed private view for the Art Society Soho show Revolution, an upset punter took offense at Annie Zamero’s painting of Prince Charles dreaming of pushing the Queen out of an airborne chariot. But the argument over the painting proved to be just the beginning of the show’s troubles” reported the Evening Standard..Over the weekend, the gallery removed 20 paintings with no explanation, including one by Fiona McAuliffe emblazoned with the message “Don’t Kill the Arts”. In protest, Art Society Soho members voted to take down all their work, ending the show more than a week early.
Zamero told The Londoner that artists were very surprised by the gallery’s actions. “We were a bit shocked,” she said. “Some of the artists don’t know why, it’s a bit of a puzzle. It is particularly bad to do it without notifying the artists or curators or anything. We won’t be using the space again,” she said. “The manager said the paintings were off- brand. But it’s not a commercial enterprise — we’re not selling a packet of cigarettes.”
Hugo von Hugo, chairman of ASS, said the show was called Revolution to “examine the underlying fears in society”. Too much of a revolution for some, evidently. A spokesperson from The Office Group said: “On this occasion, it was felt that some of the artworks hung by a third party curator could cause offense outside of last Thursday’s exhibition and were therefore removed after a successful and popular private viewing.”