ORGAN THING: Another five recommended slices of art with William Tillyer’s experimental works, Cultivate’s Intent at BSMT Space, JR at Lazinc, David Austen at Matt’s Gallery, Borderlines at James Freeman Gallery…

Do do do we need to get things going? Too busy with the intent of Intent? Art then, five things, ready to get out there and explore some art? Will Condo excite a little more this year ? Shall we bother with the London Art fair and their non stop spam?  I see Hirst is coming at us with some new spots? Nah Damien, here’s us starting the art year with intent….

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Your next five recommended art shows or events or opening or whatever, that and a bit of trump[et blowing, well if we didn’t think intent was worth recommending then we wouldn’t be doing it would we.  Here we go then, art excites, the year in London is kicking off…

1: WILLIAM TILLYER – Radical Vision at Bernard Jacobson Gallery ( from 12 Jan) – An exhibition of William Tillyer’s experimental works. Radical Vision is the first in a special series of five exhibitions at Bernard Jacobson Gallery scheduled to take place during 2018 to celebrate the 80th birthday of William Tillyer. Radical Vision explores the experimental nature of Tillyer’s practice with more than 20 key works, spanning 5 decades and featuring paintings, works on paper and sculpture – including early conceptual pieces and Tillyer’s ‘signature’ grid paintings.

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The Bernard Jacobson Gallery is found at 8 Duke Street, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6AG. The show runs from 12 Jan until 3 Feb. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm Saturday 11am to 2pm – www.jacobsongallery.com

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2: INTENT (Part Two) – Cultivate at BSMT Space.  (opening night Thursday January 18th) – The second part of Cultivate’s first show of 2018. Intent (Part Two) will be an art exhibition, a group show, for group shows are vital things, a group show brought to you by Cultivate (and Organ), this time at Dalston’s BSMT Space Gallery.  

Expect contemporary painting, performance, expect street art flavours, installation, expect textiles, words, expect attitude, expect oil paint, spray paint, expect cross pollination, contradiction and the ignoring of rules, expect intent. Entry is free, the “private view” is never private, everyone is welcome at our shows, none of that get on the list or ringing on the doorbell nonsense, the door is open, come in and explore..

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James Bell – Silver Asparagus

“The Intent is for an art show to happen in two parts in two places, the Intent is to have an art show in two parts with both parts happening at the same time Intent (Part One) will follow our rather successful on-line group show experiments of 2017 and will happen via the Cultivate website as well as the ever busy Organ website. Intent (Part Two) will happen physically via the gallery walls and floors down in that underground basement gallery known as BSMT Space (over on the borders of Hackney in Dalston, just up from Dalston overground station,

Intent (Part Two) will open at 6pm on Thursday January 18th at BSMT Space, opening night 6pm until 9pm (and probably later). Bring your own drink, we spent all our money on paint, canvas and gallery hire. The show will then run from Friday Jan 19th until Sunday Jan 21st, 11am until 6pm.

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Emma Harvey

The show curated by SEAN WORRALL and EMMA HARVEY, will feature the following artists;  AMANDA LWIN, AMY OLIVER, ANNA CHOUTOVA, BEATA BURDELAK, DAY BOWMAN, DEBORAH GRIFFIN, EMMA HARVEY, JAMES BELL, JO EVANS, KUT, MARNIE SCARLETT, MIA JANE HARRIS, NAOMIE EDMONDSON, NIKOLAI KOZIN, PETER D’ALESSANDRI, QUIET BRITISH ACCENT, SALLY JONES, SEAN WORRALL, SOFIA MARTINS, VESNA PARCHET, YI ZHANG and probably one or two more. Expect a spoken word performance from Marnie Scarlett on the open night and expect other things to happen during the weekend    BSMT Space can be found at 5d Stoke Newington Rd, Dalston, London, N16 8BH.  More details via www.cultivategallery.com

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3: JR at Lazinc Sackville – (Opening 12th January) “This January sees globally renowned artist JR launch a multidisciplinary solo exhibition in a new space, in the heart of Mayfair, set to be the home of Lazinc, formerly Lazarides. JR will present a unique series of studies through a collection of mixed media works, each encompassing preparatory notes, photography and architectural drawings relating to the GIANTS series. This will be a first for the artist’s GIANTS series outside of private studio visits. JR created a series of new 3D outdoor sculptures across Rio de Janeiro, depicting athletes whose identity was blurred behind the “perfect motion” of an instantly recognisable Olympic event: diving, high jump and swimming. In addition to the gallery exhibition, an entirely new image will be used to re-create a GIANT installation on the exterior of the new Lazinc gallery on Sackville Street for the opening of the show this January”. The rebranded Lazinc organisation open their new space at 9 Sackville Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 3DX with this rather intriguing JR show – More via www.lazinc.com The show runs until February 28th

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4: DAVID AUSTEN – The Drowned at Matt’s Gallery (opening night, January 19th) – David Austen’s solo presentation, The Drowned, is the inaugural exhibition at Matt’s Gallery’s new space at Ron Henocq Fine Art, 92 Webster Road, Bermondsey. Austen’s work will be the first to occupy a 3 x 3 x 3 metre cubic gallery space specially designed for the site. Matt’s Gallery will be in residence at the studio throughout 2018 and will relocate their office operations to a newly designed workspace on the premises.

The exhibition sees the artist responding to the unique spatial constraints of a gallery space that has been designed and built in the former shop-front space of Ron Henocq’s studio. The works gathered suggest a shifting relationship between weight and weightlessness akin to moving in water. Austen has revisited a group of drawings completed decades ago and mislaid in time. A series of watercolours have been produced in remembrance of the absent works; figures appear grounded in invisible landscapes and oblique narratives are rendered through their relationships. Austen likens the figures to “naked ghosts” – survivors or victims of some unknown tragedy. Set alongside these, a new sculptural work floats in the space. The works dissolve into one another and into the space. A specially commissioned text by writer Hisham Matar will accompany the exhibition.

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In the coming months, Matt’s Gallery will present a rapid succession of short exhibitions and events at 92 Webster Road. The Gallery’s practice of working with artists of different generations will continue with an open ended, vibrant and responsive programme of artists presentations and guest-curated shows. This domestic space, including a garden, marks a shift away from the warehouse spaces Matt’s Gallery has worked in to date, while maintaining its close connection with the artists’ studio as a site of production and display. The gallery and office have been designed by Director Robin Klassnik’s son, architect Tomas Klassnik of the architectural practice The Klassnik Corporation. The Drowned marks the first instalment of this programme and will be open for one month. It will be followed by an exhibition of paintings by Elizabeth Magill running February 23 to March 4 2018, after which the gallery will present an on-going series of ten-day shows.

Opening night of The Drowned is 19 January, 6 – 9pm, the exhibition continues 20 January – 18 February 2018, Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 – 6pm – Matt’s Gallery

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Borderlines at James Freeman Gallery

5: BORDERLINES at James Freeman Gallery – (opening night 11th January) – “To welcome in 2018, we are pleased to present ‘Borderlines’, an exhibition about how we identify with a sense of place. The exhibition brings together three contemporary artists: Koh Sang Woo, Olivia Kemp, and Stephen Walter.

Koh Sang Woo is a Korean artist who uses his models as a canvas. He paints allusions to their dreams or desires onto their skin, then photographs them and inverts the colours to suggest how our inner worlds can conflict with society. In ‘Borderlines’, Koh presents a new pair of self-portraits that explore the relationship of the self with the structures of nationhood. In one he is painted with the American flag with one of the stars as a tear (Koh has been a Korean based in the US for over twenty years); in the other, a grid of basic freedoms of expression (love / hate, speak / hear, wish / believe) are written in mandarin Chinese. These works look at how the individual comes into contact with a nation’s systems of order, and how a sense of identity can also become a net of limitation. Koh Sang Woo recently had a retrospective exhibition at Asian Art Works, 798 in Beijing. His work is held in the Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.

Olivia Kemp’s drawings are expansive and relentless, fruit of an enthusiasm that borders on obsession. They take the idea of a romanticised or idealised place and run with it beyond any natural geography or sense of proportion. While her smaller drawings are intimate and precise, her large works seem endless and complex in the extreme, packed with a plethora of tiny details which are each given minute focus but built up into scenes without any focal point or respite. Most are of places Olivia has known but which she then turns into something ‘other’ through the processes of remembering and drawing. It is memory in action, an attachment to a physical place that is fired by imagination: specific and particular, whilst at the same time sprawling and continuous. Olivia Kemp’s work is held in The Royal Collection (including the personal collection of Prince Charles), the Victoria & Albert Museum, and The Rothschild Collection, for whom she was commisioned to create a piece based on the RIBA award-winning Flint House (2015).

Stephen Walter is a British artist well-known for highly detailed map drawings that combine geographical accuracy with personal references. In ‘Borderlines’, Stephen presents new collage works which interweave his drawings with printed maps and painting, using an almost geological process of stratification to create an abstracted rendering of place. Mechanical map reproductions blend into his personalised lines and marks. The logical precision of cartography exists side-by-side with painterly expression, so that the graphic becomes gestural in a layered object. This approach then becomes a means of creating a personalised representation of place beyond specific memories or symbols, one that ventures into the sense of emotional memory that we can attached to specific locations. Stephen Walter’s works are held in numerous collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Government Art Collection, The British Library, The Houses of Parliament Museums, and The London Transport Museum”.

The James Freeman Gallery is at 354 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0PD. Opening night of Borderlines is 11th Jan 2018, 18:30pm – 20:30pm, the show is then open until 3rd Feb. More details from www.jamesfreemangallery.com

And while we’re here, Condo starts again this weekend, details of the 2018 event here

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More of this kind of thing in a few days time….

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