Spied it of the top of the 55 bus, is that a new gallery? Well almost. Joe Carter has manage to get around the problem that is Appear Here and put on an old school pop up art show in an empty shop, something that just doesn’t happen that often now since that dreadful Appear Hear organisation all but killed off the notion of a pop up art show in an empty space with their rent prices and impossible officialdom. Five or six years ago the idea of a pop up art show on the Hackney Road was hardly big news, these days it feels like a victory to celebrate, one back for out side…
The Science Fiction Society is the name of the small show, intimately formal is how you might describe the way the space feels at the moment – the space feels permanent, shame it isn’t, there was a shop here until recently, only a matter of time before it becomes yet another damn coffee stop. Don’t really get the name of the show, nothing on the walls really says science fiction, what we do get is two rooms of energetic abstract painting, a celebration of colour, of layers, the pleasure of making marks, the almost naive joy of painting, the beautifully mindless act of mark making. Layers of paint, of texture, of colour allowed to run in water of spray paint allowed to drip.
The gallery is divided up, two very clear rooms, one painted white, the other almost black. The conservatively frames white room pieces almost feel like the experiments of a textile designer, of a painter simply enjoying paint and the simple act of making marks, enjoying colour, moving paint in the wet, moving colour around a piece of paper or whatever the choice of canvas is.
The back room pieces, the darker room, seem to have a little more substance to them (and yes less is so often more, certainly not saying these back room pieces are in some way better than the possibly more exciting white room pieces at the front of the gallery) The pieces in the darker room appear to be mostly about layers, pages from books almost entirely obscured by positively primitive spray paint marks, that East London sense of layers of stories, of marks over marks, new layers over old, spray paint is at it most exciting when it isn’t slick, when it is allowed to naturally drip, allowed to to run over an old layer, an old flyposter or page from a book, over a previously painted piece of work. These pieces in the back room appear alive with potential, a sense that the artist could (and eventually surely will) go so much further, that isn’t to say they’re not interesting now in their deliciously primitive way – this is a good show, these are positive pieces, don’t really get the science fiction angle, not sure what that’s about, really did enjoy the energy of the art though, the marks, the layers and yes, the formal use of the space Well worth getting of the bus early for, I look forward to more from Joe Carter (am maybe more from this space? (SW)
Joe Carter – The Science Fiction Society runs at 59 Hackney Road London E2 7NX until February 25th.
Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slide show….