ORGAN: Five art things with Andrew Millar at Well Hung, Helen Bur, Will Thompson in an East London tube station, Aslan Gaisumov at Emalin, Howard Dyke…

Five more art things, Five five five, five art things, five more London art recommendations, five art things in no particular order, five things that are about to open, five things that interest us, five things that might interest you, an ongoing series of recommendations, five things that look like they might be genuinely interesting or exciting and well art excites, go explore…

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Will Thompson – ‘Thirty Degrees with a Breeze’

1: Will Thomson – ‘Wasn’t It Uncanny’, will happen at Unit 3 of Old Street’s underground station, uses the notion of subtle change to dictate its structure. Each day, a different selection of artworks will be on display over the week-long exhibition.

The first solo exhibition by British artist Will Thomson. In the past few years Thomson has exhibited in multiple group shows in London, showing his work at both the ICA and Royal Academy of Art, as well as internationally in the group show ‘Hyperion’ in New York. “Thomson anticipates that commuters who pass through the station will notice the shifting permutations of the exhibition, and be left wondering what has changed from day to day.

Think back to childhood. When a car swung past the house and, for one brief moment, the room was coated in lurid light – pot plant, bed, the blind streaked across the wall – before darkness slid in again to take its place. It is this moment, when the homely becomes monstrous, that Will Thomson captures in his work. Whether in his large-scale paintings or in his installations, Thomson’s work deals with memory and its fallibility. Playing with the photographic source material, which often provides the inspiration for each painting, Thomson simplifies his interiors to blocks of pure colour or raw canvas, punctuated only by the odd item of furniture or door left ajar. In this way, he questions the objectivity of the photograph as a ‘truth telling’ device, using sparse detail to evoke emotions rather than facts. Beds, plants and windows are rendered in textures of black – flocked, scumbled, impasto – and unfinished canvas. This urge to both reveal and conceal is not unlike memory itself, which is often shaped by the desire to either remember or forget.

These works were born out of a time when Thomson was forced to move back to his childhood home. Crippling rent meant an independent creative life in London was unattainable and reserved for the rich. He found himself in a suspended state, where a house that was once so familiar had became a source of frustration, with a feeling that he no longer belonged there. Moving around the house, memories of his childhood would come to him, most often at night. These jolts of recognition often related to instances when his younger self was most ill at ease: started by an errant shadow, or a unexplained creak. Inspired by this, his recent work draws on the Freudian concept of the uncanny, where normal, everyday objects are seen in a different light and become unfamiliar and strange. Golly Gosh, an installation conceived as an olfactory ode to his Grandma, aims to jolt viewers straight into her living room in Swindon. The combined smell of Chanel No. 5, Gordon’s Gin and a half-smoked fag causes sudden, involuntary memory taking the viewer on an unnerving trip against their will. It is this notion of subtle, uncomfortable change that inspired the revolving form of the exhibition itself. The grind of the daily commute, made uncanny.

The work in this exhibition was born out of an intensely personal experience for Thomson, but plays with universal emotions. Memories, real or imagined, subtly manipulated, enticing viewers to question their recollections: “Was that there yesterday?

Old Street Station is at St. Agnes Well, London, EC1Y 1BE. Will Thomson‘s show starts on Monday 12th March and runs until March 17th (7am until 8pm every day), with an “opening” on Tuesday 13th March (6.30pmuntil 9pm).

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Will Thompson

2: Andrew Millar at Well Hung – The gallery say they are “delighted to be hosting a one-off solo exhibition with Andrew Millar opening on the 8th March 2018. Known internationally for his beautifully intricate hand finished Polaroid collages; Millar is back with a fresh body of work that explores representations of female portraiture. Challenging both mystical and classical notions of beauty, Millar delves deep into his subjects, which often combine somber yet surreal duo-chromatic portraits. There is definite elegance to his detailed works, which make them seem like classic orthodox icons of anonymous saints or posters of forgotten movies and heroines. Andrew has honed his technique of manipulating Polaroid films to produce visually arresting pieces. Pushing the limits and exploring the manipulative potential of this light-sensitive material, Millar applies leaf of precious metals and sometimes-acrylic colour in the finishing process by hand, thereby creating a unique collage with each artwork. In recent years Andrew Millar’s work has become increasingly popular and his talent has earned him international recognition with solo exhibitions in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, New York, and London”

You find Well Hung at 239 Hoxton Street, London, N1 5LG. The Andrew Millar show opens on March 8th and runs until March 30th

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3: Aslan Gaisumov at Emalin – trusth here is we know nothing about this artist or curator, but Emalin have earnt our trust now, they have an excellent track record, they’ve put on some excellent shows over the past couple of years, true, you do kind of wish they’d take a little bit more notice of the art and artists on thier East London door steps now and again alongside the exciting art from Russia or New York or wherever ther art may be from this week. Emalin have built a reputation, they’re a gallery worth trusting, here’s what they have t osay about the show that opens next Tuesday evening

“Emalin is pleased to present All That You See Here, Forget, Aslan Gaisumov’s first exhibition at the gallery, curated by Anna Smolak. This is the artist’s first solo project in the UK and will debut a new video work, Keicheyuhea, produced with support by the Han Nefkens Foundation, Barcelona. As part of a video installation, Keicheyuhea enters into dialogue with People of No Consequence (2016), produced by M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp.

Aslan Gaisumov (b. 1991) lives and works in Grozny, Chechnya. He graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art ICA (Moscow, 2012) and and Higher Institute for Fine Arts HISK (Gent, 2017). Gaisumov is developing an oeuvre that feeds on, but also transforms and transcends, personal and collective memory. His works are poised between visual immediacy and social commentary; between the momentary and the monumental.

Anna Smolak is an independent curator based in Krakow, PL. She studied History of Art at Jagiellonian University, Krakow, and Cultural Diplomacy at Collegium Civitas, Warsaw. Her research engages with contemporary institutional critique and the examination of alternative modes of collaboration and organization. She has investigated the notion of locality, periphery and exclusion, with a particular focus on Eastern European and post-Soviet contexts”.

Emalin is found on an ugly looking industrial building on the main street right over the from equally ugly Boxpart as wel las Shoreditchoverground station, last time we passed by the outside was covered in Nathan Bowen’s artwork as well as a bit of This One street art., the address is Unit 4 Huntingdon Estate, Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6JU

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4: Helen Bur – “Liminal” at Studio Leigh – Helen Bur’s paintings are always worth experiencing in the flesh, she has some new work to show us this week with the help of the nomadic 1963 Gallery, here’s what they have to say about Helen’s show. “1963 Gallery is pleased to present liminal, a solo show by Helen Bur, In her latest series of paintings Helen Bur addresses our current threshold moment; a transitional period, marked by an over-stimulation of mass and social medias, turbulent social and political upheaval, and our inability to make efficient sense of the world. Each of Bur’s paintings begins life as a digital composition, a process of breaking down and recomposing the constituent component of the image culture we are engulfed in. Through this process, unassociated content is brought together into a juxtaposition, which when rendered in paint is made to settle into an unusual proximity. Plausible situations, marked with a faint sense of impossibility and the absurd. A makeshift refugee restaurant appears as the backdrop for a makeup artist to administer fake blood to an actor, two scenes which one would never relate. Yet in a world of increasingly edited, manipulated and even staged news, it resonates as faintly real. Bur’s practice challenges us to make sense of a world we are increasingly unable, or maybe through exhaustion, unwilling, to interpret. In contrast to the attention grabbing tactics of click-bait news, or the bottomless downwards scroll of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the visual pane of a painting resists distraction or escape. Her Daily Paints series exemplifies this attitude. Each measuring a minuscule 7cm by 7cm, they display an exquisite focus. Equally, to view, they require absolute attention and proximity, a physical closing off from external interruptions, a space where we can employ our intellect and instincts to make a valued interpretation. Born in 1990 Bur lives a semi-nomadic lifestyle, her practice includes works on paper and canvas, as well as large scale walls. She has recently completed murals in Teufelsberg, Berlin, for Festival Asalto in Zaragoza, Spain, and in the Dharavi slum, Mumbai, after being on a residency in Goa. Last year she took part in 1963 Gallery’s group show Past Present Future”.

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Helen Bur

Studio Leigh can be found at 4 Garden Walk, London, EC2A 3EQ. Liminal opens on the evening of Thursday March 8th and then runs daily until March 14th (midday until 7pm so we believe)

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5:  Howard Dyke. Douin tent paintings at Thames-Side Studios – “Howard Dyke presents a new series of large scale paintings and collages based around materiality and the figure, played through the devices of abstraction and gesture. Cut, torn, displaced images are played out on a variety of substrates including translucent, coloured and patterned tarpaulins; a red PVC lorry side curtain split in half, adorned by two monumental imposing figures; and a painting of Fidel Castro made on a 2017 general election aluminium hoarding”.

Thames-Side Studios is at Harrington Way, Warspite Road, London, SE18 5NR. Howard Dyke’s Douin tent paintings opens on March 9th 2018, 6:30pm until 8:30pm and then runs frorn March 10th until April 1st.

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And don’t forget that E Zhang show that opens this Friday… ORGAN PREVIEW: E Zhang brings her site specific installation Inner Ear to Elements Gallery, London’s urban outdoor space, in early March…

Inner Ear is something that opens on the evening of March 9th at Elements Gallery, an almost unique outdoor gallery in the courtyard space at Hackney’s Angus-Hughes Gallery.  Chinese born, London based artist E. Zhang, who’s work was last seen as part of Cultivate’s Intent show over in Dalston back in January, brings her site… read on

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