Paul Renner and Paul Sakoilsky – This is The Gate of Heaven at Gallery 46, Whitechapel, East London – “Working around themes of transformation, corruption and conservation, the show presents a banquet of the senses and a magic bullet for these dark times” – we’ve seen lots of Paul Sakoilsky in recent years, his paintings, his words, his Dark Times, his landscapes, his London paintings, his foam pies in your face (well mostly in his face), his emotions – we’ve seen his paintings in group shows, his readings, his clowning at events like the Art Car Boot Fair, his live portraits of Faust (the band of course), his smile, his poetry, we’ve seen lots of Paul Sakoilsky in recent years but we haven’t really seen the whole of the artist like this, not recently anyway, not in a gallery that allows it all to come together so well in the way this one does.
Gallery 46 and all these small terrace house rooms, what a space – the new art-space from Martin J Tickner, Sean McLusky, Martin Bell & Wai Hung Young in Whitechapel, London’s long-standing centre of radicalism and independence, has developed from the non-conformist curatorial approach they deployed at Redchurch Street’s infamous MEN Gallery. GALLERY 46 signifies arrival, departure and evolution for Tickner, McLusky, Bell & Young. This larger space, housed in a pair of Georgian houses in the grounds of Whitechapel Hospital and set over three floors and eight rooms is a kaleidoscopic addition to Whitechapel’s burgeoning gallery scene and its artistic heart, the nearby Whitechapel Gallery.- and right now this is the perfect place for all the different sides of Paul Sakoilsky.
Those performances, Kunst The Clown, the readings, the dramas, they’re all part of the man, but really Paul Sakoilsky.is a painter, a very committed old school painter, a proper one, a real painter. He isn’t the sort who dabbles with paint now and again, it isn’t really an option, it is;nt a careful career move, painting is clearly something Paul has to do, it isn’t just part of him, he’s a painter. Is it a burden? It clearly is his lifeblood, you know damn well that when he does get down to his last tenner (again) then it goes on paint rather than food (well maybe a little bit of it on cheap red wine). You can’t help but love the man to bits, you can’t help but feel good about his art, his paint, his commitment, about the person and his obvious need to do it all, love the fact that there is really no other option for the man, being a painter isn’t always easy. .
Tonight, and for the next month or so, Paul Sakoilsky is joined, some might say dangerously, by Paul Renner, this might get rather intense, this might get messy later on, what did you say the proof of that schnapps was again? – “This is The Gate of Heaven refers to the numerous doors of Gallery 46, where Renner & Sakoilsky show their latest art works. Here the artists traverse a multi-dimensional labyrinth within the gallery’s three 18th century terraced houses and a series of seven specially created rooms Renner creates environments where the aesthetic takes on the infinite, where all divisions collapse and the six senses fuse into one. His method is anarchic, subversive and experimental, following William Blake’s words: ´The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom’. And if it doesn’t, so much the better”.
“Paul Renner’s work focuses on the idea of art as a Gesamtkunstwerk. He is particularly interested in art as synaesthetic perception. His exhibition projects culminate in the staging of theatrical soirées at which visual arts and performing arts are informed by culinary art and for which he designs buildings (Theatrum Anatomicum), stages festivals (Vakanz) and founds travel clubs (The Hell Fire Touring & Dining Club)”.
And so you have a labyrinth of rooms, small rooms, tight staircases, corners, a couple of old East London terrace houses knocked together (you can’t help but wonder about who once lived here, the stories, is this what should happen to buildings that were once homes?). We’re in the back streets of Whitechapel and each room is rather different to the last one you went in in terms of the art you find – a rococo compression chamber, Renner’s Oyster Rocket sculpture, there’s the Dark Times all together and making sense far more than they have before when you see them together like this, you got rooms of Sakoilsky’s paintings – powerful paintings, sometime difficult paintings, those towers, that fire – powerful paintings, still life paintings, sometimes beautiful paintings – and it is good to just find yourself in the quiet of the small rooms like this, just you and them, the paintings, one and one, a real look at those paintings you’ve kind of seem but really haven’t quiet really seen in all those group shows and such. And then you’ve got Renner’s rich rich colour, you have his bar and food Installations, and tonight you have the man himself outside cooking sausages in the garden.
The garden is packed, artists everywhere you look, can’t move for artists, painters falling over each other, quiet a gathering, what did you say the proof of that Schnapps was? “Yes, this is where it is” says one of the (brilliant) guys on the door, “how do you know we’re looking for the gallery?”, “there’s no way you two are walking past”, It is that obvious? It is quite a gathering, chefs, painters, writers, Pearly Kings and Queens, gallery owners, people playing music, friends greeting each other (artists avoiding each other), an evening of eating drinking, vegan stew, wine, beer, cockney cheerleading from the Kings and Queens, Paul Sakoilsky standing on a wall, reading, son Joseph Sakoilsky on guitar trying to lead us all (wonder what the neighbours think?)… Mostly this is about those rooms though, those rooms that make so much sense of it all, the collaborations, the two artists coming together so well, two artists feeding off each other’s energy in so many positive ways. Excellent times, quiet an opening night, a real sense of something special happening, best to leave before it does get too messy. A great opening but far more importantly, an excellent art show, can’t wait to get back and look again in the cold light of day. those seven rooms are full of so so much, so much of Paul Sakoilsky on those walls, so good to see it all together like this, this is a show that really works, a real, proper art show, an event, do go, as we’ve said before, art excites, why is my leg covered in blood?How did that happen?. (sw)
Click on an image to enlarge or to run the fractured slide show.