ORGAN THING: Part Three, better late than never, Urs Fischer, Kerry James Marshall, Sponge Bob, Champagne, Aziz and Cucher at Gazelli Arthouse, more Champagne, Eliseo Mattiacci at Richard Saltoun and…

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Urs Fischer, Dasha, Davies Street, London (Oct 2018)

Well it was slightly longer than that promised minute or so mentioned at the end of Part Two, and there never is enough time to write or indeed proofread and those of you who know, know damn well I can hardly see the computer screen these days and those ankle biters and baying for blood again and oh come on, who cares if there’s a typo or two, there’s more important paint-throwing things to be getting on with. Typos and no time for spell-checking are all part of the fabric around here, far more important things on the list of priorities and enough of all that, don’t be sending your complaint dogs to bark at this door just because we didn’t cover your art in quite the way you wanted us to. Enough of all that, enough of everything, enough of Everything Everything, enough. What did happen to all that Frieze week coverage anyway? Well that was kind of addressed on the previous page before Kunst the Clown distracted us with poetry and shaving cream and strawberries where severe whippings would have been more appropriate and If the truth be known, we got rather bored with having to writing about Frieze Week after day two and if the arts media in this town are to be believed and this sentence is to ever end then they tell us had it all covered anyway. The way the press go on about things you’d think Frieze week to be the only week of the year when art actually happens in this town of ours, the war on art churnalism must go on, the man in the hat has not got it covered, on with it all, someone has to do it, let’s post this bit, put it to bed, tie to the bed and move on to the shows we saw last night (or that indeed that Harry Pye show visited this morning), get on with it!

Did own up to loving Freeze back there though, do love exploring the art – maybe a need more than a love, a day without seeing somebody’s paintings is a day missing something or other. Whatever the week art needs to be explored and it needs to be written about, shouted about, art excites, surely it needs to be about a little more than just churning out a cut and paste press release and sticking your face at the bottom if yer know wot I mean . How can anyone who cares about art not be engaged by Frieze week? Art must be explored, we want more art, we need to be jolted by art, to be excited by paint, to be enraged, engulfed, provoked and okay, Frieze week is (very) old news now and you don’t really need any more documentation but hey here’s Frieze Week Part three (well we had all the photos and this thing is written as much for my reference as it is for yours, how else am I to remember where I’ve been drinking other people/s champagne?). One more slice of Frieze week documentation before we get on with other more important things, before we get on with exploring the next art shows, that and avoiding all those satellite fairs and their cynical ways in terms of their treatment of artists (and indeed galleries). Why do artists take it? Hard to really have that much respect for the artists who allow themselves to be played so damn easily. Who the hell is Roy anyway? What people?

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Joseph Kllbansky at HOFA Gallery (October 2018)

“I wish to announce I’m the lead artist at this year’s fair”, yeah right, “lead artist”, what kind of bullshit is that? “Lead artist”!?&)*!”!, If I had a dog it would most certainly be sighing or growling or frothing or something. Someone call the London Police (actually I kind of quite like the London Police, rather like that very clean-cut immediately recognisable graphic style, all extremely commercial and a little too “nice” but the Police do have a certain style, actually I still have time for the Can Man as well, just wish he’d take a risk or two now and again rather than playing it so slick and safe all the time, has he done anything that really touches all those textures he had in that rust show back there that time? “Lead artist?” Check that ego! Enough. Enough of this soulless art fair or that art fair or the other art fair, Enough of the London Art Fair or the Affordable Art Fair or that other Fleece The Artist art fair, can’t be doing with any of it. The only art fair that treats the artists with any kind of respect is the Art Car Boot Fair and that really isn’t anything like an art fair in terms of all those other fairs, the Art Car Boot Fair is something unique, at least Frieze is honest about it all. Hang on, really have had enough of this Everything Everything album now as well, enough of everything, they promised so much more when they made their first moves back there, they looked like they’d be an exciting band,

So the whole documenting the Frieze week crashed after day two and frankly who the hell cares. surely the ROA show at Stolen Space or that recent Pablo Delgado show at Nelly Duff were far more relevant and should have been covered? We were busy with the six week Columbia Road takeover thing, didn’t even get to the Roa show, I expect it was good, Roa shows usually are, the Pablo Delgado show was rather good if your eyes worked enough to see through those peepholes. So yes, we’ve missed a few things while the Takeover was on, can’t be doing everything at once, can be everywhere, and we certainly can’t be covering the book launch of some artist no one much has ever never heard, seems she’s try trying to flog young emerging artists a book called something like How To Succeed As An Artist, hey young artists, be smart about art, keep your money in your pocket, far too many people out there thinking young artists fresh out of art school are nothing more than cash cows. Art can what? Where were we? Frieze is way past being last week’s news now, there was a great Xenz show opening at Nelly Duff last night, really should bin all this out-of-date Frieze week nonsense and and get on with covering that, the Xenz show opened last night, it runs until November 8th, upstairs at Nelly Duff on Columbia Road, hang on, let’s quickly get Part Three out of the way then things can get back on those rails that were talked about a page back, let’s get this out of the way then the Xenz show can be covered.

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HOFA Gallery, Maddox Street (October 2018)

There’s a melting woman in a window in Davies Street, an installation in a well lit window, an Urs Fischer piece called Dasha. Urs tells us the world has always been ending, not sure if that’s the way to view it but hey, “Dasha is a larger-than-life-size wax candle depicting Dasha Zhukova, a personal friend of the artist. Cast entirely in wax, she wears a pink dress and is seated in a chair. A wick at the top of her head will be lit, and the candle will slowly melt over the course of the exhibition. Additional wicks strategically placed on the figure will be lit until the sculpture is reduced to a pile of wax drippings” – the figure hadn’t been there long when we saw it – the piece, or the figure or the installation or whatever you wish to call it, is there until December 15th, we’re told that “Fischer’s candle sculptures are captivating in their materiality and haunting in their implications; they serve as both portraits and meditations on time and gravity, life and death. As with traditional memento mori…”, and they she sits, starting to melt, very slightly, I expect there’s been quite a dramatic change by now, or maybe there hasn’t? Watch this space (or maybe not).

Vivienne Westwood’s window looks as delicious as ever directly over the street the slowly melting Dasha, do enjoy passing Vivienne Westwood’s place. We’re out exploring Frieze West End night, Thursday evening of Frieze week, a whole load of late evening gallery openings and the need to explore and find something exciting. We bump into a guy called Bob outside of Halcyon gallery, things look very flowery at the constantly attention seeking Maddox Gallery. The guys on the door of Victoria Miro look like they’re going to be very serious about it all, they politely let us in to the private view of the Conrad Shawcross show,that’s opening, a show called “After the Explosion, Before the Collapse – a show “where the Fractures obey the geometric parameters of earlier Paradigm works but also contain a central helical stem which supports hundreds of fragments” and oh how I want to paint the gallery floor white or black or anything other than the cheap beige wooden flooring that makes everything so brown rather like some bad 70’s interior decoration – “an exhibition of new works by Conrad Shawcross that features new Fracture sculptures and two new mechanical works, in addition to a sequence of unique photographic prints created by firing a laser through a series of faults in fragments of glass. United by an aesthetic akin to that of scientific models, the abstract works on view continue to deal with notions of time, entropy and disappearance”, apparently the show has excited others more than it excited us, nice glass of wine though, a polite goodbye from the big guys non the door. ….

The House of Fine Art or HOFA Gallery on Maddox Street is full of slick looking urban flavoured art, a lot of it rather impressive, especially those rather beautifully coloured Zhuang Hong YI pieces, and yes, some of the art in Hofa is as cliched as so called urban art far too often is, most of it is a couple of steps up from the offerings encountered earlier during the afternoon’s visit to Moniker though, Dutch artist Joseph Klibansky’s takes on Sponge Bob stand out, Romina Ressia’s Portrait of Girl With Bubblegum amuses. On we go, this is Part three, we’ve been exploring art for hours now, the visit ot Hofa is follwed by a quick look around Opera Gallery, we catch a piece by a superstar artist or two, Opera is followed by yet another gallery with another painting of another pink balloon and more champagne and more people talking loudly on their phones in front of the art.

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The Annotated Reader at Cock Street Galleries, (Oct 2018)

Things look interesting (and rather busy) at the Annotated Reader over at Cork Street, “The Annotated Reader is an exhibition-as-publication, or publication-as-exhibition curated by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts, Consisting of 281 texts selected and annotated by invited creatives, artists, academics, writers, musicians, and designers including Marina Abramovic, Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Lucas and who know who else is involved, it looks like it might be interesting but it isan’t quite what we want right now. We want paint, we want to be jolted by paintings, we want excitement, we want colour, we want drink and food and paint, we want to drink paint, eat art, woe don’t want words, we want giant tapestry and multi layered printing and people serving us champagne while we admire it. We’ll come have a look at the overwhelming amount of text at Cork Street Gallery on another day, actually we probably won’t, it all looks rather worthy,and well, we’re not so we’re off in search of more Ah, more champagne politely served in yet another gallery full of yet more people talking loudly in front of not very jolting not very exciting art, and look, there’s a man doing a performance piece in the window of his (closed) gallery, actually he’s probably just selling a painting via his mobile phone, unaware of the world around him and the small audience in the street outside, bring on the tapestry.

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Aziz + Cucher: Tapestries and New Works on Paper at Gazelli Art House, (October 2018)

“Gazelli Art House is delighted to present, Aziz + Cucher: Tapestries and New Works on Paper. The artist duo will exhibit four tapestries from the series Some People Tapestry Cycle created between 2014 – 2017 and five unique works on paper from the Frieze series created earlier this year”, now this is more like it, the tapestries are impressive, they’re full of energy, full of movement, they;re big, they’re impressive, and yes they are exciting, but the real excitement is upstairs with those paper pieces, now they really are something special, something that really does need ot be seen in the flesh, and not just a glance, you really do have to look at those layers of print – Tapestries and New Works on Paper a new solo exhibition exploring notions of conflict both in the past and present. Utilising a variety of mediums including digital imaging, sculpture, screen-printing and video-installation”, those prints upstairs as so impressive, “the five works on paper on display serve as stark contrasts to the embattled tapestries with their rejoicing dancers and joyous energy. Using 24k gold leaf on Hahnemühle paper, the dancing figures are brought to life with a luxurious elegance”, and yes they are elegant, they are joyous, there is a luxurious feel, but there’s so much more than that ,so so much more in those layers and those colours and textures that slowly reveal so much to a viewer willing to spend time with them/ Not sure how many layers there actually are, a dozen or so screen prints maybe? Layers built on layers, a real privilege to see them, so much to see in each one, so good, brilliant, yes! .

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Aziz + Cucher: Tapestries and New Works on Paper at Gazelli Art House, (October 2018)

Over at David Zwirner’s place, usually one of the more rewarding of the West End galleries, things are a little, well, have they played a little safe for Frieze week? Surely the price ticket placed on a piece of art has been address by now, surely we’re past all that? Kerry James Marshall has a show of paintings, very much a show of paintings, and there are some impressive paintings in the show but it is rather hard to get past those price ticket pieces and why in 2018 are we still looking at the price ticket? An interesting painter I guess, but oh come on, those prices are so loud they distract form everything else in the place…

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Eliseo Mattiacci at Richard Saltoun Gallery, (October 2018)

By the time we make the Eliseo Mattiacci show at the Richard Saltoun Gallery, we’re kind of, well I don’t know what we are? We started hours and hours ago, started back at the early afternoon press preview of the rather predictably unadventurous politeness and conservative predictability of the Moniker Art Fair, we were excited by the scale of Sean Scully at Balin/Southern as well as some of what we found at the 21st Century Women show at Unit Gallery, especially that extremely red Suzy Murphy painting, we explored what seemed like dozens of galleries as the afternoon became evening, we drank bucket loads of free wine and champagne, we made the occasional pitstop at a pub (or two), the Aziz and Cucher prints upstairs at Gazelli Arthouse really did seriously excite, nothing else really did quite like that Suzi Murphy painting or that line of great big Sean Scully paintings, by the time we make Eliseo Mattiacci at Richard Saltoun Gallery well, we’re kind of relieved, to find a gallery actually taking a risk, a gallery actually wanting to excite, wanting to challenge their audience and I suspect themselves, the show is a triumph,kind of disappointing to find it to be thirty years old, it really does make us whoop with loud delight, Yes! Brilliant, outrageously good, the photos are down there, go explore them and see, just what we needed before the galleries all closed for the evening. The Richard Saltoun Gallery, tell us that “the exhibition present one of the artist’s most important and dramatic sculptures of his career: Roma. Conceived in 1980-81, this momentous installation comprises 58 moulded aluminium volutes, occupying the three rooms of the gallery in dialogue with its Georgian architecture. ” – brilliant, and with that Frieze West End Night came to an end – and so, far later than planned, does our way past sell-by-date Frieze Week coverage. Did go to fair itself in the end, but you don’t need to know about that now, avoided the car park and the rather insular scene that celebrates itself, those Frieze week carpark shows threatened to be something significant a few years back, alas no, and ditto Anti-Freeze. We could write part four and Frieze East End night and the rest but hey, enough is enough, on with the next things, no one needs last month’s news… (SW)

Click on an image to enlarge or to run the fractured slide show…

 

 

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