Five art things? Five more art things? New year, need new art, or at least the art year to kick off, 2019 was in truth a little underwhelming,let’s see what London offers us in 2020, the gap between the artists and the galleries and London’s artists seems to be growing, the spaces for us artists to do it ourselves are dwindling, the enemies that are the developers, the gentrifiers and their endless coffee cash-free shops and those damn Appear Here people, Five upcoming art things to check out then We didn’t do this last week, we will try to do it most weeks and yes this admittedly rather fractured Five Art Things feature is intended to be a regular, almost certainly weekly, or something like something near weekly, an almost weekly round up of recommended art events. Five shows, exhibitions or things we rather think might be worth checking out. Mostly London things for that is where we currently operate and explore, and like we did say last time (and the time before), these five recommendation come with no claims that these are “the best five” or the “Top Five”, we’re not one of those annoying art websites that ignore most things whilst claiming to be covering everything and proclaiming this or that to be the “top seven things” or the “best things this weekend”., no, this is simply a regular list of five or so art things coming up soon that we think you might find as interesting as we do, five art thing coming in in the next few days in no particular order…
….and yes we are aware that Condo 2020 happens this weekend but the now annual coming together of many galleries has been rather user-unfriendly and rather disappointing in terms of the art as well as the attitude in previous year, we will go have a look this weekend and maybe report back if it excites us enough to make us want to cover it that is, art can sometimes be so far up itself that there is no coming back. Condo London 2020 – A collaborative exhibition by 36 galleries across 17 London spaces, 11 January to 8 February, preview weekend 11/12 January, 12–6pm. Most of it appears to be happening in East London Galleries this year, we’ll probably write a proper preview tomorrow but is it one of the five things we’d recommend? Based on last year? Not really. Hey, it might be brilliant, all those East London galleries who never really bother with the artists on their own doorstep might be full of exciting art, they might even smile when we come i, they might have signs outside and open doors, will Emalin actually show the work of a London artist in 2020? Will The Approach be approachable? Will they actually admit there there’s a gallery behind that grey door on Herald Street? Watch this space, or maybe not..
The five upcoming art shows we recommend then – and did you catch the round 2019 round up? If you missed it during the end of year festivities, then here it is, the art that excited us most last year – ORGAN THING: The London art year, 2019, the best of it? Exciting? Underwhelming? Conflicted? Transforming? Engaging? Aloof? Marton, Sterling, Tracey, Pez…
The five upcoming art shows we recommend then..
1: Cacotopia 04 opens at Annka Kultys Gallery on Friday 10 January, (6-8pm) – Annka Kultys Gallery in general and Cacotopia in particular has thrown up a rather rewarding cast of exciting artists, including what was probably the show of the year in terms of last Autumn’s Marton Nemes show at the Hackney Road gallery, now probably about it, we said as much here – ORGAN THING: The London art year, 2019, the best of it? Exciting? Underwhelming? Conflicted? Transforming? Engaging? Aloof? Marton, Sterling, Tracey, Pez… – “Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present Cacotopia 04, a group exhibition of works by four emerging artists working in painting and multimedia. This fourth edition of the now annual show, will explore, amongst other themes, perspectives on “screen memories”, relation between painting and photography, and digital painting. The artists featured in Cacotopia 04 are Nicole Coson, Richie Culver, Bex Ilsley, and Garrett Pruter” The gallery, like so many others, isn’t big on useful information, previous years have seen the artists featured present weekly in a solo format, we assume that will be the case again this year, the format has really worked in previous years just as long as you remember to get back every week, although how they judge who out of the rather diverse set of artist “wins” I don’t know, previous years have been impossible to judge. Annka Kultys Gallery is found above a shop by the bus stop at 472 Hackney Road, London E2 9EQ, a few seconds walk from Cambridge Heath overground station. The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday, 12 pm to 6 pm (or by appointment)
2: Jim Threapleton, Mutiny, at No20 Arts – Opening night Friday 9th January and then January 10th until February 23rd – “No 20 Arts is delighted to celebrate its third anniversary by presenting Mutiny, a solo exhibition of new works by Jim Threapleton. The exhibition marks significant development in Threapleton’s ongoing exploration of the abstract mark at the threshold of representation. Featuring 30 works on linen, panel and paper, MUTINY gives title to a series of paintings that testify to the conflict between the artist’s authority and material resistance. Having established an international profile as a filmmaker in the 2000s, working with a film in the abstract provoked a return to painting in 2009. The centre stage cinematic use of darkness and light in Threapleton’s work, therefore, comes as no surprise. Born from the tension between technical control and painterly misadventure his paintings exist in the realm of abstraction but without fully abandoning representation. Expressionist improvisation animates a precarious pictorial territory that offers the spectator glimpses of compositions that reminisce Romantic and Baroque masterpieces, and their characteristic chiaroscuro”. No 20 Arts is at 20 Cross Street, Islington, London, N1 2BG
3: Ridiculous! at Elephant West – 8th January to 2nd Feb – The new venue that Elephant West, 100 yards from White City tube station, presents in exhibition, film and performance – eighteen artists “who are not afraid to look stupid”, dare we say it looks ridiculously good? – “‘The True Artist’, runs the statement famously caught in neon by Bruce Nauman in 1967, ‘Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths’. In the same spirit, the true artist is prepared to present the ridiculous, to work in an apparently ridiculous way, or to appear ridiculous themselves. Questions their works might help you to answer include: ‘Why was I so ridiculously embarrassed as a teenager?’ , ‘How can I turn my boyfriend into a washing machine?’ and ‘Who opposes Brexit on the grounds that freedom of movement is fundamental for a good f&ck?’ In case that sounds frivolous, underneath the show’s witticisms you will find serious consideration of such matters as identity formation, epistemology, sexual attraction, class conflict and mental health.
Ridiculous!” is at Elephant West, 8 Jan – 2 Feb, event evenings on 8, 14,22 and 31 Jan. With Mauro Bonacina, Brian Bress, Jemima Burrill, Leah Capaldi, Paul Cole, Emma Cousin, Liv Fontaine, Rosie Gibbens, Oona Grimes, Adam Hennessey, Andy Holden, Rand Jarallah, Karen Knorr, Ansel Krut, Dale Lewis, Ryan Mosley, Anna Perach, Katarina Rankovic and curated by Paul Carey-Kent. Read more on the show from Paul via the often ridiculously annoying FAD website or head to the Elephant West website for details of the opening and the various performance night.
4: Punk 4 Mental Health at Stash Gallery, Vout-O’Reenee’s, London – Opening night Thursday 9th January (6pm until 11.30pm) and then until 17th January – A fundrasing art show with all proceeds going to Mind, A group show featuring punk flavour attitude, music and featuring art from Patrick Griffin, Sons of Incoherence, Annie Zimero, Molly Parkin, Sophie Parkin, Gaye Black, Siro Carraro, Geoff Cotton, Mia Jane Harris, Peter Mammes, Michael Zeti, Al Damidge, Marcia Scott, Spizz, Roy Amiss and Colin McCallum, Jennifer Binnie, Christopher Ward, Keelertornedo, Abigail Morgan, Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey, Susan Diamond, Wilma Johnson. Lapinus and more. Stash Gallery, Vout-O’Reenee’s, 30 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB. Opening night Facebook event page – All works will be up for sale, all money from sales will go to Mind Camden to raise as much money as possible for a great cause with the artists taking nothing from the sales. There will also be live performances on the opening and closing nights. Punk4MentalHealth is a charity fundraising event comprised of live music, DJ, mental health talks, an art installation of rare punk/post punk items, a celebration of DIY ethics”
5: Gill Burton, Traces Of You at James Freeman Gallery – Opening night, January 9th (6.30pm – 8.30pm) and then until 21st January – “We are pleased to present ‘Traces of You’, our first solo exhibition for the British painter Gill Button” so say the gallery, .”Gill Button is well-known for paintings that use images found in the media as their subject. In recreating these as gestural, intimate portraits, Button turns the mass-produced into something deeply personal and specific. It is a practice that looks at how we identify with the media landscape, and how we constitute ourselves in relation to it. In ‘Traces of You’, Button takes her approach a step further to consider how an image relates to the physical presence of another. A series of close-cropped portraits of figures lying down aim to capture a sense of closeness. Whilst similar in ways to the artist’s media-sourced portraits, the shifted perspective creates a new sense of intimacy. Eyes open, perhaps just blinked awake or on the point of falling asleep, they suggest that moment of hazy consciousness lying next to someone in which time can slip, and what was once there can suddenly be gone. What is left is the memory as an image, as a replacement for what was lost. How it becomes embellished over time is key to how we shape our personal narratives. The accompanying paintings tell the visual tale of stories compacted into images. Monochrome works reminiscent of old photos echo childhood trips, screen icons, or faces flashed in the media. Large paintings act like poignant moments, coated with the glamour of the silver screen or the languid intimacy of old Impressionist interiors. Button’s work looks not just at how we make the mass-produced image personal, but also how influences from media glamour overlay onto our own recollection of the real. In ‘Traces of You’, she presents a group of works that floats between these two realities: the seemingly timeless dramatic narratives that abound in the media world, and the fragility of the physical relationships that make up our lives”. James Freeman Gallery is at 354 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0PD