ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – A Tom French retrospective at Unit, Kelly Sweeney at Horse Hospital, Emmanuelle Moureaux at Now, Hunter Potter at Public Gallery, Patrick Goddard at Matt’s, Street Art Animals & Other Creatures at Viva Dalston…

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Hunter Potter

Shall we do it again? The five things thing I mean, is all this art coverage more or less an exercise involving clapping and just one hand? As absurd as being in a Frisbie team? What would you do if you were in charge? I’m not in charge it isn’t my problem, if you buy used electric then, what should you look out for? Caught in a mosh? Well, to cut a very long story short, stuff. I don’t know, with a couple of exceptions, it doesn’t feel like art, in terms of London and the so called Roaring 20’s has really started yes, really can’t get excited about the giant car show room sales-fest that is, or was last week, the London Art Fair – white-frame politeness, coffee table art, “new print release dropping in 30 minutes”, really can’t stand the business of cold-hearted print releases. “Have you been able to find more Mary?” “Fluid. Nice” replied Nick. Here’s a slice of Raven, crash bang wallop, “your list has gained a new subscriber” although it wasn’t Rob “Wacko” Hunter, is Mr Hunter still around? “I’m pro making it a level playing field” said the voice on the radio/ Does anyone ever read any of this? Probably not? Did they list our show? No?”! What the hell do they know about art? Probably didn’t even go to art school, not like me, I do like to wear my art education very very loudly, I haven’t got over it yet and it was very expensive, lock the gallery door, don’t let the plebs in, academics only, let’s have a crit. “The cloud will thicken further during the rest of the day and public safety is the first concern”, rearranging the deckchairs at the White Cube? Enduring a crime wave? At lease the sun is out, the sky is blue, there’s nothing there to spoil the view, “da de da, a cicada sings while we talk of other things”. The two met one summer when all anyone could talk about was a plague of locusts. … While most feared another plague, I was dreaming of that bewildering prophet … When art-filled cicadas sing for wall space, they do, as Hass says, shred and torture silence, enough, I didn’t mean to say all that, not to you, not today, they were talking on the radio, got distracted, five things? Is there really any point in any of this five art things nonsense?

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Emmanuelle Moureaux

Five more rather pointless art things then, five upcoming art things to check out this coming week. Hey, I know we asked you last week, but hey, have you noticed we;re being quite good at keeping to the weekly schedule so far this year? And like we said last time, 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 thing – 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 said 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 things coming in in the next few days in no particular order…

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Tom French

Another five, this week’s recommended art things in no particular order…

1: Hunter Potter at Public Gallery – If I remember rightly, we mentioned this show being on the the horizon at the end of last year? Pretty sure we did? “We’re delighted to present 𝙄 𝘼𝙞𝙣’𝙩 𝙃𝙖𝙡𝙛 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙖𝙣 𝙄 𝙒𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙏𝙤 𝘽𝙚, the first UK solo exhibition from New York based artist Hunter Potter. Opening 5th of February and running until the 29th, join us from 6:30pm on the 5th to celebrate with the artist in attendance” so read the gallery’s post on social media…

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Hunter Potter

“Revolving around his personal meditation on the expectations of masculinity, Potter examines real and imagined outcomes of his own life given a different set of choices and decisions.  Heavily exaggerated and often fantastical, Potter’s paintings pay homage to the various people and lifestyles observed and experienced throughout his upbringing. The work, therefore, seems to respond to, as well as question, Potter’s own potential role and position within the romantic small-town, blue-collar, Americana environment.

Throughout this new series, Potter mines his own memories and nostalgia to examine, quite simply, the man that he could have, and perhaps wishes he had become. Often presented through symbolic Wild West metaphors, the paintings are both idealized and self-critical. These hyper masculine characters clad in flannel, cowboy boots, and prison stripes, work to question the very expectation of what it means to be a ‘real’ American man in the 21st century. Using repetitive, familiar, and metaphoric imagery, the paintings place Potter’s own life experiences within the wider arena of Americana folklore: stories that are neither past nor present, fact nor fiction, right nor wrong, but more so a recognisable combination of it all.

Hunter Potter was born in 1990 in Syracuse, NY, and studied studio art at the University of Vermont where he graduated in 2013. He moved to New York City in 2015 and spent time commercial sign painting before establishing his own studio in Brooklyn. Last year Potter was selected for the PLOP residency, London and in 2018 was awarded the Roger Smith Artist Fellowship undertaking residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre, Johnson VT and the Golden Foundation, New Berlin, NY”.

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Hunter Potter

PUBLIC Gallery (apparently they like it in capitals), is at 7 Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT,  find up there at the top of the street by Hackney Downs, well the top of my street, you probably want to use the train to Hackney Downs or Hackney Central or…

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Tom French

2: Tom French: Transcend at Unit London – Unit say of this hopefully celebratory show that “following the tragic passing of artist and friend Tom French, Unit London will present ‘Transcend’ – Tom French’s major retrospective, Transcend. These pieces were created in the knowledge that they would most likely be the artists’ last”. Transcend opens at unit on Thursday January 30th  (6.30pm until 9.30pm)

“In his final months Tom French poured every morsel of hope, determination and strength into this body of work. He spoke of the tranquility it instilled in him, the therapeutic nature of executing a skill that you have been honing your entire life and the joy that can be gained by continuing to find variation in something so familiar, to find foreign pleasures in native spaces. In some ways the chaotic mess that is premature illness was brought to heel by Tom through his work. To transcend is to go beyond the range of limits of a field of activity or conceptual sphere; Tom’s work flows over these boundaries on both sides, it is at once elusive and illusory, thoughtful and innovative.

Transcend brings together two of Tom’s most prominent bodies of work: the Parallax and Duality paintings. This is work that emphasises art’s ability to transcend a definitive visual experience and intellectual conclusion by creating an illusory framework for interpretation. Both sets of work are monochromatic, figurative combinations of photorealism and abstraction that depict a psychological landscape as well as material space. They are comprised of technically tight charcoal drawings, occasionally enhanced with acrylics, oils, spraypaint and even gold-leafing.

The term ‘Parallax’ denotes the sensation surrounding the theory of perceptual variation – namely, the displacement of an object caused by a change in the position from which it is viewed. The fragmented presentation of Tom’s characters is representative of the way in which we perceive the external world, both visually and psychologically. When viewing a figure we do not see it as a whole, our eyes roam, shifting focus and settling on various points of interest; we construct an individual subjective image, one that is, by definition, fragmented. Tom imbued with a kind of melancholic defiance, even at the last he was experimenting with new methods and ideas: the Parallax paintings were his first to incorporate the use of colour, not only did he find this therapeutic, it’s also a pointed inclusion of the most subjective of artistic mediums, thoroughly justifying the choice of ‘Parallax’.

The Parallax theme of simultaneous multiple perspectives and realities has many conceptual parallels to the Duality works, which utilise illusion and double image techniques to further explore this range of ideas. The Duality paintings are meditations on the theory of dualism: the idea that the mind and body are distinct entities. In these works swirling abstraction captures consciousness and mental activity, whilst glimpses of the figurative bring attention back to the physical. When one stands back and takes in the entirety of the work a composite shape begins to appear, encapsulating both realms of a dualistic existence. In Tom’s own words: “there is no single reality here, the realities transcend and coexist, they repeat and overlap, and – particularly with the illusion works – transcend the usual boundaries.”

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Tom French

On Christmas Day, after a brave and courageous battle with cancer, one fought with characteristic dignity and strength, we said our last goodbyes to Tom. When considering art, one must always consider the artist – and Tom’s work is exceptional for its technical ability and stylistic flair – but the humanity and emotional depth which makes it so distinct and extraordinary came from within Tom and could never have come from anywhere else.

Tom’s work was a source of awe and inspiration for artists and followers alike. His mixture of talent and unwavering drive ensured his success on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, Tom’s sell out show Flux (2014) at Lawrence Alkin signalled his unambiguous arrival on the scene and from there it was only up as he began to appear at art fairs across the globe. Everyone at Unit London had a connection with Tom and we are all honoured to have had the privilege to work alongside him”. – Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt

Transcend opens on Thursday January 30th  (6.30pm until 9.30pm) at Unit and then runs until 29th Feb.  Unit London is at 3 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London, W1S 1HD

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Emmanuelle Moureaux

3: Emmanuelle Moureaux, Slices of Time at NOW Gallery,  Greenwich Peninsula – The Private View of Slices of Time by architect and artist Emmanuelle Moureaux happens on Tuesday 4th February,  6pm until 9pm if you’ve been to the gallery website and done the RSVP thing.

“Emmanuelle Moureaux has been seducing audiences with her colourful installations from Paris to Tokyo.  The complexity and delightful aesthetic fills space with cut out coloured paper to create a world where the essence of every carefully considered colour can be appreciated. NOW Gallery, as part of its on-going Design Commission, selected Moureaux to present a large-scale installation in the UK for the first time. Inspired by the gallery’s location on the Greenwich Peninsula, near to the Meridian, marking time and composed of layers of numbers in 100 shades of colours and white, the installation expresses the flow of time. Each layer of numbers reflects the now, the past and the future, the exhibition will be a round representation of the earth floating in the gallery space.  A moment, a slice of time. Creating dates to be acknowledged and a moment to think about ourselves in contemplation with the now. The installation will offer its visitors the time to remember a significant date. Round paper will be available to write this chosen date on in coloured pen; and why it is important. This will be placed on the window of the gallery, along a timeline which will create a kaleidoscope of colour”.

“Born in 1971, France, Emmanuelle Moureaux is a French architect who has been living in Tokyo since 1996, where she established “emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design” in 2003. Inspired by the layers and colours of Tokyo that built a complex depth and density on the street, and the Japanese traditional spatial elements like sliding screens, she has created the concept of “shikiri”, which literally means “dividing (creating) space with colours”. She uses colours as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. Handling colours as a medium to compose space, her wish is to give emotion through colours with her creations, which range from art, design to architecture.  Her representative works include the architectural design for Sugamo Shinkin Bank, “100 colors” art installation series, space design for ABC Cooking Studio, art installations for UNIQLO and ISSEY MIYAKE, and stick chair. In 2017, she has created a large installation “Forest of Numbers” at The National Art Center, Tokyo for its 10th Anniversary exhibition. Associate Professor at Tohoku University of Art and Design since 2008, Emmanuelle’s laboratory explores the possibilities of colour through a project she named 100 colours lab. Students are asked to create 100 colours palette of an item from their everyday life, such as glasses, bubble foam, rice, umbrella, watches, CD, chocolate block and so on”.

And we do like to borrow a good quote so; “The measured detail, and calm considered order of Moureaux’s work seemed the perfect respite from the political bedlam we are experiencing. This exhibition will include everyone, giving them the opportunity to have a moment to enjoy colour and form in all its simplicity and complexity.  Both elements will work together to surprise and saturate, providing a moment to think about a date of significance within colourful order. A contemplative moment for all.” (NOW Gallery’s Curator Jemima Burrill)

The opening night of Slices of Time by Emmanuelle Moureaux is on February 4th, the show will open properly at NOW Gallery on 5 February and run until 17 April.  NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0SQ.  The Gallery is on the right, next door to North Greenwich Tube. North Greenwich tube on the Jubilee Line is 15mins from Green Park. Come out of the station and you will see a circular glass building – Gateway Pavilion – NOW Gallery is in this building opposite CRAFT London.

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4:  Patrick Goddard, Trip To Eclipse at Matt’s Gallery –  opening night, Friday January 31st (6pm until 9pm) –  “Matt’s Gallery presents Trip To Eclipse, a new audio installation exploring authenticity in late capitalism”

“The work centres around an audio piece which sees the artist narrating a tale of a man and his talking dog, Whoopsie, as they take a walk in a newly built imitation abandoned warehouse. As they walk and talk they encounter broken glass curated across the floor, an Arts Council funded climbing frame and a rave organised by the local MP.

Trip To Eclipse takes its title from a 1990s clothing label more popular in school playgrounds than in the actual rave culture that it so desperately gestured towards. The bomber jackets, ultra-baggy jeans and record bags featured the characters Spliffy (white guy with dreadlocks, smokes a spliff) or Eclipse (seems to be doing graffiti, also smokes a spliff).

For Goddard the Eclipse brand complicates notions of authenticity. Vended on markets rather than sold in shops, the merchandise at the time exemplified naff imitation goods crudely ripping off the tropes of a legitimate cultural movement. Today, the nostalgic urge revaluates (or is perhaps entirely ignorant of) this hierarchy. Spliffy jeans take on a retro caché as a genuine relic from a more authentic time; the type of misappraisal that late capitalism feeds on.  Goddard previously exhibited at Matt’s Gallery as part of Revolver II in 2014. In 2016 he was one of 3 artists who completed the Blackrock Residency, a collaboration between Matt’s Gallery and the Lydney Park Estate..

Matt’s Gallery is at  92 Webster Road, London, SE16 4DF. Trip To Eclipse opens on January 31st (6pm until 9pm) and then 1st Feb  until 23rd Feb.

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Kelly Sweeney

5: Kelly Sweeney, Colour Me Pink and Colour Me White –  A premiere screening of two short films by artist Kelly Sweeney: ‘Colour Me Pink’ and ‘Colour Me White’ followed by a Q&A with the artist. The Horse Hospital, London WC1N 1JD, Wednesday January 29th –  “Join contemporary artist Kelly Sweeney for the premiere screening of her two short films ‘Colour Me Pink’ and ‘Colour Me White’. A filmic invocation of her pantheon of supernatural entities take us on an otherworldly trip where the artist becomes the painted, the sculpted, the fetish, the summoned, the conjured and the seer. Seduced by all things transcendental, this is for Sweeney the realm of schizophrenic psychic harlequins, ethereal MDMA Medusa goddesses, orchid-clown hybrids and demonic balls. The film’s contribute to a wider body of work supported by Arts Council England, that considers anthropological ‘dolls’ as supernatural intermediaries and the cultural practices, values and beliefs that empower them. Kelly Sweeney is a London-based artist who studied at Nottingham Trent and Chelsea School of Art. A multidisciplinary artist, her practice encompasses painting, sculpture, drawing and film. Sweeney exhibits regularly and has work in private collections in Europe, Asia, America, Canada and the UK. With a personal introduction by the artist, the screening will be followed by a talk and opportunity for Q&A from the audience” – yes, I know, a little late for this one, but you can go explore and find our more and hey, don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger or the piano player or something, if someone had sent in a press release or something or those damn algorithms hadn’t been against us again then we might have told you last week, hey, go explore Kelly Sweeney via her website if you can’t make it to the hospital.

The Horse Hospital is found at Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1JD. (do go help keep it there)

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Kelly Sweeney

5: Street Art Animals & Other Creatures at Viva Dalston, opening Saturday 1st Feb – “Artists Apparan and Hello The Mushroom join forces to curate the most fantastic street art show in London in the 2020.(That’s how confident we are! 😉 )” – Now I’m not the biggest fan of the endlessly repetitive art of the paste up, it all feels rather too damn easy in these days of printers and computers and monkeys with typewriters to me, and it is damn annoying when those damn paste up artists show very little respect for the painterly things they insist on pasting over with their often cheap and nasty colour-blind repeats. How many more times do we need to see that damn paste up trump? It really wasn’t that funny the first time around! Hey, now and again someone like Aida Wilde will hit the spot and I do rather like the DIY punk rock spirit of it all and if you paste over one of my freshly pieces again I’m going the stomp on you, stomp on your glue pot and on your damn animals. Come on, we like a good paste up, a whole edition of Organ appeared as a paste up all over London back i the day, let’s mention the show and let them tell you that “we are featuring upcoming and established street artists specialised in animals and creatures from Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, United States and the UK” (I’m rather assuming they mean artists from those places, not animals?). “These animals have been popping up in every corner from our city during the last few years. Either sprayed or pasted up, our artists would like to spread a message of love to animals and nature”. Artists featured include  Frankie Strand,, Coloquix, Many Faces, Squarms, Captain Eyeliner, Subdude, Remain Humain, Glor, Squiddy163, Mowcka, Agos, 0rrible, Mypenleaks, Bentoghoul, Pro heroes, Uberfubs, Corrosive, Hercules Wolftrap, Divadogla, Meow, 8arms2hug, Lembo, Patrick Tetra Pack, Deranged Elf, Whatifier, Rupe Rup, Curtiscreationz, Heavens Rejects, Daddy Street Fox, Inkblotartwork, Lespleenart, Littlestofthemall, Selvan, Graphic Maker and,,,

This show will open on Saturday 1st of February from 6pm till late and will run till the 8th of February at Viva Dalston. We will have an opening party in the basement with DJs: E-Kay+guests, projections, live painting and merch on sell by your favourite artists. A copy of Zine created by The Third Saturday Paste up group will be given to the first 20 people walking in. Hey, I might go myself and paste up something over something they just put up or art drop a leaf or two on top of ’em or something (where was my invite anyway Mrs Mushroom!) , Long live the paste up, long live the free state of anarchy, there’s some good artists in that line up, art is a force for good, see you there.  Here;s the link to the Facebook event pageViva Dalston is at 2 Stoke Newington Road, London, N167XN.

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