Five Recommended Art Things? Are we that bothered? Are you? Shall we do it again? Rubbish? I saw a man, a middle aged man who really should have known better, a middle aged man who was about to throw a trombone in a skip, I asked him why he didn’t at least take it to the charity shop, (we were right by a charity shop), he said he really couldn’t be bothered and anyway he didn’t have the time. The Trombone is sitting in my studio now, perfectly good trombone in a perfectly case. Apparently he had had it for years and never got to grips with playing it. Five recommended art shows, we really don’t need to mention Steve McQueen at the Tate this week do we? As exciting a prospect as that is, neither he or the Tate need a mention from us back street lurkers…
Five more upcoming art things to check out this coming week. Hey, I know we said it last time but 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 recommendations come, as we already said up there, with no claims that they 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…
1: Hugh Mendes, ‘Autorretrato: The Female Gaze’ at Charlie Smith London – the show opens tonight, Thursday February 13th, we’re told the temperature is expected to be 9°C and the weather “partly cloudy” for tonight’s East London opening, we have social media to thank for that information. ‘Taking obituaries out of context is a very important aspect of my practice. Fundamental. I hope to engage the viewer in an entirely different way. Painting is a very slow process.’
“CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is delighted to present Hugh Mendes in his first solo since his sell-out 2018 exhibition ‘Autorretrato’. In response to that exhibition, where he made a series of obituary paintings based almost entirely on self-portraits of male artists, Mendes switches focus here. Having emphasized the inherited bias of a male dominated history of western art, Mendes continues by affirming the breadth and power of women artists from the 16th to 20th centuries who are influential and inspirational to him”.
Mendes began making still life paintings of newspaper articles in 2001. As his practice has evolved his intentions have become gradually more specific, progressing from painting mostly political articles to obituaries of those of interest generally, to obituaries of artists and then those derived solely from self-portraits. Mendes also began to revert from the present exclusively to historical figures. And always, throughout his career, he has steadfastly painted subjects of profound personal interest. Mendes goes to great lengths to understand his subjects. As an experienced artist and BA / MA tutor at City & Guilds of London Art School, he is most often familiar with their life and work. However, Mendes embarks on deep research by reading; watching videos; listening to interviews where possible; and most importantly going to visit the original work. He seeks to bring the persona of the artist into his studio; and almost inhabit their work, entering into a profound dialogue with his subjects. The result is slow painting that represents an intriguing synthesis of the style of Mendes; his subjects; and the mechanical reproductive processes that occur in between.
‘Taking obituaries out of context is a very important aspect of my practice. Fundamental. I hope to engage the viewer in an entirely different way. Painting is a very slow process.’
Charlie Smith London is at 336 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DR. The show runs from 14th Feb until 14th March.
2: Ed Hadfield, Character Styles at Cable Depot – Opening night, Friday 14th Feb – “Exuberant, irreverent, queer and generous character styles play themselves out across Ed Hadfield’s Street Signs. Brought together at Cable Depot for the first time since their unauthorised installation across South East London between 2016 & 2020, this new body of work is appropriated from the literary worlds of James Joyce, Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde and informed by personal somaesthetic experiences”. The show opens on Friday 14th Feb, 6pm until 9pm and then runs until 23rd Feb. There’s a talk and book launch on Friday 21st, 6pm until 9pm again. The address is 8 Submarine Cable Depot, Warspite Road, London, SE18 5NX. The Facebook event page has a rather good essay within the body of information
3: Henrique Paris, Return of the Repressed at Nudawn – Opening: 15th Feb 2020, 8pm until 10pm – ‘Return of The Repressed’ is an installation by the artist Henrique Paris. Established within a spoken poetry night, providing an ancestral in-temporal station where all the audience get to examine their individual psychological conditions ‘Return of The Repressed’ briefly explores Black subjectivity through music, photography, Texts and objects; challenging the objectification & demonization mechanisms. Whilst drawing attention to the traits and dilemmas that generation Z faces today. Attempting to underline the interconnection in between the colonial era and the post-colonial. Nudawn is at 206 Well St, Hackney, London, E9 6QT
3.5: Thierry Noir and STIK, WALL at The Migration Museum – Opening night: 6:30 to 9pm, 13 February – “WALL continues its museum tour and will be hosted at The Migration Museum, London throughout 2020. The two sections of Berlin Wall, painted by Thierry Noir and STIK in 2019 were first displayed at Imperial War Museum London to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For the next leg of the tour The Migration Museum examines WALL in the present day context of migrant communities”.
“These figures represent everything we do at the Migration Museum: providing a space for dialogue and reflection across divides and for finding what we have in common. They are guardians ‘protecting’ our space and act as a symbol of friendship to all without exception” – The Migration Museum
The Migration Museum is at Molesworth St, Lewisham,, London SE13 7HB
4: Dave Buonaguidi, Looking For Love, at Jealous East – Opening night, Thursday, 20th February (6:30-8:30pm) – Reasonably hot on the heels of that show at Nelly Duff late last year, the ever busy Dave Buonaguidi is back for more.
“These days, if you want a casual hook up, you just need to open Tinder, Grindr or Ashley Madison and with a simple swipe to the right you can be in business, but back in the day if you wanted some nookie with a bit of spice, you had to advertise your smutty wares in the back of Pleasure, the famed American adult newspaper of the 60’s and 70’s. Inspired by a copy of Pleasure that he discovered in a box of photographs and other filthy delights at Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts, Dave Buonaguidi explores the concept of pre-internet dating. The solo exhibition will be made up of 5 pairs of prints, with each exploding the simplified typographic approach of the original contact ads in his unique and colourful typographic style, combined with a vibrant reimagining and recreation of the images of the individuals posting the ads, using artwork created from original photographs.. The exhibition begins on Thursday 20th February with the Private View taking place from 6:30-8:30pm. There will be free Prosecco and a giveaway three colour screen print. Looking For Love runs at Jealous East from 20th February – 8th March and travels to Jealous North from 25th March – 19th April. Jealous East is at 53 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT. The obligatory Facebook event page
5: The Covering: Cathie Pilkington, Pierre Molinier and Morton Bartlet at Room 2 – “A joint presentation of Pierre Molinier (1900–1976) in conversation with Cathie Pilkington’s new site-specific installation in response to his 20th century photographs. Secreted away on the top floor of an 18th century Soho townhouse, the dimly lit, Dickensian setting of Room 2, The exhibition focuses on five photographs from Molinier’s celebrated cent photographies erotiques series, first shown at the Centre Pompidou for the artist’s 1979 posthumous retrospective. Dating from 1960 to 1974, these carefully staged erotic self-portraits”
“Karsten Schubert London is pleased to announce our second Room 2 exhibition: The Covering: Cathie Pilkington, Pierre Molinier and Morton Bartlett. This exhibition will take place over the two rooms of our viewing space, hidden away in an 18th-century townhouse in Lexington Street, Soho. In the first room visitors will find five photographs from Pierre Molinier’s (1900–76) celebrated series Cent photographies érotiques, the carefully staged self-portraits of the artist in fetish ensembles, often posed with doll parts and S&M paraphernalia. The artist’s face is frequently overlaid with a doll’s mask, further adding to the disquieting sense of the uncanny in his work.
Cathie Pilkington’s (b. 1968) new installation The Covering completely occupies the second room, using a diverse array of fabrics, materials, mirrors, studio furniture and pieces by other makers to dress the room, literally concealing figures and objects. Here Pilkington invokes the ritual adornment of sacred artefacts, creating an ambivalent dialogue with Molinier’s work. In titling her installation The Covering, Pilkington also refers to Harold Bloom’s image of ‘the covering cherub’: an obstructing figure that blocks the artist’s attempt to create a self-contained identity by dumping before her the indispensable and problematic baggage of art history.
Also included in the installation will be a rare example of American artist Morton Bartlett’s (1909–92) dolls, on loan from the David Roberts Collection, London, strategically placed and dressed in a garment made specially for the show.
Cathie Pilkington is an artist whose work engages passionately and critically with the canonical history of figurative sculpture. Crossing borders of traditional, modern and contemporary idioms, her work combines intensively modelled and painted sculptures within immersive installations comprising a diverse array of props, materials and studio furniture. Her site responsive installations are balanced ambivalently between chaos and precision and have been described as a kind of art historical fly-tipping.
Pierre Molinier was deemed ‘the magician of erotic art’ by André Breton and self-styled himself as a depraved figure without morals. His erotic play with identity and ingenious use of staging and photomontage has influenced artists such as Cindy Sherman and Robert Mapplethorpe.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring a new essay by Neil Walton.
Room 2 is at Karsten Schubert, 44/46 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LF. The covering runs from 14th February until 20th March.
And coming up at the end of the month, something from us, The full line up of artists for Nothing is Square Pt.2 is now confirmed. We’re rather excited to have 37 artists taking part and we expect to have around 130 identically sized pieces of art, all on canvas, all 20cm x 20cm, all hung is a very regimental manner on the three walls of the East London gallery. We have a very carefully selected group of artists, some of them familiar to Cultivate regulars, some of them new names, a healthy cross section of styles and attitudes and a show hopefully as united as the first Square show was by the strict demands in terms of size. We’re rather pleased to have so many exciting new names in this show, as we keep saying, new blood in important. We are very picky about our shows and who gets to be part of the shows but it is very important that new names and new blood flows though. We’ll be back over the next few days with more details about all the artists taking part in Nothing Is Square Pt.2 as well as more details in terms of the other two shows that will make up this final month-long Cultivate takeover of the gallery on Shipton Street down by Columbia Road. For now here’s the names in the square on the red poster and here’s a link to the Facebook event page.