ORGAN THING: Zachari Logan’s powerfully exquisite Wildman, Tales from the Bone Garden at New Art Projects, East London, an exhibition to see if you can…

Zachari Logan, New Art Projects, East London, September 2020

Zachari Logan – Tales from the Bone Garden at New Art Projects, East London – It is almost a relief to mask up and actually step inside an East London gallery these days, since we all shut down in March thee have been so few opportunities or indeed shows enticing enough to make us want to go out and risk mingle – not that there is that much mingling in the galleries that are actually managing to open, everything is respectfully socially distant in the spaces I’ve been in so far since we all locked down, since we all had to close our shows and lock our gallery doors back in March. The galleries are having it as tough as anyone, the more established East London names appear to be hanging on, the more traditional spaces, The Approach and such, they seem to be hanging in there, although heaven knows how, the more spontaneous art shows, the artist-led exhibitions, the lifeblood, the cutting edge, those shows just aren’t happening. So yes, It is almost a relief to mask up and quietly step inside the New Art Projects space on a Saturday afternoon and check out the latest Zachari Logan collection. There was no opening night gathering of course, the social side of art has completely gone, the community, the art tribes, the gossip, the word of mouth “have you seen her show? You really need to go” – just a case of quietly slipping in to a gallery either by appointment or during the mostly now very limited opening hours that most of the spaces that are open are operating to, but we did need to see the latest Zachari Logan show

Zachari Logan, New Art Projects, East London, September 2020

There have been several Zachari Logan exhibitions at Hackney’s New Art Projects now, this one, understandably, considering the logistics of it all and the times we’re living through, is a little more understated than the previous times the Canadian artist has featured in the East London space. In all honesty, if you don’t already know you’ll maybe feel a little underwhelmed at first – the show is housed in just one of the four rooms of the gallery, most of the work is small in size (only in actual size mind you) and it kind of feels a bit “is this it?” when you first walk in, no giant full-frontal naked men, not that much in terms of his big wreaths of leaves that ignited so much the first time around, not really that much of anything – but no, hang on take a moment, get over the initial disappointment and look properly and there he is, there’s Zachari Logan in the detail of it all, in there in the exquisite detail of the quiet leaf growth, in the alive lines of the flora, the delicately string lines of the drawings, in the understated power of it all – “artist Zachari Logan pictures the character of the “Wildman”. Among the 11 new drawings in this show, seven relate to this figure and his actions in a fictitious garden. Logan is concerned with the process of the re-wilding of the human form, mutating it into flora, fauna or fully transformed; as symbolic of a new magical state. He uses these transformations as a metaphor for queerness” – and yes, there are many ways to read Zachari Logan and his self portraits, there’s lots to read into his symbolism. his beauty, his warnings maybe? Actually this is only the third Zachari Logan show in the space, it feels like there’s been more, he almost feels familiar to us now. It does feel like this particular show is only a small taste, a hint, an intimate taster, I do kind of need his expansive scale, this is a show to see though, you can’t really see it properly unless you can get right in there with the marks, the warmth, the layers, it is something to try and see in the flesh, you need to really sense it, sense him, this is a show to try and see for real rather than just on line, these are pieces you need to dwell on, spend time with, to just simply enjoy  (sw)

Tales from the Bone Garden is on until 24th October, the gallery open Friday and Saturday 12.00 – 5.30 or by appointment. New Art Projects is at 6d Sheep Lane, Hackney, London, E8 4QS.  Just beside Broadway Market, not far from the Regents Canal and a stone’s throw from Beck Road  There is an on-lne book that goes with the show

Previously –  ORGAN THING: Zachari Logan’s rather splendid leaf-filled exhibition Wreath opens at New Art Projects….

Zachari Logan

Do click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show

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