ORGAN THING: Zachari Logan, Fergus Hare and Fredrik Andersson at New Art Projects, Hackney – glorious paintings, trophies that are far more than just playful, do catch it all if the lockdown lets you…

Fergus Hare at New Art Projects, East London, Oct/Nov 2020

Zachari Logan / Fergus Hare / Fredrik Andersson at New Art Projects, Hackney, East London – October / Novermber 2020

A couple of weeks ago the Zachari Logan exhibition looked a little lost, a touch forlorn, it actually felt a little sad to be in there in a mask in an empty gallery trying to connect with it. There was no opening night of course, there was only one of the Gallery’s rooms open, it was still a great show, how could it not be but it did all feel a little lost and we’d hardly been to an actual physical art show since Lockdown back in March. But now, a couple of weeks on and he’s sharing the white walls of the gallery with two more solo shows spread over three of the gallery’s four rooms and suddenly all all feels alive again.  You have to walk through the delight of the detail of Zachari’s show to either get to the room with the latest beautiful paintings of the rather prolific Fergus Hare are or alternatively at the other end of Logan’s room, to the trophies of Fredrik Andersson and his intriguing Kill The Winner show. Three solo shows in one gallery and once again, when maybe they really shouldn’t, the three work oh so well together…  

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

There is no real harm in repeating things here, these words have already appeared on these fractured pages – “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” – that is indeed what was said here back in September when the show open but now the doors at either end and the rooms beyond are open and everything can breathe and the art feels a little more liberated and and a little less locked in and compliments by the other shows so well and really, sorry, well no, not in the least bit sorry, there is a need to gush about the paintings of Fergus Hare again…

Fergus Hare at New Art Projects, East London, Oct/Nov 2020

It isn’t that Fergus Hare’s paintings throw out challenges, these paintings don’t hit you with big questions, they don’t offer debate or concern themselves with the point of it all, they don’t react to this movement or that statement or where art is at this week, it isn’t like he’s on the cutting edge or indeed any kind of edge and that’s the vital thing here, none of that matters with Fergus Hare, he doesn’t need to be, he is simply just a beautiful painter. Fergus Hare is simply a wonderful wonderful painter, an uncomplicated painter and to see his work in the flesh it just such a glorious set of delicious treats. His paintings, be them the mountain tops, the satellite dishes in that very English light of his or here, this time around, the wonderful crowd scenes and the flow and the folds of the clothes and the light on them and and and…. Those crowd paintings really do just have something very very special to them, his mountain tops are magical, his light is there to drink in, those crowd scenes are something very very special though (and his lockdown washing painting add a little smile in the face of it all – a smile in the face of the lockdown I mean). I could stand in this room for hours with these paintings, I could gush about them for hours, there’s something very simple about this, uncluttered, something far from simple of course but it is all simply beautiful and sometimes that is all it needs to be – just a wonderful painter, a spiritual painter, a very English painter, just a wonderful painter.

Fergus Hare at New Art Projects, East London, Oct/Nov 2020

And then back through the now liberated Zachari Logan room and the details in those leaves again to the, I almost want to say to the playfulness but no, playful is wrong, back through Zachari Logan’s intimate pieces to the trophy room and the smile of Fredrik Sven Knut Andersson. “We are delighted to welcome Fredrik Andersson back to New Art Projects after his amazing inclusion in our group show “Transformations”. For this solo project we have commissioned Andersson to explore his sculptural ambitions and to present a new and unique set of ceramic works at the gallery. His largest works to date, these pieces represent his commitment to queer culture, and explore themes he has established in his well know comics, posters T-Shirts and planters” – and well this really shouldn’t work in here with the other two but it so so does –  “This exhibition explores the semi autobiographical narrative of two gay friends who through their friendship have been are in a constant competition with one another. The competition is one of Love, Sex and Intellect, where their rivalry eventually meets its climax, which also successfully ends their relationship. This piece of work aims to discuss whether or not this game has a winner at all” – see, far from playful really, this is the game of life and the are the serious trophies that life brings – okay, so yes, yes they are playful, yes they are fun, but they’re not, relationships like these are serious things, and oh how this room deserved a crowd of people and that hum of an opening night and laughter and “hi, how are you” and cheap red wine and warm bottles of larger and yes, love these pieces, proper trophies, love it!

Fredrik Sven Knut Andersson at New Art Projects, East London, Oct/Nov 2020

And well hardly a week or so into the three shows together and before there’s a moment to gather thoughts and urge you to go and we’re heading back to a lockdown and locked gallery doors and not even views by appointment and these three shows really don’t deserve to be so cruelly treated, three shows that hardly anyone is going to get to see together and how utterly utterly frustrating this year is proving to be…  (sw)

Heave knows when the show will run to or reopen or what the plans are now, best head ot the gallery website. 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 Zachari Logan show

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

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