We almost certainly do need to do that five art things thing again don’t we? We probably should? Still no mushrooms and certainly no muchroom soup cans though, just a bit more of the glue that holds the who or what together. The art of repetition? Where were we? Still repeating ourselves whilst under stress? Did you even notice? Do you just cut to the chase?). And well, we could do it again, we could? Shall we? The Five Art Things thing? We said all this last week didn’t we? And the week before, we can almost smell open galleries now, almost, no actual opening nights, but real walls and art hanging on them. Can we see a way out yet? Can we think of things happening for real rather than things happening on-line, we still can’t quite really feature or preview forthcoming physical shows that much at the moment, we probably can next week? There are hints, like the Misha Milovanovich show we featured on these pages recently – Misha Milovanovich’s exhibition The Shape of Colour promises to be something rather special, the exuberant show has just opened at London’s Dellaposa gallery… or the Alex Hudson show hopefully opening in April at Hackney’s – New Art Projects that we previewed yesterday – A Fergus Hare on-line book to explore, Alex Hudson coming up at Hackney’s New Art Projects (hopefully)
We have been saying all this for weeks now and all the “oh, I don’t know, this five art things to go check out feature is kind of shot to pieces now”. The regular feature was supposed to be about five upcoming art shows that we were excited about, five recommended art exhibitions that are about to open, five shows we were looking forward to putting on our coats and going out to, a selection of the five most exciting openings selected from the many (many) coming up. Still in lockdown then, so once again this week it is mostly all about art on line, hopefully this well be the last time it will be all about exploring art on line. Here you go then, our latest contribution to the infodemic…
1: Fragments at Stolen Space – Dare we think about stepping through the gift shop and into that beautiful back room gallery space? There’s two shows just opened at Whitechapel’s Stolen Space, both can be viewed on-line now, both are physically open from April 13th and both run until April 25th.
“Stolen Space Gallery is delighted to present, ‘Fragments’, a unique group show celebrating the fragmented artwork of six leading contemporary artists. In the past year, global circumstances have caused everybody’s lives to be shaken up, this in turn has shook up our individual perspectives and viewpoints on how we consider viewing the World around us. This provocative group show invites each artist to express the unique fragments of their reality. Whether this is a product of how we all view the world as a different place now, or an individual experience of the artist themselves. The artworks reveal the theme of ‘fragmentation’ through their composition, subject, and ability to evoke an emotional response unique to each viewer. Images of crumbling worlds, and broken surroundings are expressed by each artist in their own stunning, personal styles. Every fragment of the canvas is pieced together to express our new reality”. The artists exhibiting in ‘Fragments’: Akut, Eric Basstein, Fintan Magee, Jacob Brostrup, John Wentz, Juan Miguel Palacios, Paul Stephenson and Ratur
Stolen Space is at 17 Osborn Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 6TD
2: Usugrow is in the Stolen Space front gallery, with his solo exhibition ‘Organic Lines’ – “Japanese born artist, Usugrow, is known world-wide for his beautiful, calligraphic artistic style. In his work he very often beautifully portrays opposing elements such as delicate lines and unique lettering style, skulls and flowers, yin and yang and of course his palette of black and white. He believes that this is everyday life and living proof that these opposing elements can exist together. This show explores the fluidity of Usugrow’s recognisable style, through representations of organic subjects.
‘I like the organic curves that living things have. Among them, I have been obsessed with skulls and flowers for a long time. I draw those curves with a new interpretation. I want to change the impression that many people have of them, and encourage new ways of seeing and discovering them.’ – Usugrow 2020
Heavily influenced by Los Angeles ‘Cholo’ style graffiti, fused with the spiritual skills of Asian calligraphy, Usugrow started drawing in 1993 by creating punk rock flyers. He soon became hugely successful as a commercial designer for album covers, fashion brands & skate companies. He has been exhibiting his art in galleries all over the world, and his black and white illustrations have become instantly recognisable”.
Stolen Space is at 17 Osborn Street, Whitechapel, London, E1 6TD
Both shows can be viewed on-line right now, both are physically open from April 13th and both run until April 25th.
3: Spencer Sweeney – Queue at Gagosian, Davies Street – Extended until 1 May, 2021 – “You will be able to see these up close when the gallery re-opens, but if you happen to be in Mayfair you’ll see them through the window too. Spencer Sweeney’s imagery is centred on the human figure, ranging from semiabstract reclining nudes to surreal, ambiguously gendered self-portraits. Conveying intense emotion through lively colour and deft handling of paint, his art maps the physical and psychological spaces occupied by the body”.
When I’m painting, I often become very involved with these different personalities that come about. . . . It’s an automatic process of a personality that comes from the motion of my hand and from my imagination. — Spencer Sweeney.
“Sweeney’s imagery is centered on the human figure, ranging from semiabstract reclining nudes to surreal, ambiguously gendered self-portraits. Conveying intense emotion through lively color and deft handling of paint, his art maps the physical and psychological spaces occupied by the body.
In his paintings, Sweeney moves among art historical references, emulating the enigmatic tone and audacious palette of Surrealist and Russian Expressionist figures such as Alexej von Jawlensky. Deriving further inspiration from the drive of jazz improvisation, Sweeney allows faces and encounters from his subconscious to rise to the surface as he paints. The resulting works, which he describes as having been created through an instinctive, “automatic” process, are abstract topographies and dreamscapes as much as they are traditional portraits. Surpassing the simple objective recording of their subjects, they chart the subjective interiorities of the human psyche….” continued here
The gallery is at 17–19 Davies Street, London, W1K 3DE More details here
4: Meet the Artist Pete Bennett at Grow Hackney – meanwhile on line on Tuesday 6th Aptil, 7pm – “As part of our ongoing Grow At Home programme of online talks with local artists, we welcome Grow native artist and musician Pete Bennett for a talk and interactive Q&A afterwards” – More details via tw Facebook event page
Billy Childish on Pete Bennett:‘Pete Bennett’s paintings and drawings are simple gifts that can be at turns beautiful, ugly and indifferent; as if composed by a drunken man on a moonlit stroll, who, intoxicated as much be the nite air as by wine and beer, sings uninhibited ditties to the stars and pan.So, rooted in a simple engagement with nature, dashed out in a recognisable code of ever arising, vibrating shakti, Pete’s paintings are musical mark-makings; a celebration of the very nature of poetic being.In this way, engaging with the musical echo of bird, tree or man, Pete makes his paintings and drawings. Whether full of harmony or violent discord, they are always beautiful, assured and better than we deserve.’
Peter Doig on Pete Bennett:‘Pete Bennett was a fellow student of mine at Chelsea School of Art. Pete was certainly one of the main driving forces – also the youngest on the course – and I was certainly one of the oldest. There was a huge energy in what Pete was doing, taking inspiration from Pac Man to Braque man. Huge ‘still lifes’ that reflected the city, studio and his life. It was as if Pete’s space was a painting and the paintings grew out of it. Walls, floor, clothes, a makeshift canvas bed, all were sullied by the stuff. Those in the deep end knew something of import was a-foot and not to be ignored.Since then, through choice, Pete has avoided the world of ‘fine art’ but continued to paint and draw privately whilst doing many other things; playing in bands, fixing old amps, tree surgery… all done with the same integrity, intent and rigour that he applies to his drawings and paintings.’
5: Drawn Out is a group show that happening at Herald St Gallery’s Museum Street space. The exhibition opens physically on April 14th, there is a rather good on-line preview and lots to explore in terms of the show on the gallery website right now. The show features work from Josh Brand, Matt Connors, Michael Dean, Cary Kwok, Christina Mackie, Sanou Oumar and Diane Simpson. The gallery is found at 43 Museum St, London, WC1A 1LY
And while we’re here, and other go on about nothing more than a rather “Unhappy Pile of Poo emoji”, some blowing of our own trumpets, it looks like things have gone monthly in terms of the Cultivate on-line shows that are hosted here on Organ website, January was and is ReCultivate, February was and still is Self, March is Alright?, all three shows are still there waiting to be explored, we see no reason to close an on-line show once it has opened…
And also, while we’re here, the next on-line edition of the beautiful thing that is the Art Car Boot Fair is coming up this May, lots more news about that very soon, the date has been announced now – ORGAN PREVIEW: The Art Car Boot Fair bursts into May with a special Flora and Fauna edition…
24th March 2021 – ORGAN: Five Recommended on-line Art Things – John Krausman Lark at The Untitled Space, Alma Adentro, Jessica Rankin’s White Cube show, Karl Murphy and Arabee Beveridge’s Songs For Wild Boys, Dom Sylvester Houedard via Richard Saltoun gallery…
14th March 2021 – ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Celina Teague at Kristin Hjellegjerde, Miles Tuddenham at Gallery 46, Gerald Chukwuma, Norman Ackroyd, more of those 90 Seconds of Art things, Alright?
4th March 2021 – ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Peter Kennard at Richard Saltoun Gallery, the MCR Sew Social, Pieter Jennes at Public Gallery, Sarah Lucas, the “beautifully apposite” Self and what did happen to Norman Buntz anyway?