Where were we? Probably somewhere around Piccadilly on the edge of the Central Line trying to avoid the maskless when the algorithms began to take hold. Heading for the Canadian Embassy to seek asylum or the great Canadian Dream, that or to check out Zachari Logan’s latest exhibition. The Embassy are currently hosting his latest London show – “Wild Flower: Zachari Logan at Canada Gallery A partnership with New Art Projects” – you find the gallery just off Trafalgar Square (failed to look up at the fourth plinth again, always forget). Those of us who spend our time in East London’s art spaces surely know Zachari Logan’s work well, certainly those of us who frequent Fred Mann’s New Art Projects gallery over by Hackney’s Broadway Market do. The audience is surely divided between those of us who really know Logan’s work and those who have little clue about him, he has regularly featured on these somewhat fractured pages and there’s little here that we’re not already familiar with. That’s not to say this isn’t an exciting exhibition, that it isn’t rewarding to see it again in the flesh and yes I know we keep saying it but you do really need to see his big paintings (especially his big paintings) in the flesh, the hints of brush marks, the very slight human flaws in what might seem like piece of “perfection” on line, and we’re not talking cold botanical illustration here, these pieces are alive with the sense of the artist, his emotion, his connection(s) with his evolving subject, his self, his nature. If you know the artist this is still a rewarding show, if you haven’t made it to East London than I imagine this is a most enticing first taste of a show show, a taste that will surely leave you wanting more –
“For his exhibition at Canada Gallery, Saskatchewan-based artist, Zachari Logan, has combined key elements of his practice. Logan has always seen nature and the body as both inextricably linked and interchangeable. The forms of flowers and foliage in his exquisite drawings can ‘stand in’ for the human body and for human emotions. In some of his works metamorphosis takes place, and the body changes into nature, and vice versa. However we are not talking about flower arrangements in a vase of carefully cultivated blooms. Zachari Logan is wild”
– Been a while since we ventured in and battled with central London to get to the galleries. Lockdown, Covid, the need to avoid the deeper tubes, the packed buses, the cracks and the conspiracy freaks, that and the increasing soulsuck of it all. It does almost feel like a debt of honour to get out and go to the galleries, an act of futile support, a payback for all the times spent drinking their warm bottled larger in those better days before pandemic? Not that they would see it like that, the suspicion is most of us are, in terms of the majority of aloof high-end galleries. the suspicion is that most of them see us, the great unwashed, the general public, and especially those of us who have the trace of the working artist about them, as an inconvenience. the once over is never more than once, the look of destain never that hidden. A glance at your shoes, your spending power accessed, you’ve been judged, weighed, reckoned, seen wanting and dismissed.
We’re heading for the White Cube, Mason’s Yard branch, where they now assume everyone caries a phone that capable of reading a QR code and where Rachel Kneebone‘s Raft is open (until 4 September if you sholud be so inclined
– White Cube is pleased to present ‘Raft’, an exhibition by Rachel Kneebone at Mason’s Yard, London. The porcelain sculptures and drawings featured in the show focus on themes of transformation and metamorphosis, and the material manifestation of these fluid physical and mental states. Kneebone’s work is resolved through a process of creative exchange between herself and her material, between decisive acts of modelling and the elements of chance that are bound up in working with porcelain
The rich dark tones of the dark green walls add to the reverence of it all, the walls are just right actually, well maybe? Does it feel a little too much like a Wedgwood showroom waiting for the next bus full of Chinese tourists to pull up in here or Stoke-on-Trent? The Doll parts, the hanging flowers, the legs all twisated in the basement , at least there’s not a gift shop. Bits of broken Victorian graveyard, nothing broken though. do her complex porcelain sculptures offer any kind of surprise, is it really anything more than than “nice”? With visceral life? Is it movement? Does it move? What is there in these groups of bone-white figures writhing in a tangle of something or other? Do I care that much or am I more interested in a quick pint in the pub over there in the corner of the yard? Is there too much of it? Would one or two have done down in the basement? Do I care about the classical allusions or the bits of porcelain Barbies? the new roses that I’ve got so good? I’m not that excited am I? I’m not not excited, I’m not offended or frustrated, I think I might maybe much prefer graveyards and the forgotten things that have fallen over, the faded silk flowers and garbage pale kids that no one loved? About disasters, fires, Floods and killer bees? About that pint in the corner even if it is just Pride they have to offer? Twisted vines, flowers, ribbons and allusions to genitalia? Okay, maybe then, I don’t know? What do I know? Maybe?
Before all the twisted vines, flowers, ribbons and allusions to genitalia, there was a visit to Patricia Leite‘s show at the Thomas Dane Gallery and it was kind of exciting to see some of the energy in the marks that gave birth to her take on flowers and leaves, it has all been flowers and leaves so far, what is it with everyone painting flowers and leaves? This time a new series of “oil on wood paintings informed by the landscape of São Paulo’s Barra do Una. Leite’s paintings frequently involve the layering of pigment to ruminate on temporal and evanescent states such as qualities of light, ephemeral atmospheres and momentary sensations. In this new body of work, Leite examines a particularly biodiverse ecosystem, portraying the abundant flora, fauna, waterfalls and seascapes of the region”. I don’t know? I’m sick of Moby, I’m sure he’s a very hard worker, I don’t know, my attention span isn’t what it was. Was the lockdown too long? Watching the weeds grow in East London? hte Flowers? A Flower? Where the hell is Barra do Una anyway? You probably didn’t need to know we dropped in here on our way to the White Cube or more imprtantly, to the pub in the yard where Pride was the only option. We care a lot! About the Garbage Pail Kids, they never lie. And then there was some other show that some celebrity actor had partly curated that had a painting on the Cookie Monster on the wall, something to do with “outsider art” that we’re probably not allowed to be too sniffy about? And then there was all those plush new Cork Street spaces and that massive Saatchi and Yates space and the big Tesfaye Urgessa paintings that I really wanted to connect with but really couldn’t and where did all this Cork Street reborn come from? Was this here before the lockdown? Oh show me the way to the next Whisky bar, or at least the next pint of Pride, thank the gawds for the Peter Blake show at Waddinton Custot, now that was excellent, you don’t need words about that one though, surely not? It has been extended now. Long live the Beatles and god save Elvis, strawberry jam and virginity. Faith no more? Go west young man? Get out of here… (sw)
Do click on an image ot enlarge or t orun the slide show….