Where were who or what? We probably should? The art of repetition? No one ever reads the editorial at the top, we could say anything here. We are kind of still repeating ourselves whilst under stress, did you even notice the repeating? Do you just cut to the chase every single time?. And well, we could do it again, who reads this bit? What is this Five Art Things thing? We said all this last week didn’t we? And the week before and the year before, kissing big ugly sharks since when?
Five art things, five more art things happening somewhere around right now, or coming up any moment now, five art shows to check out in the coming days, 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, these five recommendations come 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 up in the next few days in no particular order, and still not a hint of selfie of any of us hanging out at the damn show next to a piece of art either, just five art things coming up…
1: Franko B Solo Show at New Art Projects – Opening night Thursday November 4th, 6.30 until 8.30pm, the show then runs until December 23rd – In 2019 Franko B was commissioned to make a major exhibition and installation at Rua Red in Dublin curated by a/political. It is our great pleasure to present two major pieces from the show for a London Audience in 2021 and to include them in this, his first solo show at New Art Projects.
Franko B was raised in an Italian orphanage and Boarding School run by the Italian Red Cross, and it these experiences that he discusses in this exhibition. He has created a particular vision of a childhood surrounded by many other childhoods and alongside images of home, such as it was, and as how it could have been. Working in glazed ceramics which he fires in his own kiln, B has made multiple small childlike figures that together form a giant red cross and a giant heart. Fixed onto the walls, they collectively form, document and represent all of the children who like Franko, passed through the hands of the Red Cross and comment on the continuing scandals and abuse of vulnerable children. The resulting installations are monumental in scale placing the viewer in front of a towering walls, that represent the scale and scope of the problem.
Smaller in scale and displayed on plinths, are ‘Houses’ which Franko B has constructed out of sheets of glazed, fired clay. These houses represent the safe spaces that are constructed by the mind, which stand up as walls of protection, to enclose historical events and memories. As with much of B’s work they resonate with love, memory and loss, and become poetic reminders of security, once held dear.
Franko B has also included a series of portraits on mirrored glass. These works both represent images to the viewer and reflect the viewing drawing your own image into the work. Along side these pieces are some new objects Franko B has been making in his kiln, Constructed from delicate white glazed ceramic, and embellished with gold and silver leaf, these small sculptures are figurative, abstract and votive. The combine a tactile surface with a fragility that singles them out as both precious and desirable .
Franko B (1960) was born in Milan. His practice spans drawing, installation, performance and sculpture. A pioneer of body art and a leading performance artist and activist, Franko B uses his body as a tool to explore the themes of the personal, political, poetic, resistance, suffering and the reminder of our own mortality and vulnerability. Franko B lives and works in London and is a professor of Sculpture at L’Accademia Albertina Di Belle Arti di Torino, Italy. He is also a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London. He has performed and exhibited work internationally including at: Tate Modern; ICA (London); South London Gallery; Arnolfini (Bristol); Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels); Beaconsfield Contemporary Art (London); Bluecoat Museum (Liverpool); Tate Liverpool; Ruarts Foundation (Moscow); PAC (Milian); Contemporary Art Centre (Copenhagen) and many more. His works are included in many international public and private collections including: Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, South London Gallery, and the permanent collection of the city of Milan.
New Art Projects is at 6d Sheep Lane, Hackney, London, E8 4QS. Just by Broadway Market, not far from the Regents Canal and a stone’s throw from Beck Road.
2: Supernature featuring Bella Easton, Hannah Maybank, Liz Elton, Rui Matsunaga, Takumi Kato at White Conduit Projects – Always interested in anything Bella Easton, the show opens on November 3rd with a private view that night (6.30pm until 9pm). “Supernature, brings together five artists whose practices explore the natural world. Each responds to the environment through their own language, all have an inherent interest in the alchemic possibilities of using paint, dye or ink sourced from raw pigment, bio-waste or foraged material
Timely and relevant to the UK hosting COP26, Climate Change Conference this November, the exhibition SUPERNATURE, brings together five artists whose practices explore the natural world. Each responds to the environment through their own language that connects them through similarities and dissonances in materiality, past and present, scale and conceptual means. All have an inherent interest in the alchemic possibilities of using paint, dye and/or ink sourced from raw pigment, bio-waste or foraged material. The title is appropriated from Cerrone’s Supernature, where the lyrics tell of an environmental theme, imagining a future in which the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture have “touched the creatures down below” to emerge and “take their sweet revenge” on man.
We live with anxiety about mass extinction and the death of the planet. There are many ancient stories and myths passed down through time and culture that tell of cataclysmic events having taken place that have strong parallels to current issues looming around climate change and man’s hand in enabling devastating effects on the environment. Rising sea levels and nature’s plight in the foreground connect us to one of the oldest stories, that of the great flood. Throughout history the flood narrative has been reshaped, according to the norms of time and place. There are many versions of accounts of global deluge that exist in ancient cultures: the Great Flood of Gun-Yu, the Eridu Genesis, the Greek Deucalion, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Ark of the Bible, even suggestions that Hokusai’s famous woodcut print of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 19th Century, continues to illuminate the idea of a possible tsunami or a rogue wave of devastating effect. Fact or fiction, the flood represented a cataclysmic event and one that seems all too relevant to the reality we face today. The Babylonians (c. 1900 -1700 BC) had it in their folk memory for a very long time. The function of the story of a deity giving a human being a secret message to build an Ark, came about as an answer to the suppressed fear that deluge could happen again. The origin of the story was one of optimism, to show whatever happened, man would not be destroyed.
This exhibition is not about the flood story per se. The account is provided as a historical analogy which raises the question, between hope and destruction, where in 21st century do we place ourselves, in a period where social and cultural changes are drastically required in order to re-engage with the natural world and stabilise an optimistic future beyond one’s own existence?
White Conduit Projects is at 1 White Conduit Street, London, N1 9EL. the show opens on November 3rd with a private view that night (6.30pm until 9pm), the show runs until January 22nd.
3: Pull Up To My Bumper Baby, “a dynamic and innovative, immersive experience brought to you by Westbank Gallery. We invite you to join us for the Private view of the most original, experiential art show London has ever seen. Featuring 16 vintage bumper cars fabricated into wall mounted 3d art installations, each uniquely designed by a collection of the UK’s foremost, urban, contemporary and street artists. Working their artistry on the same quirky and eccentric medium, each dodgem car will showcase the artist’s unique personality. The bumper cars will also be accompanied by more traditional pieces by each artist. The show features SCHOONY, PURE EVIL, CHEBA, LEMAK, MAU MAU, JAMES STARR, THE DNA FACTORY, CARRIE REICHARDT, RUGMAN, HENRY HATE, ILLUMINATI, LEE HENDERSON, ANGUS McBOB, OIK and DARREN WEST. Live painters and a working installation from The Sa’Real Unwind retro, who will be kitting an arch with retro consoles! Alongside all of this amazing creativity, there will be games, entertainment and music from Trevor Fung, Kevin O’leary and Clifton McClean bringing you classic and deep house. Watch out London, Pull up to the Bumper, an immersive experience”.
Pull Up to My Bumper Baby opens on Thursday 4th November 2021, 6pm until midnight down in the tunnel at 26 Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN. What happens beyond the 4th is left to the gods, nothing was said in the press release or on the gallery website )or in answer to our question).
4: Sadie Lee – Shocking Blue, Paintings of Sandy Powell and Other Stories at New Art Projects – Happening at the same time as the Franko B show that we just featured, Opening night Thursday November 4th, 6.30 until 8.30pm, the show then runs until December 23rd – “For her first solo show at New Art Projects British Painter Sadie Lee has take the title from Shocking Blue, a Dutch-based Rock / Pop band from the late 60’s/early 70’s whose biggest hit was Venus. In this show Lee looks at gender through this lens and finds a contemporary vision of Venus that explores both gender and identity.
Lee has made six new portraits of Academy Award winning costume designer Sandy Powell. The paintings are displayed in pairs, representing the front and back of the same pose, which mirror the style of costume designs. The reverse pose suggests the pictorial trope of the ‘Rückenfigur’, particularly the Caspar David Friedrich painting ‘Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog’, which this pose closely resembles.
Sadie Lee is aware of these poses resembling old-fashioned paper dress dolls where you can change the outfits with fold-over tabs. As a result here the costume designer becomes the vehicle for costume itself and a metaphor for change and transformation. The pose that Sandy Powell adopts is the classic stance of three quarter profile with hand on hip, similar to the promotional image of Tilda Swinton in Sally Potter’s Orlando, which she designed the costumes for. As a collection of works, the artist refers to the completed series as ‘Sadie Does Sandy’.
Also on display is a mannequin dressed in Sandy Powell’s shirt, tie and suit, which feature in the paintings. Sandy Powell wears blue, and blue mostly refers to the suit that Sandy is wearing (and not wearing) in the portraits. Her suit is an exact copy of the Freddie Buretti satin suit that Bowie wore in the video for Life On Mars and Powell’s hair is dyed a similar shade of orange to Bowie’s, underlining her connection to Bowie’s style from this era. Bowie’s / Powell’s suits also reference the blue satin of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.
Blue is a significant colour in the relationship between Sadie Lee and Sandy Powell. They met when Powell bought a painting by Lee in the mid-90’s, which referenced Picasso’s blue period painting La Femme En Chemise. The work by Lee was a painting called La Butch En Chemise and is notable for its shocking blue background. Sandy Powell was a very close friend of Derek Jarman, for whom blue became symbolic and important.
In both rooms of this ground-breaking show, Sadie Lee continues her investigation into ways of presenting gender, and the constructed and performative nature of costume and stance through both dressing up and dressing down. Through her portraits Lee discusses and focuses on the shifting nature of binary and non-binary definitions of gender and identity and through her choice of sitters focuses on the people and the moments in our recent history that have marked milestone changes in the perception of gender that have changed and continue to change society.
The second room of her show will consist of a never-seen-before diptych of non-binary writer Libro (formerly Laura) Bridgeman.
Also in the room will be two paintings, ‘Holly Woodlawn Dressing’ II and III, from Lee’s series ‘And Then He Was A She – Paintings of Holly Woodlawn’ from 2007. These two paintings are of Warhol Superstar Holly Woodlawn putting on a blue satin dress. The title of the series is the first verse of Lou Reed’s hit song Walk On The Wild Side, which documented Woodlawn’s transition from Miami To New York and her transition from Harold to Holly. There will also be two new paintings, ‘Concealer’ and ‘Fascinator’, both created for this show in 2021″.
New Art Projects is at 6d Sheep Lane, Hackney, London, E8 4QS. Just by Broadway Market, not far from the Regents Canal and a stone’s throw from Beck Road.
5: Jamie Reid – Rogue Materials (Exhibition & Book Launch) at Clerkenwell Gallery – XEROXES, CUT-UPS & OUTTAKES FROM THE GODFATHER OF PUNK – Cutting room floor detritus encompassing 50 years of protest, music, art, radical thinking & speaking out. Aided and abetted by the immediacy of xerox-machines, Jamie Reid has been hooked on the freedom of designing by cut, paste, copy & scrawl since his first encounter with these machines in 1972. Along with a burgeoning DIY scene Reid recognised the errors, experimentation & play inherent in the medium of photocopying made it ideal not just for drafting artwork but for communicating with visceral speed the radical ideas of the time: using it to disseminate agit-prop for the Black Panthers to anti-war rallying cries. Here, the scraps of the medium are the message: cutting room floor detritus encompassing 50 years of protest, music, art, radical thinking & speaking out. From Reid’s beginnings at community activist publication Suburban Press, to punk, the Sex Pistols, and beyond, shot through with political & spiritual proclamations this book is a collage testament to Reid’s maxim: Keep Warm, Make Trouble.
The book: Jamie Reid – Rogue Materials 1972 – 2021. Introduction by John Marchant. Edited and designed by Steve Lowe and John Marchant Published by the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in association with John Marchant Gallery
The Exhibition: 5th – 14th November 2021 at Clerkenwell Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1 0DP, 11 am – 6 pm Mon – Sat 12 noon – 6pm Sunday PRIVATE VIEW: Thursday 4th November 6pm – 8pm
6: We can have a sixth, we do make the rules around here so we can break them whenever we want to. The next on-line edition on the Art Car Boot Fair happens this coming weekend.
The countdown is on, less than a week until the next Art Car Boot Fair event opens on the morning of Saturday November 6th. The event opens on Saturday and runs until Monday November 8th, you need a ticket to get in on the first day for first pickings, and then the event becomes free to enter at 10am on Sunday November 7th. It is an on-line event sp you can come along and have a look where ever you may happen to be (we’re told the physical event shall be back in late Spring of 2022). One week to go then and we artists (for I will put my cards on the table here and declare my self interest, I am one of the invited artists) are busy “hanging” the show. Not everything is up yet and the gates don’t open for you the viewer to see until next Saturday but we have a had a quick sneak around some of what is up so far. There is something like 150 artists and galleries invited to take part again, there is lots to explore – original paintings, limited edition prints, ceramics, textiles, small pieces, big pieces, car boot fair friendly prices direct from the artists, original paintings for as little as £10, Wilma Johnson’s rubber gloves, Julia Maddison’s knickers, Villain’s Jacks, Marcus Harvey’s footballs, Emma Harvey’s Riot Grrrl queens, Dion Kitson’s Monster Munch rings, Pure Evil’s nightmares (where else can you grab a Pure Evil print for just 40 quid?). The fair opens next Saturday morning, ticket details and everything else you need can be found on the official website, meanwhile there’s a smal taste by way of a preview here