ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – James Crowther at New Art Projects, Up Yours! Post Punk & Feminism Revisited at the ICA, Simon the Last at Filet, Andrea Gregson zine launch at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, Teraphim at James Freeman Gallery, The Grotto at Ridley Road Project Space…

Iain Andrews – Zarephath

Five more art things. five art things, five more art things happening somewhere around right now or 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 recommended things coming up soon that we think you might find as interesting as we do.

Five art things happening now and coming up in the next few days in no particular order, and still not a hint of a selfie of any of us hanging out at the damn show next to a piece of art either, just five art things happening around about now

James Crowther at New Art Projects

1: James Crowther at New Art Projects – James Crowther’s third solo show at the gallery opened yesterday, once again a fine fine show, more on these pages in a moment. the show runs until 19th Feb “James Crowther first helped to launch the New Art Projects space at 6 Sheep Lane in 2015 with his amazing installation. This new show with the gallery will be his third, and he has returned to his signature ‘cutout’ portraits. During the lock-downs of 2020/21 James Crowther has been creating new cutout portraits that explore themes of identity whilst celebrating humanity. Cutting the figure from the background denies the audience any other narrative or context to inform them, rather the finished ‘shaped’ paintings focus entirely on the sitter. This emphasises physical differences in how we all portray ourselves to the world. It is through his attention to detail and his skill at ‘capturing’ his subject that the sensitivity of their inner psyche is revealed. For this new series, his source material has been gained directly from the media available via magazines, newspapers photographs, screengrabs, social media and any socially distanced way available. He has also painted key workers who have faced the pandemic head on, however his especial focus in this series is inspirational women, who have had an impact with out recognition, Crowther refers to the “un-celebrated in history; women – the inspirations…”

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.

Actually, as is often the case, there are two shows at New Art Projects right now, we recommend the other one, a forward looking group show called System, we’ll have more about both shows in a bit – ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Leigh Bowery at Fitzrovia Chapel, Nadia Forkosh at The ARX, Cacotopia time at Annka Kultys, Kevin Sinnott at Flowers, Januario Jano at Kristin Hjellegjerde, Systems at New Art Projects and who is Geisha Davis anyway?

Up Yours! Post Punk & Feminism Revisited. Image: Baby Doll, Tessa Hughes Freeland, 1982

2: Up Yours! Post Punk & Feminism Revisited with Live Performances from Shade Ray and Es – “This is on Saturday (15th Jan) at the ICA to celebrate Rachel Garfield’s new book with music and films including great works by Vivian Dick and Ruth Novaczek and my 1986 work ‘Corridors’!” so said Anne Robinson just now. An event that ties in with the release of a new book from Rachel Garfield.

“Experimental Film and Punk: Feminist Audio Visual Culture of the 1970s and 1980s, a new book by artist Professor Rachel Garfield, aims to analyze and situate the aesthetic and intellectual ambition of a range of women filmmakers operating during the 1970s and 1980s through the lens and legacy of punk. In Garfield’s writing she traces the emergence of a female subjectivity as a vital and valid form of practice and explores specific filmmaking approaches such as DIY, disintegration and hysteria”.

This live music and film event includes screenings of works featured in the book by Vivienne Dick, Abigail Child, Betzy Bromberg, Tessa Hughes Freeland, Ruth Novaczek and Sandra Lahire and Anne Robinson with live performances from bands Shade Ray and Es and a DJ set from Gabi. Curated by Rachel Garfield

Up Yours! happens at 7pm at the ICA, London on Saturday 15th January. More details. The ICA is at The Mall, St James’s, London, SW1Y 5AH. The event is part of the london London Short Film Festival that runs between Jan 14th and January 22nd. We were once involved in putting on a Napalm Death gig at the ICA , it was sponsored by Irn Bru, the Napalm Death fans got extra hyped on all the free fizzy pop that was being thrown around.

We Will Still Be Here / Will We Still Be Here

3: We Will Still Be Here / Will We Still Be Here, A new light installation by Simon the Last  – 14th Jan until 13th Feb 2022 –  London-based visual artist and designer Simon the Last takes over the shopfront at 103 Murray Grove (N1) with his new work We Will Still Be Here / Will We Still Be Here.  The light installation features a series of illuminated shop signs (made using over 3,600 individually installed LEDs) displayed in a single shop window. Frenetic and colourful, the signs offer a garish vision of an uncertain future. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Find We Will Still Be Here / Will We Still Be Here at Filet, “A space for experimental art production”, 103 Murray Grove, London, N1 7QF.

Andrea Gregson

4: Zine Launch: Andrea Gregson ‘AFTER (life of) OBJECTS’ at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, Tuesday 18th January – “To mark the closing of Andrea Gregson’s AFTER (life of) OBJECTS, the gallery will be launching a new limited edition zine designed by the artist. The zine includes a specially commissioned essay by art writer Rebecca Geldard with images of the show by photographer Nick Turner, curated within the beautiful interiors at Danielle Arnaud Gallery. The launch will be an opportunity to meet the artist and secure a zine before the show closes. This will be the last chance to view the exhibition.’AFTER (life of) OBJECTS’ is a solo show by Andrea Gregson which brings together new, recent and unseen works and includes sculpture, a ceramic installation and drawing. Using experimental forms of metal casting and re-appropriating found material fragments, the work draws upon post-industrial sites encountered by the artist. The exhibition considers landscape as a relic of past production and the connections and conflicts between industry and nature”

The Danielle Arnaud Gallery is at 123 Kennington Road, London, SE11 6SF. The launch happens between 12 and 2pm on Tuesday 18th January

5: Teraphim at James Freeman Gallery – 13th Jan until 5th Feb 2022 – An exhibition that looks at art’s historical role as objects for private contemplation and explores how this survives amidst the noise of the present day.. “

‘Teraphim’ is an exhibition that looks at art’s historical role as objects for private contemplation and explores how this survives amidst the noise of the present day through the works of two contemporary artists: Iain Andrews and Carlos Zapata.

Iain Andrews is a painter who explores how the established narratives of art history relate to the chaos of lived experience. Iain works as an art psychotherapist with young people and uses painting to explore the often troubled stories he encounters. His paintings have a richly textured quality emphasizing the physical nature of paint, a tangible material that nonetheless acts as a medium for thought and emotion. The works often reference Faery Tales and Old Masters paintings into which he embeds gestural, chaotic, and sometimes cartoonish markmaking. In this process, historical references serve as a containing structure into which the turbulent reality of imperfect and fractured lives can find material expression. Iain thereby focuses on one of the key functions of art: to help us make sense of the chaos of our own experiences through reference to shared cultural models. In this exhibition, a series of larger paintings, The Prophets, use the image of Jozef Stawinoga, a homeless man from the streets of Wolverhampton where Iain grew up. The vagabond lives out the separation from material things similar to visionaries from the Bible. In Iain’s paintings he seems to emerge from the physical mess of the paint like a golem, in contrast to his other works where the image seems to dissolve amongst the marks. Through these intense and turbid paintings Iain explores how reality and fiction blend in the imagination, and contrasts idealised narratives with imperfect reality to suggest how art can help to find a sense of balance somewhere in between.

Carlos Zapata is an artist whose sculptures echo the devotional object as a means of addressing challenging contemporary themes. Originally from Colombia, his works are rooted in the complex issues of his native country, in particular the social conflict that is the legacy of colonialism and an identity shaped by a European culture grafted onto a subjugated host. Many of his sculptures are reminiscent of Catholic icons but simmer with a raw, elemental quality as if to emphasize how religious narratives are but one possible articulation for fundamental human experience. A torso echoing an arrow-riddled St Sebastian suggests gunshot wounds in an allusion to the violence that has plagued Colombia for decades. A haunting carved head and shoulders with a coin in its mouth refers to Charon’s Obol, the payment to the ferryman to take the dead across the River Styx. A Mary Magdalen with waist-long hair echoes the Western tradition but with hints of gold underneath suggesting the cultural syncretism that is so particular to south and central America. Accompanying busts are rough-hewn, burnt, or scratched, their patina suggestive of a life lived through conflict, but Carlos’s work is distinguished by the gentle empathy with which he addresses his subjects. His use of wood is important: it emphasizes the shared organic nature of both his materials and his subjects, and in so doing lends his work an emotional candour that brings a tenderness to his often difficult themes.

James Freeman Gallery is at 354 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0PD. The gallery is open Tuesday until Saturday, 11am until 6pm

And well, while we’re here, not so much a recomendation, we know nothing of any of the artists involved, more a quick parish notice and who doesn’t like going to Ridley Road Market and buying 500 oranges for a quid and checking out some art at the same time?

The Grotto at Ridley Road Project Space – 14th-15th January – Taking inspiration from the secluded and treasure-like notion of a grotto – ‘a small cave or cavern, often associated with miraculous apparitions and other supernatural experiences’ – this immersive show will feature a diverse group of London-based artists, creatives and makers.  Chloée Maugile and Laurie Barron are excited to invite you to ‘Grotto’, a group exhibition that will take place at Ridley Road Project Space, Dalston, in January 2022.  The show Includes Artists Miranda Keyes, Inez Valentine, Sophie Spedding, Firpal Jawanda, Richard Gasper, Aiden Duffy, Nina Porter, Kin-Ting Li, Ruth Angel Edwards, Adam Gallagher, Carlotta Roma, Arthur Poujois, Thom Murphy, Anna Pye, Waj Hussain, Conrad Pack, Lettice Gatacre, Tom Schneider, Susu Laroche, Gonçalo Neto, Isabel Walter, Alice Fraser. Ridley Road Project Space is at Studio 9, 51–63 Ridley Road, London, E8 2NP. 10am until 6pm on all three days.

 And while we’re here, we can plug this again can’t we? An on-line show, 43 artists, over 200 pieces of work from all over the land and the globe. Deflate is now open and can be viewed here

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