ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Bernard Piffaretti at Kate MacGarry Gallery, Purrsistance, Painting Cats in Catford, A Woman’s Place Is Everywhere at The Cello Factory, Taylor Simmons at Public Gallery, Come One, Come All in Stratford and…

A Patricia Figueiredo piece that can curentlt be seen in Book, the show can be viewed here

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.

And while we’re here, working out which galleries to go to this week, galleries in Ukraine are being destoyed, artists are carrying guns to defend themselves, lives are being destroyed. it seems wrong to be thinking of going to an art gallery, then again, fuck you Putin, go fuck yourself Russian warship.

Five art things happening now and coming up in the next few days in no particular order, just five art things happening around about now

Bernard Piffaretti – Ridgeline

1: Bernard Piffaretti – Ridgeline at Kate MacGarry Gallery – 4th March until 9th April  – “Bernard Piffaretti’s paintings are characterised by the vertical division of a central brushstroke, a technique which creates distinctly individual compositions all the while bonding each and every painting in his oeuvre. However, for his second solo exhibition at Kate MacGarry, Ridgeline, Piffaretti presents a new series of paintings which are aligned on not just one but two axes, vertically and horizontally, conceptually and physically.

The aligned lower edge of each painting forms a continuous contour around the gallery, reminding the viewer to consider each of Piffaretti’s works as part of a whole. His dedication to the consistency of a format gives his practice in its entirety a discernible identity, total connection and the boundaries to explore the nuances of a visual language. The paintings cannot be perceived without the awareness that there are others. This method of display however gives emphasis to the displacement of visual authenticity within the images – the central border does not unite the works in the uniformity of their appearance, “it is mainly in the differences, in the divergence, that an image will displace its model, and it is that displacement that will make it effective” (Bernard Piffaretti, 2007). The viewer is encouraged to scrutinise each half of a painting without verifying the resemblance – it is not a mirror image he executes but a partner, recited from memory once the first half is complete.

Language intervenes sporadically in Piffaretti’s paintings. Each work begins spontaneously, without a study, an aim or a plan, however the rare presence of words in his paintings are purposeful and aim to emphasise an aspect of his work. Ridgeline immediately indicates the horizontal alignment of paintings around the gallery space, “the pictures follow on from one another through their obvious oppositions,” says Piffaretti, “thus, formats and pictorial situations leave each picture with its own analysis”. However, the exhibition title also refers to the idea of a split view – looking down upon two divided landscapes. At once focussing and dividing our attention, the vertical ‘ridge’ in the centre of each canvas urges us to identify the differences and similarities in what we observe and become an active agent in the process of seeing.

Ridgeline is an agent for connection and dissociation. The paintings reveal no distinguishable trace of recurring motifs apart from the one visual and conceptual trigger which binds them all, allowing Piffaretti limitless creativity in his exploration of painting”

Kate MacGarry Gallery is at 27 Old Nichol Street, London, E2 7HR. The gallery is open Wednesdays until Saturdays 11am until 5pm. Entry is free.

Taylor Simmons – The Brutalization Of Rico

2: Taylor Simmons Everything All At Once at Public Gallery – on now and until March 26th – “Public Gallery is pleased to present Everything All At Once, the debut solo exhibition of New York-based artist Taylor Simmons”, this one does look good, Public’s show so often are, they don’t like us much, ddin’t like us questioning the East London gallery’s lack of interest in terms of anything from East London, they’re not the only ones of course but they did take exception and made a point of being “no longer interested”, for a gallery “no longer interested” in what we do or say they do send us a lot of press releases. We are interested in what they do, we’ve positively covered a number of their shows over the last few years and this one that opened last night does look rather good.  

“This body of new paintings highlights his exploration of figuration through neon-coloured, cinematic compositions. The exhibition title refers to the momentum of this inaugural display – a cast of vivid characters who vibrate with nervous energy and anticipation.

Simmons’ process centres on his archive of compulsively collated imagery. He gathers fragments of what is around him to create a reflection of who he is and what he sees: a face, a pose, a moment, weaving them together to form dense multi-dimensional scenarios. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, a city renowned for it’s musical heritage, the artist cites music as a major influence on his practice – he visually samples, riffs and remixes to make new, while retaining a reverence for his sources. Simmons’ output is inherently intimate; clearing his mind of these accumulated images, exorcising them as a means to question why they meant something in the first place.

In Whole Lotta Red, 2022, a green, suited figure appears self-assured while smoking a cigarette on a train. Could this be a decadent portrait, or otherwise? Simmons carves out another person in the background – through the window they ascend stairs, introducing a new story to be told. Three narrow canvases illustrate bodies that seem to dissolve away from one another, like spectres stepping out of their former selves into a mysterious limbo. Within the airbrushed paintwork, dual studies play out. In Big Feelings, 2021, an individual clutches a bunch of flowers, while another behind peers through a wire fence, their heads aligning in a moment of serendipity.

In reference to his pursuit of meaning, the artist recalls a visit to a touring Pablo Picasso exhibition when he was a child. His reading of the works at the time was very different to his teacher’s – yet no one was wrong, nothing is finite. Through his hazy, fluorescent depictions, Simmons gifts a breadcrumb trail of visual clues, leading the viewer down sensory and cognitive pathways of their own discovery.

Taylor Simmons (b. 1990, Atlanta, GA, USA) lives and works in New York. His practice incorporates painting, printmaking and drawing to make predominantly figurative works. He studied printmaking at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, USA. His work has featured in group exhibitions including Friend Zone curated by Vaughn Spann at Half Gallery, New York, USA (2021) and Frieze New York (2021) with Half Gallery.

Public Gallery is now at 91 Middlesex St, London, E1 7D. The gallery is open 11am until 6pm Tuesday through to Saturday (closes at 5pm on Saturdays). Entry is free. Consider this a public service. Why is that West End galleries are far more friendly than most of the galleries of East London?

3: Come One, Come All at The Function Suite – 3rd to 18th March –  Now this one surely needs exploring? Watch this space, we shall do just that. “I’ve linked up with ‘The Function Suite’ in Stratford for a week long curatorial experiment. Between March 3 – 10, ANYTHING that ANYONE delivers to the gallery will be exhibited. No exceptions, no gatekeeping”. It could be good, it might be awful, gatekeeper, as we know well from the open calls we run via Cultivate, are vital, Curation is an art and quality control is a big part of it, we have tried similar things ourselves during our Vyner Street days, they didn’t go that well, let’s see what happens, we recommend it, we hope it proves to be productive…

“‘The Function Suite’ is a plucky, DIY project space in Stratford connected to The Escape Bar, programmed by Nathan Baumber. The gallery is kicking off its year of shows with a curatorial experiment from artist Taro Qureshi titled ‘Come One, Come All.’ The premise is this – anything goes.* Whatever arrives at The Escape, Stratford during the allocated period- will be lovingly hung and curated into a mega group show. A truly open open call.  *wall-based and 1m x 1m limit. We are flexible, however. Here’s the timings:  Mar 3-10: Deliver work to The Escape, Stratford, E15 4PH, 4-11PM each day (pub opening times.) Leave it with the bar.   Mar 11 – The show opens with a private view, 6-9PM. Mar 18 – Deinstall. Doesn’t matter if you’re a professional, an amateur, whether you paint on Sundays, Mondays or paydays.  For more information, or for any questions, DM Taro on Instagram @tarojq. Also head there to see a picture of the space…”  Watch this space for further coverage as it all evolves   

The Function Suite is at the Escape Bar is at 25 West Ham Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4PH

4: Purrsistance, Painting Cats, Carton Exhibition Space, Catford – 4th to 6th March at Carton Exhibition Space, Rear of the Ninth Life Pub, Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4BD. open Midday until 5pm on all three cat-filled days. Expect paintings of cats. Artists taking part include Donald Takeshita-Guy, Yumi Takeshita-Guy, Charles Thomson, Eamon Everall, Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey, Wolf Howard, Jasmine Surreal, Mark D, Matt King, Jaqui Yebra, Laura Erviti and…

Boa Swindler

5: A Woman’s Place Is Everywhere at The Cello Factory, London SE1 –  8th until 13th March –  Women Artists Supporting Women’s Causes opening on International Women’s Day. – “To celebrate International Women’s Day, this event is a fundraiser in aid of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Action Aid, Sistah Space and Southall Black Sisters. Women have had enough. Feelings of outrage over the (continuous) accounts of horrendous and unacceptable cases of violence against women are running extremely high. The curators and artists in this project, share a common aim, to keep up the pressure for change and to raise money for women’s organizations. The exhibition features  work for sale by top women artists from across the UK”. Artists involved include Eva Lis/Sadie Hennessy/Perdita Sinclair/Deb Covell/Charley Peters/Lexi Strauss/Susie Hamilton/Frances Richardson/Kate Davis/Alison Wilding/Kirsty Harris/Sarah Kate Wilson/Wendy Elia/Sarah Gillham/Mindy Lee/Amy McKenny/Chiara Williams/Siobhan Barr/Sylvia Batycka/Boa Swindler/Sian-Kate Mooney/Infinity Bunce/Evie Banks/Heather Leeson/Kate Shooter/Lucia Jones/Zena Blackwell/Zoe Gingell/Caitlin Flood-Molyneux/Abi Birkinshaw/Tracey Tracey/Sarah Jeffries/Kelly-Anne Davitt/C.A. Halpin/Sally Kendall/Vanessa Mitter/Bambi/Josie McCoy/Alexandra Gallagher/Monica Rabinowitz/Julia Maddison/Sue Williams/Sharon White/Tinsel Edwards.

The Cello Factory is at 33-34 Cornwall Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 8TJ. The Gallery is open Midday until 7pm (4pm on Sunday), the show runs from 8th until 13th March, with an opening evening on March 8th when the gallery will be open until 9pm. As is the case with pretty much everything we list here, entry is free. I thin kmost of those artists have featured in Cultivate shows…

Julia Maddison

That was five wasn’t it? And while you’re on this page

BOOK opened on Tuesday 22nd February, the show can be viewed here – Another on-line group show, this time with a theme, once again curated by Cultivate founders Emma Harvey and Sean Worrall, the show is once again hosted on the Organ website. We rather like on-line shows and the way they reach around the globe, we rather think they should be part of the new normal. Book features 43 invited artists and over 200 pieces of work, well 41 invited artists and such plus the two curators, view it all here. As with all our on-line shows, there are no plans to close Book.

A companion show – “Books – A Companion Show will open on line on Sunday March 6th.

Oh and coming next from Cultivate, Impar, it kind of looks like a monthly on-line thing again in 2022..

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