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 destroyed, artists are carrying guns to defend themselves, lives are being destroyed. and like we said last week, it seems wrong to be thinking of going to an art gallery, then again it feels more important than ever,
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
1: The Face of Shoreditch at One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel – 1st until 18th April – “East London’s original urban art gallery teams up with One Hundred Shoreditch to host London’s brightest and best for their debut show of 2022. “Join us with a drink (or two) to celebrate the opening of Nelly Duff‘s debut group show at One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel. East London’s original urban art gallery and edition house is proud to announce a new partnership. We’re taking a little staycation just down the road to the newly opened, ultra sleek One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel in a new partnership for 2022! The first of a number of exciting exhibitions coming from Nelly Duff this year, our debut showcases a number of our favourite artists working on the street art scene today. Curated by Nelly Duff, this will be the first time that this selection of street artists will be exhibited together – so stay tuned for more info coming soon… Exhibitors include Adam Neate, Soozy Lipsey, Matthew Small, Voyder, Will Barras, Mr Cenz and more”
One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel is surprisingly enough at 100 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JQ. The show is open every day but Monday, they don’t like Mondays, their silicon chips are switched to overload on Mondays, no happy Mondays here, Tuesday until Sunday, midday until 5pm (they don’t like mornings either, who does?) Nelly Duff will tell you more. Opening night is Thursday April 1st, 6pm until 9pm, you might need to get on a list or get a QR code tattooed on your neck or something for that though, entry on any day but Monday is free, monday Monday, so good to me…
2: John Hoyland – Flames Like Rainbows at Hales Gallery – 1st April until 15th May – “Hales is delighted to announce Flames Like Rainbows a solo exhibition of works by John Hoyland” so says this press release thing here, “. This should be an interesting one some ten years on –
“Hoyland was one of the most inventive and dynamic abstract painters of the post-war period. Over the span of more than a half-century his art and attitudes constantly evolved. A distinctive artistic personality emerged, concerned with colour, painterly drama, with both excess and control, with grandeur and above all, with the communication of feeling. For Hoyland’s entire career he remained dedicated to painting — when discussing his work ethic, he noted ‘I don’t know if it’s a Northern thing, from being born into poverty. But it’s a driven thing.’ He always pushed forwards, from the early works of the 60s and 70s — blocks of colour masterfully and geometrically arranged to later works that are defined as free flowing, intuitive and spontaneous. Hoyland was born to a working-class family in the 1930s, and at the age of five his father left home for the RAF in 1939. He came of age in the grey, industrial North of the 1950s, growing up in a soot-blackened terrace house in a much bombed, wartime Sheffield. An unforgiving, claustrophobic environment at that time, Hoyland recounted that he didn’t recognise a season until he was 25. He remarked that it was ‘all soot and pea soup fogs.* I used to look longingly at the charabancs+ passing through Sheffield and I wanted to be going somewhere myself.’ He wouldn’t travel until his twenties — his first foray abroad was hitchhiking to Marseilles, France, where he could stay in return for helping out in the market at night. During his lifetime, Hoyland witnessed the birth of commercial air travel. The 1960s brought the golden age of flying, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that air travel opened up to the masses. Travel would become a significant part of Hoyland’s life, firing up his imagination and inspiring much of his work. The Caribbean became a favourite destination, first visiting in 1969 with his friend Anthony Caro. He then made many return trips to Jamaica with Beverley Heath-Hoyland, whom he met in the 1980s.
Flames Like Rainbows exhibits paintings greatly influenced by his travels — the paintings were made after a pivotal stay in Bali at the end of 1994. Struck by the visual splendour of Bali, Hoyland’s practice dramatically shifts — introducing direct references to the world. Previously, compositions had been made up of a central calligraphic shape, which is replaced by unmistakable forms, such as trees, flags and cascades of water. In 1997 he returned to Bali, ‘recognising things already encountered in his imagination; Bali confirmed realities – of colour, pattern and movement – already known and illuminated by an interior light.’ For the first time in decades he made figurative drawings. Drawings of ‘doorways, of the wild sprawling wiring on the roof of a house, of a string of neon lights in a restaurant, or the bamboo wind chimes which hangs from trees.’ The radiance and sheer beauty he experienced there made its way into the paintings. ‘I came back with so many ideas, so many archetypal structures that I could try to hang my thoughts and feelings on.’  Alongside drawings and written thoughts in sketchbooks, he took rough Polaroids. These initial studies, combined with memory and his intuitive use of materials, created sensuous, magical works.
The exhibition is full of life and experience, the paintings themselves becoming an event. Two 2001 works, Jump and Falls refer to high dives made by students from the cliffs at Negril in Jamaica that Hoyland watched from a nearby café. Hoyland captures the mood, heat and movement in the giant pours of paint. He communicates both power and powerlessness in the act of jumping/falling.
Combining the personal, sensuous, and topographical, Flames Like Rainbows exhibits dynamic works which embody the experience of travel. In this period of painting Hoyland introduced a whole new range of possibilities, which he would continue to pursue up until his death in 2011″.
Hales Gallery is in the The Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LA The show runs from 1st April until 15th May. Hales is only open Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, 11am until 6pm, there is an opening night, Ist April 6pm until 8pm.
3: Anika Roach – In Spite of That at Taymour Grahne Projects, Notting Hill – “Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present In Spite of That, a solo exhibition by London-based artist Anika Roach, opening on April 2 between 4-7pm at the Notting Hill space (1 Lonsdale Road) as part of a joint opening across our 3 spaces”
“The paintings included in Anika Roach’s first solo show in London place a strong sense of importance upon representation. Luminous yellows, reds, pinks and blues are juxtaposed with missing limbs and genderless figures seen in peculiar scenarios. While these paintings can sometimes feel disconcerting, they allow multiple interpretations as the artist seeks to broaden existing narratives surrounding the painting of black bodies. Through her practice, Roach contributes to the relevant discussion held by a new wave of contemporary figurative artists on the shortage of black figures in western art history. In this way, Roach challenges the art historical cannon as well as the social and political weight which often negates the uniqueness of the black experience.
Humour and moments of absurdity are at the basis of Roach’s work, contributing to the creation of a much needed space for conversations attached to how blackness is represented today. Recurring features such as faceless figures who lack specificity are deliberate and playful, thus allowing meaning to be found more broadly and discourses to remain open. As such, they endeavour to undermine and confuse established pre-configured social norms.
Roach’s paintings are generally informed by sport history, politics, as well as a diverse range of media from classical art and popular culture. Film imagery, music, and fleeting everyday moments witnessed while moving through London permeate the work. These themes and images all contribute to the artist’s visual vocabulary, eventually giving a collage-like character to the final composition, where thoughts are mapped and meaning is layered and encoded through formal elements.
Offering a deeply meaningful exploration of questions on race and gender, Anika Roach’s works don’t necessarily offer any concrete answers, but rather remain open ended to encourage active engagement and meaning. As the viewer looks beyond the first layer, elements begin to transform and meaning unravels, leaving them to question established historical frameworks and inviting a nuanced discussion of representation to take place within the exhibition framework.
Anika Roach is a painter living and working in London. She studied Fine Art and the History of Art at Goldsmiths University and holds a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from the Camberwell College of Arts, London. Roach was shortlisted for the 2019 Woon Foundation Prize, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and was included in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries show at South London Gallery in 2020. Her work will be part of the gallery’s upcoming Intimacy Group Show taking place in London in May 2022.”
Taymour Grahne Projects is at 1 Lonsdale Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2BY. The show runs from 2nd April until April 30t, open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am until 6pm, admission is free. There;s an open on April 2nd 4pm until 7pm.
4: Prism – Untold at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park – 6th – 18th April – “The mission of this international Exhibiting group is to work together to dispel the common preconceptions surrounding Textiles, and embrace both a modern approach and the ancient traditions of cloth and stitch”. Now everyone knows textiles are cool (did I ever say I was once a textile design student? Everyone though I was some hooligan sculptor or a renegade painter but no, weaving was where it was at back there)
“PRISM are pleased to be exhibiting again at the Art Pavilion in the Spring of 2022. The mission of this international Exhibiting group is to work together to dispel the common preconceptions surrounding Textiles, and embrace both a modern approach and the ancient traditions of cloth and stitch. Using the diverse and exciting language of textiles, the exhibition offers a rich interpretation of the intriguing title ‘Untold’ and promises a mixture of storytelling, histories and contemporary comment” Watch this space or these pages, more once we’ve taken a walk along the canal and checked it all out –
The Art Pavilion is found at Mile End Park, Clinton Road, London E3 4QY. Open everyday 11am until 6pm
5: Jim Grover: Behind the Shop Facade – The Life of Maurice Dorfman at Clapham Library – Now this one really appeals, but then I did grow up living above the shop my folks owned on a busy high street, I think proper shop keepers are heroes and this looks like an amazing tale of a life – “A whirlwind visual journey through nine decades of a remarkable man with a remarkable story – an unsung hero beloved in Clapham and posthumously celebrated by award winning social-documentary photographer Jim Grover”. if you can’t make it to Capham, there is a great website – www.behindtheshopfacade.com
“Behind the Shop Facade – The Life of Maurice Dorfman is a whirlwind visual journey through nine decades of a remarkable man with a remarkable story – an unsung hero posthumously celebrated by award winning social-documentary photographer Jim Grover with an exhibition and accompanying book. For the past 18 months, Grover has immersed himself in extensively researching the vivid history of Maurice (or ‘Murray’) Dorfman, a man who to many was the amenable solitary owner of Jeannette Fashions, the longest surviving traditional shop on Clapham High Street, but whose vivid life left an incredible legacy as Grover’s exhibition and book pay testament to.
Dorfman’s is a life of many lives. One that preludes with a Jewish family fleeing the pogroms in Russia at the end of the 19th century and arriving in London’s East End in 1902. Dorfman rests at its centre, the last of one of the six strands of the family tree, and whose journey we travel alongside. Featuring a childhood in Essex during WWII, and the rigours of National Service this is a journey that, early in his life, brought Dorfman to South London at the beginning of the 1950s, and where for almost 40 years he ran Jeannette Fashions, his traditional haberdashery shop on Clapham High Street, following in the tailoring footsteps of his Jewish grandfather and both his Jewish parents. Behind the facade, here was a shopkeeper from a bygone era dedicated to serving his customers in his own distinctive and endearing way.
“He danced around the shop with me… playing his music. And he’d even cycle around the shop… He was a very playful character. His shop was like a theatre space and so you felt like you could go in and you could do anything there.” Quote from Behind the Shop Facade – The Life of Maurice Dorfman.
His was a long and full life that embraced life’s simple pleasures: dancing; sailing; motorbiking; cycling; music; visits to the theatre and ballet; pets; and camping holidays in the UK with his girlfriends. One too that embraced many challenges: growing up at a time of anti-Semitic feeling; the bankruptcy of his father; the fracturing of his relationship with his only sibling; saving the family business from financial ruin; battling cancer (alone) twice; love affairs that ended with disappointment; growing old and living by himself for some 30 years in an enormous and decaying building; and sustaining Jeannette Fashions as it steadily dwindled in its twilight years where it remains for the time being untouched like a time capsule.
“I would say that he would be somebody that would get your attention, but you wouldn’t be aware of that… but, somehow or another, he would. You would feel intrigued in some way. He was a very engaging guy without it being apparent… he was like an understatement. He was also intriguing and he had such a fun side to him… it allowed the mischievous or the creative to come forward. Playful… and a little bit mischievous… that’s always appealing isn’t it?” Quote from Behind the Shop Facade – The Life of Maurice Dorfman.
On 18 February 2020, Dorfman passed away at the age of 87. With no direct family to pass the business on to, 60 years of clothing manufacturing and haberdashery trading by the Dorfman family on the high street ceased. It was the end of an era but one that Grover, aided by some very old address books, family photographs, and press clippings combined with the extensive memories, stories and mementos of over 60 customers, friends and work colleagues over the decades, has been determined to celebrate and preserve – an extraordinary social history.
A Clapham resident himself, Grover’s interest in Dorfman stems from 2016 when he befriended him as part of his photo-essay, 48 Hours on Clapham High Street. Featuring images of Dorfman in Jeannette Fashions, Grover quoted his words in the opening of the exhibition and catalogue introduction. Continuing to visit him at the shop, Grover remained, like so many, friendly albeit at a distance from Dorfman. It was the sheer volume of memories and emotions that Dorfman’s passing triggered amongst so many friends and customers from over the decades that inspired Grover to pay one final monumental tribute to Dorfman by assembling this exhibition and accompanying book in celebration of his astonishing life and the family business. It is a recognition of Dorfman and his family’s contribution to the community over six decades, and his unassuming kindness to so many of the people within. Behind the Shop Facade – The Life of Maurice Dorfman is a mark of affection for an exceptional man, one who had little idea how respected, admired, and appreciated he was by so many around him.
Dorfman’s journey will be presented as a major exhibition in Clapham, where it belongs. The exhibition features over 50 contemporary photographs by Grover alongside his numerous still life photographs of documents, family pictures and objects relating to the Dorfman story, artfully composed against fabrics from Jeannette Fashions. The exhibition is curated by Susanna Brown, who previously worked at London’s V&A and National Portrait Gallery and recently curated Tim Walker: Wonderful Things at the V&A. A 232-page book and shorter exhibition catalogue are available to purchase from Clapham Library and from the dedicated project website: www.behindtheshopfacade.com
For Grover this has been a unique and unexpected experience delving into the life of someone he respected and admired but initially, like so many others, knew very little about, “For me, he is one of life’s unsung heroes who richly deserves the tribute that so many have helped me create in his honour. Whilst his shop facade and home will inevitably disappear in the wake of the never-ending development of Clapham High Street, Maurice Dorfman will now never be forgotten.”
Clapham Library is at Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham Hight Street, London, SW4 7DB. The exhibition runs from the 1st until April 30th
And while we’re here, the latest Cultivate on-line show, hosted here on these fractured Organ pages, opened 15th March 2022 is Impart, view it via that link you just passed, over 200 pieces of art from 39 artists. We’ll do it again in April, we’re doing it every month at the moment.