ORGAN: Five recommended art things – Romina De Novellis at Richard Saltoun Gallery, Opposing Fictions at Koppel X, Space Open Studios in Hackney, In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery, Anne McNeill-Pulati and Non Worrall at Muswell Hill Gallery…

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 still being destroyed, artists are carrying guns to defend themselves, lives are being destroyed. and like we said last time, it still 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

Romina De Novellis

1: Romina De Novellis – Richard Saltoun Gallery’s part in the forthcoming (already previewed) Mayfair Art Weekend looks rather rewarding, “Richard Saltoun Gallery is delighted to take part in the ninth edition of Mayfair Art Weekend, the annual celebration of the world’s internationally renowned gallery district. The gallery will have extended opening hours and present a series of events throughout the weekend”. The art found at Richard Saltoun Gallery is usually of a challenging nature, the gallery is one of the less conservative West End spaces.

For the opening night of the Mayfair Art Weekend on Friday 24 June (6–8 pm:) the gallery offer a drinks reception and artist tour where Artist Romina De Novellis will perform her piece Veglia until 6.30 pm and then lead a tour of her exhibition Tales from the South at 7.30 pm. There are various talks and tours that revolved around the gallery over the weekend.

Tales from the South is an exhibition of 3 performances by Italian artist Romina De Novellis. Running from 7 June through to Mayfair Art Weekend (24–26 June), this is De Novellis’ first exhibition with the gallery and her first solo show in the UK. It’s presented as an immersive environment with all–over sound, photographs and videos alongside light and tactile elements.

“Born in Naples and currently based in Paris, De Novellis graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in London and worked as a choreographer until a disastrous moped accident forced her to quit. Her artistic practice centres around her body, its language and expressions, as well as its limitations and disabilities. Often installed in urban environments and subject to the gaze of passers-by, the artist’s body becomes a tool to denounce women’s issues in the Mediterranean areas and especially the precarious human conditions that exist on the margins of society (related to employment, wide social networks, and family). Repetition and duration are also key in De Novellis’ performances, which aim to create a sense of alienation that reduces the passing of time to an unending moment”.

The ever rewarding Richard Saltoun Gallery  is at 41 Dover Street, London. W1S 4NS. Gallery opening times: over the Mayfair Art Weekend – Friday 24th June, 10 am – 8 pm, Saturday 25th June, 11am – 6pm
and Sunday 26th June, 12–5pm

2: Space Open Studios, Hackney – “On Saturday 2nd July, over 100 artists across six of Space’s Hackney-based studio buildings will open their studio doors to the general public for one day only. Come and discover work by some of the UK’s top artists – from internationally acclaimed names to new and emerging talent. See behind the scenes of a working studio, meet artists, photographers, designers, illustrators and all sorts of creative people face to face and buy works of art directly from their studio”.

And I do I have to say, as a working artist based directly over the road from the big Space space on Mare Street here in Hackney, they are damn annoying, their space that’s never ever open and the very (very) annoying message in big yellow letters in the windows that reads “London needs artists” when what we need more that artists is spaces to show our art, to exhibit, to curate, to debate. I reckon in the last dozen years we’ve seen two or maybe three really decent shows in that always locked gallery, and maybe a small handful more worth a mention, the place is never open these days and trying to communicate with them is pretty much impossible. I can see from my studio here right now that on Friday afternoon the gallery shutters are down (as always) and there’s no sign of life. Have they abandoned the big gallery space? is it all just bluff? Is Space now you’re typical Arts Council funded talking it rather than walking it kind of place. while we Hackney-based artists are desperate for space. Still, the Studio open days are usually pretty good, I’m sure they did once kick off on a Friday night and go on through the weekend but hey, we’ll take a walk over the road and see who can still afford their studio rents these days. In past years, back before Covid, there was always an interesting artist or two to be found lurking in their studios on an open day. Martello Street, (E8 3PE) has always been particularly rewarding. More details via the Space website

Previously on these pages –

ORGAN THING: The taste of paint, the smell of history, Martello Street Studios open day, like we we said last week, these kind of days are vital. Peter Kennard, Throbbing Gristle, Walid Sati, Zoe Benbow, Jamie Boyd, Doyle and Mallinson…

ORGAN THING: Poking around Space Studios, London needs artists….

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2014 Mixed media including fabric, buttons, antique sifter, and wire,

3: In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery – 29th June to 18th September 2022 – Now we don’t tend to preview bigger shows like this one, we assume they’ll get the coverage they need elsewhere. This is an exhbition you need to pay to get into, most of the shows we feature here are free to enter but this one requires you buy a ticket, it does look rather intriguing. “An exhibition of 11 contemporary artists from the African diaspora, who draw on science fiction, myth and Afrofuturism to question our knowledge of the world”.

“Myth, science fiction, spiritual traditions and the legacy of Afrofuturism are all sampled, reimagined and recontextualised in In the Black Fantastic. Encompassing painting, photography, video, sculpture and mixed-media installations, the exhibition creates immersive aesthetic experiences that bring the viewer into a new environment somewhere between the real world and a multiplicity of imagined ones. While some artists disrupt our understanding of the past, others invite us to imagine fantastical futures. In this exhibition, fantasy becomes a zone of creative and cultural liberation and a means of addressing racism and social injustice by conjuring new ways of being in the world”.

In the Black Fantastic is curated by Ekow Eshun and features the artists Nick Cave, Sedrick Chisom, Ellen Gallagher, Hew Locke, Wangechi Mutu, Rashaad Newsome, Chris Ofili, Tabita Rezaire, Cauleen Smith, Lina Iris Viktor and Kara Walker.

Hayward Gallery is of course at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XZ. The show runs from 29th June to 18th September 2022. The gallery is open Wednesday through to Sunday, 11am until 7pm (6pm on Sundays)

4: Anne McNeill-Pulati & Non Worrall – Pop-Up Paintings at Muswell Hill Gallery – “The ‘Pop Up Paintings’ show from North London women artists, Anne McNeill-Pulati & Non Worrall showcases their new collection of imaginative and colourful artworks in oil, gouache and acrylic”. Always good to see a relatively new artist-tun gallery, wonder who Non Worrall is?  

“North London’s exciting new Muswell Hill Gallery welcomes Wood Green-based artist, Anne McNeill-Pulati, whose imaginative and colourful artworks are inspired by stories, legends and myths with their unique meanings and symbols. Creating figures that are sometimes animal or hybrid creatures in a fantasy world, they reflect Anne’s theatrical storytelling style and vision. Predominantly using oil on canvas or ink and gouache on paper”

“Key to Non Worrall’s artworks are spontaneity, colour balancing, texture and mark making. Her latest series sees layered acrylics and conte pastels on a range of different weights of raw linen and canvas, drawing the viewer in to see images that distort and simultaneously resonate with their own perceptions of reality”.

“Muswell Hill Gallery was launched last year (2021) by former CAS Arts Fine Arts graduate, Georgia Robinson, to provide a new space for up and coming artists to show their work. Its monthly exhibitions have attracted a wide range of art disciplines from fine art, watercolours, pastels, collages and soft sculptures with artists featured so far including Alan Braidwood, Sedici Art Group, Azubuike Ani, Maggie Learmonth, Neda Dana Haeri, Gillian Raine, Carol Tarn, Arty Bea, Colin Merrin, Georgia Robinson and Gvenire”.

Pop Up Paintings runs from Friday 24th June until Sunday 26th June 2022(11am-5pm, 6pm on Saturday). There is a so called “Private View 2on Thursday June 23rd 5pm-8pm, who knows if it is actually private?  Muswell Hill Gallery is at 21 High Street, Hornsey, London, N8 7QB

5: Opposing Fictions: Women Provoking Fact & Fabrication – a group show at Koppel  X  – An exhibition of Women Artists from Latin America whose work challenges our understanding of the imaginary in an age of factual uncertainty. The show is open now and runs until Sunday 3rd July 2022
Curated by Daniela Galan, and presented by Amalgama, the show features artists Ana Isabel Diez (Colombia), Andrea Alkalay (Argentina), Camila Villalobos (Mexico), Dania Gonzalez (Cuba), Juliana Rios (Colombia), Mari Claudia Garcia (Cuba) & Matilde Amigo (Chile).

“Commonly, we tend to understand fact and fiction as opposing concepts, identifying the first as an objective and static reality, and the latter as an invention, a product of our imagination and our subjective mind. However, as we increasingly face evolving concepts, such as post-truth, alternative facts and fake news, promoted and disseminated by an increasingly connected global community, we are unavoidably having to question our own ability to create a clear distinction between the two.  Using collage as both concept and medium, the captivating work of these seven women dismantles and reassembles the images and notions that were once considered to be unbiased. Political reportage, mass media, landscape, testimonies and even the human body, have been reframed as fiction derived from a specific creative process. Yet, despite seeming unnatural, observing them as fictitious exposes the narratives that have constructed them in the past, making room for other worlds outside our usual paradigms and creating new ways of understanding our reality”.

Koppel X is at 48 Piccadilly Circus, London, W1B 5RA (next to Boots). The space is open 8am until 8pm Monday-Saturday and 11am untl 5pm on Sundays.

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