Nick Grindrod, Strata, Smithson Gallery, Bateman Street, Solo, London W1 – Word is you couldn’t move at Nick Grindrod’s much anticipated Soho opening last Thursday night, no space to move, let alone see anything so we’re told. Word is things were hot in every sense and as fun as opening night’s can be, a peaceful Friday afternoon, whisked in from the East by the extra speed of The Elizabeth Line, appears to have been the wiser choice. Nick’s rise had been almost as rapid as the Lizzy Line, most of that awareness building during the lockdown, building on social media, via insta-feeds and on-line shows, on-line Art Car Boot Fairs, Smithson Gallery doing their thing (he is an obvious fit for Smithson) and well it is good to finally get to see his bright work in the actual living breathing flesh at last.
I hate to say it, I detest using the term, I certainly hate to hear it said of my own work, but Nick Grindrod’s art is rather nice. Now I’m not saying ‘nice’ in that couldn’t-really-care-less uncommitted polite way the term is often used when reacting to art, not the Minty “that’s nice” way of things, but his work really is ‘nice’. Nice, neat, refreshing, clean cut, cool, dare I say harmless? His use of colour is his strength, he seems to instinctively know just where to place that particular lime green or that red or acid yellow, he knows who sits comfortably next to the what and the where of it all, it all appears rather natural, rather easy – everything he does feels at ease, feels right. Not that difficult to see why Nick’s stock is on the rise, it easy very (very) easy to like Nick Grindrod’s work, there really is nothing wrong with any of it and right now you’re sensing a but is just around the corner… But there really isn’t one, Nick’s work is neat, cool, his paintings are very very enjoyable, kind of thing you could happily hang on your wall and show off to your friends and it really is good to see a body of his work together like this, here in Solo, here in the flesh, where the size and scale is revealed (a little more than just an image on a phone).
This really is a damn good show, it feels like a refreshing Mint Julep or a crisp Gin and Tonic, there’s nothing heavy here, nothing difficult, nothing leaping off the wall and demanding anything of the viewer, no dark difficult malt whiskey, no punch in the face, no kick up art’s arse, no challenge, just all comfortably nice and easy and well and all good and really, what’s wrong with that? There really is nothing wrong here, there really is nothing to debate, to get on a high horse about, nothing to rip apart, this is just a really really good show, a nice show, nice art, enjoyabe. And yes, it does look even better in the flesh than it does on social media (and it does look damn good on an Instagram feed!), and yes, judging by the red dots on the first proper day of being open, this is art that people really want. Nice one Nick, nice in the very best possible sense, a nice positive enjoyable show, nice work, neat sense of colour, everything just right. Nice. (sw)
Strata runs until the 29th September 2022, 10am until 7pm daily The show is happening at Bateman Street, Soho, London W1D. That’s all the gallery give us in terms of a location, you can’t miss it though, right there in the middle of the Soho street, big signs. The gallery itself is mostly a nomadic on-line thing, Bateman Street is just the home for this one.
Do as always, click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show. Not the greatest photos ever taken but you do hopefully get a hint of the flavour…