Never mind that, that was then, this, once again is about this week. Five more art things then. five art things, almost posted ahead of time this week (so don’t be phoning up to complain again). 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”. This is simply a regular list of five or so recommended art things happening now or coming up very soon that we think you might find as interesting as we think we will.
1: David Price. The Flowers She Sent at Frestonian Gallery – 16th Nov – 21 Dec 2022 – Now this looks like it should be rather enjoyable, “Frestonian Gallery is delighted to present its first solo exhibition of the work of David Price”.
“The pathway to this current series of highly energetic and dynamic paintings by Price has been many varied. Beginning as a student of drawing at Edinburgh College of Art he went on to an MFA as a somewhat anarchic sculptor at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He subsequently immersed himself in the highly ordered and technically precise practice of etching, undertaking an MFA at the Royal College of Art. Whilst there he produced an astonishing body of work that was recognised by his selection for the prestigious Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and which has since entered the collection of the V&A Museum. Continuing to push himself into new forms of making, Price then began to formulate a technique that translated the meticulous methodologies of both etching and screen-printing into painting, resulting in exquisitely detailed works built up of multiple lightly applied layers of colour. Over time, this method morphed and transformed, loosening up and expanding in scale until the small, delicate panels bloomed into the large, vivid, and multi-layered canvases comprising this extraordinary new body of work.
The paintings themselves are an amalgamation and synthesis of subjects, techniques and influences befitting of Price’s wide practical and conceptual experience as a student of both art and art history. The central motif of the ‘vase (or urn) and flowers’ has served as a reliable and repeatable subject from Vosmaer to Van Gogh to Hockney – and so Price too finds endless scope for variation and invention within this oft-explored trope. Price states that in setting the still-life as the basic scaffolding he was seeking to find a single subject that was “instantly recognisable ‘as a painting’ and would unquestionably stand endless repetition and abstraction from the original”.
Other notable influences on the current series include the (otherwise wholly different) paintings of Leon Kossoff that created direct discourse with art-historical sources (most poignantly for Price in the 2000 National Gallery exhibition ‘Encounters: A Dialogue with Art from the Past’). The etchings and drawings of English horticulturist Robert Furber (1674-1756) too provided a jumping-off point for much of the imagery, specifically his much admired ‘Twelve Months of Flowers’ (pub. 1730). In Price’s works Furber’s imagery retains its representational integrity, and is set amongst swirling, abstracted forms and layers of colour and texture. Myriad other artistic and literary influences can be found, guessed at, identified and miss-identified (an element of Picasso here, perhaps a nod to ‘Leda and the Swan’ there), but in essence they appear as the most basic of frameworks – touchstones over which Price has constructed a hugely inventive, vibrant and personal language, that speaks – or rather sings – forth from each of these joyful paintings.
David Price is a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the Royal College of Art, London. He is a Tutor in drawing at the Royal Academy, and at Central St. Martins, He teaches in Printmaking at London Metropolitan University and was made a Junior Fellow of the Royal Academy in 2009. His work is held in private collections worldwide, as well as the V&A Museum, The Royal College of Art and Royal Academy (London). Recent exhibitions include ‘Gardens of Ideas’ (with Bob & Roberta Smith RA & Jessica Voorsanger) & ‘The Green Fuse’ (2019 & 2020, Frestonian Gallery, London) & ‘Ridiculous Sublime (2021, Schiff Fine Arts, New York)”.
Frestonian Gallery (interesting name) is at 2 Olaf Street, London, W10 6LW. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am until 6pm, Midday until 4pm Saturday
2: Martyn Cross. O happiness! happiness!at Hales Gallery – 10th November until 17th December 2022 – “Hales is delighted to announce O happiness! happiness!, Martyn Cross’s debut solo show with the gallery. The exhibition features new paintings that muse on Gustav Flaubert’s seminal book The Temptation of St Anthony.”
“Cross is primarily a painter engaged with ‘world making.’ The act of painting for him is a means to explore the inner life and strangeness of the ordinary. Each work begins in reality, with recognizable limbs and elements of landscape, which transform into uncanny scenes. Biomorphic landscapes speak to mythologies, but in Cross’s paintings, the narratives are knowingly ambiguous. Familiar and mysterious, quiet and epic, scale and irregularity in proportion puzzles the viewer.
Known for paintings which are deliberately hard to place in history, there is a timelessness to Cross’s works, reminiscent of unearthed artifacts. Paintings are made in contemplative layers; the pigments remain vibrant – his application and exquisite use of colour create works that hum. Sanding and scratching the surface, Cross strives to make paintings that have lived a life, the trace of their existence evident. Monumental hangings speak to a heroic narrative of higher powers, presented alongside small paintings which are jewel-like and intimate.
Cross has long been fascinated by depictions of the Temptation of St Anthony throughout art history, particularly Hieronymus Bosch’s The Temptation of St Anthony* which is one of the more subdued iterations. Observing how formulaic the majority of depictions are, Cross notes a reoccurrence of ‘a wild looking Tony’ battling with demons in physical forms. Having read Flaubert’s Temptation of St Anthony this year, Cross was struck by how easily the surrealist imagery was conjured from the pages. Reading the final paragraph of Flaubert’s novel Cross has likened it to finding his ‘holy grail’ – the words perfectly aligned with his practice and fostering a desire to make more work:
‘O happiness! happiness! I have seen the birth of life, I have seen the beginning of movement. The blood in my veins is beating so hard that it will burst them. I feel like flying, swimming, yelping, bellowing, howling. I’d like to have wings, a carapace, a rind, to breathe out smoke, wave my trunk, twist my body, divide myself up, to be inside every-thing, to drift away with odours, develop as plants do, flow like water, vibrate like sound, gleam like light, to curl myself up into every shape, to penetrate each atom, to get down to the depth of matter – to be matter!’
For many years, prior to reading this affirming paragraph, Cross had been developing motifs that imbue the psychological and the otherworldly into landscapes. The works in the exhibition take The Temptation of St Anthony as a starting point – there are no physical manifestations of demons but rather explorations of ideas that align with Flaubert’s spirit and personal interest in matter woven into the story. The title of the exhibition, O happiness! happiness! directly quotes Flaubert, providing a wry commentary of a sought-after emotion, counterbalancing the darker, more introspective themes of the paintings. Cross states, ‘I think over these past couple of years, particularly with lockdown, we’ve all become a bit Anthony…Locked in ourselves with our demons…’ Billowing clouds, swirling waves, tumbling waterfalls, arching bodies, all-seeing eyes, oversized pointing fingers and blistering suns form visions of inward reflection.
Cross (b. 1975, Yate, UK) holds a BA in Fine Art from Bath Spa University. He lives and works in Bristol, UK. Cross has exhibited work at many galleries, nationally and internationally, including Hales London; Marianne Boesky, NY; Ratio 3, Los Angeles, CA; OSHSH Projects, London; Oceans Apart, Manchester; Bath Spa University; Spike Island, Bristol; LIMBO, Margate; Stroud Museum, UK; Kettles Yard, Cambridge, among others”.
Hales Gallery is found at The Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LA. You find the actually gallery entrance on the main street itself and not in the Tea Building, directly over the road from that awful Boxpark place. The gallert is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11am until 6pm. The show runs from 10th November until 17th December 2022 with an 10th November opening, 6pm until 8pm
3: Leo Sweron and Jeru Kinnaird – Bittersweet at Camden Open Air Gallery – 12th November until 2nd December with an opening on Friday 11th November “How can the very thing that brings you joy and purpose also be a source of anguish? This is “Bittersweet” – a complex combination of both pleasure and pain in the same instant”. Jeru Kinnaird
“Jeru Kinnaird is a printmaker and illustrator based in South-West London. Growing up she didn’t like art as it stopped her pursuing her real passion, which was to run… everywhere. However, things changed and now she spends almost all her time drawing, whilst the idea of running is a nightmare. In 2007, Jeru found a piece of art that would change her way of image making forever. The engraving (by Claude Mellan’s) was made entirely out of one line and was called “Face of Christ”. Maybe this was divine intervention, because it inspired her to start using the technique in her own work. 15 years on and Jeru has honed in on this signature style, by creating vibrant and colourful works that explore nostalgia, memory and her upbringing. Line work always being at the forefront of her images, Jeru has explored and developed the practice by swapping pen for paint. She now layers her one line pieces throughout the work making a more complex collage of illustrations than ever before”.
“Leo Sweron (b.1997, London) is a multi-disciplinary pop artist originating from South-West London. Sweron’s work is a reflection of his age; crisp edges and a flat perspective conceive a digital-like appearance. Through spending the past half-decade perfecting a recognisable style, he uses a diverse visual arsenal of motifs, symbols, and stylistic tendencies. Sweron gives an insight into his life and those close to him through the different subjects within his work, carefully depicting his desired message. By circulating a range of themes, he aims to create a visual diary of his life as a twenty-something. Exploring multiple aspects of what constitutes daily life; relationships, mental health, trauma, memories, and the mundane. Melancholy imagery often soaks the canvas; a blank expression composed with a clear juxtaposition serves as the foundation for much of his work. Colour palettes are used similar to the subject, contrasting with dark and light colours to re-emphasise the intention of the piece. Purple is the predominant colour of choice in Sweron’s current work, its deep tone carries a sense of depth and is used to symbolise vulnerability and apprehension. In addition, the canvas is frequently divided and laid out similar to manga or comic panels. When the divides are not used to aid in narrating a story, the break in canvas is there to juxtapose the separate images”.
Camden Open Air Gallery is at 216 Camden High Street, London NW1 8QR. You find the space on the main Camden Drag just past the Electric Ballroom, it is;nt an open air gallery, it is a very nice white cube of a gallery that does tend to show work that artist have made in the open air. The Private View is on Friday 11th November, 6.00pm – late, We’re promised “a night of amazing art, drinks and music plus a chance to get the first look at two incredible artists new collection of works”. The exhibition then runs from Saturday 12th November until 2nd December.
4: Face to Face at Gillian Jason Gallery – 10th November until 17th December 2022 – This one looks rather interesting, well of course it does, we wouldn’t be recommending a show that looks like it might be boring would we? “Face to Face presents ten international female artists from eight different countries around the world revisiting Portraiture as we approach a new era of this genre”
“The group show ‘Face to Face’, presents ten international artists revisiting Portraiture as we approach a new era of this genre. Portraiture has always been a pillar of art history, taking different forms throughout its development: from the Egyptian statues of pharaohs to the Hellenic busts of Greek gods, from the Renaissance frescos of patrons to the Flemish paintings of peasants, from Rococo’s depictions of marquises to Lucien Freud’s impasto works all the way to Warhol’s screen-prints.
The dawn of the 21st century seems to have allowed Portraiture to free itself from standardised canons and traditional conventions, opening up a new chapter of this artistic current, prompting today’s artists to explore the genre in an independent and unique manner. Looking both back on the past and forward to the future, GJG gathers such artists showcasing Portraiture’s new aesthetic and conceptual possibilities. ‘Face to Face’ creates a dialogue around the evolution of figurative painting through the work of female contemporary artists at the forefront of this field.
One of the biggest influences of the 20th Century’s movements on contemporary art is, arguably, the critique towards pure representation. Accompanied by the evolution of photography and the rise of social media, such a consideration prompts us to wonder: what exactly is the place of portraiture in contemporary art?
Following decades of focus on abstraction, in the 1980s and ’90s, painters began to re-embrace figuration, managing to adapt it to the demands of contemporary art and respond to specific contexts, identity questions, and social issues. With the support of Photography as the primary medium for truthful illustration, Portraiture began to broaden its borders exploring meaningful undertones and conveying significant messages. It seems that the representation of the body has become a vehicle for artists to carry their thoughts and feelings.
Women, who have been frequently used as sitters with recurrent objectifying nuances, are now not only able to stand on the other side of the canvas, but also to reclaim their own image. Keeping control of their own representation, means emancipating themselves from stereotypical traits such as composure, sensuality and deference. The artists in ‘Face to Face’ shed light on this awareness whilst illustrating today’s innumerable stylistic possibilities of Portraiture from across the world.”
About the artists –
Nigerian artist Cherry Aribisala creates pop-like imagery that explores mental health issues with playful aesthetic, Swiss Diane Chappalley’s symbolist painting showcases the various meanings of physical gestures, Azerbaijani-born Naila Hazell investigates the ambivalent nature of relationships in realistic paintings by the bright undertones.
Israeli artist Noa Ironic examines the social concept of masculinity through compositions reminiscent of cartoon, British Abigail McGinley uses a surrealist-expressionist style drawing attention to atmosphere and the bodily quality of paint, Mixed-Japanese artist Mizuki Nishiyama works with a wide array of media producing works that reflect the very nature of being.
British-Nigerian Precious Opara’s joyful self-portraits narrate feelings of peace and elation, British Olivia Valentine amalgamates Old Master techniques with contemporary expedients in the display of the importance of friendships amongst women, South-African Lulama Wolf’s practice stands between Neo-Expressionism and Modern African Art and revolves around the discovery of the human condition and spirituality, Malaysian artist Caroline Wong employs lively imagery of girls eating to subvert traditional representation of women in East Asian art.
5: David Holah, Tin-ah Fetch Me-h at Five years Gallery – 12th to 20th November with an opening on Saturday 12th 6pm – 9pm) – “The culmination of a two-year residency at Mutton Fist Press, David Holah’s new mixed media work is a memorial to Frank and Eric, two important men in David’s Herstory. Unfurling over nine days, the exhibition comprises print, drag performance, sculpture and an offset printing workshop”.
“Tin-ah Fetch Me-h is a lace-front wig slipped down to act as a funeral veil. The show is about the concealment created by this closeness of fabric to face: he can see out, you can’t see in. Viewers are invited to snatch a glimpse of his grief through the teeth of his brother’s zips or the slight of a fluttering, paper hand. David and his print mentor Frank played out ‘Mommie Dearest’ together in print lessons; shouting lines from the biopic to each other across the workshop. NO WIRE HANGERS! Is the in-joke, the script of a friendship. TINA! BRING ME THE AXE!! Within this work, Baby Jane is sucked into the drama, and Bette and Joan’s tensions are played out, trapped together in one body. David’s soft sculptures are dazzle ships: Playing card chimera twirl to show you their embroidered backs, sewn with brother Eric’s threads. Queens of Hearts and other parts. David is your croupier, and a mistress of misdirection. To share space with the sculptures is to become lost in the menacing mock eyes of moth wings. There is a game being played, the cards are marked. On the walls is a portrait gallery of the mouthless ones: Mediated, monitored managed. David’s work is about obfuscation and camouflage. Mouths unformed are healed gashes. Zippered gobs are for opening up and shutting down. With David as mad scientist, the creatures are recycled icons that speak in Ouija anagrams, and they are beautiful”.
6: Louis Blue Newby, Eloise Hawser, and Mimi Hope & Ben Galyas – All Night at Sherbet Green – Not so much one of our five recommended art events this week as much as footnote and us being curious. We haven’t been to the space yet and the visuals offered in advance of this show are telling us very little. As both artists and art fans we do like to try and support our local East London art spaces, support that hasn’t always welcome, the East London art scene can sometimes be way too aloof for its own good, hopefully Sherbet Green will be a bit more of a positive experience, we know nothing about the who or what of the gallery, the proof of the pudding and all that, watch this space, we’ll may or may not be along with more once we’ve had a look
A relatively new space on the Hackney Road, East London, “dance music, sexuality and industrial waste. The mechanisms of information distribution continue to warp and accelerate. Newby, Hawser, Hope, and Galyas look to draw connections between cultural artefacts in relation to this immutable change. Pornography, rave fliers, and newspapers are stacked, smothered, and soaked. Taken out of circulation, the uncertain and unstable surfaces of these works solidify the ephemeral nature of the printed image. Such production confronts the very meaning and direction of the source material. Often distributed and discarded en masse, their lustre fading as night turns to day, these images meet their disfigurement and ultimate demise in the liminal spaces of the city”.
Sherbet Green is at Unit 1, 430 Hackney Road, London, E2 6QL. The latest show at the space opens this Thursday evening, Thursday 10th November, 6pm until 9pm and then runs at the space until December 9th. The space is only open for two days a week which is a bit of a shame as well as being the reason we haven’t made it to the space quite yet yet (Sundays were almost always our most busy day when Cultivate had a home), find the space open on Fridays and Saturdays, 11am until 6pm. We look forward to seeing how things flow and hey, at least they’re open for two days, that’s two days more the other gallery that recently opened on the Hackney Road that only seems to be about opening nights and appointments (no one likes making appointments do they, surely it should just be about walking in?)
There you have it, your five (or six) more of this next week, probably,,,