ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Jonathan Baldock at Stephen Friedman Gallery, Hannah Beerman at Claas Reiss, Laura Lancaster / Rachel Lancaster at Workplace, Yutaka Hashimoto at Moosey London, Wynnie Mynerva at Gathering and…

(It’s My Party) I Can Cry If I Want To at Guts Gallery, Hackney, East London until Feb 2nd – read the review

Never mind that, that was then, this, once again is about this week and next and yes, we know it is all about the London Art Fair this week but no, not ready for a cattle market quite yet. 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”. 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…

These exhibitions are free to enter unless otherwise stated…

Jonathan Baldock, ‘Wildflowers don’t care where they grow’, 2022. Ceramic, hessian, linen, boning, chamomile flowers.

1: Jonathan Baldock, We are flowers of one garden at Stephen Friedman Gallery – 20th Jan until 25th Feb, with an opeing night on Thursday 19th January – “Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition by Jonathan Baldock”. Like the look of that flower and well, “Centred on themes of nature and the cycle of life, this highly personal exhibition draws inspiration from Baldock’s relationship with his mother and her garden. The artist brings together a new body of work comprising ceramics, sculptures and wall hangings. Baldock examines the spectrum of human emotion, brutally and blissfully reflecting on what it means to be alive and how we find our place on Earth.

Though autobiographical in content, the exhibition contains many elements which are universal. Baldock has a powerful relationship with his mother, who taught him many of the crafts and skills he uses in his practice. From this early dynamic to the development of a friendship and shared understanding as adults, the artist tenderly illustrates their important bond. Finding inspiration in his mother’s garden, Baldock has created a series of works based on flowers. Faces appear within them; floral forms and human body parts adorn vases and far-reaching roots crawl along the ground below. A large sculpture, the ‘mother flower’, reflects Baldock’s theatrical and immersive style. He comments, “I’d like my flowers to look like they could perhaps eat you.” The works are rooted in humour and possess a camp element, aspects that the artist is continually drawn to.

Choices of material and the artist’s interest in anthropology is evident throughout Baldock’s practice: ceramics are formed of clay from earth and textiles are derived from plants. Exploring the origins of his perspective as a queer artist, Baldock’s narratives include his family history. His relatives were farm workers, and he has been directly inspired by Western folk art, which saw those working the land and close to nature being creatively influenced by it. Baldock is also interested in the concept of nature transcending class, he explains, “working class gardens are often things of pride. They are creative outlets and a means of expression”.

Demonstrating his continued interest in the human senses, Baldock has incorporated natural scents into some of the works. The exhibition features an atmospheric soundscape by musician Luke Barton sampling sounds of the artist and his mother talking and singing, and his grandfather, who worked on hop farms, playing the accordion. Having previously only used his own body in his practice, the artist has cast his mother’s body in this new series of works. Baldock describes the making process as a way of “engaging head and hand”.

Working in a performative way through his assemblages, Baldock brings the viewer, the object and the space they occupy into question as theatre or a ritualistic act. Full of physicality and wit, the artist’s work also occupies a macabre quality, simultaneously considering change, ageing, grief and loss”.

Stephen Friedman Gallery is at 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN. The show opens on Friday 20th January and runs until 25th Feb 2023, this is an opening night on Thursday 19th Jan, 6pm until 8pm. The gallery is open Tuesday until Saturday, 10am until 6pm besides Saturdays when 11am until 5pm are the hours the gallery like to keep.   

There is also a Stephan Balkenhol exhibition opening and running over the same dates at Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Hannah Beerman – Pale Kink, 2022, 11″x14″ Acrylic, gouache and collage on canvas

2: Hannah Beerman, Call me if you get lost at Claas Reiss – 19th January until 25th March with an opening night on the 19th, 5pm until 8pm. Claas Reiss presents ‘Call me if you get lost’ by New York City based Hannah Beerman, her first UK exhibition. “Beerman’s practice largely revolves around the process of creation itself, focusing on the map-making of her thoughts and life experiences. Her delightfully quirky and explosive assemblage paintings combine found and collected items with thick drops and soft strokes of oil and acrylic paint, pencil, glue, and more. With her flamboyant vocabulary experimenting with painting and material, for Beerman no material is off limits, ‘everything becomes painting, therefore painting becomes everything’. Beerman’s paintings, like Carol Rama’s Bricolage works of the 1960s, or like the kinetic works of the late Carolee Schneemann (who was a friend of Beerman’s), at once combine heartbreak and humour.

Each painting is intimately connected to Beerman herself and to each other work; elements are attached and reattached, moved from one painting to another, but always leaving something behind. Beerman compares her work to fly paper, as she says “they pick up on things that are going on around them.”.  Beerman’s assemblages, which are all worked on simultaneously, are at once a collection of memory as they are a metaphysical transformation of material to painting. She sees her paintings as hyper-personal, often losing track of the boundary between painting and self, as a conversation between herself and her paintings as much as a conversation between the paintings themselves. Beerman playfully describes her paintings’ changing moods and personalities, noting that some days a painting can be feeling “shy” or “in love with another painting,” while two others could be “feuding.”

Hannah Beerman (born 1992 in Nyack, NY) graduated with BA from Bard College in 2015 and MFA Painting from Hunter College in New York City in 2019. Selected solo or duo exhibitions include ‘Cult Classic’ (2021) at Kapp Kapp in New York City, ’Sunspots and Underpants’ at T293 in Rome, Italy, and more recently ‘As Above, So Below’, a duo show curated by Barry Schwabsky at Arts Centre in Duck Creek, East Hampton, NY. Beerman’s forthcoming solo exhibition at Claas Reiss in January 2023 is her first exhibition in the UK. Beerman lives and works in New York City”.

Claas Reiss is at 96 Robert Street, London, NW1 3QP. The gallery is open Wednesday through to Saturday, 11am until 6pm, midday opening on Saturdays. The show runs from 19th January until 25th March with an opening night on the 19th, 5pm until 8pm.

Cadence at Workplace

3: Laura Lancaster / Rachel Lancaster, Cadence at Workplace – 19th January until 4th March 2023, with an opening night on 19th January (6pm until 8pm) – “Workplace is delighted to present Cadence – an exhibition of new paintings by Newcastle based artists Laura Lancaster and Rachel Lancaster that extends each artists’ preoccupation with ambiguous found imagery as a catalyst for heightened dramatic states. This exhibition will be the first to exhibit the work of the identical twin sisters in direct relation to one another.

Though identical ‘mirror’ twins, who share a studio in Newcastle, Rachel and Laura Lancaster have both developed distinct strategies for making work. Laura Lancaster prepares for painting through an analytical investigation of the structure and composition of her chosen image which she then crops, photocopies and makes drawings of to distance her work from its source. Colour is reintroduced and a palette is carefully mixed, she then works with an alla prima (wet-on-wet) process in a single sitting, allowing the spontaneity of her mark making to hold a moment in dynamic tension. In contrast to this, Rachel Lancaster builds her paintings incrementally over time, applying multiple thin layers of oil paint to accrue on the canvas, creating a layered array of optical effects – the immediacy of the paint’s surface playing off against the hazy, half-remembered qualities characteristic of her chosen images. She manipulates colour and utilises cropping and mark-making techniques to play upon the latent, dreamlike sense of otherness found in cinema, reimagining this upon the canvas.

The figure is central to the work of Laura Lancaster, its presence intensified by the opposing entropic force of abstraction which perpetually subsumes and engulfs the protagonist. Images that are of their era – located in time through incidental clues such as clothing, pose, and contingent detail – are monumentalised by Laura through painting. Rendered ambiguous through the looseness of her brushwork, images gleaned from found photographic images are dissociated from their specific context and orphaned from their original narrative to be re-presented as fragments. Through this process of isolation and dislocation her works become uncanny and symbolic, operating as signifiers of a wider, collective memory and a shared existential consciousness.

Rachel Lancaster isolates imagery that she finds in popular culture such as video, TV and from her own photographs of objects. She draws upon film theory and in particular the Hitchcockian use of the MacGuffin – an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself. Rachel Lancaster is indebted to the painterly tradition of still life, and in particular vanitas works – symbolic still lifes that communicate earthly transience and the inevitability of death. Rachel depicts objects as detailed fragments divorced from greater narratives, rendering those fragments both descriptive and abstract, ambiguous and open-ended; the close-up texture of a slice of cake, for example, or an unlabelled parcel, uncannily illuminated, playfully enigmatic.

In Western musical theory, a cadence (Latin cadentia, “a falling”) is the end of a phrase in which the melody or harmony creates a sense of full or partial resolution. Both Laura and Rachel Lancaster’s work present imagery that suspend fleeting temporal moments in a psychologically charged state. Their strategic use of ambiguity creates the potential for unresolved momentary fragments of a larger story to take centre stage, and creates a resonant pause that allows deeper emotional undercurrents to come forth and find resolve”.

Workplace is at 50 Mortimer Street, London, W1W 7RP. Exhibition opening hours: Tue – Sat, 10 – 6pm. The show runs from 19th January until 4th March 2023, with an opening night on 19th January (6pm until 8pm)

Laura Lancaster / Rachel Lancaster, Cadence at Workplace

4: Yutaka Hashimoto, Study for Null #004  at Moosey London – They do like their black and while lines at Moosey, so like the look of these lines myself – “Moosey London is delighted to announce our second solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yutaka Hashimoto”. The show runs from 19th January until 12th February 2023 with an opening night viewing on Thursday 19th, 5pm until 8pm.

Hashimoto was born in Osaka, Japan in 1979 and graduated from Osaka College of General Design as well as Kyoto Saga University of Arts. The artist has exhibited and won prizes across Japan, Korea, Taipei and New York – “I want people to forget their invisible barriers and borderlines-racial, gender, religious, ideological differences-and feel that they exist as one living mass of flesh, just for the moment they see my artwork”,  “I believe that this state is called mu’ in Japanese and translates to ‘zero’ or ‘nothing’ in English, ‘null’ in computer terms. I am trying to recreate such a state”

Moosey London is at 22-24 Camden Passage, Islington, London, N1 8ED. The gallery is open Wednesday through to Sunday, 11am until 5pm.

Previously on these pages – ORGAN THING: Yok at Hoxton Arches, It does feel genuinely exciting to walk in and see it all together in front of you…

Yutaka Hashimoto, Study for Null #004  at Moosey London

5: Wynnie Mynerva, Bone of my Bones, Flesh of my Flesh at Gathering – 24th January until 4th March 2023, with an opening night on Tuesday 24th Jan, 6pm until 8pm –  “Gathering presents Bone of my Bones, Flesh of my Flesh, a new exhibition by Peruvian artist Wynnie Mynerva (b. Lima, 1992). Opening Tuesday 24 January, the monumental display of paintings and drawings forms the artist’s first exhibition in the UK”.

Gathering is at 5 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5LU. The gallery is open Tuesday through to Saturday, 10am until 6pm

Wynnie Mynerva, Bone of my Bones, Flesh of my Flesh at Gathering

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