ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – Jonathan Lyndon Chase at Sadie Coles, Cartoonneros at Pure Evil Gallery, Assemble*23, Daniel Calvert, the return of Raven Row with People Make Television, Nana Wolke at Nicoletti and…

A Melike piece, currently on show as part of Cultivate’s Mixtape no.2

Never mind that, that was then, this, once again is about this week and next and yes, the annoying frustration of or with so much of it so far this year, lot of art school bs floating in the river right now, a lot of hype, some rather aloof attitudes, galleries and curators seemingly afraid to actually engage, seemingly wanting to play everything by a rather flawed art school book. “We can’t put labels on the work and tell you who the artists are because as a gallery we’re concerned about the environmental impact” said one gallery while rather hypocritically dishing out free plastic party bags on the door of what wa,s as unfriendly and aloof as the gallery is, a rather good show and an excellent opening night. There iss a reluctance to engage, a too-cool-for-school atmosphere, and rather a lot of talking it rather than actually walking it. Going to an art gallery in London is becoming an increasingly unfriendly experience, an unwelcoming experience, where is the dialogue? Surely art and galleries need to engage, especially over here on the East side of the city, we’re further away from striving for a better Woolworths than ever,,,   

For what things are worth, here we go with 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 Five Things thing 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 Lyndon Chase

1: Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Now I’m home, lips that know my name at Sadie Coles HQ / Kingly Street – 25th Jan until 11th Mar 2023, with an opening on Wednesday 25th Jan (6pm until 8pm)

“For their first solo show in the UK – Jonathan Lyndon Chase presents Now I’m home, lips that know my name, an explorative, domestic installation that embraces the Black Queer experience of love, sexuality, subjectivity and identity; and the profound depth of the capacity for intimacy and pleasure in both public and private spaces, that remain central to their practice.

Jonathan Lyndon Chase is an American multidisciplinary artist, whose expressionistic language spans a variety of media, ranging painting, sculpture, video, installation, poetry and sound.  Defined by a celebratory and emotive exuberance, their work-as life-is often grounded in the everyday intimacies that arise within domestic environments.  It is in these informal settings that Chase portrays friends and lovers at leisure, as day turns to night, and night to day, their bodies reclining, listening to music, involved in acts of pleasure: as individuals, in couples or groups.

Centred around a red brick house structure, Chase’s installation reenvisages the gallery space as a sanctuary for the unapologetic expression of the self and communal, non-binary ways of being.  Encompassing a new group of paintings, drawings, soft sculptures, installation and a video, their works mediate a kaleidoscope of Black bodies, in which flesh, skin, limbs, orifices and their surroundings overlap and condense into sensual amalgamations.  Eluding narrative, time and space are envisaged as compound, their multi-layered, textural canvases and soft sculptures instead conjuring a sensory experience, illuminating their subjects’ vulnerability, elation and ecstasy, or the transitory expression of self-actualisation.  

Pleasure points, such as the open forms of mouths and nipples, appear as a recurrent metaphor for eroticism, regularly doubling as part of more than one body.  In 9 number 8’s Harmony of Existence, the interwoven figures’ pleasure points become indistinguishable from one to the next to evoke the rawness and erotic energy of group pleasure.  Elsewhere, in their new video Vestibule, Chase depicts a montage of mouths viewed in close up, viscerally chewing carrots, or crunching an egg; shown on loop the repeated action amplifies the sensory potency of the action. Of this the artist has said: ‘Our mouths are actually the same material as our anus-they’re just like on the opposite ends. I like to draw that bodily correspondence together’.

Throughout their work, a visual language of multiplicity recurs, in the fused forms of bodies on bodies and covert motifs-such as flowers, masks, lamps-that self-reflexively revel in the simultaneity of transness and non-binary subjectivity in the everyday.  Tattoos of roses appear as a romantic metaphor for the pleasure points; and equally represent non-binary beings.  The presence of masks likewise invoke the freedom of self-actualisation, signifying the possibility of multiple identities, role play and protective anonymity – as well as arousing connections with porn and specific type of machismo associated with gangster and rap music of the 1990s-2000s.  Speaking of the representation of sexuality in their work, Chase has stated: ‘my work is a source to mediate and reflect and to think about different ways that you can exist. There’s not just option A or B. There’s so many ways you can exist.’

Jonathan Lyndon Chase (b.1989), obtained an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in 2016.  Recent solo exhibitions include FOG, Company Gallery, New York (2022); WEST PHILADELPHIA BORN AND RAISED, Shandaken Projects, Brooklyn (2021); Big Wash, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2021); Wind Rider, Company Gallery, New York, (2020); Pond Society, Shanghai, (2019); Quiet Storm, Company Gallery, New York (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Unmasking Masculinity for the Twenty-first Century, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, USA (2022); Fire Figure Fantasy, ICA Miami, Miami; REPEATER, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2022); WHAT DO YOU SEE, YOU PEOPLE GAZING AT ME, Sadie Coles HQ, London, (2021); New Grit: Art & Philly Now, Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia (2021); New Acquisitions, Rubell Museum, Miami (2018). Chase lives and works in Philadelphia”.

Sadie Coles HQ is at 62 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QN. The gallery is open Tuesday through to Saturday, 11am until 6pm. Now I’m Home runs from 25th Jan until 11th Mar 2023, with an opening on Wednesday 25th Jan (6pm until 8pm) 


2: Cartoonneros, Surviving England By Ten Pounds at Pure Evil Gallery – The Cartoonneros show “opens Thursday and continues in the streets of London” – Can you tell me where my country lies? Said the uni faun to his true love’s eyes, beedin’ ‘ell, an actual show at Pure Evil’s gaff, feels like it might well have been longer than the last time we went to as exhibition at Ravens Row. There were some great shows at Pure Evil back there – Gustavo Ortiz, that Cosmo Sarson show back in 2015,Copyright, Robbo of course, that Mad C show we all got bused to (the last two were probably covered on the old Organ website and back in the days of print).

Not sure which of the Pure Evil establishments this will be happening at, they’re both on Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH, 108 or 98. The Pure Evil Instagram feed is probably the most informative place to find out more, the gallery website doesn’t really tell you that much. Pure Evil gallery is “An incubator for up and coming street artists from around the world and the studio for Charles’ own PURE EVIL artwork. Established 2007”. The Cartooneros instagram feed is here and well, Citizens of hope & glory, Time goes by, it’s the time of your life, Easy now, sit you down, Chewing through your Wimpey dreams, They eat without a sound
Digesting England by the pound

There’s alsoa rather promising throwback of a band (with a remarkably average name) playing a free entry gig right over the road from Pure Evil at the Old Blue Last on the 26th as well, Source play somekind of late 90’s alternative metal, kind of alright if you happen to be in the area at the time. Shame it isn’t the night before when a really good band called Man/Woman/Chainsaw are playing.

Assemble*23 – Mark Dunford – After Chardin / Daniel Preece – Commercial Road

3: Assemble*23 at 230 Portobello Road – 1st Feb until 14th Feb 2023 with an opening day event on the 1st, Midday until 7pm – “Cornwall’s Best Kept Art Secret Cones To The Capital” so they say, don’t know about that but some of the images of paintings looked particularly good, I like the idea of a push-pull between abstract and figurative art. “Tregony Gallery is delighted to present its fifth exhibition in central London”, well not quite central but W11 isn’t that far out of the way,,

“Continuing our connection between Cornwall and the capital, ‘Assemble*23’ explores the creative parallels between our artists. Highlighting the push-pull between abstract and figurative art, we group artists who work in fundamentally different ways but who share a common awareness and sensitivity.  With a strong interest in the traditions of the 20th century, we pull focus to artists who possess something different in the way they view and describe the world. This new generation of painters and sculptors have emerged from atelier training with technical brilliance and distinct channels of expression.

In ‘Assemble:23’ our intention, as ever, is to introduce our artists to a whole new audience and share our unique approach to curating and collecting art.   Tregony Gallery is an artist-run gallery based in the ancient village of Tregony, Cornwall.  Over eight years, gallery owners Brian and Judi Green have cultivated an impressive roster of British and International contemporary artists as well as a distinctive program of exhibitions and artists talks, earning them a reputation for presenting exceptional works of art to local visitors, global collectors and media all over the world”

230 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LJ. The exhibition runs from 1st Feb until 14th Feb 2023 with an opening day event on the 1st, Midday until 7pm. The gallery is open seven days a week, midday until 7pm, (4pm on Sundays), more via Tregony Gallery

Daneil Calvert

4: Daniel Calvert, Reactive Oxidative Species at 1 Lower Clapton Road – From 26th Jan until 16 Feb 2023 with an opening on Thursday 26th Jan, 6pm until 10pm – Well once again information is vague and the gallery’s website isn’t working, we’re promised “a show of paintings by visual artist Daniel Calvert”, an artist born and raised in Hackney,  East London, “specialising in a surrealist style, depicting imagery informed by fantasy genres and urban life as a whole.

“Daniel Calvert wishes to convey ideas of biological corruption as a result of contemporary artificial influences such as xenobiotics and electromagnetic radiation and furthermore the effect they have on organic compounds in cellular structures. The artist presents his debut solo exhibition Reactive Oxidative Species, raising questions regarding socio-economic factors and the ways in which inequitable distributions of wealth effect one’s diet and consequently their long term health.  The term reactive oxidative species refers to a type of unstable molecule that contains oxygen and that easily reacts with other molecules in a cell. A build up of reactive oxygen species in cells may cause damage to DNA”.

The Hatch Gallery is, as you might have guessed, at 1 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, East London, E8 ONS. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am until 4pm. The show runs 26th Jan until 16 Feb 2023 with an opening on Thursday 26th Jan, 6pm until 10pm. There is an Instagram feed for the gallery and Daniel’s own Instagram feed is here. Looks like there’s some music going on at the opening night, Lexii at 8.30pm, Half Cab at 7.30pm.

People Make Television at Raven Row

5: People Make Television at Raven Row –  Good to see Raven Row re-opening, we’d kind of given up on that happening. People make Television  runs from 28th January until 26th March 2023 – “Raven Row re-opens after a five year hiatus with an exhibition of DIY television from the 1970s. Remarkably, much of this emerged from a fringe department of the BBC – the Community Programme Unit (CPU). Set up in 1972, the CPU provided a camera crew and studio, and handed over complete editorial control, to groups and individuals with ‘voices, attitudes and opinions’ hitherto ‘unheard or seriously neglected’, so they could make their own programmes”.

 Several hundred campaigning and community groups, and individuals, representing amongst myriad others anarchists, farm workers, Black teachers, women priests, office cleaners, radical housing associations, trans women, ex-cons, situationists, film co-ops, neurodiverse people, freethinkers and channelers of the extra-terrestrial, produced autonomous material that was broadcast on BBC2 between 1973 and 1983 in a series called Open Door. This exhibition features over 100 Open Door programmes (from a total of 243), almost none of which have been seen since their original broadcast. This raw, often formally inventive television comprises a vivid archive of social history, and direct testimony of the concerns and struggles of a tumultuous decade (actually this included me as a teenage Art Foundation course student right at the end of it all in the early 80’s)

 Simultaneously to the beginning of what became known as public access television on the BBC, the UK government granted licences enabling commercial cable companies to add a channel of local content alongside the national and regional channels they offered to subscribers. The programmes they produced, with skeleton crews, volunteers, community activists and artists, reveal the possibilities of hyper-local television. These groundbreaking communication experiments, however, were short-lived. Five of the six licenced channels lasted no more than a few years. While much of their output has been lost, this exhibition reveals rare footage from Bristol, Sheffield, Swindon and Milton Keynes.

At Raven Row, visitors can browse the vast array of material in an installation designed by Jones Neville, select programmes from sofas and armchairs, and explore the archive on a mediatheque.  People Make Television is curated by Lori E. Allen, William Fowler, Matthew Harle and Alex Sainsbury.

Raven Row is still at 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS. The show runs from 28th January until 26th March 2023, looks like there’s quite a bit of activity over the first weekend. 

Nana Wolke at Nicoletti

5 and a bit: Nana Wolke at Nicoletti – Not so much an opening as a last chance to see closing thing and quite possibly a first as well as a last chance to see the film as well as the excellent exhibition – “Join us on Saturday 28 January for the closing of Nana Wolke’s solo exhibition, with an event during which the artist will reveal her film Wanda’s, 2022. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Vanessa Murrell, curator, writer, and founder of DATAEAGLE ART and YE Collective. A little celebration including music and drinks will ensue”. We see that Nicoletti have just announced they now represent Nana Wolke. Read the Organ exhibition review here –  ORGAN THING: Nana Wolke at NıCOLETTı, Wanda’s under the Westway, ultramarine tales of taxis and…

The screening is at 4pm this Saturday 28th Jan, the conversation is at 4.20 pm until  5 pm with the Q&A at 5 until 5.30pm and then drinks, although, like some of her subjects, some of us might be a little bit preoccupied with the F.A Cup on Saturday afternoon.  

Nicoletti Contemporary. You find the gallery in the middle of the street, 12a Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm.

And while we’re here, further Cultivate activity, it is a non-stop thing…

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