London Art Scene

London Art Scene

The Doodle Man, Hoxton Gallery

You can imagine what The Doodle Man did in science classes at school. Go visit him at his gallery show to see what happened next; it’s amazing. He took 8 days to cover almost every inch of wall space of the two rooms at the Hoxton Gallery, Old St, mainly with one never-ending monochrome doodle piece. He’s also done a table and chair set,canvases, a moving video doodle, and prints to buy at reasonable prices. Plus he’s there doing his doodle thing in his doodle outfit, looking wicked. We salute you Mr Doodle.





The Future Can Wait, Kounter Kulture and Saatchi – 4 Sensations

The Truman Breweries’ triple art fair extravaganza: Kounter Kulture, Saatchi – 4 New Sensations and The Future Can Wait, are most definitely worth a visit and more so as they are exactly zero pounds entry.

The Future Can Wait stands out as being something special due to the diversity of content and the vast warehouse setting lending the perfect space for mind-bending installations.

You are greeted by a huge statue of Bert from Sesame Street (by Christopher Davies) rotating continuously, creating what can only be described as a perpetual mono-brow. Genius.

Janak Odedra’s clever Project KA’ is an assemblage of found car-parts recreated into the shape of a car. The parts now defunct from commercial purpose are transformed into useful objects of artistic purpose.

Aisling Hedgecock is another artist who uses human debris as a material for her work. ‘Saracen’ is a group of hefty structures made up of mini polystyrene balls which now resemble a futuristic coral reef. Their appeal is their transient state, unlike Project KA their form is not fully complete, a live organism.

Licking Dogs’ by Angela Bartram is beyond the bizarre, but apparently not beyond the realms of contemporary art, as it is a video of a woman snogging a dog. Snogging; defined by full tongue on tongue action. The dog, it must be said, is now probably very confused about human interrelations.

Among other gems are Andrea Gregson’s ‘Borrower-sized’ fantasy worlds. Peep through wooden boxes taken from her Headspace and Wonderland exhibition in 2006. Also Kim Rugg’s intricate collages made from the front page of The Guardian. Each letter down to the very smallest type has been painstakingly cut and re-arranged so that they are in alphabetical order and stuck back on the page.

And Gordon Cheung’s enormous triptych, ‘Death Cuts Full 1’ with his signature background made from stock listings, draws you into a fantasy landscape of trippy perspective.

Kounter Kulture centers on themes of sub-culture; heavily concentrating on the ‘Street Art’ genre, kitsch, cartoon and pop art legacy, print and graphic design trends.

Pieces from old favourites such as Eine put up a minor appearance alongside the main body of less established artists, there also a few pieces being flogged from high ranking artists such as a David Hockey print and a spot painting print signed by Damien Hirst going for around 25k. Probably the most highly priced art work in the whole fair.

William Tuck, is exhibiting a very Koons-esq series of oil paintings, smoothly painted to the point of giving the impression of lamination. They consist of porn-star women recreating Bottichellian style scenes. Questioning how the original paintings might have been received in the Renaissance by some, along with presenting a merge of high art with newsagent top-shelf literature. Interesting, but perhaps something not particularly ground-breaking.

Snuck into a corner are Laurie Hodgekin’s Vanitas paintings of evil technicolor monkeys, intricately painted so each hair on the monkeys has a spiky realism. Although small paintings, these are significant as they push against the mainstream with their heavy gold frames, Dutch master painting style and warped Gremlin figures.

Stephen Dryden‘s, ‘Undo‘ and ‘What About My Mother‘ are rather more removed from the central theme of the fair. They are faceless figures made out of woollen threads which unravel past the shoulder into a woollen mess, as if they are melting into the floor. Very Antony Gormely in a fresh and inspiring way.

Works from Stuart Semple and Nathan James including paintings from the MASH UPS exhibition are also present (see earlier review on Art Sleuth).

And Wang Zhi Jie series ‘ Little Girls’ portraits with blown up heads and popsicle colours twist the Manga genre.

Unfortunately 4 New Sensations, an art competition in collaboration with Channel 4 was not entirely sensational, but showed the budding possibilities of fresh out of college artists. Which is the whole point.

Definitely worth a jaunt, among the four winners, Mark Davey’s moving rotary contraptions and the paintings Robert Sherwood stand out.

Photos all from The Future Can Wait in order from top to bottom:

© Aisling Hedgecock, Gordon Cheung, Kim Rugg, Angela Bartram, courtesy of The Future Can Wait


Brilliant gallery exhibitions opening this week

Is everyone gearing up for art week? Here are a couple more exhibitions that look to be the best and most out there stuff running alongside the big art fairs.
Look out for much coverage towards the end of the week, Art Sleuth is getting out the Miss Marple glasses, smoking a Columbo style cigar, wearing a Dick Van Dyke stethoscope, donning a Poirot-like moustache and pinging away on her typewriter like Jessica Fletcher after a hat trick of murders in Maine.

‘All This Time’ The Vanity Group’s second show at The Crypt – St Pancras Church:

Site-specific art in the crypt of a church. Sounds exciting!


The next week it its the turn for No Place Projects, a project group that exhibits in traditional spaces who hold an interest in drawing to sound and installation, and “are united by a common interest in responding to issues and ideas concerning place and space.”

All This Time: 11 – 19 October 2008

No Place Projects: 24-30 October 2008 12-6h

The Crypt, St Pancras Church, Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2BA

Julian Opie at the Lisson Gallery:

Julian Opie Antonia with evening dress, 2008 Inkjet on canvas 120 x 86.5 cm Installation view: © JULIAN OPIE. Recent Works, MAK, Vienna, 10 June – 21 September 2008 Photo: Dave Morgan Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery

Major exhibition showing 40 of Julian Opie’s works from LED installation to painting. Opening is tomorrow night Tuesday the 14th Oct.

15 th October – 15 th November

Lisson Gallery
52-54 Bell Street
London, NW1 5DA

Elevator Gallery 1st Birthday Bash – this Friday 17 th October

Game for a bit of a shindig? I’d pop along to Elevator it looks like fun:

Live Art, Music, Art, Film, Installation and DJs including a live performance from HK119 AND there will be a one eyed psychic!

Check out the blurb:
Musical performance also from the French sensation Douce Angoisse, Random Connection Quest, and lots more. Meet a one eyed Psychic and receive a free art gift and reading. Artist Mark Mcgowan will breakdance before your eyes. The Singing Darlek will perform a rendition of Happy Birthday. Play traditional party games and win prizes! Fun for all. Party into the night….

A bar will be available and vegetarian canapés will be offered throughout the evening. Entrance is free



Vegas Gallery – Fake ID group show:

International group of artists. Preview on Saturday the 18th

Jemima Brown Morten Viskum Michelle Deignan Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven Risk Hazekamp Simon Willems Angie Reed Deborah Schamoni Caron Geary

Somebody needs a wax.

Another Roadside Attraction Gallery. Richard Owen – Moods for Moderns

Richard Owen’s work uses Modernism as the starting point for investigation. He uses the visual language of the 20th century ‘movement’ to produce a series of motifs, reliefs and semi-functional objects that examine our relationship to design, art and consumerism.”

18 October – 15 November 2008
Open Friday to Sunday 12 – 6 pm
Preview 17th October 6.30 –9pm

Surpine Studios – Cian O’Neil. Meat Works

Solo exhibition by the Irish painter of goulsome paintings influenced by Dutch painting school, anatomy and Michaelangelo.

Preview: 17th of October (6-9pm) open for only the Saturday and Sunday after 12-6pm.

Surpine Studios – 255 Amhurst Road, London.

ALSO ALSO ALSO!!! 1st Xmas Art Xposure 08 – Those of you who loved Hackney Wicked, word on the street is there will be a Christmas collaboration, which will be a merge between a ‘Victorian freak show and a German Christmas Market, with a touch of eccentric English jumble sale thrown in’. Fantastic!

Concrete and Glass opening night

At Heart of Glass exhibiton (all images Francis Ware, courtesy of the artist.)

Richard Bullock Everything’s Not Going To Be OK 2008 Wood, wax, acrylic, animal remains 11 x 2.5 x 2.2 m

Alistair McClymont The Limitations of Logic & the Absence of Absolute Certainty 2008
Fans, humidifier, scaffolding 300 x 200 x 230 cm

Adam King Curiositas (Cave of Terror) 2008  Mixed media  Dimensions variable

Orlando Mostyn Owen Cerberus 2008 Mixed media Panel 200 x 250 cm, installation variable dims. (Look through the bears eyes if you dare…….!)

Rebecca Nassauer’s installation room in Cordy House. Some Way Home

last photo by Matthew Brindle for Beach Blanket Babylon, Shoreditch

Heart of Glass is set in the maze of dark hidden basement rooms in Shoreditch town hall, had a queue going round the block last night, and for good reason. It is an ideal environment for installation-based shows and this one showing 33 progressive artists’ work is a must see. Alistair McClymont created a mini cyclone from fans, scaffolding and a humidifier, Kate Terry had used a room to attach fine threads crossing diagonally from ceiling to floor, Adam King hung the weird and wonderful ‘Cuirositas (Cave of Terror)’ structures made from plastic household items and mutli-coloured patterns. Everything from the taxidermy of Polly Morgan to a forest of trees and wax created by Richard Bullock has made this exhibition an incredible experience. Be prepared for the disturbingly creepy Cerberus by Orlando Mostyn Owen. All in all an exploration into the darker side of art.

The Saatchi Online opening was buzzing with the likes of Russell Brand mincing around the show and a man with a certain similarity to Russell dressed in a long black robe, white mask and huge black hair. Just a coincidence I suspect.

Highlights from the show included Murizio Anzeri’s Late at Night. Real hair has been sculpted into a faceless ethereal being. Also by Anzeri are old 50’s family portraits, sewn into with ‘spyrograph’ patterns leaving isolated bits of the face, an eye or a mouth. Elements in these works echo the Chapman Brothers’ defacing of old Victorian portraits.

Sarah Douglas
, explored personal subject matter through her subdued pastel paintings with stylistically blurred figures and domestic settings.

Sam Zealy melded art with science in his installation made from two huge magnets attached to posts by wire raised horizontally so that at least an inch of pure air separated the two in the middle.
Continuing to support up and coming artists through the Saatchi Online program, this exhibition shows the promising potential of these young artists.

On Curtain Rd I stumbled upon Rebecca Nassauer’s installation room in Cordy House. Some Way Home is a floor structure of circular lamps connected by wires with mini cities made out of thin plastics on top. Concerned with the placements of refugees and their precarious journeys, this structure seems to expand on Mona Hatoum’s Undercurrent, 2004 made from electrical wire and light blubs. Binoculars are provided to view each, which puts a physical distance between the viewer and the object, perhaps suggesting our own mental detachment as UK citizens to the plight of refugees.

Favella Descending at Village Underground is a film installation made up of huge screens facing around a central viewing point. As the name suggests you are taken through favellas with each screen showing a different perspective on the architecture and people that make up the Mineira in Rio, one of the most dangerous and poverty stricken favellas.

Concrete and Glass art exhibitions continues free from Saturday onwards for around a month. This is just a selection of exhibitions from 35 open galleries.

Another Alternative Art Fair….Free Art Fair ’08

Oooops missed one! Thank you Jasper Joffe for kindly pointing out another art fair definitely worth visiting.

The Free Art Fair, taking place on two streets near Marble Arch is a fair with a difference. Jasper has arranged it so all the art work gets given away free to visitors, the little people. The people who should be getting the art. Right on Jasper Joffe! And this is no small fry. Saatchi favorites such as Mathew Collins and Stella Vine plus others taken from over 50 emerging international artists exhibiting over the 7 days.


Artists Anonymous Centre of Attention Matthew Collings Jimmy Conway-Dyer Sacha Craddock Stuart Cumberland Adam Dant Stephen Farthing Rose Gibbs Luke Gottelier Alex Hamilton Peter Harris Pablo Helguera Saron Hughes Lee Johnson Sayshun Jay James Jessop Chantal Joffe Jasper Joffe Peter Lamb Cathy Lomax Amanda Loomes Marta Marce Bruce McLean Alex Gene Morrison Stephen Nelson House of O’Dwyer Harry Pye Danny Rolph Martin Sexton Bob & Roberta Smith Terry Smith Geraldine Swayne Chris Tosic Gavin Turk Markus Vater Stella Vine Michael Ward Douglas White Charlie Woolley

With performances by: Laura Wilson Frog Morris Lee Campbell Mark Dean Quinn Dora Wade Adrian Lee Jenny Baines Rebecca Birch Kate Hawkins Jordan McKenzie Charlotte Young Victoria Melody Alex Staiger Peter Bond Sarah Turner Daniel Lehan

13th-19th October

14, 19, 21 New Quebec Street and 5, 8, 16 Seymour Place
Portman Village, London W1H

nearest tubes: Marble Arch and Edgware Road

Open Monday to Sunday 11am till 6pm

The Mona Lisa Curse, Channel 4, 21st Sept.

The Main Man - Robert Hughes

The Main Man - Robert Hughes

Art as commerce is taken for granted these days, it is the product of a self-fulfilling prophecy encouraged even by artists, the very people who are meant to uphold its integrity. What is great about Robert Hughes perspective on it all is that he took into account the history of over 30 years of the relationship between money and art.
The 70’s budget filming which caught the frisson between Robert Scull and Rauschenberg was a magic moment. Delirious with rage at the mark up of his work auctioned off by the unscrupulous collector, R said something like “You should at least send me some flowers,”. This Sotheby’s auction in 1973 was marked as an unequivocal turning point shaping our art world today.

The thing is with Hughes, is like all 70 year old men, he has come to an age were things are ’not like it they used to be’ generally. Yet, his final words of warning, that art constantly has to justify its’ own purpose, and if the soul purpose is to respond to the commercial market, it will die, are telling words from a wise man. One day Hirst, Warhol, Koons could be out of fashion. You never know. It might happen. And then what will the collectors be left with? Sand in their hand. If you buy for pleasure at least you will always have something.
Compare this to the collapse of investment banking companies who have debased the financial market, and a clear analogy can be made.

But it is not all gloom and doom. Who knows about the New York art scene, but the London one is still banging with up and coming artists that create subtle work with multi-layered meanings, skilful and inspirational. Take Hackney Wicked, and Hackney in general as an exciting area of budding culture. The fact that the council are compulsory buying, rent has increased, and office blocks are making their way there in the event of 2012 is another matter.

Words of comfort are this. If you assume that art is good because it is put in a swanky gallery with a large price tag. You are wrong. And you are also an ar**hole anyway, with the personality of cardboard. Yes it is unfortunate that money can distort or dictate what is put on display and revered. But the one thing you have is your own judgement; your own response to art and that is what you can be true to. If you set out to look for worthwhile art (in your own opinion) you will find it. There is enough of it out there in London to be satisfied.

Alternative Art Fairs in London Art Week

The big downer with the Frieze Art Fair is the expense; a ticket can cost over twenty squid. Lehman Brothers’ employees might be interested in an alternative this year. So here are some other possibilities:


Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Indulgences No.1, courtesy of Opus Art

Firstly Kounter Kulture, which is an entirely FREE art fair in the Old Truman Brewery. The blurb, which I shall dutifully cut and paste says – there will be areas dedicated to Urban Art, Contemporary, Recent Graduates, Chinese Contemporary and the very best from the print world. Artists include Stuart Semple, Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Miss Bugs, Pure Evil, Hush, Wang Jie, Rob Carter, Josie McCoy, Justine Smith, Will Tuck and Dave White.

It is organised by Opus Art, a gallery from Newcastle venturing down South to party with the Southern fairies over London Art Week.

Secondly The Future Can Wait also in the Truman Brewery, with over 50 artists’ work on show, is going on at the same time. This is also a free fair and centers around the promotion of up and coming artists from what is being called the ‘New London School’. This ‘school’ concept is something promoted by the curators Zavier Ellis and Simon Rumley who are planning a number of shows in Europe and America. Watch this space!

Truman Brewery – T3 and T4
(Wilkes St entrance)
146 Brick Lane, London, E1
11-6pm 15 – 19 October 2008
Private View 14 Oct, 7pm, Truman Brewery


Then of course, at around a tenner, Zoo Art Fair is worth the fee but even better if you can get in free. Why not climb in through a skylight? Shag the doorman?
Whatever, it has a young, less well established and more of a jumble sale attitude than Frieze and for that reason it is a real treasure hunt of an art fair. You come across real gems, Graham Dolphin last year for instance, and then right next door there will be an unheard of artist with considerable brunt. If last year’s fair is taken as a rule it is actually worth going to without involving unattractive entrance staff.

17th to 20th October
12.00 – 20.00 Daily; Monday 12.00 – 17.00.
Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3EX.
Advanced tickets: before 9th Oct.- £10. Groups (10+) – £8.50. ON DOOR – £15. Groups £10.


Deptford X arts festival is in its tenth year now, over a month from 26th Sept to 8th Oct and keep you eye out for possible closing parties….
As part of the festivities, Lewisham Art House exhibits 48 artists’ work from Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October, 11am to 6pm, plus special performances: Saturday 4 October from 6pm
On sale at APT Gallery along with much of the art is the 10th year celebratory book. The book launch is at The Deptford Project Space on Saturday 4 October, 2.30pm

Other offerings are Core Blimey Arts – a huge group show, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September and artists from Arthub and DNA at the Framework Gallery each weekend through out the month. And that is just scratching the surface.
Deptford X – 26th Sept – 8th Oct

See Deptford X website in links with addresses to various Galleries.


Then there is Memory Cloud, by the ICA, an experimental architectural and design interactive led instillation running from the 8th -10th of October, 7pm – 9.30pm in Trafalgar Square.
‘Visitors can text any message they like to the artists’ creation, and that phone message will be made into light-and-air smoke signals, uncensored and huge in Trafalgar Square.’ The project was founded in 2002 by brothers Stephen and Theodore Spyropoulos.
This is Davina Maccall. Please do not text F or C. This is highbrow art don’t you know


Something to be avoided by credit crunch victims is the Lazarides Extravaganza – 250 tickets only are available for this event that takes place on the 16th of October. You can win works by Miranda Donovan, Banksy, Invader and Conor Harrington, some of which are worth over £200,000.
Plus ‘nefarious entertainments’ (according to the blurb), each ticket also guarantees the lucky holder an original artwork by Jonathan Yeo, Antony Micallef, Faile, JR or Paul Insect.
Unfortunately the tickets are £5000 each. Sleeping with doormen essential.

The Old Milk Factory, Bloomsbury, London.


This one is similar to Zoo in that it is a tenner in advance. Also similar in that it is a ‘satellite’ fair designed to catch the wandering art collectors as they scrabble around London desperately searching for the next big thing. It is mainly an international gallery affair and has a perfectly good amount of art exhibitors who (possibly this is a bit unfair) were either refused or could not stump up the huge amount for a plot at Frieze. Worth a look in.

Note – rumour has it that this fair has been cancelled, although the website looks fully operational.

17th -19th of October from 11am-8pm. Lord’s Cricket Ground, London.

Also don’t forget to keep your eye on Vyner Street, there might be something going on down there if they have not all shut up shop for Frieze.

What has Frieze got anyway? Apart from a sculpture garden that has almost doubled in size from last year. Talks by Boris Groys, Carsten Höller, Yoko Ono and Cosey Fanni Tutti and more. Oh and a huge selection of world renowned artists.

16th-19th October, Regents Park, London.