The art world can at times be a bit bewildering. Sometimes the bigger galleries can be too daunting, crowded and expensive – so here is our lowdown of the best smaller spaces in London, starting with the Pilar Corrias Gallery.
Set in W1, the gallery is currently showing the elegant, yet impulsive paintings of Iranian artist Tala Madani. Her strong graphic and calculated sloppy brushwork that mesh cartoonish scenes are based on the graphic ‘dazzle’ camouflage painted on ships in WW1 and are full of contradictions on one canvas. I personally love them, so go see I say!
Next on the list are Lotte Gertz and Mitzi Pederson at The approach in E2, which is interesting from the outset as the two artists had never met before the exhibition. The pair share an awareness of the interchange between the process of thinking and making work, not only their intentions but also their materials… too conceptual? Fear not, there is a pub downstairs to relieve your head, but I have to say, the sketches, woodcuts, paintings, sculptures and installations that make up this exhibition are intriguing and worth a visit.
My favourite gallery at the moment is The Riflemakers gallery in Soho. Their current show, Voo-Doo-Hoochie-Coochie and the Creative Spirit, feature a collection of artists, writers and musicians who acknowledge the need to reach a heightened or altered state in order to create their work. The exhibition is a consideration of the act of creation as ritual and as sacrament; possession and loss of self in the process of invention. Featured in the show are the amazing Ansel Krut, Alice Anderson, James Brown (yes the Boss) and Muddy Waters- sounds like it will be a out-of-body experience, and I for one can’t wait!
The final exhibition on my list of ‘must sees’ are the delicate and sensitive drawings of Christiana Soulou at Sadie Coles Gallery, W1. The sequential drawings based on Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream are so fragile and innocent yet are based on the belief that it ‘is a terrifying story and that its fundamental subject is the passage through bestiality.’ In other words, if Soulou wanted to assign some innocence to human characters, she gave them something of the bestial, and when she allocated any characteristic to an animal it was one of human vanity and stupidity. The drawings themselves are absolutely absorbing and haunting.