Sunday, 27 October 2013

Nathan James' Punchlines

Garageland reviewer Joe Turnbull pays a visit to Nathan James' exhibition Punchlines at KK Outlet and asks: 'just because the punchline's obvious, does that make it any less hilarious?'

It has been estimated that we are exposed to over 3000 advertisements every day. Small wonder then that our brains develop certain filtering mechanisms to deal with such a bombardment of images. Nathan James is all too aware of this, and in Punchlines he exploits it ruthlessly. On first glance his lush oil paintings Turning on the Water Works, Spring Break Fo'ever and Picnic Panic depict the voluptuous, too-perfect curves of a typical airbrushed ad or Hollywood pin-up. It's only once you take a step back that you realise these seductive figures are topped with grotesque cartoon faces, often contorted into guffawing poses.

Turning on The Water Works (2013) and Hey Girl (2013)

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Conversation with Beth Fox

Garageland reviewer Gala Knörr catches up with an old classmate to ask about the pitfalls of one-liner art and for some logistical solutions to transporting oversized Toblerone pieces.

I met Beth Fox whilst studying in the Central Saint Martins College of Art Master of Fine Art program a couple of years ago, a course on which numerous personalities, styles, mediums collided into one big ball of stress, nicotine addiction, thesis writing and art critiquing. 

Her work always stuck out when walking around the studios – extremely aware of its own flaws, almost innocently proud of its lack of craftsmanship and reflective of a humorous approach to how ridiculous life on the frontiers of the art world can sometimes be. When needed to give a lecture about her work to her peers, she simply imitated word-for-word the lecture of her previous classmate in front of the incredulous faces of her colleagues. From that moment on, I knew she would be one to watch.

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Snapshot of Frieze London

Mimei Thompson guides us through the inimitable Frieze London – her personal snapshot of the paintings at the art fair (and a lovely pair from the Sunday art fair too).

Sanya Kantarovsky at Mark Foxx, Los Angeles    

Allison Katz at Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fragile but Never Tenuous

Recalling the exhibition In This Fragile Place at Vyner Street Gallery, Joe Turnbull asks what it was that wove the works together so well when so many group exhibitions fall flat.

Ineffectively curated multi-artist exhibitions either hang together awkwardly, tenuously strung up by a single common thread, or are crassly bunched together by a homogenising theme. In this Fragile Place at Vyner Street Gallery does both and neither at the same time. The result of a long and collaborative process by the three exhibiting artists, the show benefits from this more organic way of working, making the symbiosis between the pieces feel natural and complimentary rather than forced. And it is this sense of process which shines through, albeit in a haunting milky half-light, in each of the finished works.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Casually Perfect: Jo Addison at Tintype Gallery

Burrowed between a taxidermist and a nail parlour on Islington’s Essex Road, Tintype’s new gallery space is holding its first exhibition, Jo Addison’s Not Trees and People. Travis Riley braves the startlingly middle-class Islington Streets to find out more.

Unkk (2013)

Through the gallery’s colossal new front window a display of eight small pieces, simply hung, can be seen. The most obtrusive work in the show, the satisfyingly named Unkk (2013), is a plywood protrusion from the left wall, in the shape of a semi-circular prism. Whilst the bottom of the work is suspended just off the floor, the flat top of the piece is at seat height and a bite has been taken out of its edge.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Conversation with Teresa Grimes of Tintype Gallery

Travis Riley talks with Teresa Grimes co-director of Tintype Gallery about the benefits and the bores of moving a gallery across London.

Morgan Wong's Performance: Filing Down a Steel Bar Until a Needle is Made
at Tintype's new gallery space.

My first visit to Tintype found me wandering the backstreets of Clerkenwell. It took three passes up and down St Cross Street to find the gallery, hidden away in a little upstairs room.

The gallery’s new home, resplendent on Islington’s Essex Road between a taxidermist and a nail salon does not succumb to the same criticism. Before its conversion to gallery the property was a haberdashery shop called ‘Sew Fantastic’ – though in its new guise this is tough to imagine. The gallery’s façade, framed in ornate stonework, has been fitted with a colossal new window, looking in on pristine white walls.