Push / Pull: Group exhibition at Skarstedt, London

Tucked away in a chi-chi SW1 backstreet sits the architectural exquisiteness of Skarstedt London, the gallery has been around for a couple of decades. During that time, the galleries in London and NYC have shown some great and influential stuff by big and smaller named artists. Its current inventory includes Holzer, Haring, Sherman, Schütte, Polke, oh and Picasso. Big business then. READ ON

Photo credit: Installation view, courtesy Skarstedt, London

‘Up-Close and Industrial’: Anthony Caro at Annely Juda Fine Art, London

The title of this show, Seven Decades, is something of a giveaway I guess, indicating an artistic career of both extraordinary duration and prodigious output. In the 60’s and 70’s Caro was probably one of the chief exports of the UK art market. Caro gained initial recognition from an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1963. The works he presented here diverged from the conventions of classical casts and reductionist carving, showing painted, abstract steel sculptures, displayed without plinths – at the time a near-heretical act. Presented directly onto the floor surface not only shared the audience/reality plane, but arguably changed the conceptual power relationship between viewer and artwork irrevocably. READ ON 

 

Photo credit: Overview: Seven Decades, the author, Courtesy of Annely Juda/Barford Sculptures 2019

Body Privilege: Berlin Gallery Weekend highlights: Galerie Martin Mertens

Dodging the crowds within the hectic scramble between Berlin’s confined East Side gallery spaces during the annual gallery weekend is no mean feat; lots of street-art, cool spaces jammed with bodies, kids and buggies, all hopping from one show to the next. How cool is Berlin? Well actually Berlin is pretty cool in all sorts of ways, but I have to say that a lot of the delicious gallery spaces are showing stuff that would look more at home in a thrift store art display. Hard to believe that this is the land of Beuys, Darboven, Feldman, Kiefer, Bernd and Hilla Becher and the rest. So, it was that on entering my 30th space, that tired feet and a proportionate measure of irritation accompanied my entry to Galerie Martin Mertens. And guess what, this was not only less than repellent, it was actually very good. READ

Photo credit: Roberto Bosisio, RBOMM19_003, detail, courtesy Galerie Martin Mertens and the artist.

A Heart of Darkness: Giulio Paolini at Marian Goodman Gallery and the Librairie, Paris

Obsessed as I am with all things Italian, the thinly disguised text I set out to pen about Paolini at Goodman, rapidly digressed into something bigger, and what I can only describe as a vanishing Italianate sensibility. I can even now feel myself sentimentalising a whole raft of artists who have disappeared – or who may do so soon, and cannot but wonder what they have shown us and what we might lose in consequence of their eventual departures. After years of searching, seeing and researching, the names Parmiggiani, Fabro, Pistoletto, Paolini and Merz will resonate in my heart and brain for as long as I shall live and breathe. READ

Photo credit: In volo (Icaro e Ganimede), 2019, Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery and the Artist

Double Fantasy: John & Yoko at the Museum of Liverpool

For my 5th birthday, I was presented with a 7” vinyl record of Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. A strange amazing black disc containing music that I could keep playing, I wore it out. Sad to say that by the time I reached 12, the Beatles were totally uncool, and who was this Yoko Ono woman anyway, was she the reason they split? Of course, now I find myself in awe of Ono the artist, for me a creative with far greater endurance than the musical association. Read my article for Wall Street International here