Tom French – Transcend

The stark and arresting picture of the skull towards the left of the top picture is entitled Vessel. It forms the centrepiece of this new exhibition and faces you as you enter the Unit London gallery. It’s typical of what Tom French has earned a reputation for – monochrome works featuring an illusory quality. Recent circumstances have given such works an extra poignancy.

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Jeff Lowe – In the Close Distance

Jeff Lowe has been up there with the leading lights of British sculpture for decades. He secured his first solo exhibition in Cork Street while he was still a student at Central Saint Martins in the 1970s and has represented Britain at the Paris Biennale among many other achievements. His new exhibition at London’s Pangolin Gallery shows that his passion to innovate and test himself with new approaches and materials is as strong as ever.

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Glen Baxter – Unflinchingly Gamboge

“I’m a total believer in absolute nonsense. The absurdity of life is my single goal.” So says artist Glen Baxter whose latest exhibition has just opened at London’s  Flowers Gallery in Cork Street. Its very title is appropriately absurd. Gamboge is a yellow pigment that Buddhist monks use to dye their robes. Put it next to the wonderful word “unflinchingly” and you get what he calls “a little explosion”. 

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Gill Button – Traces of You

With a background in illustration, Gill Button has established a reputation for taking as inspiration images of models and figures from the pages of fashion websites and magazines and re-versioning them into intimate portraits. With a deft touch of the paintbrush, she succeeds in investing each one with human emotion, feelings such as vulnerability, assertiveness, defiance or just plain cool. Her new solo exhibition, Traces of You, sees her take this practice a step further and extending her repertoire.

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Henrik Uldalen – Lethe

It’s a common theme in history that reactionary groups look back to a so-called golden age, believing that society’s ills will be cured if one returned to the values of the good old days. It’s never that simple of course and the idea of a false collective memory looking at the past through a rose-tinted filter is the theme of Henrik Uldalen’s new solo exhibition, Lethe, at JD Malat Gallery.

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Pierre Gonnord – Nature Tales

To look at they could almost be paintings – portraits made in the classical style of a Goya or a van Eyck. Indeed, French photographer Pierre Gonnord cites them as influences. “A portrait obliges you to have a kind of contemplation,” he says. His first solo exhibition in the UK, Nature Tales,  gives plenty to contemplate. Comprising seven diptychs, each human portrait is paired with that of an animal. 

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Andrew Lanyon – Beaux Arts London

Andrew Lanyon is a polymath. He was a photographer who worked with Eve Arnold. He studied film technique, made several short prize-winning films and helped Stanley Kubrick in the early ‘70s as an assistant editor of Ambit Magazine. He has penned dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction. He can conjure, he sculpts, he publishes, he writes poetry and songs and he paints. He probably dances and plays the bagpipes too though I never asked him about that. I met him at his latest solo art exhibition comprising some 40 small-scale oil paintings produced over the last decade.

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