Exhibitions at Unit London are always glitzy affairs. Videos of the featured artists playing at the entrance, thumping music, a slick social media and strong digital presence make for what the commercially savvy owners, Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt term “an immersive experience”. They’ve reached out to a younger crowd who queue around the block in their hundreds for opening nights.Continue reading “Zhuang Hong Yi – Earth”
The portrait above suggests how the aristocracy and the English landscape are as harmonious and natural as the sun that shines down on the rolling hills of the estate over which its subject, Mr Plampin, lauds.
It was around the time that Gainsborough painted the picture that landed estates, sculpted by landscape artists such as Capability Brown, were opened up to the public as places of leisure and which came to influence the British obsession with parks and gardens. The first to do so was Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire and part of the theme of Lie of the Land is to trace a line between Stowe and the urban experiment that is Milton Keynes only 15 miles away and which forms the inaugural exhibition in the city’s sparkingly refurbished Milton Keynes Gallery.Continue reading “Various Artists – The Lie of the Land”
When I look at Johan van Mullem’s paintings, I’m reminded of that Bob Dylan phrase “smoke rings of my mind”. For the Belgian artist’s instantly recognisable works are ethereal evocations of his subconscious, dreamily configured as abstracts within a barely recognisable face. The artist pours his emotions on to the canvas, almost peering inside his head, and using expressive brushstrokes to create something striking, haunting and mysterious.Continue reading “Johan van Mullem – Reverence”
This new exhibition by Scottish artist Andrew McIntosh features eight new oil paintings of largely run-down buildings, most of them in south-east London where he lives. It’s appropriate, therefore, that they should be on display at the Bo.Lee gallery in Peckham.
They’re rendered in extraordinary detail and texture, almost like a photograph, with deft mark making rendering every fine detail of decay and decrepitude. The closer you look the more surreal and multi-themed the buildings become.Continue reading “Andrew McIntosh – I Saw This Coming”
The story of Icarus, the boy who ignored his father’s advice and flew too close to the sun, so melting the wax on his wings and causing his literal downfall, is the allegory at the centre of London-born artist Davina Jackson’s new solo exhibition, Close to the Sun.Continue reading “Davina Jackson – Close to the Sun”
“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream”, says artist William Monk recalling the words of John Lennon from the 1960s. The line serves almost as a piece of advice heralding his new exhibition, A Fool Through the Cloud, at London’s Pace Gallery.Continue reading “William Monk – A Fool Through the Cloud”
Rebecca Appleby is more than a ceramicist. She is an all-round artist who uses ceramics as her canvas. Her abstract pieces are sculptures informed by art, architecture and industrial archaeology. Her work over the past two decades has centred on an exploration of the contemporary urban landscape and its relationship with nature. Now she has a mostly new body of work, Inner Order, just opened at London’s Contemporary Ceramics Centre.Continue reading “Rebecca Appleby – Inner Order”
Multimedia contemporary artist Samantha Louise Emery has created a series of 10 portraits celebrating the women who have inspired her throughout her life. Entitled IKONA Mirrored Interior, they are currently on show (and on sale) at London’s Mediaworks.Continue reading “Samantha Louise Emery – IKONA Mirrored Interior”
Ken Currie is renowned for his disturbing pictures of human figures around which violence of a sort looms. He first came to prominence as one of the New Glasgow Boys of the 1980s and is well known for his public murals commissioned for the People’s Palace in Glasgow as well as his Three Oncologists artwork in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery collection.Continue reading “Ken Currie – Red Ground”