Zhuang Hong Yi – Earth

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. 

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Johan van Mullem – Reverence

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.

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Peter Gronquist – Shape Shifter

American artist Peter Gronquist draws on a wide range of media for his works – fabric, metal, ceramics, frosted glass, mirrors, even taxidermy. Working from his barn by a lake near Portland, Oregon, his oeuvre is multi-disciplinary – sculpture, painting and installation.

In whatever medium, his themes have revolved chiefly around American obsessions with material wealth, consumerism, guns, and religion. He once said, “Our culture puts money and violence on way too high a pedestal. I think these days people no longer see the line between entertainment and reality.” 

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