December/January

Deep beneath the current  a stillness lies. Whitney Halsted, Goldsmiths, London Grads Now 21, Saatchi

Smile Miquel

Rough at first sight, finely thought at second, Miquel Barceló's ... modern primitive, at times impressionist at times surrealist, ceramic is the most interesting artwork I have seen this year.

I was still thinking about his Miquel’s "fish pots" when falling asleep last night and when waking up this morning. If I had the means I would have called Thaddaeus Ropac this morning and told them "Get the coffee ready, I am passing by to get the two fish pots on my way to work". The pots are of the "impressionist type", the impression being of one looking at an ancient clay pot at the bottom of a shallow river bed... absolute beauty. Hyper fine hand and eye this Miquel has. These two marvels will be at the gallery until 5 February.

Rachel Jones Sssmmmiiillleee - or something of the kind - is also at Ropac with what looked to me as modern primitive abstract-expressionist landscapes, but couldn't see or get much of her for two reasons : my brains was still engaged with Miquel Barceló’s caly and I was too busy eyeing the trendy crowd - Thaddaeus usually gathers a most interesting crowd. At some point in January I will certainly go to look at SMIIILLLLEEEE MOOORREEE CCCLLLOOOSSSEEELLLYYY. Until 5 February.

Opppsss, it seems that LAAF is not alone in its threesome-triplet obsession. Taiji Hayama at the Unite Gallery until 8th of January.


Two Marylebone Shows

For this weekend LAAF recommends:

University of Westminster Post Graduate Photography Shows  at Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone RoadLondon NW1 5LS, where there are some rather interesting works.

And

Mona Ardeleanu - The Padding at König, 259 Old Marylebone Rd, NW1 5RA; with a filigrane work - skilful and beautiful, yet utterly senseless if you ask me.

But as the two venues are some 10-15 walking minutes apart and as I certainly recommend the student's show, I still think a walk to König might be interesting. Further more they have the most spectacular lavatory there - like a throne on a pedestal. Seriously, 3+1 step. Which, once more proves that space is more important than marble and gold.

Unfortunately the Iraqi restaurant next door has permanently closed. Bait al Iraqi is no more. Just like Iraq itself I guess...


JOURNEYS: THE HEALING ARTS

Saatchi Gallery partners with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CW+) to present their first ‘Arts in Health’ exhibition - Journeys: The Healing Arts

Exhibition is running from 24th November 2021 until 13th January 2022

World Premiere of new digital work Midlands, 2021 by Brian Eno.(Saatchi's press reliese)

Despite being daily in a hospital environment it still gave me pleasure to see this same environment captured by artists and art-students in residence at hospital.

I absolutely loved the work of Tim King, 'a reportage on mixed media': pretty much a hospital comic drawn on whatever is there in hospitals from gloves and masks to canteen plates and boxes. I loved the way Tim has spotted and presented the central role that food plays in hospital life of both patients and staff; affirming my recent observation that "We eat to prove that we are alive and we drink to prove we are immortal". By "drink" I obviously mean alcohol; even though I am not yet sure how by killing ourselves - for this is what alcohol does - we are affirming our immortality, but there we are: at least it is a good subject for drunken Christmas reflections and possibly conversations.

Apart from Tim King there was also Anouk Mercier with 18/50 beautiful and delicate drawings of nurses with pencil on paper. And a small but curious contemporary visual art selection.

For example Zheyuan Zhang interactive digital instalation that uses camera to capture person's mood and turn it into an abstract painting.

Due to a lucky coincidence I saw Carlos Penalver in action, working on his mural Best For You, following the footsteps of "a teenager in his 2-3 year journey through mental health services".

Extraordinary and surprising on many levels, this exhibition is an absolute must see for everybody and especially to hospital workers. :

 

Carlos Penalver and his Best for You mural

Terry the Maltais at Piluca's exhibition opening, Brixton Art Club Tuesday, 23rd November evening.

Brixton Art Club, Brixton's new art venu, is hosting Madrid born artist Piluca and her 'The Journey' abstract works exhibition.

What makes the venue even more interesting is its proximity, across the railway junction, to Broxton Village - a sort of Caribbean Ali Baba Cave - and specifically to the renowned Fish, Wings and Tings, where hot curried mutton with mango chutney is served until late evening.


Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

At the V&A until 31 December 2021 

Tickets here https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/alice-curiouser-and-curiouser