Matt’s Gallery, 92 Webster Road, SE16 4DF, London
Elizabeth Magill, 23 February – 4 March 2018
Mandy Ure, 9 – 18 March 2018
Angus Braithwaite, 23 March – 1 April 2018
In the coming months, Matt’s Gallery will present a rapid succession of short exhibitions and events at 92 Webster Road. The Gallery’s practice of working with artists of different generations will continue with an open ended, vibrant and responsive programme of artists presentations. Forthcoming exhibitions in February and March will be by Elizabeth Magill, Mandy Ure and Angus Braithwaite.
This domestic space with garden marks a shift away from the warehouse spaces Matt’s Gallery has worked in to date, while maintaining its close connection with the artists’ studio as a site of production and display. The gallery and office have been designed by Director Robin Klassnik’s son, architect Tomas Klassnik of architectural practice The Klassnik Corporation.
Throughout 2018 Matt’s Gallery will be located at Ron Henocq Fine Art.
David Austen’s solo presentation, The Drowned, is the inaugural exhibition at Matt’s Gallery’s new space at Ron Henocq Fine Art, 92 Webster Road, Bermondsey. Austen’s work is the first to occupy a 3 metre cubic gallery space specially designed for the site. Matt’s Gallery will be in residence at the studio throughout 2018 and will relocate their office operations to a newly designed workspace on the premises.
The exhibition sees the artist responding to the unique spatial constraints of a gallery space that has been designed and built in the former shopfront space of Ron Henocq’s studio. The works gathered suggest a shifting relationship between weight and weightlessness akin to moving in water.
Austen has revisited a group of drawings completed decades ago and mislaid in time. A series of watercolours have been produced in remembrance of the absent works; Figures appear grounded in invisible landscapes and oblique narratives are rendered through their relationships. Austen likens the figures to ‘naked ghosts’ – survivors or victims of some unknown tragedy.
Set alongside these a new sculptural work floats in the space. The works dissolve into one another and into the space.
A specially commissioned text by writer Hisham Matar will accompany the exhibition.
In the coming months, Matt’s Gallery will present a rapid succession of short exhibitions and events at 92 Webster Road. The Gallery’s practice of working with artists of different generations will continue with an open ended, vibrant and responsive programme of artists presentations and guest-curated shows. This domestic space with garden marks a shift away from the warehouse spaces Matt’s Gallery has worked in to date, while maintaining its close connection with the artists’ studio as a site of production and display. The gallery and office have been designed by Director Robin Klassnik’s son, architect Tomas Klassnik of architectural practice The Klassnik Corporation.
The Drowned marks the first instalment of this programme and will be open for one month. It will be followed by an exhibition of paintings by Elizabeth Magill running 23 February to 4 March 2018 after which the gallery will present an on-going series of ten-day shows.
Possessions_inc is a video and web project by Matt’s Gallery and Richard Grayson. Episode 20 is currently available to watch.
Over 2016-2018 Matt’s Gallery will be posting monthly instalments of the video project Possessions_inc. Part series, part blog, part essay, part talking head, Possessions_inc. is an expanding exploration of: ideas of value, ways we invest in objects, the Bilderberg owl, animatronics, the mystery of Rennes Le Chateau, codes, fakes, oligarchs, the missing head of Philip K Dick, treasure hunting, M.R. James, the V.I.P. Lounge, drug smuggling, computer animation, animism, Pygmalion and the insurance industry.
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Nathaniel Mellors present a major new solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York, for which he has created a new environment including video projection and animatronic sculpture. Progressive Rocks is curated by Margot Norton, Curator, and will be on view in the New Museum’s recently inaugurated South Galleries, a space designated for premiering new productions at the Museum. The South Galleries preserve the character of the building’s loft spaces, where many artists historically worked and exhibited. Conflating narrative tropes and methods from television sitcoms, theater, science fiction, mythology, and anthropology, Mellors writes the scripts for each of his projects, which he also directs, edits, and produces. His raucous films feature a book-eating creature named “The Object” who literally digests a family’s library in Ourhouse (2010–ongoing); a Neanderthal in perpetual free-fall over the San Joaquin Valley in Neanderthal Container, (2014); and two messianic beings, in the form of a cardboard box and a giant egg, who attempt to make sense of a culture that they created millions of years prior in The Aalto Natives (2017, in collaboration with Erkka Nissinen, originally conceived for the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale).
Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen, The Aalto Natives, KIASMA, Helsinki, Finland, 16 March – 9 September 2018
The Aalto Natives showcases artist duo Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors who represented Finland at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The work is a humorous yet critical examination of Finnish identity that involves creativity, nerdy humour and a cast of national celebrities from prehistoric times to the age of robotics. This exhibition will feature the installation from Venice & Cobra Museum as well as 4 rooms of new animatronic installation by Mellors-Nissinen.
Nathaniel Mellors, It’s all the same fucking day, man…, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, until 3 March 2018
Nathaniel Mellors’ The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview is part of the group exhibition It’s all the same fucking day, man… . Other exhibiting artists include Henning Bohl, Julien Ceccaldi and Renaud Jerez.
Nathaniel Mellors’ works Ourhouse Episode -1: Time and The Vomiter are featured at the NVG Triennial. Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world of art and design, across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives. A free exhibition, the NGV Triennial is a celebration of contemporary art and design practice that traverses all four levels of NGV International, as well as offering a rich array of programs.
Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen, The Aalto Natives, Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen, The Netherlands, until 25 February 2018
Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen’s The Aalto Natives is on view at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands. The artists share an interest in narrative fiction, and employ an irreverent and often transgressive form of satire to critique power structures, morality and the status quo. The Aalto Natives brings together Nissinen’s intuitive, do-it-yourself attitude to digital animation and his penchant for naïve musicality, with Mellors’ writing-based approach to filmmaking, and integration of sculpture.“The Aalto Natives explores themes such as the invention of the nation state and the origins of culture by way of absurdist satire. Dressing its intellectual ambitions in deceivingly comical gear, the work addresses the complex challenges our globalized world faces today, like neoconservative nationalism, intolerance, and class polarization,” says curator Xander Karskens. Conflating ideas and tropes from archaeology, anthropology and science fiction, the work re-imagines Finnish society through the eyes of two messianic outsider figures, who offer a cosmic-comic perspective on Finnish creation mythology, contemporary Finnish society, and its possible futures. An event on 9 January 2018 organised by EYE Filmmuseum as part of the series Eye on Art, in response to the exhibition The Aalto Natives, will feature a selection films by both Mellors and Nissinen, some of which have never been shown in the Netherlands. Xander Karskens, the artistic director of the Cobra Museum and curator of the Finnish pavilion at the Venice Biennale, introduces the evening.
Nathaniel Mellors, Beyond Future is Past, Kunsthalle Münster, Münster, Germany, until 25 February 2018
Nathaniel Mellors’ The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview is being screened as part of the group exhibition Beyond Future is Past that includes ten current positions of international artists in the field of video/film. Artist include Nathaniel Mellors, Josefin Arnell, Ulu Brown & Roland Rauschmeier, Omer Fast, Isa Genzken, Shana Moulton, Janis Rafa, Stephen G Rhodes, Hito Steyerl and Ryan Trecartin. On the one hand, the contributions can be compared in their pleasurable and concentrated way of dealing with the pictorial worlds and viewing habits of our time. However, it is not about appropriation, an appropriating repetition or media criticism. Rather, a subjective approach is observed with which the universally available image and data material is rearranged, mounted, interconnected or translated.
Melanie Jackson’s Deeper in the Pyramid is an expansive new body of work comprising of animation, sculpture, a filmed performance and a publication in a graphic novel format, written in collaboration with Esther Leslie. We are taken on a journey of lactic abstractions, through the webs of bio-invasion and collective fantasy that interconnect various life forms through milk, its technologies and representations. The ontologies of species and gender have always been shaped by our relations with this primal liquid, and ensuring a ready supply has driven research in genetics, fertility and robotics. It is now open for radical transformation as new bio-organisms emerge, and real science merges with the fantastic. Milk is polymorphic with an inclination for promiscuous collaboration – whether it be with bacteria, with cartoon avatars, with economics pornography, racial politics or genetic re-calibration. It is fundamental to all mammalian bodies, whilst also being one of the most technologised fluids on earth. Deeper in the Pyramid engages with the bio-economy and its representations, through the webs of care, exploitation and collective fantasy that interconnect life forms at every scale. This project will be delivered across Grand Union, Primary in Nottingham and Banner Repeater in London later in 2018.
Fiona Crisp, Material Sight, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, 24 March – 13 May 2018
Fiona Crisp explores how we might encounter spaces where the frontiers of knowledge are being expanded. Material Sight is a new, large-scale commission that uses photography, moving image and sound to approach the material environments where experiments that challenge the limits of our imagination are carried out. For nearly two years Crips has worked with three world-leading research facilities for ‘fundamental science’: Boulby Underground Laboratory, sited in the UK’s deepest working mine, Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology and Laboratori Nazionale del Gran Sasso, the world’s largest underground laboratory for particle physics, housed inside a mountain in central Italy. Across all of these sites, knowledge is pursued at scales and distances beyond our human sensing, from the macro scale of the multiverse to the micro scale of the sub-atomic world. In Material Sight, Crisp explores how we might counter this sensory remoteness, not through a documentary narrative but by being placed into a physical, tangible relation to the spaces and laboratories where the science is performed; to this end Crisp builds a landscape of image and sound, augmenting the gallery architecture with scaffolding walls that support a cycle of large-scale photographs and moving image works. The exhibition will launch on the 24 March 6 – 8pm; this is concurrent to the opening of the new Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art after an 18 month period securing capital funding and creating a generous new home for the visual arts in Sunderland.
Mike Nelson’s Lionheart has been re-constructed especially for this exhibition providing a rare opportunity to see an early work by the British artist, whose installations usually only exist for the time period of the exhibition they were made for. Lionheart, 1997 consists of found materials painstakingly collected from specific locations by the artist and assembled to create a fictional drifter’s camp, complete with skins, traps, darts, trophies and beer cans. The work was purchased for the Gallery’s Permanent Collection in 2002 via the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme, an important seven-year collecting initiative (1998-2005), which enabled 15 regional museums to collect significant works by leading contemporary artists. Mike Nelson is known for his installations, which often take the form of extended labyrinths; immersive environments that involve the viewer.
Mike Nelson is participating in the inaugural group exhibition for ICA Miami’s new building. The Everywhere Studio is a thematic exhibition that brings together over 50 artists from the past five decades to reveal the artist’s studio as a charged site that has both predicted and responded to broader social and economic changes of our time. Organised by Alex Gartenfeld, Gean Moreno and Stephanie Seidel, the exhibition will include Nelson’s tools that see (possessions of a thief) – compressor. Through a combination of post-war artists through emerging practitioners—including Mike Nelson, Pablo Picasso, Yves Klein, Philip Guston, Bruce Nauman, Carolee Schneemann, Dieter Roth, Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger, Rosemarie Trockel, Elaine Sturtevant, Anna Oppermann, Joyce Pensato, Andrea Zittel, and Tetsumi Kudo, among others—the exhibition aims to create intergenerational dialogues that enhance understanding of the most innovative artists working today.
Benedict Drew in collaboration with Nicholas Brooks are exhibiting their work Sump (2016) at Turner Contemporary. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is a major exhibition exploring the significance of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land through the visual arts. Presenting over 60 artists, and almost 100 objects, the exhibition includes works by Fiona Banner, Cecil Collins, Tacita Dean, Elisabeth Frink, Patrick Heron, Edward Hopper, Barbara Kruger, Helen Marten, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Paula Rego, John Smith and JMW Turner. The exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the poem’s shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places. The exhibition is the culmination of a three year project designed to develop a pioneering approach to curating. Local residents, coming together as the Waste land Research Group, have developed the entire exhibition. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is consequently the result of many months the group have spent discussing personal connections between art, poetry and life.
David Austen, the stars above the ocean the ocean beneath the stars, Totah, New York, 15 February – 22 April 2018
David Austen is presenting a solo show at Totah, New York. The exhibition features selections from Austen’s career-long engagement with painting and watercolors along with two films. This will be the London-based artist’s first New York solo exhibition, offering a view into to a fertile imagination that transitions effortlessly between the formal demands of different media. Austen’s works have a winsome quality about them that contrasts with the stark severity of their technical execution. Often presenting unsettling themes—such as a film about a smoking disconsolate moon, or watercolors of lonely, misshapen figures engaged in ritualistic acts—he confronts viewers with a world where there is no authentic resolution between the demands of the social world and the exigency of personal desire.
London duo patten reconfigures fragmentary background elements of film, literature, sound and set design collected from the world of modern sci-fi into a hallucinogenic and immersive audiovisual environment in the solo exhibition 3049 at Tenderpixel. The resulting space sets the stage for a non-dystopic reimagining of a positive collective future, asking; ‘how do we make it to 3049?’, a question that grows more urgent with each passing day. Their ambitious project also reaches outside the gallery walls through events such as a live radio broadcast, and off-site club night, talks, and a labyrinthine publication featuring contributors from the worlds of art, fashion, philosophy, music, design, cinema, science, architecture and forecasting.
Alison Turnbull is exhibiting four paintings and six drawings in the group show In the Future, curated by Rosalind Davis. In this exhibition 20 artists seek to track and to trace, creating repositories of knowledge that look both forward and back, that address technology, organizational methods and information systems. Some choose to look at how we observe space, through sci-fi technologies or envision otherworldly species. Alison’s work in the show addresses the proposition “In the future people will live in space…” – her paintings are informed by star charts, celestial space and natural phenomena. Drawings are made on ‘various types of ruled and gridded printed papers, which derive from different cities throughout the world… exercise books ledgers, tables, and diary pages. On each she draws a repetitive pattern involving colours and forms that take their cue from details in the found sheet itself, in a modest but powerful gesture of give and take.’
Jennet Thomas, Plymouth Contemporary Artist Showcase 2018, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, 2 – 29 March 2018
Jennet Thomas is showing her piece ANIMAL CONDENSED > ANIMAL EXPANDED #1+2(a) at the Plymouth Contemporary Artist Showcase. She will feature alongside Georgie Grace and Serial Composition, all of whom were selected for the show from the 2017 Plymouth Contemporary, a major Plymouth biennial exhibition hosted by Peninsula Arts and KARST. In Jennet’s work, two characters speak urgently to camera about their strange relationship with an intelligent substance they call ‘Animal Expanded’. Intercut with glimpses of their world, a picture builds of an accelerated future where ‘real’ animals may no longer exist – their spirits abstracted into some kind of virus that causes humans to lose control to an artificially intelligent world. The installation will take the form of two experimental narrative videos, parts 1 and 2, projected into a sculptural environment. This work will tour to Brussels, London, Newcastle and beyond in 2018.
Graham Fagen is exhibiting work in the group show Winter Flowers, which investigates botanical and arborial works by current Academicians. In 2015, an Anne Redpath lithograph was purchased for the RSA Collection. Winters Flowers was made by Anne in collaboration with Harley Brothers in Edinburgh. These editioning printers predated the open access workshops and collaborated with a number of prominent Scottish artists from their premises in the New Town. Recently, items from the studio and collection of David Michie RSA were gifted to the RSA Collection. Amongst these items were several sketches and state proofs of the Winter Flowers lithograph. This discovery has been the catalyst for the exhibition featuring Ade Adesina, Elizabeth Blackadder, Mary Bourne, Gordon Bryce, Alfons Bytautus, Victoria Crowe, Michael Docherty, George Donald, Graham Fagen, Alexander Fraser, Derrick Guild, Elspeth Lamb, Kirkland Main, Jennifer McRae, David Michie, Marion Smith, Frances Walker, Adrian Wiszniewski and, of course, Anne Redpath. From prints to watercolours, oils through to sculpture, the exhibition highlights a terrific breadth of practice and raises some surprises and questions about how we see, interpret and engage with what we imagine to be the familiar plant world around us.
Graham Fagen is presenting A’ ye wha live and never think, a phrase borrowed from ‘On A Scotch Bard, Gone To The West Indies’ by Robert Burns. The exhibition is part of Burns Unbroke, an innovative visual arts programme featuring pieces by over 30 visual artists including new commissions by four artists living and working in Scotland. Each artist explores an aspect of the Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns’s life or work, highlighting his continuing relevance in the 21st century. Fagen will be exhibiting a selection of Burns themed sculptures, film and prints in Medows Galleries I – IV. In addition, off-site, is A Drama in time, a Burns inspired work on permanent public display at Jacob’s Ladder. Graham Fagen is one of the most influential artists working in Scotland today. His work mixes media and crosses continents; combining video, performance, photography and sculpture with text, live music and plants. Fagen’s recurring artistic themes, which include flowers, journeys and popular song, are used as attempts to understand the powerful forces that shape our lives.
Graham Fagen, The Slave’s Lament, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 10 February – 7 April 2018
Graham Fagen’s video and sound installation The Slave’s Lament is touring to Doris McCarthy Gallery in Toronto. The work was originally shown at the 2015 Venice Biennale and is based on a 1792 song written by Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, in which an enslaved man in Virginia expresses his longing for his distant homeland of Senegal. In Fagen’s interpretation, the song is performed by the reggae singer Ghetto Priest, a Rastafarian. Fagen’s work also acknowledges Scottish involvement in slavery in the Americas, which may be well-known in the Caribbean, but is still part of the unacknowledged history of Scotland.
Graham Fagen is exhibiting work as part of the group exhibition Polygraphs at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art. This is a group show centred around Berlin based filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl’s work Abstract (2012), through which Steyerl questions our connectivity to the arms trade, global economics and a seemingly distant battlefield. Artists are often witness to a changing global environment and their role within that culture is to document, pose questions and create new layers of meaning that audiences can engage with and begin to question the mythic historical narratives that we are presented with. Other works from Glasgow Museums’ collection reveal how artists create alternative discourses to question dominant narratives in identity, politics and history. The works in Polygraphs look at the testimonial research and object evidence which has informed our historical identity and re-present this to address alternative questions about our relationships to the slave trade, colonialism, feminism and sectarianism.
Polygraphs includes some of the most compelling artists working today, seminal figures in 20th century Scottish art and younger artists whose work entered a UK collection for the first time. The exhibition, by creating a further fictitious layer through the grouping of works by these artists, poses questions about museums’ relationship to the histories, identities and politics that institutions collect and how the re-display of older works alongside more recent pieces reactivates truths and fictions still relevant today. Artists include: Muirhead Bone, Gerard Byrne, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Graham Fagen, Barbara Kruger, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Beth Forde, Ian Hamilton Finlay and kennardphillips.
Anne Bean, MOCA Trowbridge, 18 February 2018
At 8pm, 19th February 2015, Chinese New Year, in Futuro House on the roof of Matt’s Gallery, Anne Bean invited the director Robin Klassnik to randomly pick a fortune cookie, which was one of 84 she had produced, each containing the name of a different medium-sized British town. As soon as Robin revealed the name, Trowbridge, she left immediately for the town. She had stated that she would open up a space called Moments Of Consciousness And…, in that town. The first stranger to enter this space she would invite to collaborate with her. Having accomplished these, plus many manifestations, she prepares to leave MOCA Trowbridge, on Chinese New Year; Sunday, 18.02.2018. The afternoon will feature events and refreshments, from 2pm onwards, with local celebrity Megastar guiding a tour of Trow Vegas, The Shires shopping centre, plus actions in Meadow Works, including Hugo Danino and other locals along with ‘the stranger’. MOCA Trowbridge, 15 Meadows Works, Court St, Trowbridge BA14 8BR.
Anne Bean will exhibit alongside Lewis Robinson and Dave Stephens in The Sitting Room. Utilising sculpture, installation, drawing and performance, the chair in its many permutations is the inspiration and starting point for diverse experiments with form and meaning. Each of the three artists have established their unique interdisciplinary practices over several decades, and in this exhibition they celebrate the chair in their individual ways in order to generate personal narratives, playful interventions, and philosophical journeys.
ŻAK | BRANICKA is delighted to present the exhibition Words and Colors with works by Jarosław Kozłowski – the artist’s first solo exhibition and likewise the beginning of his cooperation with the gallery. Kozłowski is a legend in Polish conceptual art. Already long before the Cold War period had come to an end, his studio opened a window towards Western Europe: in the early 1970s, he established the artist network NET with over 350 international artists (thereby also arousing the interest of the secret service) and was a central protagonist of the Fluxus movement in Poland. In 1977, he organized a Fluxus festival at the gallery Akumulatory 2 (1972–90) that he founded, exhibiting the artists Richard Long, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Franz Erhard Walther, Victor Burgin, and Douglas Huebler, among others.
Lindsay Seers, The Sleeping Procession, CASS Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex, until 25 February 2018
Lindsay Seers is exhibiting as part of The Sleeping Procession, a group exhibition co-curated by artists Gabriel Hartley and Sean Steadman in response to CASS’ special collection of maquettes. Through an extension of their engagement in painting, drawing and sculpture, Hartley and Steadman have produced a number of steel, MDF and resin architectural structures to display a selection of the CASS maquettes. In order to re-contextualise this collection they have also invited a pool of contemporary artists – Lindsay Seers, Phillip King, Eduardo Palozzi, Dieter Roth and Bill Woodrow – to display pre-existing and newly commissioned works. These will act to disrupt and re-frame the historical works taken from the CASS special collection. Using the idea of the maquette as a catalyst, this exhibition will explore the aspects under which art is emergent, how it is a compound of memory and expectancy and a site of accident and recuperation.
Lindsay Seers’ Suffering continues the artists fascination with storytelling and the work of memory. Seers asks us to pause, to take a moment, and contemplate the private creative life of Tasmanian artist Leo Kelly. The artist has built a corrugated iron hut inside MONA, which resembles a rundown church (a ‘tin tabernacle’, says the artist) but is, in fact, made in the style of Kelly’s unusual self-built house in Queenstown, a small town in Tasmania’s own wild west. Seers met Kelly, a once-devout Catholic who experienced divine visions, in 2011 when she was travelling in Tasmania. Kelly invited Seers to his home (which features a small chapel and observatory) and revealed his extraordinary output as a painter, as well as his extensive collection of found objects. Kelly died a few years later, drawing Seers back to Tasmania to tell the story of Kelly and his art—‘to give an image of this man and his concerns’, she says, and to show us ‘the extent of his beliefs, his sincerity, his conviction’. Suffering was commissioned by and presented at The Unconformity in Queenstown, 2016.