December 2021

Jimmie Durham (1940-2021)

Robin Klassnik (l) and Jimmie Durham (r). Matt’s Gallery 35th Birthday, 2014. Photograph by Daffyd Jones. Courtesy of Matt’s Gallery, London.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jimmie Durham on 17 November 2021.

I was introduced to Jimmie by my friend, the distinguished writer, teacher and critic, the late Jean Fisher (1942-2016), who, together with Rasheed Araeen, was editor of Third Text. Jean wrote extensively on colonial legacies and sites of conflict and, while resident in New York, championed the work of many Native American artists.

Amongst them was the legendary Jimmie Durham. Jean opened my eyes to these practices and worked with me to curate Jimmie’s first show with Matt’s Gallery, Pocahontas and the Little Carpenter in London in 1988. He arrived with his work in a suitcase and the process opened me up to different ways of thinking, making and doing. He told me he wanted to be the Native American Joseph Beuys. We went on to be great friends.

At the end of the show he left both me Jean a sculpture each – I got The Two Johns which toured North America in a major retrospective of his work between 2017 and 2018, starting at The Hammer Museum in LA and travelling to Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum and the Remai Modern.

We worked together again in 2006, when we made Building a Nation together and earlier this year in May we showed 7 of his videos on MattFlix, under the title Smashing. We were planning to work with him again next year on a project currently under development with Michelle Williams Gamaker, which will engage numerous artists around the Jean Fisher Archive, of which we are the fortunate custodians.

Jimmie was an artist, a writer, a poet, a performer and a story teller. We never arranged to speak on the hour, it was always 3 minutes past, or 7 minutes to. Emails from Jimmie were always brief, and always began, tongue in cheek and all lower case, ‘i hope this finds you well.’

Robin Klassnik

Jimmie Durham book spreads composite

Spreads from Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, published by Prestel, 2017. Images courtesy of Robin Klassnik.

Matt’s Gallery in 2022

We’ll be sharing news of our gallery and online programme very soon. Please sign up to our mailing list to get updates first.

MattFlix

Frances Scott, Aureole, Until 5.59pm 17 December 2021

Frances Scott, Aureole, 2021. Still from single-channel, 16mm film and betacam video transferred to digital, colour, stereo, Duration: 07:32. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

We’re pleased to present Aureole (2021), a new film by Frances Scott commissioned for MattFlix.

In meteorology, the aureole is an atmospheric, optical phenomenon; the visible inner disc of a corona, produced by the diffraction of light from the sun or the moon, bright starlight or planet-light.

Aureole brings together unused celestial images from Scott’s earlier film, Diviner (2017), with vocoder-readings from Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), scored by Chu-Li Shewring’s remix of the House track ‘Brighter Days’ (1992) by Cajmere featuring Dajae. Aureole is a transition between a ‘lost’ chapter from Diviner and Wendy (2022, forthcoming), a film fan-letter to composer Wendy Carlos, whose many interests include solar eclipse photography. Accelerating to a euphoric end, the film is the duration of the longest total solar eclipse, when the moon completely covers the sun.

MattFlix REPEATS, 6pm 17 December 2021 – 5.59pm 14 January 2022

MattFlix a monthly series of online projects at mattflix.videoKick back and enjoy the MattFlix back catalogue over the holidays as part of MattFlix REPEATS, from 6pm Friday 17 December – 5.59pm 14 January 2022.

With works from Mania Akbari & Douglas White, Kathryn Attrill, Jordan Baseman, Dean Blunt, Bronwen Buckeridge, Beth Collar, Juan Cruz, Willie Doherty, Jimmie Durham, Paul Eachus & Nooshin Farhid, Graham Fagen, Oona Grimes, Joey Holder, Melanie Jackson, Tarzan Kingofthejungle, Rebecca Lennon, Luke McCreadie, Nathaniel Mellors, Charlie Osborne, RCA Contemporary Art Practice, Richie Moment, Sally O’Reilly, Janette Parris, Ben Rivers, Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana, Frances Scott, Lindsay Seers & Keith Sargent, Tai Shani, Marianna Simnett, Jennet Thomas, Suzanne Treister, and Michelle Williams Gamaker.

Artists’ News

Thanet Tape Centre, Ultra Magnetic, 10 December 2021 – 30 January 2022, Preview Friday 10 December, 5-9pm

Poster for Thanet Tape Centre exhibition at Well Projects, MargateWell Projects is excited to present Ultra Magnetic, an exhibition by Thanet Tape Centre featuring works by Adam Chodzko, Arianne Churchman, Benedict Drew and Plastique Fantastique; with audio loops contributed by Thanet Tape Centre associates. Thanet Tape Centre is a Kent-based music label that releases alternative and experimental music.

A live performance by Plastique Fantastique will take place at Well Projects in January 2022, date to be announced.

**Well Projects will close for Christmas between 20 Dec 2021 – 13 Jan 2022**

Jordan Baseman, A Different Kind of Different, Los Angeles Animation Festival 2021

Person's chest with mastectomy tattoo.

Jordan Baseman, A Different Kind of Different, 2020. Still from digital video, Duration: 13:24. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

We’re excited to share that Jordan Baseman’s short animated film A Different Kind of Different has been selected for Los Angeles Animation Festival 2021. A Different Kind of Different is a category winner, to be announced at the LAAF award ceremony, Sat 4 December.

The film was co-produced by Matt’s Gallery and Nerve Centre Derry with executive production by Jacqui Davies. The original score is by award-winning sound artist and composer DIE HEXEN.

Watch the film and more at kindofdifferent.org

Alison Turnbull nominated for The David and Yuko Juda Art Foundation 2021 grant

Alison Turnbull, Tokyo X, 2019, pencil on printed paper. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

The David and Yuko Juda Art Foundation is pleased to announce that its third grant will be presented at Annely Juda Fine Art, London on Wednesday 15 December 2021.

The artists’ chosen work will be installed at Annely Juda Fine Art and a panel of judges, made up of the five trustees of the charity and three guest judges, will decide to whom the grant will be given. This year’s guest judges are Andrea Rose, Former Director of Visual Arts, British Council; Andrew Wilson, Senior Curator at Tate Britain; and Reinhard Spieler, Director of the Sprengel Museum, Hannover.

Alongside Turnbull, the artists nominated for the grant by curator Jonathan Watkins are Langlands and Bell, Susan Collis, Jeff McMillan, Mali Morris, Rie Nakajima, Perry Roberts, and Amikam Toren.

Melanie Jackson, Brand new spekyng rybawdy hand-finished prints and limited edition mugs available from Block 336

Melanie Jackson, the whisperers: hybrids and coagulations, 2021. Giclée print on Hahnemühle Rag with hand finished enamel, 200 x 260 mm. Edition of 5 + 3 APs. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Available now as part of Block 336’s fundraising sale are three different limited edition hand-finished prints and thermal-printed mugs by Melanie Jackson. The editions are created from original drawings and stills from the artist’s series of animations, Spekyng Rybawdy, the first of which was commissioned for MattFlix in 2020.

All sales support Block 336, who are a non-profit arts organisation, as well as the artists themselves. Melanie Jackson’s limited editions are available ahead of a large-scale commission that will open at the space in 2022.

Works also available from artists including Eve Stainton, Clifton Wright, Karen McLean, Sola Olulode, Jane Hayes-Greenwood and more.

The prints (all editions of 5 + 3 artist’s proofs) are available for £250 each, and the thermal-printed mugs (edition of 100) are £25.

Thermal heat mug gif.

Melanie Jackson, Spekyng Rybawdy: Up in Flames, 2021. Thermal ink on porcelain mug. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Nathaniel Mellors, The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview screening, Arvor Cinema, Rennes, 8.15pm 13 December 2021

Film screening posterFor this session developed by Comptoir du doc and Frac Bretagne, Nathaniel Mellors’ 2014 work The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview will be screened at Arvor Cinema in Rennes, France. The film will be shown alongside Antoine Boutet’s The full country (2009).

Screenings will be followed by a discussion with Pierre Commault from Comptoir du doc ​​and Alexis Ourion from Frac Bretagne.

Anne Bean, The Ignorant Art School | Sit-in #2: To Be Potential, University of Dundee, Until 19 February 2022

Anne Bean collage entitled Drawing Life

Anne Bean, Drawing Life, 1970. Collage. Courtesy of the artist.

Declaring that our collective future is determined not by what we know, but by how we create and share knowledge, Sit-in #2: To Be Potential activates how artistic practice as pedagogy dares education, in the words of bell hooks, to be ‘the practice of freedom’.

Political in origin, radical in intent and emancipatory by nature, this radical pedagogy is an inherently social practice. Subverting hierarchies between ‘those who think they know’ and ‘those who assume they don’t’, artistic practice as pedagogy is a global phenomenon that recognises no conceptual, discursive or intellectual limits. Characterised by an ethics of equal access and an ethos of generous solidarity, together the radical pedagogical practices featured in Sit-in #2: To Be Potential transform knowledge from a capitalist commodity to an emancipatory power available to all.

Included in this group exhibition is a newly commissioned audio work The Ballad of the White Room by Anne Bean, Graham Challifour, Rita Donagh and Rod Melvin is installed within the reconstructed elements of The White Room alongside ephemera of the 1970 experiment and Drawing Life (1970) a series of collage works reflecting on the White Room by Anne Bean.

Nathaniel Mellors, POST PERFORMANCE VIDEO, PROSPECTIVE 1: LOS ANGELES, Carré d’art, Musée d’art Contemporain, Nîmes, Until 17 April 2022

Nathaniel Mellors Ourhouse -1 Time film still

Nathaniel Mellors, Ourhouse -1: Time, 2015-16. Duration: 59:00. Courtesy of the artist, Stigter Van Doesburg, Amsterdam, Monitor, Rome, The Box, LA, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Nathaniel Mellors is exhibiting moving image and sculptural works alongside artists Coleman Collins, Rodney Mc Millian and Anna Wittenberg in group exhibition POST PERFORMANCE VIDEO, PROSPECTIVE 1: LOS ANGELES.

The four artists chosen for this project live in Los Angeles or were trained in the city. Post Performance is a concept invented by Marie de Brugerolle, curator of the exhibition, to qualify the legacy and impact of performativity on the visual arts after the 1970s. The exhibition is a choice of exemplary works of this, without labelling them. The link that connects them is a special relationship to the object and to the drawing, as a script, accessory, decoration or counterpoint to the projected image. At Carée d’art, Nîmes until 17 April 2022.

B. Catling: Where Does It All Come From? available to watch on iPlayer

An eye-popping insight into the extraordinary, late-flourishing career of maverick artist, teacher and performer Brian Catling RA, whose unique vision and imagination are celebrated through a shifting narrative of newly restored archive material, exclusive interviews and specially shot footage.

We see Catling at work, in the past and the present, in public performance, on stage, conjuring uncanny presences in galleries, abandoned rooms and in his studio. His histories are told, including childhood obsessions with outsiders and monsters, the early days of art school and labouring jobs at Truman’s Brewery, becoming an artist, a sculptor and maker of installations, and his decision to retreat from the London art world.

A host of writers, artists, musicians, curators and former students, including actor Ray Winstone recollecting a terrifying encounter in London’s Whitechapel, are also called upon to bear witness to a creative spirit who defies definition and is capable of endless self-reinvention. Featuring one of Catling’s appearances in Nathaniel Mellors’ film series Ourhouse.

Michael Curran, SPARK READINGS

Still from Michael Curran reading video documentation

The Public Image – Scottish Lady Tiger: a response to the life and work of Muriel Spark by Michael Curran took place at Generator Projects, Dundee in September 2018, the centenary year of the author’s birth.

Curran made an environment in which a series of actions and performances inspired by the life and work of Muriel Spark unfolded. Generator Projects acted as a laboratory, a press office, a casting room and a film set for collaborators and visitors to explore the fascinating world of the author. On 15 September a sustained reading happening took place – lasting one hour and spilling over into the rest of the evening.

Participants read simultaneously and in response to each other – from 12 of Sparks 22 novels, while the remaining 10 novels were available for those arriving to join in and reading duties became exchanged and taken over by newcomers. Click here to watch the video documentation on YouTube.

Scottish Lady Tiger was conceived and realised by Michael Curran & Hari Macmillan.

Nathaniel Mellors, Browserer, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris, Until 18 December 2021

Installation view of exhibition

Nathaniel Mellors, installation view of Browserer, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Crèvecouer, Paris, Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam, Monitor, Rome, The Box, LA, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Nathaniel Mellors’ solo exhibition Browserer is currently on view at Galerie Crèvecoeur’s space at 9 rue des Cascades, Paris. The exhibition consists of new paintings and video works and is open until 18 December 2021.

Graham Fagen, New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One), Edinburgh, From Saturday 27 November 2021

Graham Fagen, Slaves Lament, Venice 2015

Graham Fagen, The Slave’s Lament, 2015. Installation view from 56th Venice Biennale, 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Hospitalfield, Arbroath and Matt’s Gallery, London.

We’re delighted to announce that Graham Fagen’s 2015 video installation The Slave’s Lament has been acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

‘The Slave’s Lament’ was Robert Burns’ only work to empathise with the appalling hurt of the displaced, the trafficked and the enslaved. Replete with a moving score written by Sally Beamish, performed by the Scottish Ensemble and Reggae singer Ghetto Priest, and produced by legendary On-U-Sound founder Adrian Sherwood, Graham Fagen creates a fascinating soundclash, where Burns’ poetry finds a haunting bedfellow in Jamaican reggae music – and finds much common ground. This evocative video installation was curated by Hospitalfield, Arbroath and exhibited at Scotland + Venice 2015, when Graham Fagen represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale.

Opening on Sat 27 November at Modern One, Edinburgh, the work will be displayed alongside a range of modern and contemporary work including painting, sculptures, films and more, by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jenny Saville, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Oskar Kokoschka, John Bellany, Marie Harnett and Pablo Picasso.

Nicola Bealing, Bodies in Space, MIRROR, Plymouth, Until 26 February 2022

Painting by Nicola Bealing.

Nicola Bealing, When All Things Act Contrary, 2019. Oil and spray paint on linen, 152 x 121cm. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Curated by Ben Borthwick, Bodies in Space presents work by artists using the figure in painting and drawing to question and understand how we occupy, move through and negotiate the public and private spaces of daily life. The exhibition also reflects how figurative painting and drawing becomes more visible at times of wider social and political change.

Nicola Bealing will be showing four paintings in the exhibition, alongside works by Flo Brooks, Andrea Büttner, Andrew Pierre Hart, Nick Jensen, Claudette Johnson, Joy Labinjo, Bruno Pacheco and Charmaine Watkiss.

 

Mike Nelson, The House of the Farmer, Palazzo dell’Agricoltore, Parma, Until 12 June 2022

Wooden sculpture in room, another wooden sculpture visible through doorway.

Mike Nelson, Mirror, 2021. Installation view of The House of the Farmer at Palazzo dell’Agricoltore, Parma, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Franco Nero, Turin, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 303 Gallery, NY, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

Palazzo dell’Agricoltore presents “The House of the Farmer”, a site-specific installation conceived by British artist Mike Nelson and curated by Didi Bozzini. The exhibition has its origin in the history of the building, reflecting on the political, economic and social role it has played over 82 years since its construction in 1939. The building history is reflected in its name — Palazzo dell’Agricoltore — and by the title of the exhibition, The House of the Farmer. The palace was the seat of the corporation that organised and facilitated agricultural activities under the Fascist government.

It occupies all its floors, drawing on the visceral and poetic power of the palace and the materials that inhabit its halls, taken from the wild landscape in the rural region surrounding the city; rocks, tree trunks, branches, and roots, and even the entire side of a hill has been moved inside the building as if part of its architecture. This way, Nelson leads you to imagine the building as a sculpture itself and attempts to provide a mental and material path between reflection and fantasy, between nature and culture.

Nathaniel Mellors, PERMANENT PRESENTS, Frac Bretagne, Rennes, Until 2 January 2022

Nathaniel Mellors Frac Bretagne installation view

Nathaniel Mellors, PERMANENT PRESENTS, 2021. Installation view at Frac Bretagne. Image: Aurélien Mole. Courtesy of Frac Bretagne, Rennes, Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam, Monitor, Rome, The Box, LA, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

In Nathaniel Mellors’ solo exhibition, PERMANENT PRESENTS, Frac Bretagne brings together for the first time the entire film series incorporating central Neanderthal figures produced by Mellors since 2012.

Films screening during the exhibition include The Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview (2012); Neanderthal Container (2014); and Neanderthal Crucifixion (2021). As a sort of prequel to the trilogy, the exhibition at Frac Bretagne looks back at Ourhouse (2010 – ) British TV drama being eaten from the inside out. It stages the eccentric Maddox-Wilson family’s lives destabilized when their house (‘Ourhouse’) is occupied by The Object (Brian Catling), whom the family fail to recognise as a human-being, each perceiving a different form in its place.

Mike Nelson, Vogliamo tutto, OGR Turin, Until 16 January 2022

Mike Nelson. Installation view of Vogliamo Tutto at OGR Turin, 2021, Image by: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy of the artist, Franco Nero, Turin, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 303 Gallery, NY, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

A group exhibition reflecting on the transformation of labor in the post-industrial and digital era, between awareness and disillusion, precariousness and empowerment, curated by Samuele Piazza with Nicola Ricciardi.

Fifty years after the publication of Vogliamo tutto – a novel by Nanni Balestrini about the struggles of the working class in 1969 Turin – does it still make sense to want it all?

The exhibition includes works by: Andrea Bowers, Pablo Bronstein, Claire Fontaine, Tyler Coburn, Jeremy Deller, Kevin Jerome Everson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Elisa Giardina Papa, Liz Magic Laser, Adam Linder, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Mike Nelson, and Charlotte Posenenske.

Vogliamo tutto. An exhibition about labor: can we still want it all? Curated by Samuele Piazza with Nicola Ricciardi.

Mike Nelson, Summer Exhibition 2021, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Until 2 January 2022

Sculpture that resembles small fire on wooden floor.

Mike Nelson, Amnesic Beach Fire (MoD II), 2021. Installation view. Courtesy of the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Franco Nero, Turin, 303 Gallery, NY, and Matt’s Gallery, London.

A new work by Mike Nelson, Amnesiac Beach Fire (MoD II) (2021), is currently on view in this year’s RA Summer Exhibition alongside over 1,300 works selected by coordinator Yinka Shonibare and a panel of artists, under the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’.

Held every year without fail, the Summer Exhibition is a celebration of contemporary art and architecture. Anyone can enter their work – leading artists, household names, new and emerging talent – and it provides a platform for the artistic community to showcase what they’re doing.

Graham Fagen, New Symphony of Time, Mississippi Museum of Art, Mississippi, USA, Until September 2021

Graham Fagen, The Slave’s Lament, 2015, video still. Image courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

New Symphony of Time expands the boundaries of Mississippi’s identity, casting light on a shared past to help reflect an expansive, more inclusive future. This ongoing exhibition features a single screen version of Graham Fagen’s, Slave’s Lament amongst other contemporary pieces such as Benny Andrews’ Mississippi River Bank and Jeffrey Gibson’s Sharecropperpieced quilts, historical paintings, and self-taught artwork, which provide an alternate lens from which to consider the significant creative contributions of the state of Mississippi and its place as part of a broader, American narrative.

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