The London Open at the Whitechapel ends on 26th August 2018, so unless you are reading this relatively early on Sunday morning, then you have missed your chance to go and see it, which is a shame because its pretty good. The theme, such as it is, appears to just be artists from around London. I shall come back to the weird alien like set above at the end. It is free, eclectic and wide ranging, over two floors of the gallery, with, this being the Whitechapel, a focus on the conceptual and installations.
The above appealing Neon affair. is by Rachael Ara and has the knowing title This much I'm Worth. It is apparently a self evaluating work of art. They didn't change while I was there but looking at past photos the number has increased. I do wonder if it ever decreases. I like the contrast of the glowing red, slightly threatening, against the bank of black wires and machines.
As intimated above, many of the pieces are three dimensional, allowing you to wander round them. I shall come back to that intriguing heap of rocks in a moment but right now I am concentrating on Jonathan Trayte's three pieces (above left). Using a mixture of painted bronze, light fittings. making what look like childish chemistry sets or odd tele-tubby sci-fi set. There is something very playful about them. I keep expecting Morph to peek out from behind the round objects in the near right piece. He had in another part of thee gallery two more, taller pieces, lit with this blue light (above right). I particularly like the dangling willow like pieces over the blue neon toast rack.
I am slightly obsessed with Sonia Delauney. RIght at the start of this blog it was one of the first shows I very briefly documented. It made quite an impression on me so it interesting to see that Celine Mainz (above) was similarly and indeed even more so stricken. Basically she has taken once of Delauney's most famous works and repeated it a very numerous times. I particularly appreciate the stamp light ones that you can see on the right hand side. It makes me smile this piece. I also like the sort of pointlessness of it.
The above pastel coloured, muted patchwork screen is the work of Alexis Teplin and is called "The Politics of Fragmentation". This is what one should expect in the Whitechapel. I understand that the full works include two strangely garbed people in front of it. Works like this, for me at any rate, work by tricking the brain into seeing shapes, and in my case letters, which maybe aren't supposed to be there. I can also see it on the set of Mad Max or something similar.
To show that she is annoyingly talented, So also had on display these three enigmatic Ceramic and bronze figures (the boot in the middle is bronze). They are like some kind of ancient religious artifact. I like the way the figure on the left perches on those thick tripod legs, and the curly legs of the figure on the right morph (yes him again) into that plain head figure. WIth their organic feel these two pieces are clearly related whereas the blocky boot, which reminds me of one of those fracture boots, stands apart.
Back to the rubble previously mentioned. It is complete with raggedly weeds, blocks and triangles illustrated with a tumble down ruin. Being the largest piece in this room (and the second largest in the show) it is the work of Rachael Champion. This tickled me and I found myself walking round and round, smiling to myself.
The show continues up the stairs. One way to do art is to get people to do it for you. You usually have to start them off but it can make for interesting result and it was a road that Pat Garrett and Jackie Collins did. Ending up with this notice board (above) covered with various peoples' scribbles.
Richard Healy (above) had on display a number of these book and coloured bulbs, on cross like copper hangings. They are minimalist, almost simple. The books are of course bone achingly pretentious, but they make a nice counterpoint to the soothingly coloured bulbs both figuratively, and I suspect, figuratively.
Another favourite of mine were these selection of angular geometric wooden shapes by Gary Colclough (above left and above right). Within the triangles that sit at various points of the shapes are these small and intricate one coloured pictures of pastoral scenes. Of the various ones on display my favourite is perhaps the most simple, just the triangle on one end of a line (above right). It is well conceived and works very well. In a close second are the triumvirate of triangles you can see on the back wall in the above left photo. All these people work well on there own but are enhance by being together.
Pots, I like pots, and much like many of the other pieces in the show that appeal to me the apparently simple can be very effective. These beige numbers are the work of Ayan Farah (above) as is the linen on which they sit. Themes of the desert, a barren and hard landscape, is the story these pieces seem to be telling.
These excellent paintings (above left and right) are the work of Hannah Brown. The one on the left is Victoria park which is a stomping ground of mine. She has kept away from photo-realism by having this slightly foggy, soft focus feel to it. My favourite of hers those is this one on the left, with this soft purplish light filtering through the foliage. It had a sort of hypnotic effect.
Back to the mad thing from the top of the blog. It is the work of Katja Novitskova and is not in fact part of the London Open but is a separate exhibition and is on until 2nd September. It is also free and is worth seeing as it is quite an experience. Alien creche is the theme and these baby rockers move up and down to a weird sound track , with images and light projected around the place. I stood captivated for several minutes. Around the periphery stand more, often tentacle like, pieces, as well as odd photos on the wall. Quite an experience.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.