Today I went on an “art walk”. Since the first Thursday of each month many art galleries in London remain open until late and host special events (an awesome initiative). Unfortunately I left quite late from the office, but I was working on a very special deal, so I could not leave earlier.
First I visited Boxpark Shoreditch.
“Situated in the heart of east London’s fashion and art district, two floors of sixty shipping containers began as the world’s first pop up mall. Bursting with innovative designers, authentic food shops and talented artists and performers, Boxpark Shoreditch has become ‘The home of the Pop Up’”
I was there to see their collaboration with B&B Gallery for a group exhibition (box #26), showcasing the work of some street artists and illustrators in screen-print editions and artist proofs, like Matt Sewell (UK), Nelio (FR), Tom J Newell (UK), Florence Blanchard (FR), Kid Acne (UK), Hedof (NL) and Malarky (UK). There was also a Q&A with Kid Acne and Florence Blanchard, along a DJs, and live music.
Nothing too thrilling, and a small space.
From there I went to the legendary Whitechapel Gallery.
For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world-class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Paul Noble, Thomas Struth, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger.
The first thing you notice in the gallery is that it has become a completely commercial space, and not exactly a well-taken-care-of one. The next thing that I found tremendously annoying is the “no photography allowed” policy. That gets on my nerves, but I kept my cool (and for illustration purposes I will use their “official photographs”).
This time I was there to see Corin Sworn (winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2013-2015) installation “Silent Sticks”, which felt like it needed some structure or a curator:
Christopher Williams exhibition of photographs about photography “The Production Line of Happiness” was a big disappointment, probably the least interesting photography exhibition I have ever seen:
Finally Turner Prize nominated artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye selects from the V-A-C collection was just that, a “selection”, which goes to prove that being a “good” curator is as good and as rare as being a “good” artist:
Just when I was leaving with a big disappointment, thinking that I should have gone to SoHoCreate instead, I stumbled, around the corner, down a narrow alley next to KFC, onto Freedom Books: an awesome library and publishing house specializing in anarchism and social struggle. I had a delightful time browsing through their treasures.
The walk was also totally worth it, and allowed me to enjoy a rare nice day in London, and the ever changing light of the city, which together with the wildly contrasted modern-classic architecture made for a delightful evening.