Thing of the Day


December 3rd 2010 

3 opened in London last night, last night being Thursday - a First Thursday...

3 was part of the regular monthly First Thursday set of art events that sees East London galleries joining together to all open new shows on the same night. It really isn’t possible to see everything that’s opening on First Thursday but a walk down to Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 is as good a place as any to start. There were five or six shows opening on the street last Thursday, including the London leg of the “3” show that Pure Evil were putting on, and “Here Today”, a show curated by Tinsel and Twinkle. 

    freezin rabbitThe weather was awful, freezing snow and treacherous ice coating the pavement, the Roa rabbit looked really (really) cold up on his (her?) wall - this is not a night to be out! Surely no one else will be out there on the streets tonight. We’re driven to go out of some kind of a sense of support for our fellow painters and art promoters, though I must confess the warmth of our bunker did seem like a good option. Twinkle has shown at several of our art shows this year, and anyway, we like her unique style, really don’t want to miss one of her openings.

So we’re heading for Shoreditch and trying not to fall over, impossible not to pass a gallery or two on the way though and it would be rude not to drop in. There’s some stimulating pieces at theappropriately titled God is in the Details show at Gallery Primo Alonso on Hackney Road. A show in this recently refurbished, rather intimate gallery presented by co-curators Medeia Cohan-Petrolino and Justin Hammond. This group show features 13 artists working in a variety of disciplines, drawn together for their demonstration of dexterity, craftsmanship and a thorough and meticulous approach to his or her practice. Justin Hammond notes that "The idea for this show came about last year when myself and Medeia began to notice a rising trend at shows of artists beginning to swing away from loud, showy or even abstract work and back toward more subtle and precise work with high levels of craftsmanship and intricacy". All in the details indeed.

No need to worry about the turnout - despite the cold and the treacherous footing, Redchurch Street is packed, and getting through the door of the Outside World Gallery toRedchurch Here Today view the Here Today show proves quite a battle. The street is alive with art and people, spilling out of the galleries, staggering along the ice rink pavement between each welcoming open door clutching mulled wine and beer. Easy to lose count of the shows that are on, and every one of them packed with bodies to a point that, outside of the very big spaces, seeing the art tonight can be difficult if not almost impossible. Opening nights are often not the nights to seriously view art, they’re nights to go out, get a flavour, fuel your curiosity, work out what you want to come back and view properly while you do some socialising, some meeting with people, some networking, some talking to the artists, curators, to other art jockeys.  And it's actually fun - talk to enough people and you'll find quite a few have nothing to do with the business or making of art, who have just come down to enjoy the exhibitions and the atmosphere of First Thursdays.

           “Here Today is an exhibition curated by Twinkle Troughton and Tinsel Edwards, featuring the work of 11 contemporary female artists at the rather intimate Outside WorldHere Today Gallery on Redchurch St. Featuring: Kathy Barber, Wanda Bernardino, ...Sonia Blair, Fran Cowdry, Tinsel Edwards, Tracey Falcon, Fran Giffard, Chantal Powell, Lakhi Sangha, Corinna Spencer and Twinkle Troughton. The exhibition title ‘Here Today’ is taken from one of the pieces in the show, a neon artwork by Kathy Barber that’s on view and glowing blue out of the gallery window. Here Today’s artists are taking glimpses, ideas, fantasies and facts from history and bringing them into the now. Working with a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, found objects, drawing and multi media the artists selected for this show each has a very individual practice. The main common ground between the works is that of nostalgia, history and time gone by. Some works are political, some humorous, some emotive, surreal or aesthetically beautiful yet it is from a contemporary viewpoint, each artist considers how the past has informed our present.”

We can’t honestly see much, the little gallery is packed all night, the opening night preview is packed from the start of the evening until closing time, it does look rather good, but it is quite literally a case of fighting your way in. There’s an intriguing set of pieces and all working rather well together, we’ll have to make a return visit, from the bits we could see it seems very worthwhile.

3 logoA few feet down the road we come to the bigger space hosting the 3 event. 3 is running in three locations: 3 in Paris has already opened at the Lebenson Gallery in the Marais on the 25th of November and will run until December 31st, 3 in London is in the Londonewcastle project space at 28 Redchurch Street, E2. It opened on the 2nd of December and runs until December 31st.  3 in Los Angeles will be later in 2011. Pure Evil are handling things in London. The idea appears simple. Each artist brings3 show 3 pieces for each show. There’s no curation, there’s no wordy intellectual press release, there’s just 3. The London space is big, lots of opportunity to be expansive and show this diverse body of contemporary work. And there is some really high-standard work in here (some of it maybe not quite so exciting, most of it is). The giant antlers on the battle ships caught the eye, with a great accompanying video.  Participating artists, from all over the globe, include Andrew Mcattee, Bom-k, Dain, Dan Mabe, Danny Gretsche, Eine, 3 showGrady, Gordon, Gustavo Ortiz, Isaac Cordal, James Flames, Jeanne Briand, Lucas Price, Mason Marcobello, Medo, Pure Evil, Rene Almanza, Roa, Silencio, Wendell Mcshine, Yuval Shaul, Sowat, Rodez, Valerie Browne, Medo, Jaz Edgar Argaez, Dixon, Danny Gretscher, Edith Kia, Nicolas Feouillat, Nychos, Sten + Lex, Miss Bugs, Wildcat Will, Daniel Acosta, Daniel Berman, Uriel Marin, Apex, L’atlas, Ephameron, Patricia Colli, Gabriel Mbembe, John Uzzell Edwards. There really isn’t anything uniting the work other than the fact that, on the whole, the work is all good exciting stimulating contemporary art – various shades of pop art, street art, video art, situationism, painterly dexterity, punk rock collage, bronze casts of broken drum sticks, a girl on rollerskates with paint and words on her wheels (it didn’t quite work, but she did get quite a crowd watching on in cheery confusion).  3 is full of all kinds of interesting things and keeps us occupied most of the evening.

    suki mandelbrotSuki Chan’s Utopia on the Horizon show over the road at Tintype is also worth further investigation. There’s a live musical performance in the gallery from Mandlebrot, a man attempting to break records in terms of the use of multiple effects pedals, his sound and colour compliment Chan’s rather beautiful neon and attention-demanding dream-like films. The impressive, beautifully lit show includes her neon installation Story of Rice as well as a new photographic work 6805 miles, her films, her mixed-media creations are a celebration a subtle light and movement, her arial view time-lapse of London and hardly moving landscape compositions hold a small crowd transfixed. It  would be very easy to just sit in front of her installations for a few hours…  

And that is the beauty of First Thursday, loads to explore, mentally bookmark (while you maybe grab a few beer or two), meet lots of people and work out what you want to go back to explore at a quieter less frantic time.  

  No First Thursday in January, they’re back on in February (Feb 3rd?)

First Thursdays -
Here Today -
The Outside World Gallery -
Primo Alonso Gallery-   
Pure Evil Gallery -
Pure Evil 3 imagery -
Tintype Gallery -
Twinkle Trounghton -
SUBEN @ 3 -
Suki Chan -

More images from 3... John Uzzell Edwards  3, Londonnewcastle

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Yuval Shaul at 3Delphine Perrot3 show Shoreditch3 show - Rene Almanza3 haculla?Andrew Mcattee 3 showNicolas Feouillat

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