Hector Campbell, our Curator at Large, has his eye on the latest and greatest contemporary exhibitions, and he's always on the lookout for promising up-and-coming artists. If you're in search of your next art fix this July, here are four current London exhibitions that Hector recommends.
1. VOJTĚCH KOVAŘÍK. LOVERS AND FIGHTERS, PUBLIC GALLERY:
Public Gallery in Dalston, East London presents Vojtěch Kovařík’s debut UK solo exhibition, ‘Lovers and Fighters’, featuring a new series of work exploring the comparisons and differences between the two eponymous stereotypes through the lens of classical mythology, literary history and contemporary culture. Vojtěch completed both his BA and MA at the Faculty of Arts at Ostrava University, in his native Czech Republic, having also studied abroad for a year within the Department of Painting at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. ‘Lovers and Fighters’ follows an impressive seven solo exhibition in his home country and whilst the muscle men that have formed the mainstay of the artists output remain, their obvious masculinity is called into question as their combative embraces turn ambiguously amorous.
‘Lovers and Fighters’ runs until July 6th.
2. ELLIE MACGARRY, COME UNDONE, DANIEL BENJAMIN GALLERY:
‘Come Undone’ at Daniel Benjamin Gallery in Notting Hill, West London, is recent Slade School of Fine Art MA Painting graduate Ellie MacGarry’s debut solo exhibition, and presents a range of the artists delicate and intimate paintings and ceramic sculpture.
In her paintings and sculpture MacGarry offers a pointed critique on contemporary society's obsession with oversharing, choosing to present instead those moments which people attempt to hide. With her paintings capturing her subjects mid-dressing and undressing or mid-haircut, and her ceramics depicting wax strips, brushes and nail clippers the tools of preening, plucking and preparing, those private moments that exist before the public presentation are given the spotlight.
‘Come Undone’ runs until July 6th.
3. MARÍA BERRÍO, CAROLINE WALKER, FLORA YUKHNOVICH, VICTORIA MIRO:
Presented in collaboration with influence Instagram account The Great Women Artists, founded by Katy Hessel in 2015, Victoria Miro’s summer exhibition featured three young women artists exploring contemporary ideas related to migration, consumerism and painting.
María Berrío reflects upon her own personal history of migration, having grown up in Colombia and now living and working in Brooklyn, by creating layered collages of Japanese paper to depict scenes reminiscent of folklore from her native South America. However, behind their colourful surfaces the works are imbued with poignant political critiques of life under the Trump administration.
Caroline Walker’s portraits of women employed in the service industry (in hotels, offices or retail outlets) capture a unique perspective on the boundaries that exist between public and private. The often unnoticed and unappreciated subjects are portrayed mid-shift, enjoying a quiet moment of personal reflection amid their public facing surroundings.
Finally, Flora Yuknovich subverts the art historical traditions and techniques of the Rococo, appropriating and updating eighteenth-century masterpieces for a millennial audience through the use of popular pastel colours, Disney-esque figuration and modernised mark-making.
‘María Berrío, Caroline Walker, Flora Yukhnovich’ runs until July 27th.
4. KATHERINE BRADFORD, LEGS AND STRIPES, CAMPOLI PRESTI:
For Katherine Bradford’s debut UK solo exhibition ‘Legs and Stripes’ at Campoli Presti in Bethnal Green, East London, she continues her expansion of the colour field painting style. Through the slow addition of individual body parts - legs, arms, feet and heads - into her works, Bradford has gradually approached figuration whilst maintaining her fondness for abstraction, all the while experimenting with how the use of colour can affect and influence both disciplines. The artists’ use of thinly applied layers of acrylic further allows for a seamless transition between figurative and abstract as her painterly lines are literally blurred between the two.
‘Legs and Stripes’ runs until July 27th.