fired up but down to earth

20 March 2011 § Leave a comment

I recently attended the opening of one of the latest new galleries on the London art scene – the Gazelli Arthouse. New openings can be mixed affairs. Typically in recent years they might feature some mediocre art in a disused east London warehouse – recently whitewashed of course – accompanied by over-enthusiastic new gallerists and a few beers from an icy dustbin.

Gazelli proved somewhat better. Their first exhibition, entitled ‘Fired Up’, took place at The Dairy in Wakefield Street – a new venue for me, but it proved to be spectacular. With no expense spared (apparently) the space had been transformed in to something equal or better than many top London contemporary galleries. The lighting was exceptional and the art interesting if not spectacular. It sold very well.

Joe Clark’s installation and c-type photographs were the most impressive. apparently ‘the work is located at the intersection of a romantic spiritualism and an enlightenment rationalism; an urgent truth and a sly contrivance; ideological certainty and an atomised society. He is communicating a vision that is romantic and hopeful but sadly ambivalent about its relationship to reality’. No, I don’t understand this nonsense either – but take it from me it is very good stuff – this is a young artist, a Slade graduate from last year, to watch carefully.

Gazelli have decided to stage four more themed exhibitions over the coming year before their full opening. They will take place in a variety of spaces whilst they scout more permanent venues – Duke street is being considered – so clearly this is an operation with considerable ambition! Each will promote relatively new or unknown artists, including some from central Europe due to the Gallery owners origins in Azerbaijan and experience in Turkey.

Fired Up has recently finished (apologies for not reporting sooner!) but coming soon is Down to Earth which will be at The Studio in Kingdom Street, Paddington – another new venue. Running from the 1st to 21st April I would highly recommend taking a look.  Completing the series, whose themes are loosely based around the elements, are Still or Sparkling, Air I Breathe and Bodhi – dates and venues tba.

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