2012 in Statistics… Or Nearly 1000 Excuses To Have Done Nothing!

It’s no excuse for a lack of blog posts… But I’ve been busy! Look. Foursquare will vouch for me! It’s not like I haven’t had anything to blog about, apart from a distinct lack of doing anything creative, which is essentially what this blog is for after all! I did’t even get round to doing a day by day blog of my holiday as I would normally. Maybe in 2013 I should get round to writing something random everyday. Maybe something to accompany the instagram photos [800+ since April] I’ve been posting. Although I have sort of told myself to do less on my PC, get out walking more, see more of London, read more and make more “analogue stuff”, you know tactil things. Buy some paints, produce some books and prints etc. We’ll see. Anyway, those excuses [or check-ins as I like to call them]…

Pubs & Bars
196 with 360 repeat visits to 44 venues – The top 3 being:
Seven, Brixton [89]
Scootercaffe, SE1 [48]
Ritzy Bar/Coffee, Brixton [47]
This compares to 141 [ with in excess of 150 revisits to a total of 37] in 2011.

Restaurants & Cafes
116 with 110 repeat visits to 31 venues, compared to 102 [ with 80 return visits to 24 of them] in 2011. There are also pop-ups/street food locations in there this year as well. I put this down to prominence of new eateries in Brixton this year.

I also visited 72 Art Galleries/ Museums/Fairs, compared to 56 in 2011; Witnessed 39 Theatrical events [plays/comedy/dance/performance] compared to 24 in 2011; Saw 7 films compared to 8 in 2011 and went to 10 gigs and 4 “club events” [events where there were DJs/dancing as opposed to bands] compared to 8 gigs and 7 club nights in 2011.

The full list of check-ins is…

Disco Dungeon, Brighton
Electric Ballroom – Pulled Apart By Horses/The Computers
Brighton Ballroom – Repeat Prescription
O2 Academy, Brixton – Leftfield
Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
Electrowerkz, Islington – Helsinki Dub [single launch]
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank – The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black
Hyde Park – Blur
Koko, Camden – Afghan Whigs
Tamesis Dock, Lambeth – Deap Vally
House Of Go Bang – White Horse, Shoreditch
Scissor Sisters – Roundhouse, Camden
Alabama Shakes – Coronet, Elephant & Castle
Polly Scattergood – Madame Jo Jo’s, Soho

Ritzy Bar/Coffee, Brixton x 47
Upstairs at the Ritzy, Brixton x 4
Seven, Brixton x 89
SW9, Brixton x 6
Tate Modern Members Room, SE1 x 5
Tate Modern Restaurant, SE1 x 2
Tate Members Lounge, Pimlico
The Underdog, Clapham
The Abbeville, Clapham
Olivier Bar, Southbank x 2
Scootercaffe, SE1 x 48
The Prince Albert, Brixton
The Kings Head, Islington
The Castle, Shoreditch
All Bar One, SE1 x 3
Tommyfield, Kennington
The Paxton, Gypsy Hill x 2
The Watermans Arms, Hersham
Coach & Horses, Mayfair
Wetherspoons, Victoria x 5
The Ship, Soho x 2
Kernel Brewery, SE1
40 Maltby Street, SE1
The Woolpack, SE1
Hide Bar, SE1 x 2
Royal George, Euston
Sloe Bar, Euston x 3
Sloe Bar, Victoria x 2
Marquis Of Granby, SW1 x 15
Half Moon, Herne Hill
The Light Restaurant & Bar, Shoreditch
Nelson Inn, Chorley, Staffordshire x 6
The Frog, Clapham x 3
The Clapham North, Clapham
Venn Street Records, Clapham
Duke of Argyll, Soho
Soho Theatre Bar, Soho x 2
Kaff Bar, Brixton x 21
Brewdog, Camden x 2
Thomas Kemp, Brighton
Windsor Castle, SW1 x 2
Ravensbury Arms, Mitcham x 3
Freud, WC1
The Iron Duke, Mayfair x 3
Ye Olde White Bear, Hampstead
Horseshoe, Hampstead
Mason’s Arms, Battersea x 4
Cafe Rouge, Victoria
Traveller’s Tavern, Victoria
The Florence, Herne Hill x 6
Loft, Clapham
Hive Bar, Brixton x 4
Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton x 2
The Great Exhibition, Dulwich
Green and Blue Wines, Dulwich
The Ring, SE1 x 3
Baltic, SE1
Concrete Bar, SE1 x 4
Angel and Crown, Covent Garden
Royal Opera House Amphitheatre Bar
Railway Tavern, Tule Hill x 3
The Effra, Brixton
The Alexandra, Clapham
Shortwave Films Bar
Hawksmoor, Shoreditch
Crown and Anchor, Brixton x 10
Market House, Brixton
Bread and Roses, Clapham
Grand Union, Brixton x 9
The Botanist, Chelsea
Revolution, Clapham
Royal Festival Hall Terrace Bar, Southbank
The Black Dog, Vauxhall
The Canton Arms, Stockwell
Thirst Bar, Soho x 2
Gallery Mess, Chelsea
Queens Head, Stockwell
Royal Academy of Arts Members Room
Chequers Tavern, Mayfair
Draft House, Dulwich
The Clarence, Mayfair
Cove Inn, Lulworth, Dorset x 3
Bishop’s Bar, Lulworth, Dorset
Castle Inn, Lulworth, Dorset x 2
The Arc, Islington
Cafe Del Marsh, SE1 x 3
The Three Stags, Kennington
Hootananny, Brixton
Propstore, Southbank x 5
The Rye, Peckham x 3
The Duke, Deptford
Old Brewery, Greenwich
Slug and Lettuce, O2 Arena
Gipsy Hill Tavern, Gipsy Hill
Blue Posts, Mayfair
Le Caprice, Mayfair
Skylon, Southbank x 3
Pizza Express, Millbank
Founder’s Arms, Southbank x 2
Cafe Rouge, Victoria
Ravensbury Arms, Mitcham
Traveller’s Tavern, Victoria
Trafalgar London Hotel, Trafalgar Square
Kings Head, Mayfair
The Rosendale, West Norwood
The Boater’s Inn, Kingston-upon-Thames
Stein’s, Kingston-upon-Thames
The Falcon, Clapham
The Narrowboat, Islington
The Dock Kitchen, Ladbroke Grove
Crown & Greyhound, Dulwich
Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar, Peckham
Bar Story, Peckham
Powder Keg Diplomacy, Clapham
The Princess of Shoreditch
BKB, Soho
King’s Arms, Fulham
The Jam Tree, Chelsea
The Crown, Covent Garden
Cable Cafe/Bar, Kennington
Albannach, Trafalgar Square
Draft House Westbridge, Battersea
The Riverside, Vauxhall
The Phoenix, Victoria
La Tasca, Victoria
The Beehive, Gatwick Airport
Sports Eleven, Nice, France x 2
Hotel Negresco, Nice, France
La Terrasse, Nice
Queenie Brasserie.Nice
Cafe De Paris, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Craft Beer Co., Brixton x 6
Gloucester Arms, Kensington
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, Hyde Park
Village East, SE1
Coco Momo, Kensington
Flat P, Hampstead
Electric Social, Brixton
Dia Restaurant/Bar, Covent Garden
Hercules Pillars, Covent Garden
Made In Camden [Roundhouse], Camden
The Northcote, Clapham
Queen Elizabeth Hall Bar, SE1
Windmill Tavern, SE1
Kettners, Soho
Quo Vadis, Soho
Mele e Pere, Soho
Graphic, Soho
Redhook, Clerkenwell
Dream Bags & Jaguar Shoes, Hoxton x 2
Salon Bar Joel Robuchon, Covent Garden x 2
Grand Marnier Punch House, Covent Garden
Smatt’s Rum & Ice Cream Shack, Covent Garden
Ketel One Vodka Hub, Covent Garden
Euston Tap, Euston
Euston Cider Tap, Euston
Crafty Fox @ Dogstar, Brixton
Prince Regent, Herne Hill
Shakespeare Bar, Birmingham
Bar Room Bar, Birmingham
Full Stop, Brick Lane
The Carpenters Arms, Brick Lane
North Pole, Islington
Craft Beer Co, Islington
Two Brewers, Covent Garden
Bew Dog, Shoreditch
Thw Owl & The Pussycat, Shoreditch
Bar Americain, Soho
Queen’s Head, Chelsea
The Speaker, Westminster
CASK, Pimlico
The Albert, Victoria
The White Swan, Pimlico
B@1, Covent Garden
Whte Swan, Burntwood, Lichfield
Sutton Arms, Clerkenwell
The George, Fitzrovia

Canteen, Southbank
Kavah, West Norwood x 11
Yum D, Brixton x 3
Bukowski Grill, Shoreditch
Thai Square, Islington
Honest Burgers, Brixton x 2
The Dining Room, Hersham
Byron, Islington
Byron, Soho x 2
Byron, St. Giles’ Circus
Byron, The Cut, SE1 x 5
Byron, Gloucester Road
Pizarro, SE1
Nam Po, Euston
Hache, Clapham
Itsu, Regent Street x 2
Lily’s, Clapham
The Cut Bar & Restaurant, SE1 x 10
Spuntino, Soho x 3
Franco Manca, Brixton x 6
Brixton Village Grill, Brixton x 3
Brixton Space, Brixton x 3
Brazas, Brixton
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Chelsea
Dim T, SW1 x 4
Strada, Southbank
Val Taro, Leicester Square
French & Grace, Brixton x 2
Opera Tavern, Covent Garden
Regency Cafe, SW1 x 9
Leon, SE1
Ferndale Pizza, Brixton
The Jugged Hare, Barbican x 2
Bread Etc Bakery, Brixton
Sophies Steakhouse, Covent Garden
Hampshire Hog, Hammersmith
Eco, Clapham
Tapas Pa’Ti, Brixton
El Panzon, Brixton x 2
Le Bouchon Breton, Spitalfields
Bistro Union, Clapham
Cafe Castello, Tulse Hill x 4
The Orange, SW1 x 2
Foxtrot Oscar, Chelsea
Lal Baag, West Norwood x 4
Las Iguanas, Southbank
MeatLiquor, Oxford Street
Pizza Express, Brighton
Dandelion Bistro, Lulworth, Dorset
Terrace Bar and Food, Southbank x 3
Gaucho, O2 Arena
Ricks Cafe, Tooting
Yalla Yalla [pop-up], Southbank x 3
Benito’s Hat, Covent Garden x 2
Bukowski, Brixton x 2
Wahaca’s Southbank Experiment, Southbank
The Bridge, Clapham
The Lido Cafe, Herne Hill x 2
Engine, Southbank [pop-up] – Yoshi Dogs
Ben’s Canteen, Clapham
Mexway, Shoreditch
The Albion, Shoreditch
Little Bay, Farringdon
Vitao, Soho
Gail’s Artisan Bakery, Fulham
The Garden’s, Peckham
Casa Morita, Brixton x 2
Bill’s, Covent Garden
Courtesan Dim Sum, Brixton
Brick Box, Brixton
Pizza Express, Millbank
Giraffe, Gatwick Airport
Le Cocodile, Nice x 3
Le Safari, Nice
Les Jardin du Capitole, Nice
Las Cassolette, Vence
Le Clemenceau, Vence, France
Gustave 5, Nice
La Tour, Chateaudouble, France
Brasserie Le Jockey, Nice, France x 2
Guiseppe Pepino, Nice
Brasserie La Shounga, Nice
Cambodia Fast Food, Nice
Nexus Cafe, Nice
La Caravelle, Monte Carlo, Monaco
The Real Greek, SE1
Dach & Sons, Hampstead x 2
Prima Donna, Brixton x 2
Ping Pong, Fitzrovia x 2
Wolfe’s Bar & Grill, Covent Garden
Strada, Camden
Bill’s, Islington
Khan’s, Brixton x 2
Cornercopia, Brixton
Bellantonio’s, Brixton
Giant Robot, Clerkenwell
Meat Market, Covent Garden
Diwani Bhel Poori House, Euston
L’Express, Brixton
Cote, Birmingham
Wishbone, Brixton
Wenlock & Essex, Islington
L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, Covent Garden
Royal Court Cafe/Bar, Chelsea
Breads Etc, Brixton
Fish, Wings & Tings, Brixton
Leila’s Shop, Shoreditch
Cafe 1001, Brick Lane
Brasserie Zedel, Soho
New Fujiyama, Brixton
Duck Egg Cafe, Brixton
Millbank Spice, Pimlico
Sagr Vegetarian, Covent Garden
Chime Cafe, Ashbourne
Bone Daddies Ramen Bar, Soho
The Rookery, Clapham

Art Galleries/Museums/Fairs
Tate Modern – Gergard Richter
Gagosian Gallery, Kings Cross – Damien Hirst
Scream, Mayfair
London Art Fair, Islington
Royal Academy – David Hockney
White Cube, SE1
Heals, Jealous Pop-up Print Studio, Tottenham COurt Rd
Payne Shurvell, Shoreditch – Daniel Rapley
Flowers, Hoxton – David Hepher
198 COntemporary Arts, Herne Hill – Blank Generation
Halcyon Gallery – Dale Chihuly
Red Gallery, Shoreditch – Matthew Hawtin
Alan Christea Gallery – Vicken Parsons
Ben Brown Fine Arts – Gavin Turk
Sumarria Lunn – Matthew Picton: Urban Narratives
Camden Arts Centre, Hampstead – Banner Darboven
Affordable Art Fair, Battersea x 2
Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead x 2
Tate Modern – Yayoi Kusama
Esoterick Collection of Modern Art – ALberto Burri
Tate Modern – Damian Hirst x 2
Hayward Gallery – Jeremy Deller/David Shrigley
Courtaud Gallery – Mondrian/Nicholson
Tate Britain – Patrick Keiller: The Robinson Institute
Royal Academy – Lonodon Original Print Fair
Saatchi Gallery – Out of Focus Private View
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
White Cube – Doris Salcedo
Alan Cristea Gallery – Howard Hodgkin: Acquainted With The Night
Menier Gallery, SE1 – Summer Auction and Party
Urban Art Fair, Brixton
Tate Modern Tanks Preview
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Mayfair – Karl Hyde
The Tanks, Tate Modern, Southbank – Anthony McCall
Miro Victoria Gallery, Islington – Grayson Perry
Parasol Unit, Islington
Lisson Gallery, NW1 – Julian Opie
Lisson Gallery, NW1 – Ryan Gander
Dulwich Picture Gallery , Dulwich – Andy Warhol “The Portfolios”
NCP Car Park, Shoreditch – BMW Art Cars
Jeremy Deller’s Sacriege, Burgess Park, Camberwell
Mr Brainwash – Old Sorting Office, Covent Garden
Tate Britain, Pimlico – Frank Bowling x 2
Musee Matisse, Nice
Musee Picasso, Antibes
Chapelle du Rosaire, Matisee, Vence
Musee International D’Art Naif Anatole Jakovsky, Nice
Musee D’Art Moderne, Nice – Klein, Byars, Kapoor
V&A: Transformation & Revelation – Gormley to Gaga
Haclebury Finne Art- Williamm Klein Paintings
Blain | Southern – Concatenation: Signature, Seriality, Painting
Josh Lilley – Hang Up
Gagosian – Cy Twombly: Last Paintings
White Cube, SE1
French Art Gallery, Kensington – Costa Deconstructions
London Transport Museum – Mind The Map
Ronchini Gallery, Mayfair – Time After Time
Annely Juda Fine Art, Mayfair – John Golding and David Nash
The Fine Art Society, Mayfair – The Materiality Of Paint
Scream Gallery, Fitzrovia – Ye Hongxing
Gazelli Art House – Let There Be Light
Waddington Galleries – Roberyt Indiana: Sculptures
The Mayor Gallery – Turi Simeti: Pianissimo
National Gallery – Richard Hamilton: The Late Works
Christie’s, South Kensingron – Multiplied
Old Vic Tunnels – Lazaride’s Bedlam
Eagle Gallery, Farringdon – Mali Morris: Back To Front
Flowers Gallery, Hoxton – Alan Jones: Motherland
Rashid Johnson: Shelter, South London Gallery, Peckham
Photocopy Club – Beach London, Brick Lane
Stolen Space Gallery, Brick Lane – Shephard Fairey
Menier Gallery: Silent Auction, SE1

National Theatre – 13
Almeida Theatre – Reasons To Be Pretty
Criterion Theatre – 39 Steps
Old Vic – Noises Off
Soho Theatre – The Bee
Young Vic – Bingo
Duke Of Yorks Theatre- All New People
Young Vic – Going Dark
Harold Pinter Theatre – Absent Friends
Barbican Theatre – Master and Maragarita
Royal Opera House – Carbon Life etc.
Lyric Hammersmith – Oedipussy
Barbican Theatre – Gross un Klein
Young Vic – Belarus Free Theatre, Minsk 2011: A Reply To Kathy Acker
Young Vic – The Suit
National Theatre, The Collaborators
No Firt State Theatre: Barricades – Southbank
Motorshow [Greenwich Theatre] – Open space behind O2 Arena
Noel Coward Theatre – The Gatz [all 8 hours of it]
Streb, Trafalgar Square
Streb, Southbank
Streb, The London Eye
Young Vic, SE1 – A Doll’s House
Lords of Arcadia – All Saints Church, Kingston-upon-Thames
Fire Garden, Southbank
Battersea Arts Centre – Harry Hill
Sadler’s Wells – Matthew Bourne’s Play Without Words
Soho Theatre, Soho – Eddie Izzard
National Theatre [ouside], Southbank – Inside Out
Duke of Yorks Theatre – Jumpy
Globe Theatre – Twelth Night
Young Vic – Fireface
Olivier Theatre – Timon Of Athens
Chunky Move: Mortal Engine – Queen Elizabeth Hall, SE1
Youg Vic – Three Sisters
NSFW – Royal Court Theatre, Chelsea
Young Vic – The Changeling
Duchess Theatre, Covent Garden – The Boy With Tape On His Face
The Shawl – Young Vic, SE1

Ritzy, Brixton – Romantics Anonymous
BFI – Laura
BFI – Following
BFI – The Prestige
Ritzy Brixton – Skyfall
Ritzy Brixton – Looper
Ritzy Brixton – Sightseers

Shops & Markets
Ms Cupcake, Brixton
Al Badr, Brixton x 2
Mons Cheesemongers, SE1
Rosie’s Deli, Brixton
Monmouth Coffee Company, SE1
Monmouth Coffee Company, Covent Garden x 2
Federation Coffee, Brixton x 27
Federation Coffee [Piano House], Brixton x 3
Blackbird Bakery, West Norwood x 6
Stanfords, Covent Garden x 2
Market Row Wines, Brixton x 19
Cannon & Cannon x 8
Greensmiths, SE1
Ukiyo-e-Pop, Shoreditch
Lab G [ice cream], Brixton
Heritage Deli, Brixton x 4
Pinocchio Gambetta, Nice x 3
Nespresso Boutique, Nice
Brixi, Brixton x 3
Studio 73, Brixton x 2
Faix Food Store, Brixton
Hummingbird Bakery, Islington
Peter Jones, Chelsea x 4
20 Storey, Brixton x 2
Brixton Party Shop, Brixton
Cornercopia, Brixton
The Bread Room, Brixton
Circus, Brixton
Boxpark, Shoreditch x 2
Brixton Village x 60
Burlington Arcade
Maltby Street Market
Market Row, Brixton x 90
Barber De Seville, Brixton x 7
Rosendale Street Market x 2
Brixton Farmers Market x 10
Electric Avenue, Brixton x 2
Brixton Retro Market x 5
West Norwood Feast Retro Village x 2
West Norwood Feast Artisans Market x 2
West Norwood Feast Gardeners Corner x 2
West Norwood Feast x 2
Borough Market
Herne Hill Market
Exmouth Market, Islington
Real Food Market, Southbank
Foodies Festival, Battersea Park
Brixton Market x 3
Kingly Court, W1
The Mailbox, Birmingham

Other Random Check-Ins
Yoga Relax x 51
Leake Street Tunnel, SE1 x 40
London Ice Sculpting Festival, Canary Wharf
Brockwell Park, Brixton x 34
Archbishop’s Park x 46
Hampstead Heath
Covent Garden Hotel [Zenprise Presentation]
Belair Park, Dulwich x 2
Dulwich Park x 2
Vauxhall City Farm
Spring Gardens, Vauxhall
Millbank Gardens x 2
Soho Food Feast, Soho
Garden Museum, SE1 x 2
Selfridges, Oxford Street
Bompas & Parr Crazy Golf, Selfridges Rooftop Garden
Lulworth Duck Pond, Dorset
Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Durdle Door, Dorset x 2
Stair Hole, Dorset
Fossil Forest, Dorset
Finley’s Ice Cream Parlour, Lulworth, Dorset
St. James’s Park
Nunhead Cemetry
The Cutty Sark
London Wonderground, Southbank
Gatwick Airport x 2
[South Terminal Shuttle Station x 3]
[North Terminal Shuttle Station x 3]
[North Terminal] x 2
[South Terminal]
[North Terminal Extension]
[Gate 113]
Terminal 2, Nice Airport
Yotel, Gatwick Airport
La Colline du Chateau, Nice
Opera Plage, Nice
Plage De Nice, France x 2
Promenade Des Anglais 47, Nice x 2
Hi Beach, Nice x 2
Promanade Des Anglais, Nice
Cathedrale Orthodox Russe St. Niolas, Nice
La Poste Thiers, Nice
Chateau Saint Martin, France [vineyard]
Domain Dragon, France [vineyard]
Domaine Du Jas D’Escalans, France [vineyard]
Chateau du Rouet, France [vineyard]
Hyde Park
Bermondsey St. Festival, SE1
British Street Food Awards, Hoxton
Gail’s Garden Party, Hampstead
Start Finish Line, Grand Prix Circuit, Monaco
Cimitere Du Chateau, Nice
Place Garibaldi, Nice
Marche Aux Fleurs, Nice
London Cocktail Club, Covent Garden
St. James’ Park, SW1
Windrush Square, Brixton x 3
Sophos PLC, Abingdon
Hackney House, Shoreditch
Boundary Gardens, Shoreditch
Sloane Square, Chelsea
Callow Hall Country House Hotel Ashbourne
St. Andrew, Holborn [End of the World Lecture with Crystal Skull vodka!]
Royal Institue of British Architects – Artangel Longplayer Lecture

Books Read 2012

Black Box: Jennifer Egan

Reamde: Neal Stephenson [In Progress!]

Blake: Peter Ackroyd

Transmission: Hari Kunzru

The Dolce Vita Diaries: Cathy Rogers & Jason Gibb

Apathy For The Devil: Nick Kent

Noise: Hari Kunzru

David Hepher: Andrew Mead

David Hepher – Recent Paintings: Andrea Rose

David Hepher 1996: Edward Lucie-Smith


Spotify informs that I listened to 109 new albums [mostly only once] in 2012, as well as a number of individual tracks and EPs. My “Jams” for the year can be found here. Last.fm tells me my top 10 Most Listened to artists 2012 were

Afghan Whigs
Alabama Shakes
Blood Red Shoes
The XX
Sleigh Bells
Frank Ocean
Amanda Palmer
Keaton Henson
Smoke Fairies

A rough distribution of check-ins in London


Art Drive

BMW V12 LMR art car - Jenny Holzer 1999Amongst other places, I found myself at the ICA’s Art Drive exhibition in an NCP car park in Shoreditch on Saturday. “The automobile art collection by BMW looks back on more than 35 years of continuity and success. It is international in scope and immensely diverse in its artistic expression. As one of the icons of the 20th century, here the automobile is given an almost auratic status. The BMW Art Cars range between the art forms of painting, graphics art, sculpture and design”. So it says on the BMW website.

Many models of BMW leave a lot to be desired style wise and some of the artists selected seemed ill suited. Jeff Koons gets the most satisfactory combination of model of car and design. I liked Warhol’s effort for the simple fact that he spent all of 28 minutes on it [and it shows] but it was all he needed to do. Esther Mahlangu’s Ndebele design is striking and Jenny Holzer definitely got the best car! I suppose the location was the most convenient for loading the cars in and out but it certainly wasn’t the ideal place to photograph them! But I had a go. Check out my flickr set, Art Drive.

NCP Multi-Storey Car Park 35 Great Eastern St/Curtain Rd London EC2A 3ER
21 July — 04 August 2012
Free admission

Four Galleries In Summer

We went to see Grayson Perry‘s The Vanity Of Small Differences at the Victoria Miro Gallery yesterday, after breakfast at Brockwell Park’s Lido Cafe. The six tapestries are at the top of an incredibly long flight of stairs and it was 30 degrees in London yesterday! The pieces are so much better than the accompanying TV shows would lead  you to believe; there are so many tiny details in each, right down to Grayson himself reflected in a convex mirror photographing one of the subjects. Well worth a visit… And there is a lift if you don’t fancy the stairs. The Gallery seems to merge into the neighbouring Parasol Unit, so we also had a quick look at a couple of rooms of David Claerbout‘s The Time That Remains but they are mostly video works that demand a lot of time and it was glorious sunshine outside so we went and sat outside the Narrowboat instead and looked at the Regent’s Canal. Mybe we’ll return to the Parasol Unit as soon as summer is over [which will probably be this weekend].

Next we headed west to the Lisson Gallery to see Julian Opie‘s latest works. At first glance they are simply more of the usual; the first rooms are the walking figures, simplified to logo-esque broad lines and colours. It is a simple style but one Opie has made his own and that’s pretty admirable in itself. Out in the sculpture yard a galloping LED Horse towers over the perimeter wall and a peeing boy was suddenly shy and didn’t pee at all.

I initially dismissed the animated landscapes in the basement as dumbed down Hockney’s; they look like video frames individually “got at” in Photoshop but on further study I suspect there is more to them than that and they are very relaxing; no doubt destined to end up in the lobby of some corporate office block they are still distinctly Opie’s even without any figures in them. I need to find out more about the display screens now!

Back upstairs the figures move to the centre of the room as well, as enamel on glass [two dimensional sculpture?] pieces and there are some resin busts painted to also appear two dimensional when face on which is quite disconcerting. The final “twist” are some more portraits with the bold outlines but this time in mosaic form. Both the busts and the mosaics seem to lose a lot of the power of the colours that the other pieces have but must be a a welcome change for the artist!

As we were in the area we thought we should check out the sister gallery across the road which was showing Ryan Gander‘s The Fallout of Living. The entrance to the first room is blocked by a 275cm diameter stainless steel ball of “parts” called More Really Shiny Things That Don’t Mean Anything and that sets the tone for the exhibition; it is pretty much about the unseen. On the downstairs walls are a series of Associative Ghost Templates which appear to me like perspex representations of page layouts for magazines with no content.bIn the centre of the room two objects that look like sheets draped over something turn out to be solid marble and in the corners are two pieces that seem not to fit with the rest of the works. Both carved from large pieces of wood, one includes a tiny macaroon the other a used condom!

As we walked back past the large stainless steel ball to head upstairs I joked that it would have been better if that when you flicked the light switch outside the room the ball rolled aside; it seems Gander may have been ahead of me with the switch motif! Upstairs, behind the desk of the small shop/office, were two switches labelled guns and bombs! The front room contains a piece, easily the best in my mind, called Kodak Courage which is a display case made from smart glass. This just appeared as an opaque box to me but as there were people working in the room I suspect we didn’t get the full effect of it turning opaque as the you approach it, thus censoring its contents. If it had any! I just thought of it as Schroedinger’s display case!

I hoped we could get something to eat at the Dock Kitchen, a few stops on the tube up to Ladbroke Grove, but we were two hours too early for dinner so just sat outside with drinks smelling the fantastic things being prepped for the evening while overlooking Portobello Dock [another canal side location, this time the Paddinton Arm of the Grand Union] before heading back to Brixton for dinner at the Crown and Anchor instead. The pea, broad bean and goats cheese risotto was very tasty!

“Summer” Exhibition 2012

Hey! Remember me? I went to the Summer Exhibition yesterday nursing a major hangover and after a 5:00 am bedtime. Maybe not the best time to go. A [£9.50!!!] glass of the Pimm’s Royale took the edge off that a bit but what was to be seen? It wasn’t quite as annoying as previous years but there still seemed to be a lot of room given to artists that could probably get shown elsewhere. I didn’t note down many of the prints and I’m sure I liked more than I have listed; there were two rooms of them but it was very busy in those rooms. I suspect that may have something to do with the prices! The prints are a lot more affordable. Speaking of which I was surprised at the number of works I had seen before today, probably at the Affordable Art Fair. The £66,000 price tag of Martin Creed’s flashing green neon “Dogs” sign was really annoying a couple I stood next to in the final room, which amused me no end! Annoying people is probably something Creed does very well and is to be admired as an art form in itself!

The first pieces to catch my eye were by the late John Hoyland RA and Adrian Berg RA’s Second Lake Sheffield Park. Henny Acloque’s Intrusion 3 in which garish daubs obliterate underlying landscapes. Nadia Hebson’s portrait, LH, which is strangely haunting. Francisco Nicolas’ work reminds me of hipgnosis album covers of the 70’s with a touch of  Peter Saville thrown in.

Thomas Deakins is a landscape artist who occasionally seems to stray into George Shaw territory. Peter Marsh creates very delicate angular charcoal works which almost look as though they were produced using a very crap photocopier! Nathaniel Rackowe’s bitumen on powder coated aluminium [This is London 11, London 17 is in the RA] work somehow manages to have similar qualities to his sculptural light installations.

I also liked Tooney Phillip’s untitled etching, Marianne Nix’s Running Lines [these are Hampstead Heath, rather than Hyde Park, which is in the RA show] and Elizabeth Collini’s typographic work. More etching, from Sophie Layton and printmaker Gail Brodholt.

The Charles Wollaston Award for ‘The Most Distinguished Work’ in the Summer Exhibition will be announced BBC2’s Culture Show on 15th June. The shortlist for this year’s prize is:

Tim Head – Libra
Anselm Kiefer – Samson
Sean Scully – Doric Grey
David Nash – Hump with a Hole

Much as I like Tim Head’s Libra I wouldn’t fancy being up against Anselm Kiefer in any competition. Samson is a brute of a piece!

Four of Cornelia Parker’s Brontean Abstracts get a showing here, which seems a lot but they are an intriguing concept.

We are eased into the architectural pieces gradually this year and they aren’t all tucked away at the end as I recall them being last year. Allies and Morrison Architects Triptych Of Models Showing Development Of The Olympic Site are a topical inclusion. I can’t find any mention of Luca Perricone online but Oratorian City caught my eye. Neither can I find anything about Gihan Karunaratne’s Free Parker Pen With Every Enquiry. It’s No 919, seek it out if you go. Yuichiro Kikuma’s Sierra Echoes is an unusual name for what appears to be a council estate viewed through a smog and I can only imagine that the name represents SE in the phonetic alphabet and that this is indeed a South East London estate. Again I am thinking of George Shaw and a little of David Hepher. Eoghann Mac Colla’s Soar Alba is an abstracted mixed media landscape that is kind of all wrong and all right at the same time!

Desmond Cronin’s Laughing Stock caused a fantastically loud outburst of disgust by some buffoon nearby as I passed it. Personally I found the flimsy, almost fuse wire thin, coat hangers on a rail pretty amusing; as the name would suggest… Something to hang the Emperors New Clothes on perhaps?

Christopher Le Brun’s [president of the RA] Letter To Joshua [Reynold’s I assume, with a nod towards George Stubbs?] is probably the piece I would be most likely to buy from today’s visit, were money no object and the piece were actually for sale. It doesn’t have the same effect on a web page as standing in front of it… And I didn’t even notice the horse until I stood in front of Sash, his other contribution in the next room, and looked back again. However, Mr Le Brun, maybe it’s time that your comments in this Guardian piece shook up the selection process for the Summer Exhibition a bit? Admittedly I didn’t dwell over much today given the hangover and that but I would expect to have had more than 20 pieces making an impact on me, out of almost 1500! Or maybe I should just go again and pay more attention. I failed to notice where the List Of Works were for sale on the way in [not too conveniently by the entrance it has to be said] and subsequently didn’t spot the Tom Phillips or a Callum Innes on my way round, so there may have been no end of stuff I missed. Has there been an illustrated book accompanying the exhibition in previous years? I may be better off with one of those next time round.

Affordable Art Fair Tweets Collected

  • Morgan Doyle on the Triangle stand – Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair http://t.co/tjeclYOX #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Patrick Thomas “Heart/Target 01” – Outline Editions http://t.co/xRojqLrw Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Sebastien Levigne mixed media pieces on the Linda Blackstone stand http://t.co/rHDK0AFX Battersea #Affordable #Art #Fair #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • As ever Alban’s work at Envie D’Art is impressive http://t.co/W74zZYHJ Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Nick Mosienko veers between abstract and landscape on the Francis Iles stand http://t.co/Tf10tqUN Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Chris Wilson’s acrylic & graphite works on the Doorway Gallery stand stood out too http://t.co/CzCQ1HpA Battersea #Affordabe #Art Fair #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Marc-Antoine Goulard on the Cynthia Corbett stand was pretty good too. Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair http://t.co/UImqmA5m #AAF Mar 18, 2012 
  • Liking Brian Neish’s work on the Bell Fine Art stand at Battersea #Affordable #Art Fair http://t.co/yu8x00T7 #AAF Mar 18, 2012 

Extremely Extreme

Experienced two extremes of  art and gallery spaces yesterday. Firstly the grandly impressive Halcyon Gallery in New Bond Street and Dale Chihuly‘s spectacular glass pieces;more sculpture or installation than the traditional idea of glassware. Stunning!

Then after an equally impressive steak lunch at Marco Pierre White’s in the Kings Road we braved the rain to head over to Shoreditch to see Matthew Hawtin‘s derivative display in the less grand Red Gallery. The space is great in itself but many of the pieces were’t particularly well lit, but it didn’t really matter. It’s obvious that more famous brother Richie has done Matthew a lot of favours using his artwork for various record releases over the years. Much of it works when reproduced for that purpose but it doesn’t stand up on its own in a gallery space and the larger pieces were poor. The Three dimensional pieces owe more than a passing nod to Ellsworth Kelly and there were a collection of painted boxes attached to one wall that looked like something Donald Judd might have knocked up at nursery school. Saying all that, there looks to be better work on Matthew’s website…

Unimpressed we headed back to South London for out fifth visit to local bar, Seven at Brixton, in seven days; we had been there for their latest art launch the night before and its good to see the place so busy. The Hemuss Room is looking great and contained the girls from A Grape Night In doing a wine tasting and what, earlier in the week, had been a dingy cupboard suddenly contained Fortune; a sparkling little boutique. We’ll not be able to get in there as soon as the weather warms up!

Your Past Will Catch Up With You

Mean Street - Marquee Club [1982]I was surprised to hear, via my friend Chris, that this very old band photo of ours is included in an exhibition by the photographer of said band; Tony Shelley. I was even more surprised to read that it was included in a Leicester music magazine; The Monograph.

It was taken backstage at the Marquee in Wardour Street immediately after a gig; we had been supporting Lionheart, a band formed by Dennis Stratton after he had left Iron Maiden. We only did three gigs! Another at the Marquee, supporting a band called Rage and one at the Brixton Academy which was then, temporarily, known as the Fair Deal. I did wear trousers [ripped up jeans] for the gig in case you were wondering!

Weird it should turn up after all this time!


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