One of the joys of visiting the Venice Biennale is the number of exhibitions of contemporary art on show in historic buildings that you might not otherwise see, often located down canals you would not normally visit. It is as much an architectural discovery as an exploration of new art.
The Gallery Edel Assanti has given us a taste of this for five days alongside Frieze Sculpture 2020 located a short walk away, while the main Frieze London art fair has, like many others, gone virtual.
Tucked away in Clarence Gate Gardens near Regent’s Park is what looks from the outside to be a relatively plain brick church, but inside has rich decoration in and around the chancel. Dedicated to St Cyprian, the 3rd century martyr and bishop of Carthage, St Cyprian’s Church, one of London’s hidden gems which is much celebrated by architectural historians, was designed by the renowned Scottish Gothic-Revival church architect Ninian Comper. While the building was completed in 1903, work on its decoration continued into the 1940′s but remains incomplete today, but the church is none the less fascinating for that.
Inside, a crowd of socially-distanced and slightly spooky figures by the American artist Oren Pinhassi stand in conversation, the figures containing elements from showers in bath-houses stand in conversation, their form and relatively subdued colours contrasting to the rich architecture beyond.
Is there are opportunity here for more such exhibitions in unknown, unusual and historic buildings when Frieze 2021 comes to London?