At a time when the physical presence of galleries and art foundations seems very fluid, (in part due to the extortionate business rates these organisations have to pay – the Parasol Foundation being the latest organisation to indicate that it will give up its excellent gallery space near Old Street next year), the Goodman Gallery has made a brave and welcome move to start a new London gallery in the splendid new Burlington Gate development, designed in a more optimistic world by the international architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP).
Based in South Africa, the move perhaps reflects the growing interest in African art. The refurbishment has been kept simple, but well-designed, with investment focussed on the display environment and the grand staircase that connects the two different display areas on the ground and lower floors, plus several dark spaces at the lower level for video and digital art
With its inaugural exhibition ‘I’ve Grown Roses in this Garden of Mine’, the Goodman Gallery has curated an exhibition with artists who create works related to ‘social repair’, looking at the positive side of how society and people tackle the many issues that seem to cause chaos in the modern world and create anxiety and distress for us all, though some of the works such as William Kendrick’s video ‘Ubu Tells the Truth’ seems to link more to the darker side of African life. Other artists on show include Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Marx, Shirin Neshat, El Anatsui, Alfredo Jaar, Kudzanait-Violet Hwami along with a fascinating wall-poem by Grada Kilomba and an immense wall map by Nolan Oswald Dennis which has so much in it that you need to spend serious time exploring it.
A great inaugural exhibition – I look forward to the next one.