London’s leading place in the international contemporary art world was strengthened last year by the opening of two new galleries – S2 by Sotheby’s In George Street, which recently held the Banksy retrospective exhibition, and Sadie Coles HQ in Kingly Street, Soho.
Opening last September, Sadie Cole HQ’s new gallery supplements the existing two London galleries and provides a 600 sq m exhibition space across the first floor of the former La Valbonne nightclub, which housed live performances by the likes of The Four Tops and Neil Sedaka and which has been transformed into a white minimal double-height space lit by natural light from the rooflights above. Interestingly, while the Gallery straddles across from Regent Street at one end and Soho at the other, it is in the more cutting-edge side of Soho that the entrance is located and this was reflected to an extent by the younger crowd who were at the private view of the latest exhibition earlier this week.
In tune with the growing emergence of the South American art scene, the current exhibition “Touch me I am geometrically sensitive” is Brazilian artist Adriano Costa’s first solo exhibition in London, following on from his inclusion as one of the artists in the summer exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection. Working for two months in London in advance of this exhibition, Costa takes everyday objects of a variety of materials including copper, concrete, timber, newspapers and clothes and assembles them using their forms and textures to create something imaginative, new and unexpected, which hint back to their previous lives.
“While probing the imaginative and aesthetic potential embedded in the stuff of daily life, Costa’s sculptures, paintings and installations also allude implicitly to the wider system in which art is made, validated and sold” (Sadie Coles HQ).
Costa, who lives and works in São Paulo, explains: “I never work with a predetermined project. Rather, it is a certain material or colour that determines my direction, and when other elements are incorporated, one thing starts to relate to another, some problems emerge, and I try to solve them. Sometimes, there is no solution, so I have to deal with that too.
The new space across one floor with its top-lit rooflights works well as a white gallery space and is a welcome addition to the London arts scene, though the lighting is just a little too relentless during the day; it would be good to have a little more contrast and subtlety perhaps in a future exhibition.