While Sadie Coles HQ has been supporting Condo 2019, providing two supplementary exhibitions and also drawing in new visitors, the main gallery space has had its rooflights covered with fabric to reduce the light and create a more intimate atmosphere for its jazz-focussed exhibition ‘one minute’s music, one minute’s time’ with recent work by the young American artist Ryan Sullivan, born in 1983 and therefore a near contemporary of Todd Bienvenu and Joe Bradley from New York whose work has also been on show in London.
Entirely different in style, this shows what a wide variety the contemporary artworld provides. Ryan’s swirling, colourful, intense paintings set against the industrial columns of the gallery are focussed on jazz which is a unique musical form in which improvisation and structure work together (or sometimes not). There is no right and wrong in jazz; it has to work for everyone and, having been to a few jazz clubs in Chicago, the atmosphere is intense and informal and fans of different cultures and social strata all come together for one thing – the jazz. You may well be drinking alongside a millionaire or a homeless hobo, but you don’t care – you are here for the jazz.
As a pianist myself, I appreciate what jazz is about – add to this an artistic edge and it comes even more alive:
“There’s something beautifully friendly and elevating about a bunch of guys playing music together. This wonderful little world that is unassailable. It’s really teamwork, one guy supporting the others, and it’s all for one purpose, and there’s no flies in the ointment, for a while. And nobody conducting, it’s all up to you. It’s really jazz_that’s the big secret. Rock and roll ain’t nothing but jazz with a hard backbeat.” (Keith Richards)