The S|2 gallery in London, which is part of, but across the road from, Sotheby’s main auction house, curates a programme of unusual and often relatively-unknown modern artists with the best exhibitions showing two different artists side by side who compliment and/or contrast with each other through the two floors of galleries in the modern building in George Street, Mayfair.
One of my favourite galleries in London because of this interplay, plus the visual connectivity to the changing street scene outside, the exhibitions often include publications related to, or written by, the artists of the different selling exhibitions.
The German artists Sigmar Polke and Michael Buthe are near-contemporaries, being born in 1941 and 1944 respectively, and were two of the artists who redefined modern art in Germany in the latter half of the 20th century.
While Sigmar Polke is relatively well known, Michael Buthe is less so – but deserves more – and it is fascinating to see the work of the two artists juxtaposed alongside each other. Polke and Buthe not only knew each other, but stayed with each other, yet their work is so different and indeed almost appears to be from different generations, despite the age difference of only three years.
The two artists who also separately explored Morocco and the Middle East and experimented with hallucinogenic drugs have their paintings and drawings on show side by side so you can compare and contrast work which was experimental, but moved in different directions. Well done to the exhibition designers who have thrown white-walled gallery caution to the winds and added bold colours here to compliment the two artists.
The exhibition is likely to be extended, as is now is the way of the world, and is also on show online here,