Map in hand, exploring the streets of Bethnal Green: the first floor of a traditional pub, hidden floors of old warehouses, purpose-built spaces created as planning gain (having demolished a number of artists’ studios) and a purpose-built building among the industrial buildings and taxi-repair workshops of the East End of London.
Coming to an end this weekend is the annual Condo initiative where London galleries across the city act as hosts to galleries from around the world in a variety of different spaces, showing the creativity and ingenuity of gallery spaces in London’s difficult and expensive property market.
To emphasise where you are, The Approach occupies the first floor and a back annexe of a pub called The Approach, located in Approach Road. You shouldn’t get lost here! Host galleries accommodate their colleagues in different ways – some give over the whole gallery space to them, some integrate work by the two galleries in one exhibition, others run two exhibitions in parallel. The Approach achieves the latter two parallel exhibitions of North and South American art, one showing work from the 1970′s and 1980′s of the Brazilian artist Rubem Valentim (1922-1991) who was inspired by Afro-Brazilian religion and folklore, along with hosting Chicago gallery Corbett vs Dempsey’s exhibition of work from the 1960′s and 70′s by three contemporary Chicago artists Robert Lostutter (born 1939), Barbara Rossi (born 1940) and Karl Wirsum (born 1939). Was it planning or coincidence that the two galleries are showing work from nearly the same time, in a period from the 1960′s to the 1980′s?