What do you do if you have an art gallery in London during the relatively quiet summer period, where the serious collectors are off on their yachts to the Mediterranean? Some galleries just shut up shop and give their staff a well-earned break, Sotheby’s auction house in Old Bond Street has the decorators in, the White Cube has a blockbuster exhibition ‘Memory Palace’ across its two galleries in London and JD Malat has taken a different approach – he is providing a taster of international artists who will have their first UK shows in the gallery over the next year. And what a taster it is. There is nothing quiet and relaxing here. This is bold art that blasts out of the walls, with the overall theme of transformation, set around the sculptures of Hande Sekerciler and Aspencrow.
Sekerciler’s sculpture is perhaps the most calm, the most polished, the most classical, but in ‘Ectasy III’ the two bodies growing from one highlights questions around society and gender, while Aspencrow’s sculpture changes from every direction you look. From the front, ‘Atlas’(whose face is based on the Irish boxer Conor McGregor) appears to be arising from the rough mountain rock. but as you walk around it, Atlas disappears altogether as King Kong climbs out of the rock, while downstairs the work ‘RiRi’ could be by an entirely different artist as Aspencrow (Edgar Askelovic) takes a classical body and transforms it with a wild tapestry of street art.
On the walls, faces, hair and bodies flow in and out of Henrik Aa Uldalen’s paint while E Zumrotoglu’s trilogy of a tribute to Joseph Conran fills up a wide expanse of the gallery, Andy Moses landscapes hint of the mysteries of outer space, Nina Pandolfo has gentle naturalistic tendrils coming out of a more sinister creature at the bottom of the ocean, Sanitago Parra’s paint merges into calligraphical froms and Nojo Masayoshi’s soft mysterious woodland landscapes have soft light filtering through the trees, drawing the viewer in to the wood.
The autumn season starts with exhibitions by E Zumrutoglu in October and Santiago Parra in November. It looks to be a fascinating year for the gallery.