The challenge of having a gallery on the 3rd and 4th floor of a building in the heart of London is how to carry huge sculptures by an artist such as Antony Caro up and down the narrow stairs. In Amsterdam, the answer would be opening windows and a hoisting beam (though it would have to be fairly strong). For the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery in Dering Street. Mayfair (currently besieged by building works around it), it is a hoisting mechanism that goes across the roof and can carefully lift large pieces of art up from the street and then down through openings in the glass roof and the floor down to the galleries below.
The benefits of the changing daylight that comes cascading down into the gallery and the view to the outside world including the cranes of nearby construction sites, outweigh the difficulties and, though I have walked up and down Dering Street many times before, I have never noticed the rooftop structure.
The daylight draws out the colours in Yuko Shiraishi’s exhibition ‘Flowold’, bold paintings with minimal use of colour and textures as Shiraishi explores dreams and what we remember from when we are asleep, alongside two architectural installations in darker corners, one creating a ‘pass age’ from stainless steel, wood and wire, viewed only through a small window, the other a theatrical space ‘Paralleling’ where the blocks of colours and lines create an optical illusion while reinforcing the existing architectural features.
A floor below, in a more intimate gallery space, albeit still with daylight from the windows onto the street, The Russian Club has curated the exhibition ‘Islands’ with work of artists who are outside the mainstream both by their use of non-traditional art media’ including magazine pages, live performance, mobile phones and found materials and in their collaboration with others, in particular their partners, including Golden Family’s photographs from their Serendipity series, Douglas White’s shimmering ‘a moon for my Father’ and Phil Coy’s ‘as far as i know’ which originates from videos on three mobile phones, which are then caught by tv cameras, infused with colour and displayed three nearby screens. The exhibition raises the question about whether any artist can be an island?