Existing galleries continue to expand and new ones to open. Among the heavyweights Sadie Coles has four shows at the moment, and Pace moves into Burlington House and David Zwirner into Grafton Street in October. And almost all of this month’s ten are recent expansions or creations – including a whole clutch in Deptford …
Chamber @ Beers Lambert,
5 July – 12 August: www.beerslambert.com
Beers Lambert hasn’t moved so far west as some, but – like everyone except Wilkinson – has left Vyner Steet. Cool and sardonic Scandinavian pair Jørgen Craig Lello & Tobias Arnell open the new space with what looks like an elegant set of modernist-styled works, but is actually full of conflict and deception. A grey canvas proves more of a fight than a collaboration between black and white; Richard Dawkins’ evolutionary message is distorted by Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling; a Charles Eames chair becomes an atavistic mask… The well-considered focus is on how we understand – or misunderstand – the past, and how those versions of the past live on in the present.
& Colonial Wharf,
10-11 Shad Thames – Bermondsey
To 28 July: www.jacobsisland.co.uk
There are times when I groan ‘enough skulls!’, but this modern reworking of black humoured momento mori motifs isn’t one of them. The highlights include artist-curator-gallerist James Hopkins’ sculptural mirror anamorphosis, which turns a jaw-bone-like shape into a full skull when seen reflected in a beer can; Darren Coffield’s upside-down skull paintings; and mordant Dane Peter Callesen’s intricate paper cut-out of a skeleton looking back at the man he used to be, presented alongside a film of the artist in a cemetery, reading out his own drily absurd eulogy (‘how many nights we sat up late talking…’). Mat Collishaw, Hugh Mendes and John Stark are among those adding to the gloomy entertainment.
Kaari Upson: Baby Please Come Home @ Massimo De carlo,
To 30 July: www.carlsongallery.co.uk
After lying low a while in Heddon Street, Milan’s biggest contemporary gallery has expanded into what looks an impressive two room space at street level even before you find the six subterranean rooms. They contain the first substantial British showing of work from on-trend LA artist Kaari Upson’s ‘Larry Project’, in which she picks over the personal papers and largely burnt-out remains of a house inhabited my a seedy man she never knew, but whose identity she seeks to hijack. Ritualised drawings, durational video performances and dramatic installations rendered from the house in charred wood, latex, mud and silicone all pile on the intense analysis of herself through him.