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Posts from Patrick Nguyen...
Bemused onlookers as a woman starts screaming at the end of Wednesday's preview

Frieze ’11: Overview

London’s Frieze week kicked off properly on Wednesday 12 October with the preview for Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park. AM has long been a Frieze enthusiast. The calibre of its exhibitors and their booths makes most other contemporary art fairs look provincial in comparison. Conscious of the international spotlight, the big fish bring out the big guns and do whatever else they can to retain their dominance, while the ambitious smaller galleries pull out the stops to try raising the bar even higher for […]
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Viewpoints / Openings : Takashi Murakami @ Gagosian Gallery, London

For the last five and a half weeks, Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street (the larger of its two spaces in London) has been hosting a Takashi Murakami exhibition (previewed). The show features five large-scale sculptures along with a group of paintings merging references to both Japanese contemporary society and the country’s artistic heritage. This recent output includes collaborations with manga, animé, figyua and other artists from Japan’s otaku subculture, which some might describe as a curious world of fantasy, self-indulgence, obsession and disengagement. For the […]
AM Giveaway: a signed Charming Baker screenprint

Openings / Giveaway: Charming Baker — ‘Every Thing Must Go’ @ Mercer Street Studios, London

Every Thing Must Go (previewed), the new Charming Baker pop-up show in London’s Covent Garden opened on Thursday 7 July. It was a well-organised, confidently-run operation on the night. Guests were looked after by a tag-team of hosts including the artist himself, his manager Tim Fennell, Pat Magnarella and Roger Klein of Pat Magnarella Management, and the Jealous Gallery crew. Art may or may not be the new rock and roll, but both worlds mixed comfortably at the event which was attended by the likes […]

Previews: Charming Baker — ‘Every Thing Must Go’ @ Mercer Street Studios, London

Charming Baker is back in London with a new pop-up exhibition that previews this evening at Mercer Street Studios (16 Mercer Street), an attractive space in Covent Garden. AM had a nose around the venue during the final preparations to check out Baker’s recent canvases, prints, as well as sculptures — a medium we haven’t associated with him before. All the canvases have already pre-sold, which may help to explain why the artist appeared so relaxed on the eve of his show. Every Thing Must […]

Openings: Barry McGee @ Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London

AM has been keeping a watchful eye on Continental European shows featuring works by Barry McGee. Whenever the cashflow gods have been on our side, we’ve booked the necessary flights or trains to attend as well. This was the case with the 2010 joint show with Danish artist HuskMitNavn at A.L.I.C.E. Gallery in Brussels, and the 2009 three-man show (which also included Ed Templeton and Raymond Pettibon) curated by Aaron Rose at Berlin’s Circleculture Gallery. However, the last time McGee exhibited in the UK was […]

Openings: Ron English – ‘Skin Deep’ @ Lazarides Gallery

It’s been a little while since 2009’s Lazarus Rising at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, the last UK solo exhibition by Ron English. Two years and a gallery switch later, the pop surrealist, street artist and culture jammer is back — in the streets as well as indoors with Skin Deep: Post-Instinctual Afterthoughts On Psychological Portraiture, his new solo effort (previewed) at Lazarides Gallery in London. English confirmed to AM that the show’s 16 canvases (on display with a couple of sculptures) have been 12 months […]

Set-up / Teasers: Retna – ‘The Hallelujah World Tour’ (London) @ The Dairy

Retna has been keeping himself busy recently — among other things, by participating in the Art in the Streets exhibition at MOCA, Street Cred at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and painting the tail of a business jet in Geneva for VistaJet. He’s currently in the UK for the London limb of his Hallelujah World Tour which began in New York City in February (featured).  The pop-up event is being held at the Dairy, with the opening taking place on the evening of Wednesday […]

Showing / Viewpoints: Sage Vaughn – ‘Children of a Lesser God’ @ Lazarides Gallery

The first UK solo show by LA-based Sage Vaughn (referred to in early May) opened a few weeks back at Lazarides Gallery in London with a title ostensibly borrowed from the 1980 play by Mark Medoff or its subsequent film adaptation. While Children of a Lesser God presents no radical thematic or stylistic departures for Vaughn, the exhibition is a strong one — especially the part in the gallery’s main space on the ground floor, where canvases from the artist’s Wildlife series have been hung […]

Openings: Tracey Emin – ‘Love is What You Want’ @ Hayward Gallery

The major retrospective of work by Tracey Emin, Love is What You Want, is currently on at London’s Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre. AM attended the preview on Tuesday evening and was duly impressed. If you’re fond of Emin’s intensely personal, confessional and often provocative art, you’ll love this show. There’s certainly a great deal to take in, covering every phase of her career and the wide diversity of media she’s worked with: installation, embroidered and appliquéd blankets, neon, film, animation, photography, sculpture, painting, drawing […]
Outside 29 Bell Street as the exhibition preview draws to a close. Many of the visitors are holding posters of quotes by Ai (also pasted along the courtyard wall) distributed by Lisson Gallery on the night.

Openings: Ai Weiwei @ Lisson Gallery

On Thursday 12 May, AM attended the opening of the Ai Weiwei exhibition at Lisson Gallery (previewed), spread across both of its spaces on Bell Street in West London. The wide selection of work on display — produced over the last six years and agreed with the artist at the beginning of 2011 — does well to illustrate the playful, evocative and provocative nature of the Ai’s output. Given the show’s breadth and overall strength, we’re sticking our neck out and calling it a must-see. […]
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