British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet

I had the pleasure of seeing British Art Show 7 at The Hayward Gallery this week and it is a great show. I left feeling very inspired and heartened that there is such a wide variety of interesting work being produced by contemporary artists. The show is very well curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton and I enjoyed some of the dialogues established between the works.
I spent a good couple of hours there and would like to return to see some of the video works that I did not have time to engage with. To truly appreciate all the work there I think calls for a good half day.

I was pleased to see work include by my previous tutors Cullinan Richards, having only ever seen documentation of their work. I thought they had confidently and amusingly responded to the staircase of the Hayward and their titles hold no pretensions – ‘light suspended from the floor’.

It is a great show to be introduced to artists that I had not come across previously. Ian Kiaer being a new favourite with his subtle and unpolished installations and panels on the wall alongside the delightful rotating disco round on the floor, and a roughly made architectural model – all suggesting that despite our aspirations to sleekness it often turns out a bit ‘crap’.

Haroon Mirza’s work  found interesting but maybe did get a bit lost being in a group show. There was something in his choice of materials evoking music technology of the late 80’s / early 90’s and the ideas presented that will definitely make me look out for his work again. Maybe it is the draw of subject matter – Joy Division and Beckett.

Nathaniel Mellors work I would also like to engage with in another context – there seems a lot to take in and as it is part of an ongoing series appears like it requires more time to view.

There were also the familiar favourites – George Shaw, Wolfgang Tilmans,  Christian Marclay and Phoebe Unwin, whose paintings I saw recently at Wilkinson (image included from that show) – a very inspired and exciting painter who  uses a variety of paint and methods in her work with such visual confidence.

I will not attempt to  review all the work in the show so will conclude with Alasdair Gray’s quote included in the exhibition notes “I disapprove of Time…When working fully, productively and without interruption we live in a continual present.” It’s good to be reminded. Thank you to The Hayward.


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