Going to an art gallery is an experience that skeptics thought would become less and less popular, as people increasingly use the internet as their main source for art discovery. Instead, the ease with which audiences—not to mention galleries themselves—can find new exciting artists seems to have created a growing spirit of collaboration and exploration. The recent Independent Photography Festival in London is one example of successful creative collaborations, and now it’s time to turn the focus on art, as the Condocomplex collaborative exhibition has come to the city. It’s the first time the event has been held, and sees 24 art galleries from all over the world showing works by different artists at eight London galleries. Cool Hunting explored the event and collected some highlights from the inaugural Condocomplex.
“Condocomplex is a nice way to collaborate with other galleries and an opportunity to work with the galleries we chose,” says Adam Thomas, of east London’s Supplement Gallery in Bethnal Green. “It has already helped footfall. We’d potentially like for it to be a yearly event, and it may also travel to other cities.” Supplement is showcasing their own artist Philomene Pirecki, as well as Tom Humphreys from Paris’ High Art Gallery, Rachel Bradley from Zürich’s Gregor Staiger, and Mathis Altmann from Truth & Consequences, Geneva. Altmann’s two absorbing works “Fresh Breeze, Old Smell” and “No Flexxxploitation Zone” were an exciting new discovery. The curious constructions, made from concrete, LCD screens, LEDs, carton and plastic, among other materials, evoked a science project gone wrong.
At Rodeo, New York’s Callicoon Fine Arts showed a selection of artists. Canadian Tamara Henderson’s “The Scarecrow’s Holiday” was a powerful presence in one of the rooms, its lopsided body resting on feet that appeared to be made from gigantic boxing gloves. In the same room, Ulrike Müller’s abstract enamel paintings, with their glossy surfaces and absorbing shapes, and Thomas Kovachevich’s grosgrain ribbon and tape piece “Triangle,” perfectly complement Henderson’s work. Equally arresting was Rodeo’s own exhibition featuring Shadi Habib Allah, whose “30KG Shine” is a spooky, intimate experience reminiscent of a crypt—or abandoned family home.
South London’s The Sunday Painter, which also houses the Peckham Print Studio, played host to Laura Aldridge from Glasgow’s Koppe Astner, Débora Bolsoni and Anna Mazzei from Sao Paulo’s Jaqueline Martins, and Jala Wahid from London’s Seventeen, as well as their own artist Rob Chavasse. Chavasse’s “The Morning After The Night Before,” an inkjet on plasterboard sculpture, featuring the word “Alka-Seltzer” blurred out, made visitors feel like the after-effects of a particularly heavy night. Laura Aldridge’s “Not My Elbow” was another highlight, with its rice-filled glass containers topped by a ceramic swirl. Seventeen’s David Hoyland tells us, “Condocomplex is an interesting hybrid exhibition model, and it’s important to try different models. It’s also good to collaborate; you need to trust each other when working together. So far we’ve seen some good collectors and Condocomplex has really worked; we hope they do it again.”
The Southard Reid gallery in central London’s Soho is hidden away down a mews, and the location adds to the excitement—traveling to all the Condocomplex spaces becomes a bit of a treasure hunt. At Southard, works by Bruno Zhu (Jeanine Hofland, Amsterdam), Tessa Lynch (Frutta, Rome) and the gallery’s own Lea Cetera were shown. The three artists’ pieces worked well together, creating a fun, youthful show. Cetera’s piece “Boba Tea Violet,” which looks like bubble tea but is made from resin, glass and plastic, is balancing precariously on a staircase ledge, underlining the carefree vibe of the show and making visitors do a double-take. It was one of the most memorable pieces from Condocomplex, seen in a gallery that focuses on young artists. The whole experience seemed to prove that there is still plenty of interest in the traditional way of discovering new talent.
Condocomplex is on now though 13 February, visit the website to find participating locations and plan your art adventure.
Images by Cajsa Carlson