A Paul Raymond Show
February 1 2017 — February 8 2017
An exhibition exploring the life, work and legacy of British producer, club owner and property tycoon Paul Raymond.
February 1 2017 — February 8 2017
An exhibition exploring the life, work and legacy of British producer, club owner and property tycoon Paul Raymond.
January 21 2017 — January 29 2017
Shotgun exhibition to coincide with Donald's first weekend as @potus.
Words cannot describe
August 5 2016 — August 30 2016
Space is invisible. It has no form. To understand space, the surfaces that define it must be liberated from their meaning, symbolism and materiality. This requires a process of abstraction, drawing out the essential qualities of everyday spaces and representing them as “spatial ready-mades.” Hesselbrand’s three found models are a manual for how to read space. Hesselbrand’s work contains no fantasy, no illusion, no nostalgia. It is grounded in reality, in a way that is propositional, positive and present. It speaks to the here and now, and intervenes in the fabric of the banal (the neglected and commonplace) to make us look again. These models of accidental intimacy in confined spaces are at the core of what it means to live together. The Revue Gallery presents its first exhibition of Hesselbrand, Three Found Models, featuring large-scale timber works on view from August 5th–August 30th, 2016.
HESSELBRAND is an architecture practice based in London and Oslo. It is founded by Martin Brandsdal, Magnus Casselbrant and Jesper Henriksson. It is focused on the relationship between physical form and its impact on our daily lives. Through research-based design, the work challenges existing conventions through architectural proposals. Their architecture, academic work, and collaborative projects are part of an ambition to bridge the gap between theory and praxis.
The exhibition and expository materials has been designed and produced in collaboration with OK-RM and Real Foundation.
OK-RM is a London-based design studio in collaborative practice with artists, curators, editors, architects, designers and institutions.
REAL foundation is a cultural institute and research platform based in London. It publishes the Real Review magazine and curated the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
May 14 2016 — May 17 2016
In one of Nici Bungey’s recent paintings titled In lebendiger Verbindung (2016) a field composed of two dark nearly black rectangles is interrupted by a single sliver of bright red, intensely red in the dark, running from one side to the other, a line so fine, so perfectly found within the field, that the viewer is hard-pressed to understand how it might have been formed. This isn’t unusual with Bungey’s paintings, by which I mean not only the difficulty of unravelling process before these works, but also the striking impression of a form or an edge coming about with a mysterious rightness, as if it has appeared on the surface of its own accord. It is not unlike those graceful arcs that appear in Ian Davenport’s Poured Paintings from the late nineties that, until we know how they are produced, seem to defy all logic and are impossibly precise. We can reconstruct some of the processes that have gone into Bungey’s painting, the layering of paint that has gone into those dark rectangles, possibly the masking of edges and, most importantly, that the artist has folded the paper to bring edges and areas into new relations, but we are still left pondering how that red line has been derived, its immaculate presence in the middle of that field.
In colour as well as composition the painting is reminiscent of Barnett Newman’s Joshua of 1950 with its vivid red zip shooting up through an expanse of near-black. Newman frequently insisted that his zips were not meant to be in front of or behind their surrounding fields of colour but rather, to use his word, contiguous with it; they are simply another area of that field, albeit one that is narrow. The painting, in other words, is conceived as a single surface and, rather than evoking illusionistic space, is intended to exist in actual space, the same space in which the viewer moves. All these notions are of significance for Nici Bungey’s paintings which likewise suppress illusionistic depth and insist upon the materiality of their surfaces. In another recent painting, Margarita (2016), a rectangular area of pale grey comes up against a band of yellow ochre, which in turn abuts a rectangle of black: each area seems to carry an equal weight of material presence and there is hardly any of that push-pull in pictorial space which Hans Hofmann defined in relation to abstract forms. Even in more complex paintings in which elaborate geometric shapes intersect the artist retains this sense of materiality, as if successive layers of paint have been compressed into the shallowest of pictorial spaces and, in the process, become extremely dense.
This is not to suggest that Nici Bungey is after literality or some kind of post-minimalist objecthood, only that she wants whatever emotional resonances of her work to play within these tangible surfaces, so that we are as tempted to touch as to look. We soon come to recognise the achingly sensitive sense of surface that these works possess, their exact deployment of colour and tone, the palpable moment of contact between one surface and another. If Bridget Riley’s painting Kiss (1961) played out a metaphor of human contact in optical terms, then Bungey provides us with a more intimate version, the skins of her surfaces composed of many layers and folded into each other, pressed so close as to be indivisible. These are small paintings that require our close attention, demand that we come close and once there, inches from their intricate folds of paint, we become involved with their subtleties of colour, their soft modulations of surface and, most tellingly, those meeting points – the edges – between one area and another. If from a distance her paintings resemble the formal exercises of hard-edged abstraction, from close-up they reveal an altogether different sensibility.
They are also secretive. It isn’t simply that surfaces seem to conceal or only reluctantly to give up traces of their making, but also that almost all the recent paintings are made on top of pages from old books. Out of their frames, and with the light in the right direction, we can see whispers of text, not so much buried as almost rising to the surface, threatening to break the seal of colour and emerge into legibility. The paper into which the artist has embedded her rectangles of colour is old and yellowed and looks like parchment. The reverse sides of the works, hidden from view, offer a strange decoding of process with an alternative set of folded forms taking their place amidst legible text, as intriguing in their way as the work itself. One recent series of square paintings has been made on top of pages of an old treatise upon marriage, a fact that the viewer may never be made aware of and yet one that somehow informs the often paired rectangles of these pieces, the way in which two areas of colour, of paint-as-material, must take up some kind of relationship to each other, must mutually inflect each other, must exist over time with each other’s qualities and foibles.
It is here, in the contradictory terrain between the materiality of surfaces and their poetic resonance that interpretative readings of Nici Bungey’s paintings might begin. The materiality of these paintings, the way in which the artist strives for actuality, for surfaces that are present to us as viewers, comes from a hard-won understanding of how nonrepresentation is not simply an absence of representation but something more complex that opens out onto other conceptions of realness. If this suggests a form of practice that is rigorous, that demands from the artist the discipline of working within severe constraints, then Nici Bungey accepts this without allowing for any diminution of feeling, of emotive content, in the work. It’s a hard balancing act, but that is exactly why the finished paintings are so remarkable.
May 6 2016 — July 31 2016
Beginning on May 6, the Soho Revue Gallery will be opening the doors of Sous-Sol, a basement installation made in the style of a vintage nightclub. Sous-Sol is the work of Freddy Tuppen, who trained at both the Slade School of Fine Art and the Bartlett School of Architecture, and whose work was exhibited at the Jonathan Viner Gallery in 2015. We invite you to attend the private view on the 6th of May, or to arrange a subsequent visit. Please RSVP to: email@example.com
‘There’s nothing new under the sun.’ That old adage may be true, but we guarantee that there’s something you’ve never seen before—beneath the soil.
As you enter the Revue Gallery you step off grimy, bustling Greek Street and into a dazzlingly white, entirely empty art gallery. At least it looks that way, because this bizarrely, ostentatiously vacant space is just the entrance hall to Sous-Sol.
Soho’s seedy underside, its dark depths, its deep dives: they’ve never been so literal. Sous-sol is an exhibition, designed to immerse its occupants totally. A hop into the fragmented remains of architectural space. A skip into the detritus of a luxury package holiday. A jump into your own, private Cy Twombly painting. All rendered beneath the floor of a insouciantly gleaming and deserted gallery in Soho’s beating heart. When was the last time you were drunk inside a Joan Miró painting crossed with a cruise ship? That’s what we thought.
But comparisons only evoke so much, and the work of the artist responsible for the experience about to swallow you whole defies exact description. Freddy Tuppen, a graduate of the Bartlett School of Architecture with a Master’s degree in Fine Art from The Slade, has spent months designing the spatial equivalent of a package holiday inside a Cubist drawing. And you’re invited.
Architectural spaces are usually designed to serve a function. They may attend to creating or curating experience as well, but seldom is architectural space designed with no intention other than to affect the viewer aesthetically and psychologically; it is almost never exploited as pure work of art. And yet its use as such offers something that no other artwork can provide: total encapsulation. You can’t inhabit a drawing, painting, or print, and a sculpture that you can occupy—if you’ll permit a slight begging of the question—has already become architecture to the same extent. We use words like ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘absorbed’ as metaphors to describe our experiences of artwork, but Sous-Sol attempts to make those expressions literal.
Sous-sol was designed, from its conception, to sculpt a particular experience. A disused, abandoned basement, some say the location was once used for shooting pornography—others that it was employed for scientific experiments on the refining of muscovado sugars. Whatever is true, sugar and sex seem appropriate bedfellows for this escapist experience, designed to be both sweet and sordid. Tuppen has taken hotel towels (objects at once so intimate of contact and impersonally sluttish of clientele) and embroidered them with the sketchy dreams of forgotten holidays or childhood homes (some drawn so strictly from memory he wore a blindfold whilst sketching them). He has designed and constructed the furniture bespoke for purpose, upholstered the room in velour and flannel, created an environment somewhere between a childhood cot and the tropical indoor leisure centre you see the billboards for in Ibiza.
Tuppen takes inspiration from the Radical Design movement that emerged from Italy in the 60s, and from 18-30s package holidays. He draws on influence ranging from the pioneering work of Titti Maschietto to cherries, Maraschino. Want to get away? Come to the Revue Gallery at 14 Greek Street for the exclusive opening on Friday 6th May.
—For more information please see the following websites—
—For all press, booking, sales and private viewing enquiries please contact—firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7734 3088
April 14 2016 — April 30 2016
“What’s Up?” is a pioneering exhibition featuring approximately 50 young contemporary artists from around the world, brought together in a dynamic survey selected and curated by young collector and advisor Lawrence Van Hagen. The exhibition will also occupy a neighbouring space on Greek Street.
April 5 2016 — April 9 2016
First comprehensive restaging of the legendary first ‘Happening,’ John Cage’s ‘Event’ (Theatre Piece No. 1) originally performed at Black Mountain College in 1952. Public painting workshops following Rudolf Stingel’s∗ 1989 book, Instructions.
Instructions/Event examines interpretation and documentation by combining two found cultural objects that embrace opposite ends of the spectrum: the artist, Rudolf Stingel’s book Instructions (1989), which explains how to re-create his silver paintings, and the most mythologised of all of John Cage’s performances, the infamous ‘Event’ at Black Mountain College—Theatre Piece No.1 (1952)—for which there is neither score nor documentation. Because of this lack of information, descriptions of Theatre Piece No. 1 vary and often contain inaccuracies and, while Instructions details precisely how to make Stingel’s silver paintings in six languages with illustrations, instruction and translation are susceptible to misinterpretation and variation.
“The ‘instructions’ were a guide to calculate chance as a working method.’ ’ – Rudolf Stingel
Instructions debunks the myth of the artist as genius and the mystery that surrounds the process of creation. Workshops held over three days hosted by the artist Colden Drystone will enable members of the public to follow Stingel’s Instructions, making versions of his silver paintings that will be incorporated into the restaging of Theatre Piece No. 1 where they will replace Robert Rauschenberg’s seminal series of White Paintings. A series of talks on art, music, and performance will take place in the evenings following the workshops, including a Q&A with Richard Wentworth.
While the significance of Theatre Piece No.1 was not fully appreciated at the time, it was subsequently described as the first ‘Happening’ by Allan Kaprow, and has since been acknowledged as one of the most influential predecessors of performance art. This restaging is based on the twin desire to ascertain whether a performance could be pieced together from the information and misinformation about the original and to incorporate contemporary art, music, and dance to produce a new version in the spirit of Cage and everyone originally involved.
“There is considerable disagreement about just what did happen in the performance, a circumstance that is as much a measure of its success as of the faulty memories of the faculty and students. Since the performance was organized as a multi-focus event in which simultaneous, unrelated activities would be taking place both in front of and around the audience, each person’s perception of the event depended on where he or she was sitting and on what happened to attract his or her attention. When Johanna Jalowetz arrived early to get a good seat, Cage told her, ‘Now, they are all equally good.’” – Mary Emma Harris
The backbone of the performance remains the reading of Cage’s Juilliard Lecture, performed by Jamie O’Hara. The other elements of this multimedia performance are determined using Cage’s chance operations technique, with the exception of the new slide projection by Richard Wentworth, which uses the original time brackets established by Cage. Julie Cunningham, formerly of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, currently with the Michael Clark company, will perform her own choreography. The film produced by Experiments in Art and Technology of Robert Rauschenberg’s performance Open Score (1966) at 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering directed by Barbro Schultz Lundestam will, combined with Cage’s lecture, tie this new performance to the original. Nonclassical and The Hermes Experiment have been invited to contribute new music. Poetry will be read from a ladder by Arthur Bruce and records played by William Fussell of Promise Keeper.
Cage believed that the best procedure for collaboration “would be working independently, that is, in different places at about the same time and then later enjoying seeing/hearing the two workings coming together, paying attention to them both as they happened rather than expecting something preconceived, or an approximation of it to happen.” In keeping with this, the different aspects of this multimedia event are developed independently and brought together only through simultaneity of performance. The audience will be seated in the same arrangement of four triangles as was the case at Black Mountain College and, as with the original, the performance ends with the serving of coffee.
∗ Rudolf Stingel has very kindly granted permission to use his book instructions (1989) but is not directly associated with Instructions/Event.
Listings Information Press Contact
Soho Revue, 14 Greek St., London, W1D 4DP
Instructions (1989) Painting Workshops: Victoria Miguel/Alana Pagnutti
5, 6, + 8 April, 11AM-4PM email@example.com
5, 6, + 8 April, 6PM
Restaging of John Cage’s Theatre Piece No. 1 :
7 April, 7PM Smith+Brown
9 April, 6PM + 8PM Suite 124, 128 Aldersgate St.
All events are free. Barbican
Tickets + Information: smithandbrown.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
February 25 2016 — March 27 2016
Aglaé Bassens and Eric Oglander both offer a study of the common human experience; when the individual absents himself from an environment, what are the indelible human imprints which remain? For Oglander, the individual's attempts to remove himself from a scene are much more telling than the way in which he chooses to present himself within a scene. In a digital age, personality is often carefully curated. The mirror images capture the vendor stripping any contrived notion of himself down to its fundamentals. Bassens also attempts to negate human artifice in order to engage honestly with the subject. Amidst the frenzy of humanity, Bassens creates a contemplative space which she invites the viewer to occupy. Her work is at once yearning and nostalgic.
Aglaé Bassens paints pictures of empty aquariums in translucent colours; of the drops of water on the windscreen of a car; of cowboys endlessly lassoing cowboys lassoing cowboys lassoing cowboys on wallpaper, and in which the patterns of the sheets don’t quite match up at the seams. Mostly in oil, her pictures betray both the painterly qualities of a woman who graduated with Distinction from an MFA at the Slade, and the intellectualism of one who left Oxford with a First.
Eric Oglander collects photographs of mirrors advertised for sale on Craigslist, and displays these pictures on his website, craigslistmirrors.com. What results is a gallery of human life and the beauty of the natural world; one mirror shows the photographer hiding his face in embarrassment or shyness; another catches two children fooling around on the sofa behind the camerawoman in a dreary American home; another still frames a bright green forest astonishingly leaning against the side of a beaten grey sedan. The pictures Eric selects with the obsessiveness of a collector are interested in surprising, complex, or revealing spatial configurations, and in finding the aesthetic amongst the ordinary.
Both of these artists paint or select pictures that are interested in the drab, and the moments of beauty which arise out of it—the revelations that arise from certain kinds of boredom, or certain kinds of loss—as well as those moments where the drab is ruptured by beauty—when a forest held inside a frame is leant against a car. For an investigation into what constitutes art which attends to the framing of pictures themselves, and which might, if you look closely enough, show you the kinds of revelation that are to be found latent in the ordinary, come to What You Can’t See at the Revue Gallery on the 25th of February. It promises to be a fine exhibition and is not to be missed.
—For more information please see the following websites—
December 17 2015 — January 30 2016
The Revue Gallery present 'Fly in the Ointment', an exhibition featuring the work of five artists currently practising in London.
Robert is a Ghanaian artist who currently practices in North East London. Robert was born and raised in Ghana and came to the UK in the 1980s. He then moved from the UK to Denmark in 1987 where he stayed and worked until 2013. Now back in London Robert makes lots of paintings whilst at work as a security officer for universities or council buildings. Some of these spaces are not in use and this gives Robert the time and space to make larger scale paintings. Sitting watching people pass him by provides an endless inspiration for Roberts drawings. Robert and India met while India was studying History of Art at Goldsmiths in 2014. As part of the Visual Culture Society they were organising an exhibition in the church in New Cross, where Robert happened to be working as security guard. Robert would sit and do his drawings at the desk. Robert was offered to contribute to the exhibition in the church and there he exhibited one of his sketches that he made during the install of the exhibition. From here India and Robert started to work together more frequently and India went on to exhibit his work at her exhibition Third Six in June 2015. His paintings narrate his life paths and experiences. Drawing on experience from working in security, spending most of his days observing humanity, Robert narrates everyday social life translating into his own fictional narrative. Robert’s connection to his African heritage can clearly be seen in the bold colors he uses in his work. The way Robert’s characters float across the canvas in a connecting pattern, at times appearing quite psychedelic. Roberts observation of society offers a window in his colourful portrait of the world.Robert is also inspired by Akwiaba fertility doll (of Ghana), Ashanti gold weight figures and Ghanaian traditional textiles like Adinkra prints, Kente and Batakari handlooms. Aside from their bright and bold colours, Adinkra and Kente symbols also narrate everyday social life, telling stories in their own rights.
Ned Armstrong has recently graduated from Edinburgh University with a first class degree in Fine Art, he continues to work from a studio in Edinburgh. Ned’s work is focused on the processes of painting. His point of departure or investigation is often something that comes from outside of the studio environment. This repetitive need to get his ideas and thoughts onto paper is reelected in Ned’s most recent series of paintings. Ned’s work is responsive and intuitive to his ideas. The oil paint allows him to work on a wet ground, giving the painting a time
constraint. This forces him to be decisive and present not allowing for a revisiting of the work but making sure the work is completed all at once. Ned’s use of small repetitive brush marks forces him to work close and zoomed in to the canvas, which encourages lots of small decisions in terms of colour and form. The series of work in this exhibition is titled Famine Wall which points towards Ned’s Irish heritage and connects him to ideas outside of the studio. Famine walls were built in Ireland by the starving Irish population during the great famine. The British landowners would not give charity without something in return and so made the Irish workers build walls that served no purpose often running through fields but not finishing anywhere or providing any function. Ned sees these walls as futility symbols as many of the workers died building them.He identifies subtle similarities to his production of paintings that appear functionless but are there as a means to work. Ned connects this repetitive labor with the repetitive processes for making paintings. This meticulous concentrated practice of painting with repetitive brushstrokes, Ned loosely connects to the history of the famine walls.
Born on the banks of the Zambezi in 1990, Ivo Morrison could never have imagined that he would one day be heralded as ‘the one true voice in contemporary art’ by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation’s official magazine Renzo Monthly. Orphaned at a young age Ivo’s parentage remains entirely shrouded in mystery but his uncanny resemblance to former Russian Defence Minister General Pavel Grachev has fuelled much speculation in the press. His devout Quaker upbringing in Botswana has had a profound impact on his work, he stated in a recent interview with Kelly Talamas that, ‘the first time I picked up a paintbrush with intent was in response to the erection of the Kariba Hydroelectric Dam in 1959.’ Since this road to Damascus moment, Ivo has painted with a searing honesty, satirizing many darker elements of Botswanan domestic policy and high society. He has stated publicly and repeatedly a dislike for his sobriquet in the western press, ‘The last of the Belgian surrealists.’ He hopes to have put the matter to rest in a statement issued in January 2015, ‘I have never in my work depicted scenes that are not completely accurate to real life events that I personally witnessed.’
September 30 2015 — October 26 2015
Designed to coincide with London Frieze (14-17 October), and during what is arguably the art world’s busiest month, Soho Revue Gallery are pleased to announce their most ambitious—and experimental—exhibition yet. In a project designed to unsettle art world norms and to invite you to question the validity of contemporary art, Soho Revue Gallery presents an exhibition which may or may not have an artist, and which may or may not present art.
WHO IS THOMAS HJELM?
It is rare to exhibit an artist whose identity you do not know: such is the enigma of Thomas Hjelm. The creators of some masterpieces are made anonymous by time—those behind the Laocoön or the Belvedere torso, for example. Some are made anonymous by choice—like Rrose Sélavy (Duchamp’s nom de guerre), or ‘Banksy’ (a contemporary of Hjelm). Others yet are anonymous because, in fact, the creator does not exist—as with William Boyd’s fictive artist ‘Nat Tate’. But it is rare, at least after the beginning of the 19th century, to find an artist whose anonymity is guaranteed simply by paucity of information, and whose mystery might be due to any of the causes above: perhaps to obscurantism, perhaps to genuine obscurity. Who is Thomas Hjelm?
What we do know is that Hjelm produced a large proportion of his art between c2010 and 2020, with the signature work of his early maturity emerging at the midpoint of that decade; it is to this moment that most of our samples can, with varying intervals of confidence, be dated. Who this individual was—whether artist, patron or sitter; even whether ‘Hjelm’ was one individual, a number or school of individuals, or any discrete group at all—cannot be established with any certainty. Yet candidates do exist. The newspapers of this period, for example, reveal a Mr Thomas Hjelm, thirty-eight years old in 2015; a high-IQ banker convicted of the unmotivated shooting of sixteen secondary-schoolers in 2011. Stenographer’s records discovered in the registry of the Kingston Crown Court for 2007 record another Mr Thomas Hjelm bearing (quite vehement) witness in a case of office sexual assault. And then, residing in Barnes throughout this period we find a Mrs Thoma Hjelm, prolific watercolourist and erstwhile friend of Damien Hirst (a possible influence on ‘our’ Hjelm’s artwork). There are many others. But no candidate is definite, or even ascendant, and the debate persists.
EXHIBITION & WORKS
Shrouded by this penumbra of uncertainty, it is nevertheless our great pleasure to invite you to the first investigation of the life, art and times of Thomas Hjelm, and the first major exhibition of the works. A figure not much studied, this new show not only agglomerates more of this elusive artist’s work than has even been seen before in the same place, but also displays works only recently discovered and never hitherto displayed. Hjelm’s artwork shares features of British art of the late 20th and early 21st century, particularly of the YBA group, though it also demonstrates the influence of artists closer to the heart of Soho itself—of Sebastian Horsley in particular. Nevertheless, tracking Hjelm’s influences, his anxieties of influence, and those he himself influenced, is difficult, since our dearth of biographical or cultural information strips the work of almost any significant interpretative context.
Chief amongst the pieces that puzzle academics is Gloryhole, a photographic image (in the old 2-dimensional format) depicting a man’s face with a circular hole drilled where his mouth should gape. Whether the man is Hjelm or not, or if so whether he is artist and sitter, or merely the latter, is unknown. Etymological dictionaries tell us that a “gloryhole n. (archaic)” was “A hole drilled in a vertical surface to provide an aperture through which to say, shout, chant or sing litanies of praise to a god or gods.” But this only raises more questions about the nature of the piece, or its use-function; is this art, or religious icon? Are praises to be shouted into or out of the mouth in the photograph? Whom is the god worshipped, and why must we chant his praises using the mask of the man depicted in the portrait?
This man, or men like him—identical twins perhaps, or costumed doubles—appear frequently in Hjelm’s oeuvre, but almost always distorted. Some of Hjelm’s digital prints may render parts of this man’s body, but we cannot be completely sure, for the images are made almost too small for human eyes. Were they to be viewed with machinery? Or are these just some kind of negative? Perhaps we are not even looking at items designed to be pictures at all. At other moments, the face of this individual (or of one of this strange cozen of individuals) looms gargantuan, a photographic Ozymandias towering ten feet tall. His blank eyes stare down a four-foot nose to stir within us the question: who is this man, that they should have worshipped him?
There are three salient objectives behind this ground breaking project. The first is both to perform and encourage research in unravelling the mystery of Hjelm. The exhibition’s fastidious curation not only reinvigorates old debates regarding Hjelm, but breaks new ground in attempting to track the provenance of the individual works and evaluate possible biographical candidates for the individual(s) ‘Thomas Hjelm’. We invite you to join us in our research into this enigma.
Second, Hjelm’s work and the very questioning of his ontology provide a lens through which to examine the art and history of this place and time. Hjelm was by no means a major artist during this period—both conclusion and cause of the paucity of documentation surrounding his life and work—but in many ways that fact makes him all the more historically worthy. Though Samuel Pepys was a Member of Parliament it was his normalcy, his very unimportance, that provided such a fascinating insight into the life of upper-middle class London during the Restoration through his diaries. What Pepys had for breakfast; how his cat woke him up at one in the morning; even the details of his stool: Hjelm offers us this. And our examinations savour of the spirit of contemporary historiography too, with its passion for the tiny detail, for microhistory: I think particularly of the trend for the quotidian over the military or the momentous, as pioneered in the work of the late Carlo Ginzburg.
Third, and finally, this exhibition is designed to capitalise on its lack of information in one further way: to pose questions of intentionality. Possibly by Jorge Luis Borges, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote is a true account of Pierre Menard’s 1918 attempts to rewrite Don Quixote word for word. Menard first attempted to do so by becoming Miguel de Cervantes—by forgetting the progress of history since 1602, becoming a knight, fighting against the Turks—but discarded this method as too easy. His preferred method was to rewrite the Quixote in the light of world events from 1602 to 1918—for which reason Menard’s Quixote was widely considered much richer in allusion than the (identical) original.
Is Thomas Hjelm 17th century Spanish knight, or 1918 academic? Is he contemporary artist or contemporary ironist? Is he, consciously, either? Without an interpretative context through which to examine the work of Thomas Hjelm, this exhibition becomes an object lesson in intentionality. The work may vacillate between narcissistic banality and high jiggery pokery—or even high art—depending upon your answer to our question: who is Thomas Hjelm?
Peter Leggatt, curator of ARTefacts: Ontological Investigations into the Life and Works of Thomas Hjelm and Editor of the Soho Revue.
 For a more exhaustive examination of these questions, see Dr Singh Boparai’s Gloryhole: Holes, Wholes and Holiness.
 See especially: Il formaggio e i vermi (c1975-8) and Filo e le tracce (2012)
 Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote’ in Hechos (c1940). The text is fragmentary, the original drafts discovered in the Library of Babel in 1987 by R. Bolano, but it is believed that the review of Menard’s oeuvre was possibly written by Menard himself, as scanty records of the life of Borges exist.
July 15 2015 — August 20 2015
We are pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition by artistic duo Walter and Zoniel at the Soho Revue this month, where they are mounting their first exhibition devoted solely to photographic portraits spanning their careers as artists. The series aims to illustrate various processes of photographic technique that that explore the possibilities of the medium, both in its alchemic application and performative aspects.
In ‘Seeing Somebody You Know’, Walter & Zoniel exhibit works relating to the perception of being. Through their adaptations of often outdated processes they explore the multitude of combined layers and moments that come together to be labelled the ‘self’. Each process focuses upon an alternate perspective of our self, and our fixation with capturing it in a moment.
Walter and Zoniel’s latest project, ‘Making memories’, explores the role of the sitter and his or her own personal interaction with past, present and future. The emphasis is shifted away from the sitter as a static model and instead he or she is presented in the process of exploring his or her own memories.
The photographs are contact prints, in which portraits of the sitters are exposed by light cast from a burning image of the sitter’s childhood. The sitter recounts the story of the photograph as it burns to expose a silhouette of the sitter as a layer upon a portrait taken beforehand. The series involves portraits of various individuals, both well-known figures, including Eddie Redmayne and Vivienne Westwood, and others less often exposed to the public eye. It is designed to question the relationship between photographs and memories, and the highly symbolic process is an attempt to explore the sculpture of the self, as a new photographic incarnation blossoms like a phoenix from the fire of the childhood photograph, illustrating the extent to which the present self erupts from the extinction of oneself in the past.
The artists also reflect upon the current manner of constant image making within our everyday lives. In both ‘Making Memories’ and ‘Salt Print Selfie’, Walter & Zoniel explore this modern phenomenon and its effect. In an era where we rely heavily upon imagery as a signal means of communication the artists play with the idea that, by constantly striving to document the present, the individual is abstracted from it. These contemporary mores reflect the process of photography; an individual taking a ‘selfie’, for example, is involved in the curation of his or her present existence as a future image or set of images. When the individual perceives him- or herself as both future image and photographer, he or she can fail to live fully in the present; when we are involved in curating the process of making memories, we can in fact let them slip by.
In ‘Salt Print Selfie’, the subject’s presence forms part of the final works as they are developed with salt contained in the individual’s perspiration. The sitter’s physical presence is required to develop the work itself. The image and the individual are united through this process of organic and inorganic chemical alchemy
June 3 2015 — July 3 2015
Maison Mais Non, Soho’s first fashion gallery, presents its inaugural exhibition: Artist:Artisan. Co-founded by Micheal Neeson and Topes Calland, the aim of the gallery is to support designers to express their creative voices untempered, allowing for the creation of unique sartorial masterpieces. Artist:Artisan is a collaborative exhibition between the 2015 graduates of the Central Saint Martin’s MA in Fashion and the tailors of Savile Row. The four selected designers have worked with his or her own tailoring house to create a unique look.
The collaborative pieces have been created over the last two months and have been exhibited alongside two supporting pieces: one is pure CSM, the other pure Savile Row. The exposition of these works will highlight the creative relationship between designer and tailor in order to make the narrative of their hybrid pieces visible.
Artist:Artisan was formed under the creative direction of Micheál Neeson, who has previously worked at Chittleborough & Morgan on Savile Row and under Phoebe Philo at Céline. Nell Campbell will be using her art world background and career in Fashion PR to present a polished product. Jessica Draper, with her extensive gallery experience, will provide further academic scope to the exhibition, with a BA in the History of Art and an MA in the History of Dress from The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Photographer Toby Knott has distilled the evolution of the pieces, into beautiful photographic stills which will support the narrative of the designer-tailor collaboration, as well as challenging perspectives on how fashion is viewed to create self-contained works of art. A video installation charting the collaborative process was created by the artistic team from So It Goes Magazine.
“Maison Mais Non’s inaugural exhibition is both exciting and apt. The combination of creativity and craftsmanship is what London is about. Both the collaboration and combination of the two is brilliant. It’s a wonderful start for such an enterprising and philanthropic gallery as Maison Mais Non.”
Lucinda Chambers, Fashion Director at British VOGUE
DESIGNER: CHARLES JEFFREY
TAILORS: FRANCIS PALEY AND FRANCESCA SMITH FOR CHITTLEBOROUGH & MORGAN
Charles Jeffrey is a London based fashion designer and illustrator born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1990. Jeffrey studied at Central Saint Martin’s for 7 years before completing his MA this year with a specialization in menswear. Lauded by many publications as “one to watch”, Nick Remsen of Vogue (US) described Jeffrey’s MA collection as ‘melding the shapes of late: ultra-baggy trousers, blouse-y tops and cinched narrow waists, into an exciting new amalgamation of pop and provocation. His last look, a sweeping fire engine red top coat over an ivory-hued jumper and paint-smeared jeans, was this writer’s favorite moment in the 164-look show”.
Jeffrey’s innovative handling of shape and irreverence marries perfectly with Chittleborough & Morgan’s sartorial aesthetic. Roy Chittleborough and Joe Morgan were the sartorial skill that gave life to the glorious creations of the Savile Row maverick, Tommy Nutter. When Nutters of Savile Row opened in 1969, tailoring and the fashion world were changed forever. Nutters brought a new, revolutionary energy to the Row. With their signature roped shoulder, broad lapel, and tight, pocketless trousers, Nutters dressed customers from Elton John to Mick and Bianca Jagger. The Beatles famously crossed Abbey Road in Nutters suits. The expert hands of Nutters, Roy Chittleborough and Joe Morgan now weave their bespoke magic in their own firm, Chittleborough & Morgan at Nutters, located at No.12 Savile Row.
Francis Paley, a cutter from C&M, and Jeffrey came together, to celebrate how men’s tailoring can be just as innovative as the world of CSM design. Paley notes, “we made an overcoat with the most luxurious Begg & Co Scottish cashmere throws. In terms of language, there was a difference in approach and design. Charles was concerned with the impact rather than the make and the quality. Unlike ready-to-wear, tailoring is like sculpture. We create an exoskeleton based on the morphology of the individual’s body so that the client is presented as the best possible version of him or herself. Our pieces have a soul: blood, sweat and tears go into everything we create. He brought his red, double-breasted overcoat, which I really liked but the pattern wasn’t workable and with the cashmere samples, the coat simply wouldn’t go together; the shape of the lapels and the harmony was not there. To replicate that design in his style was the aim and the result is a double breasted overcoat in popping fabrics with a back pleat. At Chittleborough & Morgan, we aim to accentuate the waist, whereas this is oversized and the pleat is purely a design element. It looks so good though I might have to make myself one… if I can find another hundred hours to spare!”
Trouser maker Francesca Smith had to reject Jeffrey’s initial proposal of working in nylon because it’s impossible to shape with Savile Row techniques. However, she described the process of working with Charles as, “an experience that made me appreciate being creative within my own rigorous practice.”
DESIGNER: HAYLEY GRUNDMANN
TAILORS: JENNIE MCWALTER, LIBERTY CLAYTON AND ASHLEIGH ROSE FOR ANDERSON & SHEPPARD
Hayley Grundmann completed both her BA and MA in Fashion and Knitwear at Saint Martin’s and has worked for such industry luminaries as John Galliano, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Alexander McQueen. She currently works with Acne in Stockholm. Grundmann’s work is inspired by everyday materials, or items taken out of context, in an attempt to create the extraordinary from the ordinary. Grundmann uses masculine shapes, large form and structure, which is powerfully contrasted with feminine textures, colours and movement. Elle Magazine wrote of her MA collection that “Hayley Grundmann’s knitwear… was so densely worked that parts of it stood away from the body, like cardboard wrapping or polystyrene chips.”
Grundmann has the talent, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit to take the fashion world by storm. As she told New York Magazine, “I had a business at primary school selling clothes that I made for Barbies. I turned old socks into doll jumpers and sold them for 20p”. It was this enterprising energy that inspired Anda Rowland, owner of Anderson & Sheppard, to work with Grundmann. She placed Grundmann with three of her brightest young talents: Jennie McWalter, Liberty Clayton, and Ashleigh Rose. Their house style, which focuses on easy movement and a natural body-line, compliments Grundmann’s aesthetic. The 109-year old atelier’s client list reads like a greatest hits of the 20th century’s best dressed: the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Pablo Picasso, Bryan Ferry, Manolo Blahnik and Tom Ford. Fred Astaire would dance around the firm’s shop-front during fittings to make sure the collar of his coat would not fall away mid-step, while Alexander McQueen served as an apprentice here at the age of 16.
The final piece distills Grundmann’s vision, demonstrated in her MA collection, through the eyes of Savile Row. The tailors at Anderson & Sheppard loved her designs. Hayley made them a sample knit and they came up with the concept of using scraps from the cutting room floor. The design of the collaborative piece was joined with Hayley’s MA collection by developing the idea of using something around them that was available, unusual and unused in the context of clothing and fashion. Hayley used foam and bin bags in her MA collection and for the collaboration they decided to use the waste scraps of material left after each tailoring commission. In this way, a beautiful weave was created from what had previously been discarded. It is, as Grundmann noted, “trying to elevate what was just scraps into something luxurious again. The idea of upcycling and being inventive with what you have available.”
The main and very prominent problem they faced as a team was that Grundmann was very quickly offered a job a few weeks into the project that meant she had to move to Stockholm. However, the rest of the team were “amazing” and took on the rest of the project with only the designs and the beginning samples she had done. She notes, “I feel that and rightly so, this is a project now that really should credit the tailors and their dedication.”
McWalter describes the challenges presented by the material: “It was near impossible to work with knit because it stretches and doesn’t retain its shape. The juxtaposition of the rigid wool and flexible knit was incredibly difficult to overcome, because the knit was so difficult to shape and kept stretching”. The tailors had to adapt their working methods to create the garment. The side seams had to be hand sown instead of machined because the knit stretched completely out of shape, and they were forced to employ methods not usually associated with bespoke tailoring to stabilise the knitted cloth. Throughout the tailoring process the weave continued to stretch and the panels had to be machined and adjusted at every stage. They estimated that the weight of the knitted back panel in comparison to the weight of the foreparts was around three times as much.
DESIGNER: MASHA REVA
TAILOR: ALISTAIR NIMMO FOR KATHRYN SARGENT
Masha Reva studied Fashion Design at the Kiev National University of Technology and Design before taking her MA at Central Saint Martin’s. Her work draws inspiration from vintage, traditional imagery and anatomical illustrations which nods to her Ukrainian roots. With a keen eye for gaudy excess, she mixes an Eastern European love of extreme luxury with a kitschiness that borders on the delight- fully garish. Her MA collection was directly inspired by the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014-15. Since graduating in March, Masha has already received huge international acclaim. Having previously won the Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Forward Grand Prix Award, it came as no surprise that Masha was selected by Vogue Italia as the most talented of the ten international finalists for its “Pulse of New Talent” prize which, in collaboration with Pepsi, aims to identify the most exciting young designer from around the world.
The revolutionary spirit of Masha’s design has found its counterpoint in the tailoring of Kathryn Sargent who, after 15 years at Gieves and Hawkes (No.1 Savile Row), was appointed Head Cutter in 2009, the first woman in the history of Savile Row to hold this position. Kathryn has now founded her own eponymous atelier.
The difference in language between tailor and designer was interesting because tailor, Alistair Nimmo, worked in inches, whilst Reva worked in centimetres. This was symptomatic of a larger dislocation in approach. Reva notes that “bespoke tailoring is classical. It is about making the ordinary extraordinary. What I do is chaotic. The collaborative piece is simply a combination of these two things. The piece is half designer, half tailor. It looks like one thing but presents as another. The working process reflects this since we sat opposite one another as we worked”. Patterns were constantly exchanged between the two and it was a constant back and forth dialogue. Reva continues, “I was fascinated by the philosophy of how you shape it. The experience taught me to love what I do a little bit more. When I first came to the project, I thought why bother hand stitching the inside of a jacket, no one will see it, it’s so boring. But it is love, and when you love what you do it is a very inspiring thing.”
Nimmo and Reva’s mutual understanding and passion for the collaboration resulted in a perfect cohesion in the finished piece. “There was a perfect harmony between the jacket pattern that I made for the collaborative piece, and Masha’s pattern from one of her MA pieces,” notes Nimmo. “We were able to marry them effortlessly. Savile Row techniques creep into Masha’s side to create a wonderful unity.”
DESIGNER: KRYSTYNA KOZHOMA
TAILORS: HARRISON BAINES-HILTON AND EMILY SELF FOR RICHARD ANDERSON
Krystyna Kozhoma is a Ukrainian-born fashion designer who studied both her BA and MA at Central Saint Martin’s. She has previously worked at Mark Fast, Balmain and Alexander McQueen, which makes her uniquely aware of the importance of crafts- manship in design. Kozhoma’s work is supported by the Isabella Blow Foundation, and she was the Tod’s Project Winner 2014. Her MA collection was described by STYLE.COM as “carnal and uncanny in the arresting silhouettes… flare-leg body- suits topped by surreally large rope like ornamentation”.
The powerful, Grace Jones-inspired sexuality of Krystyna’s collection unites seamlessly with Richard Anderson’s image of tailoring on the Row. Described by the Daily Mail as “The King of Savile Row”, he views the atmosphere among the ateliers as “electric, masculine, and aggressive”. Housed at 13 Savile Row, Richard Anderson is a leading independent bespoke tailoring house that helps to train the next generation of tailors, who hope to make a name for themselves on Savile Row. Kozhoma was originally paired with Emily Self, a Richard Anderson-trained coat-maker. Self made a beautiful expository piece to show the nature of Richard Anderson’s style, with embellishments by Kozhoma. However, Self found it difficult to balance her work commitments with the extra hours needed to complete the collaborative piece. At this point, Harrison Baines-Hilton of Chittleborough & Morgan stepped into the breach to realise Kozhoma’s design vision. Working night and day with the support of the C&M team, he created a beautiful jumpsuit which lightly adapted Kozhoma’s original design to Savile Row practice.
For Kozhoma, her practice fundamentally rests on developing her own textiles including metal and PVC, and she quickly realized that “this would be very difficult for a tailor to use.” Kozhoma’s samples are designed to challenge the possibilities of materials, to create her futuristic vision. Kozhoma learnt the importance of applying a singularity to her vision that would allow her to communicate with the tailors most effectively. Working with stretch material, she was used to moving and sliding the material, to stretch or iron it out once it is on the body. She noted, “With dramatic pieces, you get away with slight mistakes. The final pattern of our collaborative piece has its structure in the shoulder and it is nipped in at the waist. It is amazing that it follows the contours of the body without being stretchy. I like women to feel comfortable in their clothes and not to feel suffocated and this is why I have developed lycra and jersey. They just allow a lighter movement because they use a certain technique and fit in the right way.”
Krystyna added, “The catsuits I make have a certain stretch, and working with a pattern cutter to make this one piece was difficult. It looks like me but at the same time it is very Savile Row, incorporating a jacket and trousers into one piece. I like the simplicity and purity of the final design. I like the Savile Row of it. They have amazing skills and I admire the way they hold the fabric, to the way they stitch. They are incredibly knowledgeable.”
May 19 2015 — June 22 2015
Soho Revue is pleased to present Rubber Soul, a powerful body of process-based works from artists Georgina Hodgson and Scarlett Bowman. Rubber Soul, consists of two distinctive approaches to materiality, one subjective, the other disinterested and diagnostic. Hodgson’s work operates in the realm of human experience whereas Bowman forges ahead to create a post-human paradigm. The exhibition will run from the 19th May to 22nd June.
Hodgson has led a peripatetic life, rarely staying in the same place for long. This restlessness is evidenced in her artistic process, which seeks to create an individualistic impression of places which resonate with her. This process involves painting many layers of latex onto walls at personal and nostalgic locations. This additive process is a highly physical and draining experience. The latex takes months to dry and whilst sticky, the synthetic material amasses information from the surface. She embeds the latex with domestic materials found at the site; these can range from baking paper, Vaseline, hemp, foil and talcum powder. Pigment is later added to the composite. These processes aim to achieve a physical manifestation of intangible memories and to capture the essence of the space. Once dry, the latex is peeled from the wall and becomes its own separate entity, infused with the DNA of her chosen sites.
Scarlett Bowman’s individual identity is removed from her approach to materiality; instead she focuses upon the innate expressive qualities of the aterials. Her work is a re-imagination of man-made detritus, which is re-cast and re-designed using artificial processes and materials. Bowman’s approach is investigatory, almost scientific in creating original forms comprised of new elements. There are no traces of human qualities in the work; all that remains is texture and physicality. Casting from refuse, her multitude of artistic materials and their individual properties create a myriad of different forms, each completely unique yet born from her own distinctive processes. By allowing the physical attributes of the material to guide and inform the final product, she allows chance to influence the final form.
Rubber Soul, presents the viewer with immaterial spaces in a dislocated time frame. Georges Perec’s ‘Species of Space’ was an inspiration for both artists where approaching the subject of symbolic spaces. At first strikingly physical, the exhibition soon unravels a thread of illusory experiences. the artists differing approaches illustrate Rubber Soul’s hypothesis that memory can either be ingrained or re-moulded.
Hodgson works and studies in London. She was born in 1991 in West Sussex. She is currently studying on MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts on a scholarship awarded from Chelsea Arts Trust and graduated on her BA at Chelsea College of Arts London in 2014. She studied her foundation at Brighton and Hove City College in 2011.
Bowman is a London-based conceptual artist currently studying an MA at Chelsea College of Art. Bowman’s works have been bought by collectors in London, Berlin and Los Angeles and have featured alongside such names as Tracey Emin and Jonathan Yeo, who described her as ‘A rising star (…) very inventive and definitely someone to watch in the future’. In 2014, Bowman was approached by Kevin Spacey to exhibit her works at a private Christie’s exhibition, and soon after she was commissioned by Soho House Group to feature in their private collection alongside Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha and Keith Tyson.
April 14 2015 — May 16 2015
Works by Jennifer Abessira, Scarlett Bowman, Wendy Bevan, Walter Hugo & Zoniel and Max Herbert will be exhibited alongside the three-screen cinematic installation Eleanor, which stars recent Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson and was created by Alex Warren and Toby Ross-Southall. This first innovative curation seeks to establish the gallery as an environment for cross-disciplinary discussion within which a novel artistic language can emerge.
For Nothing Perishes, The Revue has selected works that promote contemplation and require sensory commitment. Each artist has pushed the existing limits of their medium, building a show that is soulful, enlightening and exemplifies the ethos of the gallery.