Art Consultant, Nico’s three shows not to be missed in March

This month give yourself some time to commune with the spiritual in art. If you are racing around Chelsea, pause for a moment to experience the brand new Salon on the lower ground floor of the Saatchi Gallery, a new project space conceived by the forward looking gallery director Philly Adams. The inaugural show 001 is a solo presentation in collaboration with Levy Gorvy of paintings by the celebrated Japanese Gutai master Tsuyoshi Maekawa (b.1936).
‘SALON has been created because there are limited opportunities for international artists to show at major museums in the UK. This platform allows the public access to these works. We are privileged to inaugurate with Levy Gorvy a breathtaking display of historic works by Tsuyoshi Maekawa.’ Philly Adams, Senior Gallery Director, Saatchi Gallery

MANNAKA TATE NO BLUE (A18) Oil and burlap on canvas, 1964
 24 64 × 51 3⁄8 inches (162.5 × 130.5 cm)

Gutai – literally meaning concrete – was the most significant avant-garde collective in the Japanese post-war era, founded in 1959 by Jiro Yoshihara. Rejecting the tradition of representing something else through painting, Gutai artists focused on the physical materiality (canvas, pigments, glue) and three-dimensional quality of paintings. For Yoshihara “art constitutes the embodied, material manifestation of human spiritual freedom,” and his protege Maekawa created works sprung with his own creative energy. The series of works in Salon 001 were made out of burlap, which he spliced up and layered or folded onto the canvas to create undulating biomorphic forms. He then painted these by following their internal, compositional logic. For Maekawa the artwork was not about image but matter – a visceral tactile thing that the artist could invest himself in.

1967 G 80-2 

Oil and cotton on canvas
71 7⁄8 × 36 inches (182.5 × 91.5 cm)

My encounter with these works was intimate and deeply moving; silent witness to Maekawa’s soul laid bare. Ranging in size from small to monumental, his paintings have an aboriginal even prehistoric aura, one that captures the trace of human endeavour. Great gashes infilled with earthy pigments look like Maekawa wrestled with the work before he resolved it with sky blues and brilliant reds. They captivate the senses, strange things of exceptional beauty which require nothing from you but to sit with them and be still.


DAMIAN ELWES – Tranquility, 2017 Limited edition Screenprint, 84 x 112cm

Much loved for her exuberance and pop aesthetic, Serena Morton continues her mission to show up and coming British artists alongside an electrifying photographic program that celebrates cultural icons and legendary eras. Opening on the 16th of March is Songs to the Goddess, a showcase to the rising stars of the current Brit
art scene.
“Using the ancient Celtic poem as inspiration, each artist has created their own visual song to celebrate the Goddess and the advent of Spring.” Serena Morton, Director

Emma Levine, 2017, Silk, paper, pigments, gold leaf, etymology pins 80cm x 105cm/ 60cm x 75cm

Songs to the Goddess is a celebratory exhibit of photography, print work, sculpture and painting featuring the work of Barka, Hunter Barnes, Anoushka Beckwith, Francesca Bristol, Lizzie-Mary Cullen, Damian Elwes, Billy Name, Jamie Morgan, Chris Levine, Emma Levine, Louise de Lima, Katy Lynton, Celia Lyttelton, Mark Luscombe-White, Adam Pobiak, Paul Vanstone, and Robi Waters.



Serena Morton
343 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HA
Serena Morton II
345 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HA Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm Saturday: 11am – 4pm
Sunday – Monday: CLOSED

JGM GALLERY 17 March – 22 April 2017
Launching this March, JGM Gallery is a luminous new gallery space on 24 Howie Street (Royal Drawing School) dedicated to exhibiting and promoting contemporary Australian Aboriginal art in a dynamic contemporary context. Founded by Jennifer Guerrini-Maraldi, who has long been a proponent of the rich potency, symbolism and heritage of Aboriginal art and culture, and brings us Kittey Malarvie: Milkwater and Luga for its inaugural exhibition.
“Aboriginal artists are custodians of a different aspect of the earth – they have intellectual copyright for a pattern which has symbolic meaning… and a spirituality that is uplifting.”

Kittey Malarvie, Milkwater, 2016, Natural ochre on canvas, 185 x 284

Showing for the first time in the UK, Kittey Malarvie’s richly layered paintings reference her continued connection to key geographical sites from her childhood. Like memory maps, they illustrate Malarvie’s probing into the way her identity was shaped by place and how displacement can be assuaged through memory recall. The series of paintings on show at JGM Gallery depict the vast desert landscape around Strut Creek, in Western Australia, and celebrate her enduring connection with a time before the disruptions to her Aboriginal family and cultural traditions.

JGM Gallery
24 Howie Street
SW11 4AY
Gallery Hours
Tues – Fri 11 – 6pm
Saturday 11 – 5pm
020 7228 6027

by Nico Kos Earle
Art writer and Independent Curator/ Consultant