Deacon exhibition at Lisson

Ian Hamilton Finlay’s exhibition at Victoria Miro complements ICA survey


One of the keenly anticipated events of the contemporary art market takes place with Richard Deacon’s exhibition of new sculptures at Lisson (to 14 March). It caps a remarkable year during which Deacon has completed several challenging and successful public commissions, including “Let’s not be stupid” for Warwick University’s campus, and “Nobody here but us”, installed in the atrium of the ASB Bank Centre in Auckland, has had prestigious exhibitions at the Haus Lange and Haus Esters in Krefeld, and, most recently, has participated in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. He has chosen “Foursome” as the title for the present exhibition because he is placing four different groups of work in different gallery spaces. In the Lisson Street entrance gallery, he is showing five large new etchings (ed. twenty-one) published by Margarete Roeder in New York; the main gallery will be dominated by “Pipe”, a long aluminium sculpture created for the Haus Lange’s garden balcony; in the new Bell Street basement gallery are “Border”, a wood and plastic floor sculpture also shown in Krefeld, and a new wooden sculpture closely related to the pedestal works which Deacon made for Pittsburgh and on which he mounted objects from the Carnegie Museum’s permanent collection of fine and decorative arts; and, on the ground floor, he is placing three screens of painted plastic in aluminium frames standing on shaped aluminium bases. It is an exciting body of new work and confirms Deacon’s stature in international sculpture. The remaining space in the gallery is filled by Hermione Wiltshire’s photographic sculptures.

In Dering Street, Anthony d’Offay’s “On paper” (4 February-28 March) presents a new series of works on paper by Gerhard Richter, coinciding with the exhibition of works from Deutsche Bank’s collection, showing at the Goethe Institute (to 8 February) and at the Nottingham University Art Gallery (15 February-15 March), new drawings with signs and texts by Lawrence Weiner, whose recent installation at DIA in New York marked an impressive expansion of his language, and new River Avon mud works by Richard Long, who has poured or printed with his finger or hand on large sheets of black and white card. Jeff Koons’s “Made in heaven” exhibition has been postponed again, as the artist seeks to realise a monumental sculpture to be previeweed with d’Offay, and is now scheduled to open at the beginning of April.

Grob is showing twelve paintings and six drawings by David Ortins (to 22 February), who is represented by Pamela Auchincloss in New York and paints in oils and beeswax on panel. Paley-Wright gives a first exhibition to Abigail Lane (to 7 March) who took part in Modern Medicine and was included in Andrew Renton’s summer selection for Anderson O’Day. For this exhibition, she has made four inkpad sculptures and one multiple which incorporates a shoe designed by Johnny Moke on to the sole of which will be attached a cast of each purchaser’s footprint. Annely Juda is mounting a small retrospective of paintings and prints by West Coast Minimalist John McLaughlin who died in 1976.

Finally, in Dering Street, Anthony Reynolds has installed three sculptures by Tony Carter (to 7 March), two of which were seen in his recent exhibition at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. Their theme is conflict and destruction in pursuit of goals, and Carter makes specific reference to the Gulf War. “Black Flag”, for example, is a casket which incorporates a row of polished coins around its lip. With a tangle of webbing printed with white stars, it serves as treasure chest and memorial box. Five further works from this poignant series are showing at the Imperial War Museum (to 15 March).

“The road to Eleusis” is the title of a small survey of Joe Tilson’s work being prepared by Waddington (5-29 February). In the main galleries are twenty paintings and constructions spanning a thirty-year career. They are important examples of Tilson’s changing styles and have been culled from the artist’s own collection. “For Jake and Anna” 1961 launches the survey, which includes a “Ziggurat” 1967, a screenprinted canvas cushion picture of 1969, a maze relief of 1975 and several recent shield paintings inspired by the Greek myths. Waddington Graphics shows Tilson’s graphic work from the last ten years, including a recent series of woodblocks (“Dionysus Anthios and three other images”, £2500 the set) proofed by Chris Betambeau at Advanced Graphics in 1991.

In other galleries in Cork Street, Victoria Miro is showing ten maquettes for neo-classical structures by Ian Hamilton Finlay (14 February-28 March). Carved with revolutionary and other slogans by Annet Stirling, these maquettes relate to temple façades and other structures already built by the artist or awaiting realisation. Ian Hamilton Finlay’s retrospective exhibition at ICA (14 February-5 April) covers sculpture, objects and texts from his career since 1973 but is heavily weighted towards work completed in the last three years.

Mayor has installed twelve sculptures, including five new carvings in mulberry and elm, by F.E. McWilliam (6 February-20 March) who was the subject of a survey at the Tate Gallery in 1990. Twenty-four recent prints of monumental scale by leading Barcelona artist Antoni Tapiès are being shown in different locations in this country during the next twelve months. Redfern launch the adventure with thirteen new abstract etchings with aquatint from 1990 (ed. fifty, £8,500-£36,500) (to 6 February) and other selections from this collection can be seen at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (March) and in Middlesborough (August). Then the gallery mounts “Three painters, three decades” (11 February-12 March) with works by three abstract artists whose careers were launched by the “Situation” exhibition in 1958. They are John Hoyland, Gwyther Irwin and Robyn Denny, for whom this exhibition marks a return to the public arena. Denny has not shown new work in this country for a dozen years. His silence in a speedily changing art market was a calculated gamble but now ends with the exhibition of six large new paintings at Bernard Jacobson (4-29 February). These dark blue abstract canvases, brushed with a softness which will surprise an audience remembering those hard edged pictures with which he made his reputation twenty years ago, were commenced in California and brought to completion in his studio in South London.

Gimpel is showing two former students of Terry Atkinson at Leeds University (to 15 February). Graham Ramsey and Gavin Bird were prizewinners at the ICA’s New Contemporaries in 1991 and collaborate by printing images and texts on to Flotex carpet. They are followed by Charles Beauchamp (18 February-28 March) whose new paintings result from a recent visit to Columbia and comprise portraits and anthropomorphic maps of Bogota.

Tessa Robins has her second exhibition at Laure Genillard (to 8 March). Her seven sculptures are now rounded and coated in exotic wood veneers.

The following exhibitions were reported in last month’s issue and should be noted before they close: Alison Lambert’s large charcoal drawings at Long and Ryle (to 29 February) and the presentation of four young artists curated by Michael Landy for Karsten Schubert (to 29 February).