Until 12 December, Intersticio, 469 Bethnal Green Road, E2 9QH. Price range: £500-£3,500
The sculptures, drawings and installations of the Spanish artist Marina González Gurreiro dwell on the topic of time, which is presented in her first UK solo show as frozen and inevitable. At the show’s centre are two works placed on the floor, formed from a craft table transported from the artist's studio in Spain. Around and on top of it are her dirty art supplies, such as paintbrushes sitting in murky pots of water, along with accumulations of small found objects including pebbles, coins and kitschy jewellery. Empty chocolate wrappers and unwrapped presents only further the unsettling impression that one has walked into an abandoned children's birthday party. Much of these works are encased in layers of glittery wax, which bears a texture that appears rotting and vegetal like a blooming fungus: a reminder that some life will always thrive amid decay.
The works "effectively condense the 18 months spent in her studio over lockdown" Guerreiro says, adding that quarantining in Spain was "extremely tough". During this period where society at large was forced to reappraise its relationship to time, she used art both as a coping mechanism and to structure the long periods of still, making simple works on paper that now hang on the wall alongside calendars. With a style that is both sweet and repellent, Guerreiro's work seems to consider not how art can capture a fleeting moment, but rather how it can contain a sense of time that feels never-ending.
George Henry Longly: gogo mirrors
Until 6 November, Ridley Road Project Space, 51-63 Ridley Road, E8 2NP; by appointment only. Price range: £5,000
Two mirrors hang on opposite walls of an otherwise empty white room facing out onto Ridley Road Market in Dalston. Stencilled onto each are thick straight lines that are joined at perpendicular angles so as to form a maze map. At their most formal, George Henry Longly's gogo mirrors (2021) are an invitation for the viewer to consider, and toy with, visual depth. When stood in front of the mirrors the viewer sees from both the front and back their reflected figures, each of which is largely obscured by the maze. The effect draws us in and pushes us away: a direct confrontation with the alienating impulse of minimalist art. This dynamic is further referenced by the works' respective colours: one is executed in red and the other in dark cyan, chromatically opposite colours used in stereoscopic devices to produce an illusory sense of a 3D image.
On considering its context, the show gains a more elegiac note, as it also bids farewell to Ridley Road Project Space, an exhibition venue that was converted from Longly’s studio of 10 years. Next year, the entire building will be taken over by a property developer, shutting down a space that had an important social function alongside an artistic one: the studio, Longly says, was invariably used as a quasi-bedroom-cum-afterparty spot for his group of friends, which includes the artists Prem Sahib and Eddie Peake with whom Longly ran the roving queer club night Anal House Meltdown. As Ridley Road faces mounting threat from developers, the blank space represents a literal washing over of a decade of experiences. Perhaps there is a sense of defiance in Longly and co pre-empting this imminent erasure, but this gesture nonetheless concedes to the inevitable cycles of gentrification and displacement to which artists initially contribute and subsequently fall victim.
• On 5 November, Longly will perform a reading of two texts prepared for this show, written by the curators Milovan Farronato and Cedric Fauq.
On our radar:
Every two weeks we provide a snapshot of the most exciting, forthcoming emerging art shows in London, as selected by Seb’s Art List.
Sophie Vallance Cantor: Bad At Life (Good At Painting)
4 to 10 November, Guts Gallery, Unit 14/15, Penarth Centre, South Bermondsey, SE15 1TR
Consisting of paintings, sketches and an installation of the artist’s studio, the show responds to Vallance Cantor’s experiences as a neurodivergent person.
The show is taking place at Penarth Centre, also home to Sid Motion Gallery, the Ormside Projects art centre and several artist studios. An early 2021 interview of Vallance Cantor on The Artist Contemporary podcast.
Martin Seeds: No Country For Young Men
4 to 21 November (opening 4 November 6-9pm), Seen Fifteen, Studio DG1, The Bussey Building, Peckham, SE15 3SN
No Country For Young Men presents a series of found portraits in a Belfast school yearbook from 1965, shot at a time of rising political tensions. This show marks the beginning of a 12-month curatorial project at the gallery entitled The Troubles Generation.
Jack Otway Bloom Inward
4 November to 6 December, (Opening 6 November, 5-8pm), Ginny on Frederick, 93 Charterhouse St, Farringdon, EC1M 6HL
For the second ever show at the newly opened Ginny on Frederick, located in a former East End sandwich shop, Jack Otway presents a group of textural paintings (£3000-£5000).
Under Your Spell
From 6 November-11 December (Opening 06.11 12-8pm) - Collective Ending, 3 Creekside, Deptford, SE8 4SA
Artist-run Collective Ending present Under Your Spell, a mixed-medium 10-person group show exploring the influence of Disney as a social force and visual language (£500-£4500). Combine a visit to the show by also checking out the other exhibitions at the five galleries along Resolution Way .