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The Buck stopped here

The Buck stopped here is a weekly blog by our contemporary art correspondent Louisa Buck covering the hottest events and must-see exhibitions in London and beyond

Bike baskets welcome: the Art Car Boot Fair grows and moves to London's Kings Cross

Gavin Turk in action © Louisa Buck

Gavin Turk was going round and round in circles at yesterday’s (Sunday 16 September) Art Cycle Basket Fair, the new adjunct to the ever-popular Art Car Boot Fair. This year the fair celebrates its fifteenth anniversary and a move to a new London venue in Granary Square, King’s Cross. In honour of the occasion Turk, was making a special “Circle Line” action painting whilst mounted on one of his special Le Bike De Bois Rond bicycle sculptures—in addition to being customised with yellow, red and blue beads in the colours of André Cadere’s Barres de Bois Rond segmented wooden stick sculptures, it had been fitted with a special ink pad on its back wheel.

The multi-referential Circle Line painting from Turk was also his own particular homage to the now little-known British action painter William Green, who became notorious in the 1960s for riding a bicycle over a surface saturated with bitumen. Turk’s 21st-century update came with a few wobbly moments as he pedalled in ever-tighter circles, leaving a looping inky trail on a canvas on the floor. But he remained aloft and triumphantly signed the piece by squirting ink directly from the bottle and announcing an asking price of £15,000 for the unique work. For those on a more restricted budget there were some rather cheaper t-shirts and multiples also on offer.

Another star turn at the Art Cycle Basket Fair was Christine Binnie—the artist, potter and Neo Naturist—who back in the 1980s was responsible for introducing a young Grayson Perry to the joys of clay. Ms Binnie’s new cups and mugs paid tribute to the ancient buried history of the fair’s new King’s Cross location, including celebrating the hidden River Fleet that still flows under foot as well as the fair’s environmentally-friendly two-wheeled theme. I liked the vessel simply inscribed with “I’m a Cross Cyclist”.

Meanwhile, over the square at the Art Car Boot Fair there was much interest in her sister Jennifer Binnie’s striking painted and printed tributes to the female genitals which were attracting a throng of eager customers of all genders—including your correspondent. The Buck also stopped at the stand of the South London-based artist Tony Beaver, who was selling icon-like small paintings of individual potatoes, and at the Peckham-based gallery-cum-hair salon Dkuk, which was doing a roaring trade in fluorescent green hair extensions. Other attractions included prints and multiples by Bob and Roberta Smith and the artist’s partner Jessica Voorsanger, who were busy making on-the-spot collaborative painted works relating to their current Royal Academy show, as well as paintings of all sizes from Rachel Howard who was positioned adjacent to her artist daughter Holly.

Jessica Voorsanger and Bob and Roberta Smith © Louisa Buck

The family theme continued with Mat Collishaw who was offering prints and multiples from a stand that was parked back to back with his artist partner Polly Morgan. The duo are expecting their second baby in the next few days and Morgan’s bump chimed appropriately with her new series of striking egg sculptures (although in the artistic version it was hedgehogs rather than Homo sapiens that were bursting forth…) All in all, whether plying wares from a basket or a boot, sales were brisk, the sun shone and this latest iteration of what is now a much-loved institution was deemed to be one of its most successful yet.