Bending Architectural Space at London’s Eagle Gallery

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Report by Kevin Finklea

KEVIN FINKLEA Bending Space
Installation shot, Kevin Finklea’s paintings on his wall drawings, Eagle Gallery.

Eagle Gallery
‘s Emma Hill organized Bending Space — the three-person show I’m in –in concert with London’s Architecture Week. Architecture Week is a city-wide program with hundreds of architecture-related events including tours, lectures and exhibitions. London has seen an explosion of new significant architecture in the last decade or so. I immediately think of Sir Norman Foster‘s Swiss Re Tower fondly known locally as ‘the Gherkin’ as a salient example. I personally found fascinating a tour of the first underwater transport tunnel bored under the River Thames from the Rotherhithe district.

JULIA FARRER Bending Space

Julia Farrer’s work, installed in Eagle Gallery

Bending Space features — in addition to my work — two contemporary artists whose work is either wall-sited or site-specific for this show. All of us produce work that exists in a merger of architectural and sculptural concerns.Julia Farrer‘s newest paintings represent a development in her 2-dimensional work, towards a more ‘sculptural’ painted object. Julia is also a master printer who trained at the Slade School of Art. The new work exhibits a classic printmaker’s sensibility in the attention to surface and edge. I had the pleasure of visiting Julia’s studio after our opening. She is currently at work on a new book that is perhaps her most sculptural printed effort to date. The new edition and limited luxe livre should be out in the fall.

ANDREW BICK Bending Space
Andrew Bick’s work, including a piece on the window, Eagle Gallery. Click photo to see it bigger.

Andrew Bick is an artist whose work presents a visual puzzle of paint, drawn and altered material surfaces. He often paints on a transluscent plexiglas support. In this show he has elected to install his work directly on the windows of the space and as free standing objects in the gallery. His work can be seen in a recently published catalog entitled The Memory Club from his show at the Hales Gallery. He is represented in London by the Hales Gallery which just opened a fairly new gallery space in the Tea Building in Shoreditch. Andrew also recently curated The Kingston Turnpike, 2006.

For my part, I essentially brought my studio practice of drawing directly on my studio walls into the gallery. The drawings were made without any plan and specifically in the gallery. Then we hung current work directly on top of the drawn wall. The works seen on either end of the wall were made in response to the gallery’s window overlooking the Farringdon Road.

The Eagle Gallery was opened by Hill in 1991 and is regarded as one of the first ‘alternative’ spaces that expanded London’s art scene into the East End. Since that time the area has seen an explosion of galleries. White Cube (currently showing Gary Hume’s new work) Andrew Mummery, Hales Gallery and a score of other spaces now find their homes in the Clerkenwell, Hoxton and Shoreditch districts of London. Hill gave Cecily Brown her first solo show in London and the gallery has hosted exhibitions including work by many of Britain’s most established younger painters such as Simon Callery, Peter Doig and Callum Innes. Her own stable of represented artists includes the renowned painter Basil Beattie, who is the subject of a display at Tate Britain in March 2007. The Eagle Gallery’s publishing imprint commissions writers and artists to work collaboratively and many of the publications are held in major international public collections.

Bending Space runs until the 28th of July. The gallery is at 159 Farringdon Road, London EC1 on the first floor (our second floor). Tel: 020 7833 2674.

[Ed. note: For another post on this exhibit, see Steve Kimbrough‘s report, here.]

–Kevin Finklea’s work also can be seen at Pentimenti Gallery in the group show Takeout which closes Saturday, July 8. He’ll have a solo exhibit at Pentimenti in October, 2007.

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