8 April 2014


Having stumbled across GRAD (Gallery for Russian Arts and Design) for their Kino/Film: Soviet Posters of the Silent Screen exhibition I am now following them on social media to keep informed on what they are doing.

What they are doing now is TAINT, which they describe as "a deconstruction, interrogation and exploration of the art of painting through contemporary art practise".

That means the works are a reaction to painting and are not necessarily paintings themselves.

The art starts rights at the door with a piece on the floor made out of small coloured pieces. They are arranged in swirls across the floor. The overall effect looked something like a map and I could argue the case that I could see some familiar continents in it.

The exhibition only opened the day before and already the pieces were being spread away from their original clumps. I am sure that was expected and/or planned and the spread added to the effect. It also meant that I had to take great care over where I walked.

One of my favourite pieces was this one.

It took me a while to realise but it is a high-quality (Giclée ) print. I thought it was real until I got close to it.

I like the composition and the colours but best of all, I like the title "Six plasticine balls, three of which are sculptures".The mischief in that is cute but it also raised the serious question as to the definition of art.

All of the pieces were very different. There were constructs with lights, a video, a towel-rail, a painting, some coloured acetate and a page from a notebook with some straight cuts in it. I did not like all of it, and nor did I expect to, but it was all interesting and I spent a fair amount of time, twenty minutes or so walking around the pieces.

GRAD is quite a small gallery so I am unlikely to ever make a special trip in to London just to see something there but it is well situated just off Oxford Circus so it is easy to include a quick visit there in to a larger programme. And as long as GRAD keep putting on exhibitions like Kino and TAINT I'll keep going to see them.

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