Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery

VISUAL ARTS

Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery, 21 Cork Street, London W1 (0171-734 5082), to 2 May

Louise Richardson, Montpelier Sandelson, 4 Montpelier Street, London SW7 (0171-584 0667), to 10 May

Two shows this week: both by women artists born in 1969; both at the start of promising, if very different, careers. The first, Chantal Joffe, was one of the more conspicuous new talents at the Royal College of Art degree show in 1994. Her big rude paintings were hard to miss, not least because of their subject matter, but also because of the way that she paints with a kind of easy control - effortless without being slick.

Since then she has scaled down her work and toned down her subject matter, although the pages of pornographic magazines still seem to provide occasional inspiration. However, she now also makes use of more innocent images from childrenswear catalogues and the like. The current show at the Victoria Miro Gallery consists of 60 or so figure paintings (mostly women and young girls) arranged in two blocks, so that each work, although a picture in its own right, seems like a fragment of a larger whole: part of a population of awkward little people.

At first glance they look simple enough, frothy, charming, even a bit childish, but they have an unsettling quality which gives the exhibition an odd, rather menacing mood.

Something similar, although stemming from very different work, hangs over Louise Richardson's exhibition of recent sculpture at Montpelier Sanderson.

Richardson, a graduate of the Norwich School of Art, makes sculpture in wax, lead and various unlikely materials including, in the current show, a dress that looks like fur, but turns out to be made of nails. It is a surreal, slightly sinister bit of sculpture which signals a tougher approach. (In fact, this is the second of three similar pieces she has made. The first caused a stir of interest at this year's Art 97, with people queuing for a look at it.) Her work has always been beautifully constructed but on the evidence here it is becoming less fragile and more durable, in every sense.

EYE ON THE NEW Gainsborough's House in Suffolk is not just the birthplace of one of our greatest painters. It also has a lively exhibition programme and a newly refurbished printmaking workshop (opens from 22 Apr thanks to pounds 64,200 from the Lottery.

46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, Suffolk (01787 372958)

"The Tollund Man", Seamus Heaney's brilliant "bog people" poem, has inspired the work in Michael Rees' first London exhibition. The imagery is a bit glum: skulls, bones and the like, but they're nicely painted and, from pounds 170, surprisingly cheap.

Austin Desmond, Pied Bull Yard, 68 Great Russell Street, London WC1

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick