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

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
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

    Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

    £250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

    Year 3 Teacher

    £21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...

    ABAP Developer

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...

    Head of Finance - Media

    £80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?