Time for cocktails at the cutting edge of art

Contemporary Art Market: Geraldine Norman discovers two exclusive worlds colliding head-on at a London nightspot

Stringfellows, the London nightspot in St Martin's Lane favoured by the super-rich, is currently doubling as a work of art. Two young artists, Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, have talked the club's owner Peter Stringfellow - a blond raver who sprang to prominence in the Sixties - into a collaboration. They have mounted photographs behind short velvet curtains on the mirrored walls of the club which are scheduled to remain there until 15 July unless they get knocked down by a drunken carouser.

The colour photographs depict Deller, Kane and Stringfellow exploring each other's pleasures during a single afternoon outing. They visit a degree show at St. Martin's, the local art school, drink beer in a pub, lunch off oysters and champagne, row across the Serpentine and dig a discarded sandwich out of a litter bin in order to feed it to the ducks. The photos, each in an edition of five, are for sale at pounds 100 each.

But the real art work is the linkage of two mutually exclusive worlds, cutting-edge contemporary art and celebrity night life. The photos are just props. "We could have put anything behind the curtains, really," says Deller. Stringfellow, who is listed as one of the three exhibiting artists in all ads for the show, is one of the few people who have grasped what it is all about.

A girl asked him last week: "Why have you got your photo behind those curtains downstairs?" and he replied: "It's conceptual art, dear." The concept is lifting contemporary art out of its gallery environment and putting it in a night club. Packs of "chat-up lines" invented by Della and printed on business cards are available from behind the bar - free.

In a similar spirit, the Cabinet Gallery in Brixton has hung its latest show in the pub across the road - the Prince Albert in Coldharbour Lane. It is devoted to charcoal drawings by the young American artist Elizabeth Peyton. The bar prints - pussycats, flowers, hunting scenes - have been removed from their frames and Peyton's drawings substituted. Peyton, like Warhol before her, is hooked on the concept of celebrity.

Her very competent drawings are mostly intimate reworkings of photographs: John McEnroe in 1981, Marie Antoinette choosing her clothes, Princess Elizabeth and Cecil Beaton, Rupert Brooke, Marlon Brandon as Napoleon ... They are priced between pounds 650 and pounds 800 (excluding the frame, which still belongs to the pub).

But Peyton's consuming interest is the late Kurt Cobain, leader of the pop group Nirvana - the hero-icon of the slacker generation and grunge personified - who committed suicide last year.

There are two drawings of him in the show and a slim artists' book is available behind the bar priced at pounds 2. It comprises 15 stills from a video in the course of which Cobain articulates a single word into a microphone and turns his head.

The book is published by Imprint 93, an independent press publishing artists' books run by Matthew Higgs. He photocopies them in his spare time and sends them out free to people he thinks "are doing something interesting and won't throw them in the bin". Anyone else who is interested has to pay pounds 2.

A show of works by all 23 artists who have made books in the Imprint series - including Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, as well as Peyton - opened at City Racing in Vauxhall Street, London SE11, yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Property Sales Executive / Administrator - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent Sales Executive an...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Team Leader - Clothing / Footwear

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Does this sound like you? - Fri...

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an indepe...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Team Leader

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food