Contemporary Art Market: Imprints that raise a gallery of questions

Geraldine Norman
Sunday 10 July 1994 23:02

ANYONE prone to ask the question: 'But is it art?' - will have a field day with 'Imprint 93', the latest show at the Cabinet Gallery, in Brixton, south London.

Martin Creed has installed an amplifier which blasts the ears whenever anyone presses the entryphone ( pounds 500); Maggie Roberts has typed up an account of an ecstasy trip (edition of 20, pounds 10); Jeff Luke has made 100 cast lead cubes and dropped them in the corner of the gallery ( pounds 250); Peter Doig - who won the painting prize at the last John Moores exhibition - has made an oil painting on canvas of Night Fishing ( pounds 4,500).

The Cabinet Gallery glories in its fringe position. 'What interests us is the working of incompatibility, contradiction and the unexpected', the founders, Andrew Wheatley and Martin McGeown, state. They launched the gallery in a small apartment in 1992 - when the art market recession was at its height. 'When everything is falling apart it is the most interesting moment, things emerge through the fault lines, unpredictable things,' they say.

The present show is curated by Matthew Higgs, who makes artists' books; they are photocopied, stapled into a simple cover and sent out free. He made 10 books last year and the artists who contributed have been invited to show - hence 'Imprint 93'.

Jeremy Deller's book comprised a transcription of graffiti in the British Library gents. He is showing a lot of visiting cards which say things like 'A rich seam of melancholy', 'Did you spill my sherry?', and 'We'll fight them on the beaches'. He has also made a postcard from a photograph of himself kissing a mural.

The other high point of the Brixton art scene is Laurent Delaye's gallery across the road; he turned the front of a small, fourth-floor flat into a gallery 18 months ago.

He is only on his second show, devoted to paintings by a Welsh artist called James Rielly. His first exhibition, in November 1992, launched the work of Simon English; Charles Saatchi bought in bulk.

Rielly is a wanderer. His paintings present the ghosts of magazine or newspaper photographs that have become etched in his memory.

Most are priced at pounds 800 or pounds 1,200, with one big one at pounds 3,600.

Both galleries are open on Fridays and Saturdays from noon till 6pm. To enter press the entryphone. Cabinet is at 8 Clifton Mansions, 429 Coldharbour Lane; and Delaye at 44 Connaught Mansions, 398 Coldharbour Lane.

(Photograph omitted)

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