Lawrence Alkin Gallery in London’s Soho is dedicated to showcasing the best in contemporary art, with the ethos that it should be accessible and remain enjoyed. This week their summer show MIX opens, which shows a collective of work by more than twenty artists, each exhibiting works in the gallery’s signature style of street, pop and outsider art.
The MIX summer group show consists of new and exclusive original works by artists on the gallery’s roster, and some fresh talent that hasn’t been shown in the UK before. Gallery Director Sam Rhodes said ‘Our annual summer group show is always an interesting exhibition, showcasing many talented contemporary artists, each with their own signature style and differing medium and practices. We’ve curated a mix of established and emerging artists, spanning collage, silkscreen prints, neon, oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, pencil drawings and mixed media. The main thing they all have in common is clearly defined originality. It’s a real treat to have such a concentrated pool of talent in one show.’
One of the highlights this year is the neon work ‘I Love You’ by Zoe Grace. Consisting of red and black hearts, with the work’s moniker written inside in neon strip, the work is as eye catching as it is evocative, and proves that the medium doesn’t just belong to Tracey Emin. Harland Miller’s Paintings of reworked Penguin book covers highlight the gallery’s passion for a bit of witty humour in art.
Candid Magazine’s stand out from the show however, are the paintings by Euan Roberts. The naïve figurative works, clearly reference the late great (and recently selling for $100 million) works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and are full of colour and life. The vibrancy of the paintings talks of both a personal history, but also clear art-historical knowledge, producing informative and fun results. Other artists in the show include big-hitters Damien Hirst, Banksy, Bridgette Riley, Patrick Caulfield and the street artist Stik, alongside the lesser known, but equally talented artists Holly Frean, Abi Whitlock, Jeff Gillette and Ryan Callanan.
Traditionally August was the month the art world went on holiday. The old fashioned sentiment however is slowly changing, and MIX is just one of several shows opening in London that provide some respite from the sun. It also proves that the current resurgence in popularity for group shows has no signs of slowing down, and that when done right, they can be wonderfully rich and exciting.
Lawrence Akin has shown London yet again that it remains one of the best independent galleries in the city. Its commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent, while simultaneously showcasing established names, through exciting exhibitions, events and exclusive publications, has produced another great show.
MIX: Summer Group Show at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, 42 New Compton St, London, WC2H 8DA. 28 July – 2 September 2017.