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Paul’s Gallery of the week: Lungley Gallery - FAD Magazine

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Paul’s Gallery of the week: Lungley Gallery

Mark Lungley with work by Richard Kirwan

Lungley Gallery, 53 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7LG https://lungleygallery.com/

Instagram: @lungleygallery

Mark Lungley started his gallery Lungley Gallery modestly in 2018 in the cellar of a pub in Dalston – but 25 rapid fire shows made adventurous use of it, including David Harrison’s exceptionally direct ‘Fuck Me’, Lana Locke expressing her milk on film, and Brian Dawn Chalkley – who taught Mark at Chelsea College and recently won the £50,000  David and Yuko Juda art foundation grant – fitting in no fewer than 454 watercolour portraits. Lungley Gallery then took up temporary residence in Seventeen’s nearby space – also below ground, but airier. William Mackrell was a highlight there before Mark headed to Soho in 2021, three floors up in the lift-free 175 Wardour Street. That may have been too stiff a test of visitor commitment, and the gallery soon reduced its stair count by taking over a second floor in Fitzrovia. Mark has just taken the first floor, too: a street level presence that passers-by might spot may be merely a matter of time. The first of Lungley’s ten represented artists to benefit from the extra room is new recruit Richard Kirwan (‘Intellectual Property’ to 14 Jan). Kirwan’s key motif is the asterisk, which operates both formally and, if you will, anti-linguistically: it avoids him deciding which letters to use, or else indicates he’s censored what letters were once there. The results are abstractions – which Kirwan then tweaks back towards depiction through apposite titling. The expansion allows for a floor of flat paintings to be counter-posed with a floor of paintings in which the asterisk has a sculptural presence as painted plywood on the canvas, setting up a conversation across the floors between painting as illusion and painting as object.

London’s gallery scene is varied, from small artist-run spaces to major institutions and everything in between. Each week, art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent gives a personal view of a space worth visiting. MORE Paul’s Gallery of the week

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