Mai-Thu Perret: Do not think at all about good and bad, 2023 – 12 glazed ceramic apples
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 6 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BT
www.houldsworth.co.uk Instagram: @pippyhouldsworthgallery
I’ve been around long enough to remember when Pippy Houldsworth opened on Cork Street in 1999, moving west for a while before settling in Heddon Street from 2011. It was the gallery which first brought the Royal Art Lodge to my attention, the Canadian collaborative which ran 1996-2008 and included Marcel Dzama, Jon Pylypchuk and Neil Farber. Pippy represented Farber for many years, and still works with Rachel Goodyear, perhaps the closest UK artist to the group’s spirit. Overall, though, the gallery has moved on to concentrate more on female and ethnically varied artists, and to explore intergenerational crossover.
Thus, for example, Jadé Fadojutimi began her rapid rise with Pippy before switching to Gagosian last year; and the gallery presented the first UK solo exhibitions of Jacqueline de Jong, Faith Ringgold and Carrie Mae Weems – as well as consistently supporting the veteran American Mary Kelly. She found tabloid notoriety in the mid-1970’s for incorporating her son’s stained nappy liners into Post-Partum Document, a now-seminal installation studying the intersubjective relationship between mother and child. Alongside its main exhibitions, Pippy Houldsworth also presents one work in its unique micro-project space, The Box. That encourages focused consideration, and has proved a good way to work with artists associated with other galleries: Ai Weiwei, Martha Rosler, Alina Szapocznikow and Annette Messager, for example, along with current occupant Mai-Thu Perret. She, more often seen at Simon Lee, is showing alongside upcoming US-based New Zealand painter Angela Heisch.
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.