Stephen Friedman Gallery, 5–6 Cork Street, London W1S 3LQ
Cork Street has its mojo back, with new arrivals Alison Jacques, Tiwani and Stephen Friedman adding substantially to what’s on view. Stephen Friedman opened on the parallel Old Burlington Street in 1995, where he showed in two or sometimes three spaces – but the footprint has expanded with the takeover of the building 100 yards away that formerly housed the Saatchi Yates gallery.
There’s plenty of space for the inaugural show of Yinka Shonibare plus his choice of African artists, several of whom have participated in his residency programme at Guest Artists Space Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria – Shonibare is exceptionally supportive of other artists. The most striking feature of the new space, though, is the garden at the rear: if it was there before, it wasn’t public. The image shows it in its new sculptural mode.
Moreover, the gallery’s first location outside the UK will open next month in New York. Stephen Friedman’s programme over the years has been notably international and – for all that it represents such impressive painters as Mamma Andersson, Denzil Forrester and the Carolines Walker and Coon – notably strong in sculpture. Shows by Kendell Geers, Holly Hendry, Stephan Balkenhol, Leilah Babirye, Jonathan Baldock and Tom Friedman come to mind. Friedman – no relation – neatly echoes the gallery name, an opportunity rarely taken: perhaps Ben Brown could show Glenn Brown, Amanda Wilkinson represent Michael Wilkinson, Timothy Taylor work with Henry Taylor etc.…
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.