Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix founded her eponymous gallery in Spitalfields in 2017. Apart from being Japanese, she’s a bit like me: a background in finance, attended Oxford University, has a passion for art. Maybe that contributes to my taste for her shows, along with her stated aim of showing ‘work that embodies the sense of marginal and new perspectives’ by ‘furthering cross-cultural dialogue and inclusion’.
Highlights from the programme have included the Polish artist Magda Stawarska, French hunter-collector Radouan Zeghidour and London/Tokyo-based Yoi. There’s also a bit of a Roma theme going on, as she not only represents Italian painter Alessandro Roma, but also the best-known Roma artists in Britain: Delaine Le Bas’s profile has been raised considerably since Keiko first gave her a solo show in 2019, and the gallery has now taken on the estate of Delaine’s late husband Damian (1963-2017), whose work is on view with a closing event 6-9 on 16th November. The couple met on an art foundation course in Worthing (where Delaine still lives) and attended St Martins and the RCA respectively, so neither are ‘naïve artists’, but both play their Romany identity into the work. Damian’s most characteristic paintings are those on maps, which subvert the assumption that the world is defined by its states and governments by showing that Travellers are everywhere. ‘Gypsy Europa is my dream’, he said.
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.