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FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London

 Paul’s Gallery of the Week: Rocket Gallery 

Rocket Gallery, 4-6 Sheep Lane, London E8 4QS
www.rocketgallery.com        Instagram: @rocketgallery

Rocket Gallery was founded by Jonathan Stephenson – it’s Stephenson’s Rocket, a little historical joke – in the West End in 1994 – long enough ago that the Gallery Manager is now Jonathan’s similarly-aged son, Sid.  Rocket moved to the Tea Building in Shoreditch for 2003-13 before Stephenson embarked on the two year conversion of the current industrially-styled, split level, open plan space near Broadway Market, Hackney. That, opening in 2015, is as much a photography studio, design business, bookstore and press as it is a gallery. The hours are unusual – Saturdays or by appointment – and so is the programme: ‘Martin Parr or geometric abstraction’ summarises most shows – but both are about exploring colour, says Stephenson.

There have been eleven solo presentations of Parr’s witty social observations, Rocket having represented him since 1997. The abstract work tends towards the foreign: the late Danes Peter Hedegaard and Ib Geertsen are regular presences – the former’s screenprints are on view now in the upper space. And I particularly like Michelle Grabner, Lars Wolter and Ditty Ketting – American, German and Dutch respectively.   The main current exhibition, though, is ‘Oblivious to your own career’, a survey of the decidedly British Cedric Christie, who has fairly recently returned to the gallery after a twenty year gap. The show, good enough to make the title seem mock-modest, covers many strands of Christie’s humorously reductive work, including plenty hung salon-style on one of the eight walls. I noticed, though, that there are none of his imaginatively variant chess sets. That came to mind as I recall playing chess against Christie in the gallery a couple of years back:  he’s a keen player and – fortunately for him – a sporting loser!  

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.



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