The Shock of the Now

By Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

The Shock of the Now - Issue #49

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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Afternoon All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 49 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Harminder Judge’s excellent solo exhibition ‘Rising Skin from Rock and Chin’ at The Sunday Painter. I first encountered Harminder’s work at an erstwhile Royal Academy Schools Premiums exhibition and have seized any opportunity to peer into their endless expanse ever since. Many thanks to him for an insightful and illuminating conversation early this week.
There are also six weekly Recommended Exhibitions and six fresh Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 49, and if so do forward it along! As always any questions, comments or feedback are welcome, so feel free to get in touch.
All the best, and speak soon, H x

Featured Exhibition: Harminder Judge - 'Rising Skin from Rock and Chin' Solo Exhibition - The Sunday Painter
Upon enrolling at the Royal Academy Schools in 2017, Harminder Judge‘s aim was to initiate an art-making practice more akin to a dutiful daily spiritual practice, one economically sustainable and without any unnecessary engagement with the wider art world at large. By maintaining a strict studio regime, he sought to reproduce the therapeutic effects of repetitive labour experienced during a previous period spent refurbishing an old property outside of Sheffield, a project that also introduced him to the medium that would come to define his artistic output, plaster
Working on flat casting tables, Judge produces artworks that exist at the intersection of painting and sculpture, self-contained structures akin to mystical monoliths or stone slabs. Pouring an initial pool of wet plaster that will eventually form the frontispiece in a process reminiscent of Indian reverse glass painting, he then works backwards, layering further pigmented plaster and occasional idiosyncratic additions. In command of colour and a gestural manipulation of the medium, a certain degree of control is surrendered to chance or happenstance, as Judge embraces the material’s unpredictability and sensitivity to outside influences such as heat or humidity. Finally, the artist excavates the exposed surfaces, carving into their substrate supports, sanding and polishing to reveal corporeal cosmic compositions. 
In his earlier existence as a performance artist in the mid 00s, Judge would merge Hindu philosophy and mythology with western music and popular culture, exploring his own heritage as part of 'live colour field paintings’ that incorporated installation, sound and olfactory elements. A similar investigation of identity is evident in the artworks on display at The Sunday Painter, themselves the proud product of a wide range of influences from Abstract Expressionism and Modernism to talismanic and Neo-Tantric Indian art. The satisfying symmetry that so underpins Gulam Rasool Santosh’s geometric or diagrammatic abstractions - created first and foremost with a formal meditative function in mind, independent of overly aesthetic or artistic considerations - can be seen within the larger diptychs that Judge has been developing for the past couple of years. Previously described by the artist as ‘portals’, due to the artwork’s ovular or annular shape and their ability to engage the gaze of a viewer and illicit protracted considered contemplation, these recent bi-fold behemoths are more evocative of doors or gateways, inviting you to step-in and enter their alluring, inviting expanse. With their scale somewhat prescribed by the artist’s physique, similar to Mark Wallinger’s Rorschach renderings restricted by his own reach and arm span, Judge casts both sides separately, attempting to remember, reverse and repeat each and every action and movement to manufacture the mirrored, reflective replicas.
Also exhibited at The Sunday Painter is a suite of smaller works, largely monochromatic aside from the intercession of a recurrent red circle, playful pressure points that evoke the energy holding third-eye chakras or the crimson bindi’s that represent the former’s awakening. Such actions and accoutrements of religious ritual or spiritual service have long informed both Judge’s worldview and supplemental art practice, with his titling regularly referencing a fundamentally formative experience from his teenage years, that being the exposure to and engagement in the funerary rites of his grandfather. A moving memoir, brought to the fore for the first time at this latest exhibition, tells of the ceremonial de-clothing and cleansing of the body before its burning on a cremation pyre stoked throughout the night by the adolescent artist. Witnessing first-hand the transformation of a human body to ashes engendered within Judge an apprehension of our own inherent materiality and, in addition, our impending immateriality. It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that each of his artworks are imbued with an atomic awareness, an empathy for the painterly pigments’ incalculable intentions and an appreciation of their almost unexplainable alchemy.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Lewis Brander - Solo Exhibition - Vardaxoglou, Soho (13th July - 13th August, opening Wednesday 13th July, 6-9pm)
Vardaxoglou presents Lewis Brander‘s debut solo exhibition. Completed within the last three years, Brander’s paintings reflect the natural landscape in cities, most recently London and Athens. Brander’s paintings, deep in observation of light and cloud formations, are embodiments of memory and emotion. These observations extend over a number of years as the details of the natural world begin to reveal themselves and are then recorded through semi-abstract visual languages in his studio. Brander’s depiction of atmospheric conditions are often given context by a horizon line, hinting at subject whilst providing distance.
‘Cosmoses’ Group Exhibition - Xxijra Hii, Deptford (13th July - 20th August, opening Wednesday 13th July, 6-9pm)
Xxijra Hii presents ‘Cosmoses’, an accumulative group show and experiment based on the notion that universes inherently exist in plurality. Co-curated with Yuli Serfaty, Chris Thompson and Gillies Adamson Semple, the exhibition will unfold over five ‘eras’, each with its own opening and with new works being added and reconfigured in response to spatial variety, new artists and movements.
ERA 1: GENESIS | PV 13/07 - Yuli Serfaty, Gillies Adamson Semple, Chris Thompson. ERA 2: NEBULA | PV 22/07 - Co-Curated with Yuli Serfaty | Louise Oates, Hannah Morgan and performance by I.Nakhla. ERA 3: CHAOS | JOINT PV 28/07 - Co-Curated with Chris Thompson | David Shamie, Hanna Umin, Thomas Greig. ERA 4: SYNERGY | PV 04/08 - Co-Curated with Gillies Adamson Semple | Ed Haslam, Líadaín Éire, Maddy Whitelaw. ERA 5: HOMEOSTASIS | PV 18/08 - Closing performance with Luca George.
Hongxi Li - ‘Shaped’ Solo Exhibition - V.O Curations, Angel (15th - 22nd July, opening Thursday 14th July, 6-9pm, w. Live Performance at 7pm).
London-based Chinese artist Hongxi Li presents ‘Shaped’, her second solo exhibition in London curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell of DATEAGLE ART at V.O Curations. In addition to three new sculptures created specifically for the exhibition in 2022, she debuts a performative activation of her “chairs,” a scent, a soundscape, and a video installation. In this new body of work displayed in a former office building, Li examines the dreary “cyclical pattern” of going from work to bar then home that reflects what urban office workers endure in their daily lives.
Noa Klagsbald, Leyman Lahcine & Andrew Pierre Hart - ‘Summer Season: Group B’ Solo Presentations - OOF Gallery, Tottenham (15th July - 28th August, opening Thursday 14th July, 6:30 - 9pm)
OOF Gallery‘s Summer Season continues, with solo presentations by recent RCA grad Noa Klagsbald (above), current OOF artist-in-residence Leyman Lahcine and multidisciplinary artist Andrew Pierre Hart. In gallery one, Klagsbald confronts decades of geopolitical unrest with her art history-inspired images of a football team united in the face of conflict. In gallery two, Lahcine’s charcoal drawings of dismembered footballers take the shape of unwieldy string puppets. Upstairs in gallery three, Pierre Hart’s painting and video works attempt to capture the nostalgic rush of childhood kickabouts.
Anna Paterson - ‘Hearts’ Solo Exhibition - Lungley Gallery, Soho (16th July - 13th August, opening Saturday 16th July, 4-8pm)
Lungley Gallery presents Anna Paterson’s latest solo exhibition ‘Hearts’, featuring recent paintings.
Takuro Tamayama, Jack O'Brien & Hunter Foster - Solo Presentations - Lock Up International, Barbican (18th July - 7th August)
Lock Up International, a transient project space in storage units worldwide, returns to London in collaboration with Ginny on Frederick for a series of three solo presentations by Takuro Tamayama (18th -24th July), Jack O'Brien (25th - 31st July) & Hunter Foster (1st - 7th August). Accessible by appointment only.
Artist Opportunities:
The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize seeks to discover talented writers on contemporary art. The winner of the Prize receives £1,000, their review is published on Burlington Contemporary and they have the opportunity to publish a review of a future contemporary art exhibition in The Burlington Magazine. 
Entrants must have published no more than six pieces of writing in print or online prior to their submission. This does not include personal blogs and websites. ‘Contemporary’ is defined as art produced since 2000. There is no age limit for applicants. To enter the prize, entrants should submit one unpublished review of a contemporary art exhibition by the specified deadline. The exhibition under review should be current or have closed within the last six months at the date of submission. The review must be no more than 1,000 words in length and accompanied by up to three low-resolution images.
Founded by artist Anna Woodward, collector Sam Senchal and property expert Scott Franklin, Good Eye Projects will host six artists per residency at their studio spaces in Hammersmith. There are currently three residency periods scheduled, including Autumn (12th September - 4th December), Spring (6th February - 7th May) and Summer (15th May -20th). Each residency will culminate in a group exhibition. To apply, send a c. 250-word artist statement; 5 JPEG images of artworks that best represent your practice; a c. 100-word statement on how the residency will benefit you, how you plan to use it and how many days per week you’ll be able to use the studio; and relevant links to your website/Instagram to goodeyeprojects@gmail.com.
The Fringe is a celebration of the area’s art scene, bringing together artists, community groups and students. Over the course of the festival, the Fringe will take over Deptford, placing art in unexpected locations, rooted into the fabric of everyday lives. This year, Deptford X are encouraging Fringe artists to congregate their projects as close as possible to Deptford High Street, creating a hub for a vibrant range of activities for the much-anticipated return of the festival. It will extend across indoor and outdoor spaces motivated by the statement ‘We’re Here for Art’. We are also interested in Fringe projects related to gardening practices seeking to work with a community space. Deptford X is a festival for all and we particularly welcome participation by artists from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and by artists with disabilities.
Arnis Residency is an annual residency programme for contemporary artists on a peninsula in Northern Germany, taking place from 18 September – 03 October 2022. It encourages engagement with the region’s local and remote context in order to encounter a world characterised by connections and flows beyond cities. Arnis Residency offers accommodation, food, sailing trips and swims in the Schlei for the duration of two weeks. Each resident is provided an individual room as well as a space to work in locations suitable to one’s project (a small studio space, a shed, and a sailing boat). Each applicant will have access to a travel allowance of 100€ and a small production stipend of 50€.
PADA is an artist-led, non-profit arts organisation based in Barreiro in Lisbon’s South Bay, located within the old Companhia União Fabril (CUF) industrial park. Create in 2018, PADA provides artists a space to develop their practice, interact with other artists, and explore new approaches in a post-industrial environment. The PADA Residency Programme is run in conjunction with the Studio & Gallery Programmes. By providing studios for local artists alongside the residency, we aim to encourage the interaction of national and international artists. Artists-in-Residence benefit from the mutual exchange across art forms and the post-industrial surrounding. The residency periods for 2023 are as follows: 1st February - 28th February, 3rd March - 30th March, 3rd April - 1st May, 4th May - 31st May, 6th June - 4th July, 6th July - 2nd August, 4th August - 31th August, 4th September - 2nd October, 5th October - 1st November and 3rd November - 30th November.
Forma is inviting proposals for Oasis: a socially engaged curatorial project or short cultural programme that will take place at FormaHQ between September 2022 and April 2023. Aimed at individuals and groups who want to develop their creative practice, Oasis is an opportunity to explore research interests and deliver socially engaged activities in collaboration with Forma’s team and our local audiences in London. A fixed bursary of £15,000 is available.
Oasis takes its name from the research and conversations initiated by the lead creatives in the redevelopment of Peveril Gardens and FormaHQ. Led by consultation with local residents and driven by Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri’s vision for a new oasis of nature and culture on the edge of central London, the aim was to transform the underused site into a purposeful and beautiful meeting point for both artists and local residents. This Open Call is for a curatorial or artistic project or cultural programme that embraces Kuri’s vision of an oasis – a safe place where creatives and local residents can take part in cultural activities and enjoy the benefits of our new Peveril Gardens.
Voodoo4u is looking for performers, sound artists, musicians, dancers, DJs or any other creatives who would like to participate in the second official event of Voodoo4u! All the performers during the event will wear customize outfits made by Voodoo and other fashion designers. The event will take place in an art venue in Shoreditch, London on the 8th of October 2022. Please submit your application by sending a proposal/idea of your performance that you would like to present with some visual/sound materials of your previous work to info.voodoo4u@gmail.com.
CIRCA x Dazed Class of 2022 returns with an open call for new media creators and world builders to win the #CIRCAECONOMY cash prize of £30,000 and see their work appear on London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights screen in September. This year’s theme ‘A FUTURE WORLD’ is inspired by the CIRCA 2022 manifesto ‘And Now We Build Worlds’, calling for new media responses with a two-and-a-half-minute moving image work. This could be an existing piece of work or a new creation.
The annual ‘Class of’ showcases the best-in-class of new-gen moving image artists and new media creators. Following a month-long open call, a shortlist of 30 will be selected by this year’s jury panel including Arca, Martine Syms, Precious Okoyomon, Norman Rosenthal and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
London Bronze Edition’s mission is to champion a contemporary approach to metal casting. They’re aware that for many artists, a major barrier to working in bronze is the access & cost of the process. In response, they created the London Bronze Fellowship - an opportunity for artists to pitch a new work, which they will then share with potential sponsors who will select & jointly fund the fellowship with LBE. When a sponsor (Gallery / Collector / Corporate) selects an artwork, the fellowship will be scheduled in, giving the artist access to the Foundry to learn from the production. A limited Edition of 3 artworks will be made, one free copy for the Artist, one for the Sponsor & one for London Bronze Editions. London Bronze Edition are open to hearing ambitious, experimental & creative ideas. It can be made using traditional or digital processes, where the work is ready to be cast, or needs development through 3D modelling. 
Sarabande Studios are more than just a studio space. They are a place of community and collaboration where the unique vision of each artist is supported. Being a part of Sarabande does not only guarantee a heavily subsidised studio space but also communication with leading journalists, curators, collectors, fashion designers, artists and photographers - all eager to know about your creative discipline, vision, and bring you to the forefront of the public eye. With bespoke business mentoring, pro-bono support from expert accountants and lawyers, networking opportunities and with added support in press, marketing, filming and documentation. The studios range from 50sq. ft to 350sq. ft and are priced at £1 per sq. ft per month. The cost includes all utilities, use of communal spaces & equipment, free professional services, bespoke mentoring and free access to all events at the foundation.
The South Bermondsey Art Trail is a 2-day event of open studios, exhibitions, screenings, performances, parties and events celebrating the creatives working in South Bermondsey. Organised by Sid Motion Gallery and Charlie Billingham, the trail aims to celebrate the local area and the brilliant creatives working within it. All local artists and creatives are invited to participate by opening their doors to visitors on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August 2022 between 12-6pm. If you would like to be included please submit the following information to info@sidmotiongallery.co.uk:
Your full name. Your studio address (plus any additional access information). A sentence or short blurb about your work and an image that illustrates your creative practice. Please note, the organisers might use this image on the South Bermondsey Art Trail Instagram page to announce your participation. Once you have submitted your information, your inclusion will be listed on a printed map which visitors can follow when attending the Art Trail.
San Mei Gallery are looking for exhibition proposals from artists, creatives, designers, architects and makers (solo or groups) with research-based practices to stage an exhibition in their Brixton-based gallery in 2023. San Mei is an independent space for contemporary art in South London, committed to research-led, educational and collaborative exchanges. Operating with an artist-led approach, they support artists and curators to experiment with new ideas. The gallery promotes and facilitates emerging artistic practice, through exhibitions, residencies, studios and events. This Open Call is looking for three exhibitions to be held at San Mei Gallery in 2023, which will be selected by the San Mei Gallery curatorial team.
The East London Art Prize is an all-media art prize designed to showcase the talent of artists working and living in east London, with an accompanying event programme supporting artists’ careers and opportunities. Proudly sponsored by Minerva, the winner receives a career-changing cash prize of £15,000 and a solo exhibition at Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery. The runner-up second prize is a year’s studio space with Bow Arts. 
The prize is open to any artist living or working within an ‘E’ postcode, encompassing E1-E20, SE1-SE28 and EC1-EC4. Submitting artists should hold an arts degree, equivalent arts qualification or be able to show demonstrable commitment to their artistic practice. Artist collectives/joint submissions are accepted. All media types are accepted, including (but not limited to!) painting, print, drawing, sculpture, digital, film, audio, ceramics, textiles and performance.
Three unique organisations are collaborating to provide a significant platform and stepping stone for new artists. Now in its third iteration, The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery will discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain. For 2022, the award is interested in works which address the theme, ‘The Unimagined Future’. It has been noted that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, what else has yet to be thought about? What else has yet to be invented? Where will creative thought and ideas be in the next decade, what needs to change?
The 10 shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London for a VIP awards evening, as well as in a virtual gallery space, online for one month following the award. First Award: £10,000 cash prize & The winner’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office for a period of 12 months following the award. Second Award: £5,000 cash prize. People’s Choice Award: Decided by a public vote during the virtual exhibition 11th November - 10th January and announced on Thursday 12th January. The winner will have the opportunity to take part in one of UK New Artists’ international presentations.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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