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Body Language @ The Saatchi Gallery

(4 Images courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London)

-Jansson Stegner's- Sarabande 2006, Oil on linen, 99 x 86.4 cm, © Jansson Stegner, 2006 

-Makiko Kudo's- Floating Island 2012, Oil on canvas, 227 x 364.6 cm, © Makiko Kudo, 2012

-Denis Tarasov- Untitled (from the Essence series)2013, C-print, 119.2 x 101.5 cm, © Denis Tarasov, 2013

-Tanyth Berkeley- Grace in Window 2006, C-print, 61 x 51 cm, © Tanyth Berkeley, 2006


‘Body Language’ features 19 emerging international artists who, across a range of media, explore the physical body and present a variety of reflections on the human form.

Over the last fifty years or so, work depicting the body, such as paintings by British artists Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, was at odds with the prevailing currents of abstraction, Pop and conceptualism. Yet the figure has retained its currency, and the artists in Body Language each provide compelling evidence of the figure’s continued ability to articulate something both historically specific and curiously essential.

From the grotesque and uncanny to the poignant and satirical, the works in this exhibition examine, in arresting and innovative ways, the diverse social and political issues that can be communicated through the human body.

(opens to the public from the 21st of November 2013 @ Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, Kings Road, London SW3 4RY)

Jules de Balincourt – Itinerant Ones (Victoria Miro 16 Nov - 20 Dec 2013)

(5 images, courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London)

-Jules de Balincourt, High and Low, 2013, Oil and spray paint on panel, 203.2 x 177.8 x 6.3 cm  © Jules de Balincourt 2013

-Jules de Balincourt, Itinerant Ones, 2013, Oil and acrylic on panel, 243.8 x 243.8 x 6.3 cm © Jules de Balincourt 2013

-Jules de Balincourt Firepeople, 2013, Oil on panel, 167.6 x 193 x 6.3 cm © Jules de Balincourt 2013

-Installation, Jules de Balincourt | Itinerant Ones, Victoria Miro Gallery, London,  16 November – 20 December 2013. Photography: Stephen White

-Installation, Jules de Balincourt | Itinerant Ones, Victoria Miro Gallery, London,  16 November – 20 December 2013. Photography: Stephen White


SNOB( SIC[1]LONDONER) Someone who claims to be of higher intelligence than others, understands the finer thing in life, and generally deems themself a higher being than most others; they often refer to the 'lesser beings' as peasant or philistines. In simple terms, She's such a f******g snob. [2] 

-Urban Dictionary

I tend to avoid Mayfair and East Central at the weekend. I don’t dismiss the ethnographic enjoyment of observing trends filter from the epicentre, to be spliced/diced in the provinces, and then re-enacted in the place of their origin. I’m simply exploring other terrains. However, Jules de Balincourt’s opening night at Victoria Miro proved the exception to my rule. At Old Street tube I left the Hoxton flow, dipped into Shoreditch Grind[3] and then wandered up City Road with my algorithmic accomplice. Spiralling property prices and increased tech focus has quelled the East London art boom: many galleries have moved West Central. Bohemia flourishes South or far North. Located on the Islington border, Victoria Miro’s gallery has retained its quiet force.

Jules de Balincourt's satirises and re-imagines social, political and economic landscapes. His paintings - through poetics of free-association - have a universal familiarity. Economic landscapes are intrinsically bi-polar. For instance ‘the world’s best beach’ is similarly a core hub for human trafficking[4]. The painting ‘Refuge Seekers and Skinny Dippers’ (2013) depicted a moonlit cove. The figures in the foreground enjoying an illicit dip in a moon dappled sea. To the left and right of the inlet a flotilla of pastel boats seemed on collision path. A trail of opalescent lunar dapples separated the two. Through shared colour palate, de Balincourt mediates and bridges - without judgement- the intermeshed economic systems that sustain our epoch.

Later at a pop-up diner ‘experience’ on Jamaica Road[5], I viewed the city skyline from an ex-local authority penthouse. The twinkles of Canary Warf mirrored infinitely within the bubbles of my glass[6]. The quant refilled. De Balincourt’s work ‘High and Low’ (2013) was still imprinted on my psyche. The painting, a vista of inner city utopianism in which the rigidity of 21st urban planning fades as the vision is drawn through the painting. The sharp stencilled skyscrapers becoming diffuse, ethereal, melting into the clouds. The resident’s converging around idolic statues. Despite concerted monetary and regulatory change some argue, we are ‘doomed to an endless cycle of bubble, financial crisis and currency collapse’[7]. Stability as utopic. De Balincourt's stencil and watercolour oil wash technique creates an apparently seamless vision between the two poles suggesting instead we should accept and draw what pleasure we can from the interwoven economic extremes.


[1] Standard Industrial Classification                                                        

[4] Lampedusa, Italian Pelagie Islands as voted by Trip advisor 2013

[5] Courtesy of artist J. Cea, Bermondsey

[7] ‘Get used to it’ Robin Harding, Financial Times, August 27, 2013


Scottish artist Jane Frere currently showing at Summerhall Edinburgh, in preparation in a ten metre lift shaft at the internationally acclaimed maverick architect Will Alsop's Testbed1 for her installation of hundreds of figures spiralling into a void.

"Who is a God like you" ? is the first of a series of "Shaft works" to be held at Testbed1 over the next year with lighting designer Mike Gunning. 
Opening 28th November 6 - 11pm, Testbed1, 33 Parkgate Road, London SW11 4NP

Filmed by JEJ for FACADES

other videos

Video 1-Bora Aksu, 2-JS Lee, 3-Eudon Choi, 4-Yulia Kondranina, 5-Yeashin, 6-Alessia Prekop, 7-Ashley Isham, 8-Basharatyan, 9-Holly Fulton, 10-John Rocha, 11-JW Anderson, 12-Mark Fast, 13-Zeynep Tosun, 14-Anna K, 15-Anton Belinskiy, 16-Lera Leshchova, 17-Lia Syn, 18-RCR Khomenko, 19-Yasya Minochkina, 20-Edeline Lee, 21-Pam Hogg


Filmed by JEJ for FACADES

other videos

Videos 1-Allude, 2-Maison Rabih Kayrouz, 3-Lius Buchinho, 4-Amaya Arzuaga, 5-Elie Saab, 6-Valentin Yudashskin, 7-Agnes B, 8-Fatima Lopes, 9-Gosia Baczynska, 10-American Costume Work

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