Lots of London’s art galleries have announced they’re reopening, which is great and all, but plenty have also seen their spring 2021 plans thrown in the bin. ‘Allez la France’ is a group show of four of Gaul’s most promising young painters – Jin Angdoo, Mathieu Julien, Hams Klemens and Kevin Pinsembert. It was meant to have gone on display at Saatchi Yates’s Cork Street gallery on March 3. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen. So they’ve moved a selection of the works down the road to fancy-pants Burlington Arcade and stuck them in some shopfronts as ‘window viewings’.
‘Allez la France’ version deux is on show until May 15. The irony is that these artists came up in Marseille and Paris, painting on ‘shared walls and hidden tunnels’ and now they’re being exhibited in one of the capital’s most exclusive shopping precincts, where you’re not even allowed to hum, never mind whistle, and are expected to arrive, buy some cufflinks and then leave.
All the work looks great, though. Kevin Pinsembert has a Philip Guston-y vibe to his canvases: sort-of still lives in bold, brutal colours and strokes. Even better is Jin Angdoo, originally from South Korea. Her works are full of super-basic shapes and motifs, like prehistoric street art, and feel totally fresh and accomplished. She says of her art career, ‘If I could do it all over again, I’d be an astronaut or a dog rehabilitator like Cesar Millan.’ So, erm, there. When was the last time that Burlington Arcade hosted an aspiring astronaut/dog rehabilitator? Never! Oh, apart from Princess Anne.
Future ‘window viewing’ pop-ups are planned for Soho. So go and have a gander. Just remember that any expression of delight at these cool cross-Channel artworks should be silent.
Works from ‘Allez la France’ are on display in Burlington Arcade until May 15. More info on the gallery show here.