Saturday, 24 September 2016



Frankfurt enfant terrible Florian Heinke presented his first London solo exhibition in

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON was delighted to present Florian Heinke with his first solo exhibition in London.

Heinke is known for his paintings that alternate between political polemics and transcendental beauty. Combining text and image only in black acrylic on unprimed canvas, Heinke’s methods are unique and highly impactful. Schooled initially on the streets of Frankfurt, Heinke discovered studio painting after being arrested for graffiti, writing:

“Once I got arrested and they put me into a programme in a workshop. They offered me an alternative punishment: to work in their painting studio. I did my first canvas there with brushes and
colour. Graffiti was just the valve to show my rage, incomprehension and sadness.”

Heinke went on to study at Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz before untertaking his Masters at the renowned Städelschule. Since then he has gone on to become one of Germany’s most vibrant young painters, exhibiting globally and being placed in prominent private collections, including that of Michael & Susan Hort in New York.

Despite retiring his spray cans at an early stage, elements of street semiotics continue to endure. The use of text in both German and English; an absorption of advertising techniques; and a clash of imagery derived from various sources coalesce to reference high, low and mass culture.

‘ALLES WIRD GUT’ – translated as ‘Everything will be fine’ – will present a typically Heinkian worldview. Smattered with irony, poetry, longing, derision, optimism and fury, the exhibition embodied Heinke’s ongoing notion of‘Paradise Overdosed’, traversing contemporary and modern politics; celebrity; glamour; greed; beauty and decay.

EXHIBITION DATES: Friday 09 September – Saturday 08 October 2016

Bataclan | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 180x130cm
Comfort of a stranger | 2015 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 100x80cm

Desert strikes | 2015 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 100x80cm

Destroy to rise | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 60x40cm
Grace | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 90x70cm
Kein Gift auf meine Blume | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 100x80cm
Punkfees | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 100x80cm
We´ll laugh when it falls | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 90x70cm
When time sleeps 25 | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 150x120cm
When time sleeps 28 | 2016 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 150x120cm
Aloha redrum | 2015 | Acrylic on untreated canvas | 60x100cm


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Anthology 2016 | Open Call Prize Exhibition | CHARLIE SMITH LONDON

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON announces its sixth edition of the annual juried exhibition Anthology. Ten finalists will be exhibited at CHARLIE SMITH LONDON in August 2016 and one winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize and will be profiled on Artlyst.

Selected and curated by internationally respected art world professionals, Anthology is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that reaches out democratically to artists worldwide. The 2016 jury is Philly Adams (Senior Director, Saatchi Gallery), Zavier Ellis (Director, CHARLIE SMITH LONDON), Stephanie Grose (Collector), Andrew Salgado (Artist), Heike Strelow (Director, Galerie Heike Strelow). The 2016 finalists are:

Alexis Avlamis
Cecilia Bonilla
Francesco Cuttitta
Susannah Douglas
Jaana Fowler
Jonny Green
Eva Masterman
Steven Morgana
Lucienne O’Mara
Corinna Spencer

Alexis Avlamis | The Universe | 2015 | Acrylic on canvas | 100x100cm

Cecilia Bonilla | Sets for domestic leisure 1 | 2015 | Collage | 29x23cm

Francesco Cuttitta | W.H. and his library | 2016 | Acrylic on canvas | 153x215cm

Susannah Douglas | Birthday 1 (footage still 2) | 2016 | Pencil and ink on paper | 4.5x8cm

Jaana Fowler | All Purpose Cleaner | 2015 | Fired clay with oxidized iron paint | 44x43x43cm

Jonny Green | Polish the Past until it shines | 2016 | Oil on canvas on board | 90x72cm
Eva Masterman | Used | 2016 | Glazed ceramic, kiln props, steel | 150x60x70cm

Steven Morgana | ECHOES (REMIX) Naruto ft. Inmoov | 2016 | Mixed media | 65x40x40cm

Lucienne O'Mara | A Lively Look at Legs | 2016 | Charcoal, oil bar, oil paint on unprimed canvas | 150x100cm

Corinna Spencer | Monster | 2016 | Acrylic on paper | 21x15cm
Presented at the CHARLIE SMITH LONDON gallery in Shoreditch, London, the exhibition will continue to be a key barometer of emerging and established talent, and will continue to provide unforeseen opportunities to artists. Previous winners and finalists have enjoyed notable success as a direct result of their inclusion in Anthology, having been curated into significant exhibitions; placed in prominent private collections; and represented by CHARLIE SMITH LONDON. 

Previous winners are Tom Ormond, Eric Manigaud, Robert Crosse, Florian Heinke, Ben Woodeson and Beatrice Haines.

Thursday 4 August 6.30-8.30pm
Friday 5 August – Saturday 20 August 2016
Wednesday-Saturday 11am-6pm or by appointment

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Wendy Mayer | Curious Room | Solo Exhibition at CHARLIE SMITH LONDON

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON was delighted to welcome back Wendy Mayer over the month of July for her second solo exhibition at the gallery.

His eye is on the sparrow | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, padded wooden frame, quail wings, pins | 37x37x14cm

Mayer is known for her uncanny sculptures where she employs painted vinyl or painted cast wax to present figures with unparalleled veracity. In this exhibition Mayer uses Angela Carter’s ‘A Curious Room’ as her starting point. Carter described her Curious Room as a metaphorical space where all the secrets of a person’s life are stored, and asserted that life is a process of trying to find it in order to rediscover or remember them.

Cocoon | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, Shorter ceramic vase | 18x24x12cm

Eros | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, ceramic vase | 26x24x12cm

Mayer’s Curious Room is a collection of sculptures that reveal the subconscious impact of half-forgotten personal rites of passage. As the artist states:

‘I am a deeply private person and am often surprised and horrified to discover that my work discloses aspects of my personality and past that I would probably prefer to stay hidden.’

Oil Can | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, oil can | 26.5x23x13cm

Eclosion | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, Shorter ceramic vase | 19x24x12cm

This unconscious revelation of drives, feelings and memories is allied with conscious intent. Themes such as familial relationships, motherhood, rebirth and metamorphosis are recurrent in Mayer’s work, from babies emerging from womb-like vases to autobiographical references to books read, feelings felt and places visited.

Et verbum caro factum est | 2015 | Painted vinyl, papier mache | 64x74x74cm

Land of our fathers | 2016 | Pipe organ, wax, papier mache, painted vinyl, resin, mohair, plaster, Under Milk Wood read by Richard Burton | 160x125x33.5cm

The five-piece series ‘Smotyn Du’ illustrates this coalescence of conscious and unconscious dynamics, where personal and universal vie and oscillate. Each piece consists of a fabric covered coat hanger formed from a child’s head with hands protruding from either side, with black knots on the palms, and hung from a crucifix shaped hook. Mayer is at once referencing religious rites; guilt; domestic abuse; and the Smotyn Du (or Black Spot) region of her native Wales.

Smotyn Du (Blonde) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 42x12x52cm

Smotyn Du (Auburn) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 40x12x41cm

Smotyn Du (Dark) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 39x12x41cm

Smotyn Du (Strawberry) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 45x13x43cm

Smotyn Du (Brown) | 2016 | Painted vinyl, mohair, silk, coat hanger, metal peg | 40x13x52cm

Little Bird | 2016 | Ceramic, papier mache, wax, feathers | 68x45x31cm

p.o.e.m. | 2015 | Painted vinyl, mohair, cymbals, leather case, taxidermy duckling | 38x27x27cm

Wendy Mayer was born in Wales in 1975. She graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture from Loughborough University School of Art and Design in 2008. Her work is placed in prominent private collections globally including the Saatchi Gallery, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Javier Baz and Kay Saatchi. She has exhibited in galleries and museums including the Saatchi Gallery, Royal British Society of Sculptors, Royal Cambrian Academy, Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, and will feature in Strange Worlds: the vision of Angela Carter at Royal West of England Academy, Bristol in 2016. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016


CHARLIE SMITH LONDON was delighted to present John Stark’s DoL Po.

John Stark X Rebecca & Mike | Workers Hammer | 2016 | Oil on wood panel 

Stark is known for his highly laboured oil paintings which for the past decade have served as conduits to explore a universe of interconnected ideas. Past exhibitions have investigated themes including witchcraft, warfare, alchemy, apiculture, shamanism and imperialism. Stark's paintings could be viewed as a kind of ideological battleground where binary oppositions such as light and dark; animus and anima; cruelty and desire; control and abandonment; violence and transformation vie for territorial gain over the other. At the heart of his latest enquiry are the notions of value; the transference of energy; and a calling into question of the structures in society where exchange takes place.

Beasts of England IV | 2016 | Oil on wood panel | 96x122cm

The title of this exhibition alludes to Stark’s current analysis. DoL – The Division of Labour – refers to the socio-economic model whereby manufacture is broken down into component parts in order to increase productivity. Po – a term coined by Edward de Bono as part of his lateral thinking techniques, to encourage the progression of ideas towards solutions. Therefore, in contrast to tendencies in the digital age, we are encouraged to move from the abbreviated to the expansive. Stark asks us to look further, beyond the image and the instantaneous.

Flashpoint | 2016 | Oil on wood panel | 60x50cm

Nuke Descending | 2016 | Oil on wood panel | 90x67cm
In this exhibition we are presented with paintings of veiled beekeepers, pig farms, military drones, robotics and scenes of nuclear contamination. Elsewhere a prehistoric femur bone propped in a trompe l'oeil niche signifies a worker’s hammer. In the two faced ‘Medium of Exchange’ an untenanted glove conceals and reveals a coin, simultaneously referring to the phases of the moon. There is an element of puppetry at play, and a sense that the figures within these works are being remotely piloted by other forces. As Paul Carey-Kent asks in his exhibition text ‘Stark Realities’:

Harvest | 2016 | Oil on wood panel (framed) | 40x50cm

Exit | 2016 | Oil on wood panel (framed) | 22x30cm

Invisible Hand | 2016 | Oil on wood panel (framed) | 30.5x40.5cm

Vampyre | 2016 | Oil on wood panel (framed) | 21x28.5cm

‘Is he suggesting what apparent contradictions lie behind the façades of our society? Might it be superstition behind Christianity? Surveillance behind technology? Medievalism behind science? Militarism behind capitalism?’

To this end Stark takes a holistic approach and states, ‘I am searching for a wisdom older than the patent presence of a meaning, a meaning buried deep within the enigma of the paintings.’

Old Spotter | 2016 | Oil on wood panel (framed) | 26x30cm

Wage War | 2016 | Oil on wood panel | 58x70cm
To complement the exhibition a bespoke catalogue with sandpaper dust jacket, conceived in collaboration with Rebecca and Mike, has been published and copies remain available through the gallery. The catalogue features an essay by Paul Carey Kent and a dialogic text between Stark and David Graeber, author of ‘Debt, the first 5000 years’. Stark has also made his first co-operative paintings, and as part of his pre-exhibition activity has reclaimed Comet Linear 252P. Comet DoL Po, as it is now known, came into view for observers in the Northern Hemisphere during the final days of March 2016.

John Stark X Rebecca & Mike | Medium of Exchange | 2016 | Oil on wood panel | 42x33.5cm (x 2 + plinth)