A new exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures has just opened in a former butcher’s shop in Pimlico. For me this is London’s most inclusive and welcoming gallery and is well worth visiting, irrespective of your level of interest in contemporary art.
The Horizon Is Your Horse exhibition showcases new work by Peter Jap Lim who is known for incorporating text in his colourful, glowing, paintings.
The catalogue does a far better job than I would in describing the work:
Jap Lim uses wit, irony and distortion of semantics when de-contextualizing phrases or merging different clichés into an apparently new one. These phrases are not ends in themselves; they seem to look for another sense, even for another substance. In his hands they are both virtual objects shaped out of ‘language matter’ and tangible constructs of colour and paper. As objects in their own right they are sometimes ambiguous, comic and even poetic.
Alongside the paintings there are also new drawings and sculptures by Jap Lim.
The exhibition is the fourth by the ever interesting Palagkas.temporary gallery. As at all their previous London shows the gallery itself has provided just as much of a reason to visit as the work being exhibited within it.
The remarkable owner, Dimitri Palagkas, has put on exhibitions at the former Pimlico Library, in a disused unit near Carnaby Street and in a abandoned flooring shop in Church Street, N8. At each temporary exhibition (never use the term “pop-up”) Dimitri is present for the entire run and he’ll be there everyday during this new show.
This is a gallery owner with a genuine commitment to engaging with each local community he exhibits in. Local people, some of whom might find the idea of visiting a gallery in Cork Street somewhat forbidding, or even unappealing, are welcomed in to look at, enjoy and discuss contemporary art. Buyers, perhaps more used to making purchases in St James’s find themselves choosing work in unexpected locations set within vibrant local communities.
The unique atmosphere of a Palagkas.temporary show is provided by Dimitri himself. Charming, witty, passionate about the work, never stuffy or patronising, always happy to explain, to discuss and to listen. I spent an hour or two with him and his team last week, sitting in the gallery with a glass of wine in my hand and it was one of the most enjoyable gallery experiences I’ve ever had.
School children on their way home, local pensioners on their way back from Tescos, foodie types enjoying the thriving Tachbrook Street Market, office workers, market traders and serious collectors were all welcomed inside and everybody appeared to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
The gallery is filled not just with art, but with smiles, banter, discussion and exuberant life. Dimitri single-handedly does a better and more genuine job of community engagement and introducing new art to new audiences than galleries of international importance with whole departments devoted to these aims.
In fact I can’t think of another London gallery, mounting a selling show of new contemporary art, that could possibly create such a welcoming, engaging and inclusive atmosphere. So, I’d suggest that if you are near Victoria, this is a show that is worth seeing, in a gallery that is worth experiencing and supporting.
The Horizon Is Your Horse by Peter Jap Lim runs until 30th June, Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 7pm at:
39 Tachbrook Street
London SW1V 2LZ
(closest tube Victoria)
The author of this blog is a qualified and insured City of Westminster Tour Guide who runs unique walking tours and private tours in London. All my public tours are bookable through Eventbrite.