Following on from yesterday's post, we find ourselves moving to the North gallery at the London outpost of Hauser & Wirth. Leaving behind Mary Heilmann, we are presented here with the work an artist who works at the other end of the spectrum of painting. Michael Raedecker is a fine artist in the traditional sense, creating work that is feels more tied to a pre-twentieth century art historical tradition. Though quieter, pensive pieces than Heilmann's post-pop aesthetic, the shows together provide a very interesting and engaging juxtaposition.
The capital's commercial galleries have opened 2012 with a series of shows of some of their most famous names and the results, though very striking, have a tendency to err on the side of self-satisfaction. It's rare to find a large, international commercial gallery making a show that sensitises the art on display but this is precisely the feeling that you get viewing Raedecker's work here - particularly if you've seen the Heimann previously.
In this exhibition of new work, the Dutch-born, London-based Raedecker, takes as his subjects the fanciful but ordinary: chandeliers, wedding cakes, country cottages. Etched and painted, the canvasses are then cut and stitched back together in collage conflagrations. Less subversion of the artist's chosen medium but more an investigation into the effects of paint in less-than-stable conditions. These are haunting, evocative pictures that disrupt their subjects as much as Heilmann's. This is a show that almost makes you wish that a large public institution had placed the work of these artists together, in context with a few more of their contemporaries. It's not to say that visiting this exhibition is like going through the Prado without lunch, but there's a very thoughtful exploration into the work of these two artists occurring here and, though the shows together mightn't be perfect, it's almost definitely the most attractive offer a commercial gallery can give an audience right now.
Michael Raedecker: volume is at Hauser & Wirth until 05 April.