Raven Row, the newest gallery to hit the East End, is located in one a newly buffed and polished 18th century townhouse in Spitalfields. Under the watchful eye of 6a Architects, the gallery has been carefully converted from a run-down 18th century homestead into an open, clean and rather curious exhibition space.
Not running in the pared-down White Cube vein so prevalent in this part of the capital, Raven Row has retained much of its antiquated charm, whilst providing the ideal backdrop for – in the words of the gallery – ‘diverse work of the highest quality.’
With an artistic agenda aiming to promote the under-promoted and the overlooked of the art world – Raven Row’s inaugural exhibition of work from prolific American pop artist, Ray Johnson (1927-1995), looks set to start the fledgling gallery’s ball rolling in suitable style. ‘Ray Johnson. Please Add to & Return’ will offer enthusiasts the chance to view much of the late artists lesser-known collages and mail-outs in an unusually charismatic location.
Johnson, hailed as the father of ‘mail art’ for his unique artistic distribution technique, has (on a number of occasions, apparently) been named as the precursor to Pop Art patriarch himself, Andy Warhol. Johnson’s humourous, graphic style; his obsession with popular culture; and his habit of mailing his work out to involuntary audience members, have all secured him a place in the colourful history of Pop-Art (even if Warhol managed a few rungs higher on the erratic art-world ladder).
55-56 Artillery Lane
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