Valery Koshlyakov

For day 2 of Saatchi art we are marching straight ahead, through reception, and going to the very back room. Behold, the mastery of Valery Koshlyakov and her amazing abstract paintings of Paris.

They are just the right amount of detail to be able to pick out the location – Paris the city of my heart. The Opera House (above) is painted onto brown cardboard boxes, some flat and some almost peeling off. I’m not too sure what it means in terms of longevity/conservation (would they disintegrate at the merest hint of moisture?), but as a visual trick it ticks all the um… boxes.

The colours are pretty ideal too. In my mind Paris is all about  hushed and muted tones, just shy of pastel, and these paintings mimic it perfectly. What stops the pallet becoming to insipid (particularly above) is the play of shadows from the overhanging boxes, which may be why I think it is slightly stronger then the Notre Dame painting below.

Although, everyone know flying buttresses are a girls best friend…

Valery Koshlyakov

Gosha Ostretsov

The gentle sunshine is waking up my little grey cells. I want light, I want bright, and I want inspiration. Hello Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi suits spring more than any other gallery in London. Even without windows the gallery spaces remain wide open and uplifting, oh and they have some art in them to. So to share the Spring love, I thought we would have a mini art adventure, three days of works hunted from the Saatchi Gallery. Starting today with Wounded Deer (2012) by Gosha Ostretsov, above.

Here is what my sparking little grey cells had to say…

Apart from the very clever placement of the iron arrow, my favourite part of the sculpture is the silver ball underneath its hoof. Is it about to trip? Is it about to score a winning goal? Is it representative of the millions who worship it as a god and who it eventually intends to crush?

The head was temptingly touchable. It reminded me of some of the classic Roman marble sculptures, with a texture that calls out for fingertips.

One of the things that entertains me in galleries is imagining the art in another context. I could perfectly see the Wounded Deer left amongst the wildlife in Richmond Park, with creepers slowly chaining it to the ground.

It takes quite a bit to surprise me in an art gallery, call it a by-product of spending London’s endless winter hiding in them. But Laure Prouvost’s new show (currently on at the Whitechapel gallery) did just that.

Walking in you see these odd shapes along the walls, no two the same. They look like they belong in an evil dentists surgery – dark shapes all holding out an upward facing mirror. And on each mirror is a handful of raspberries.

At first glance I thought they were either fake or real fruit that had been varnished. But on closer inspection the imperfections were just too perfect, they were real berries.

Because I was cold and hungry I was not at my most intelligent so when I approached the gallery attendant all I managed to say was “um…raspberries”. But she got the question, and said that the raspberries were replenished daily and I was more than welcome to try one.

I walked closer to the sculpture and reached out (as previously mentioned I was very hungry). But something stopped me. IT’S ART YOU CAN’T EAT IT YOU HEATHEN.

Damn that inner art critic, it stopped me getting one of my five a day.

There is a new Louvre in town and I can’t wait to visit. They have built a satellite Louvre in Lens, a town in northern France – and this baby is one punk ass little brother.

The architecture could not be more different from Louvre Paris. Where Paris is based in the frighteningly ornate Palais du Louvre, Lens is a shiny cow shed. It is one long room with reflective aluminium walls – walls that you are not allowed to hang any art from. I can just imagine that concept meeting, where the architect enthusiastically talked about this sardine tin. At some point the gallery manager must have quietly asked “but where will we put the art”.

Well, the art sits on plinths scattered across the room. They are arranged along the length by time and across the width by geography. Obviously a lot of thought has gone into this baby, but I just don’t know how I would respond to it.

Although it does give you great access, I have the sneaking suspicion that I would get tired of walking in constant circles while trying to admire the art. But then again, since I would be making a special trip to Lens just to see it I would have all the time in the world to wander.

Take a look at the gallery here.