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East End exhibitions – five of the best for March 2018

French connection: detail from Ana Pallares' Beauty, which takes the form of an exchange between the artist and French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Image courtesy of the artist / Hundred Years Gallery

French connection: detail from Ana Pallares’ Beauty, which takes the form of an exchange between the artist and French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Image courtesy of the artist / Hundred Years Gallery

Ana Pallares: My Own Season In Hell @ Hundred Years Gallery
13 Pearson St, E2 8JD

Ana Pallares was born in Barcelona in 1993 – which not only makes her sickeningly young and full of potential, but also makes her the right age to have been profoundly affected by the city’s colourful, passionate take on street art as a youngster. (Newly prohibitive graffiti laws came to the Catalonian capital in 2005.) The title of this exhibition is a reference to A Season in Hell, an extended poem by French poet and ‘seer’, Arthur Rimbaud.

This collection of Pallares’ work (her medium is paint, on paper and fruit boxes) is mainly configured as a dialogue between the Spaniard and the deceased Frenchman – as the above image shows, she is not afraid to challenge the poet’s words and ideas. Her message to past artistic masters was given to the Islington Gazette last year: “It’s great to follow your steps, understand the reasons behind your movements and decipher the clues you’ve left in order to arrive at different conclusions from yours.” Unconstrained by a formal art education, Pallares was able to work on the fractal, vibrant, almost inky richness of her paintings during her January residency at Hundred Years. This is her third solo show for the gallery. Until 11 March

Various artists: Face Value 2 @ Jealous East
53 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT

Artists are allowed to be very precious. As a sketch in the peerless The Armando Iannucci Show puts it, “it’s not as if we let butchers storm out of their shops, because the lighting isn’t right, so they can go off whoring with other butchers, and then come back at two in the morning, drunk but inspired, and start to chop brilliantly.” However, at this group show at Shoreditch’s Jealous East Gallery, some of the capital’s most beloved artists of recent decades will deliver a riposte to this accusation.

Half of the roster – which includes Ben Eine, Gavin Turk, and Jake & Dinos Chapman – have submitted works, which the other half will then modify, however they see fit, for the exhibition. The finished pieces will then be auctioned off with proceeds being donated to The Katie Piper Foundation, who are dedicated to making life easier for those with burns and/or scarring. In this way, as curator Gary Mansfield explains, the idea is a charitable way of “exploring human vulnerabilities” and “to express the impact that one person can have on another”. Although one of the event’s sub-titles, ‘Identity Changed by the Potentially Devastating Effects of Others’, suggests there’s still a little creative trepidation. From 9 March until 17 March

A promotional still for TYPE, featuring work by the four artists involved. Image: Hang Up Gallery

A promotional still for TYPE, featuring work by the four artists involved. Image: Hang Up Gallery

Various artists: TYPE @ Hang-Up Gallery
81 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8AD

Hang-Up is perhaps best known as an art dealership, and their main line of business is Banksy prints, having sold over 500 internationally. Of course, the Bristolian provocateur is no Old Master; hastily stencilled text is the key component of his mordant street art. It is appropriate, then, that uses of text and black humour are the interwound themes of this new group exhibition at the Stoke Newington Road gallery.

Originals and rarities will be on show from Banksy and three of his internationally renowned contemporaries – Harland Miller (known for his sardonic takes on Penguin book covers), David Shrigley and Hackney’s own duo The Connor Brothers, whose noir-ish slogans (example: ‘If you’ve got a skeleton in your closet/You’d better make it dance”) are affixed to dramatic, pulpy illustrations. One of the ‘Brothers’, Mike Snelle, had this reflection in the run-up to TYPE: “The British are known for their dark self-deprecating humour and this reflects the art we make. It is also a useful distraction from our inability to draw well.” From 16 March until 6 May

Neil Haas: Kids Use Laptops @ Union Gallery
94 Teesdale St, E2 6PU

Teenage bedrooms are a rich source of the nostalgia that many contemporary artists seek to comment on and subvert – attendees at the Geffrye Museum’s eponymous exhibition last year will agree. For young queer artists, like Neil Haas was, this can be one of the few spaces where one’s own identity can be negotiated and depicted with a semblance of freedom. Now 46, Haas’ art has found ways to express the realities of sexuality and homosociality through place and objects – his show last year Spunky Clipper ran alongside pieces of text written by Haas and friend/fellow artist Philippe Daerendinger, both expanding of the importance of the titular off-white coloured cigarette lighter.

As with that exhibition, on the recent opening night of Kids Use Laptops several local youths were given customised hoodies and license to hang out in the installation without guidance, and the remnants they left behind were incorporated into the piece. This provides an element of disruption to the intimacy of Haas’ drawings, which are applied to blinds, painting, sculpture and appliqué. A chance to reflect on your own teenage bedroom perhaps, with none of the odours (although I must warn you: “pube-lined pillows” do feature). Until 24 March

A still from Rosalind Fowler's filmic contribution to BREADROCK

A still from Rosalind Fowler’s filmic contribution to BREADROCK

Fourthland with Rosalind Fowler: BREADROCK @ PEER
97 & 99 Hoxton Street, N1 6QL

For the past decade, artist collective Fourthland and filmmaker Rosalind Fowler have been embedded with the residents of the Wenlock Barn Estate in PEER’s native Hoxton. The work they have been doing in the community has been variously presented along the way, through a series of ‘street acts’ and ‘street scenes’ involving passing members of the public. But mostly, the project has been a reciprocal exchange of ideas and skills, all focused on connecting all involved with the land of their estate.

Working with Bangladeshi, European, Kurdish, Serbian, Turkish, Ugandan and West Indian residents, micro-allotments and salad gardens have been grown, musical skills shared, and cultural shibboleths have been transformed into displays of heritage and wonderment. Now, it’s time for a retrospective of this fascinating enterprise. Fowler’s 16mm film is full of experimental renditions of different practices – for example, a Bangladeshi woman presents a take on the traditional public burying of the umbilical cord after childbirth. The rest of the exhibition space is full of mysterious sculpted artefacts, which on closer inspection are made up of the belongings of Wenlock Barn residents. Until 14 April

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