Another fairly long day in London yesterday. I took in All Visual Arts (AVA), Yayoi Kusama at the Tate, and Hanae Utamura at WW Gallery. A couple of things made a strong first impression at AVA: an odd smell pervading the entire space (which I think was down to one of the works), and a sense of the Victorian Gothic. This must have been intentional, if not inevitable: The antique cabinetry of many of the works, the mounting of some of the painting (Wilson's 'Walnut' in particular), and the dark brown-grey of the walls somehow made me feel as if I had wandered into some mysterious Gentlemen's club. This is a group show of the gallery's roster of artists, and something of a retrospective - two-thirds of the works on show are 3 years old or more: late eighties in Matton's case. There are several interesting pieces, but a couple of the works stood out for me particularly - Hilary Berseth's 'Programmed Hive #7' (which I think was the source of the smell), and Jonathan Wateridge's 'Group Series No.3 - Paleontologists'. Also noteworthy - the standard of all the work was very slick.

A lot has and will be said about Kusama, so I won't bother to try to add anything. I loved the 'infinity net' paintings and much more besides. I was disappointed not to see more of her polychrome sculpture, and I came away with the impression that the show was curated to show her obsession above all else.

I took the opportunity to take a look at the work on the 5th floor. There were many pieces I hadn't seen before (I forget that they change things from time to time) and I enjoyed looking around. I should have bought a ticket to see the Boetti show too.

Finally I went over to see Hanae Utumara's 'Construct: Fountain' Patio Project at WW Gallery. I love the idea that this is part sculpture, part painting, part installation, part intervention, and part performance. The work is there to be open to the effects of the elements, the public, and whatever is metaphorically (if not literally) thrown at it. It was a pleasure to meet Hanae.

It was good to chat with Chiara and Debra about their new premises and the rapidly approaching show, and to hear some of their plans for the future. Exciting times!



 The sand sculpture is one of a number on the banks of the Thames, near Tate Modern

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