Homepage » Exhibitions » Forthcoming » WONDERLAND. New art from London
WONDERLAND. New art from London
from the 27th of march to the 23rd of may
from Tuesday to Friday 3-7 pm and by appointment

curated by James Putnam
hosted by Elena Quarestani

Opening Party
26th of March 2010 from 9 to 11 pm

Opening week end
Saturday 27th of March, from 3 to 10 pm
Sunday 28th of March, from 3 to 7 pm

Talk at MiArt fair
(fieramilanocity, viale Scarampo, entrance from Porta Teodorico 11)
Saturday 27th of March, 3 p.m.
Sala Artis Miscellanea (padiglione 3)
Participating artists: Sam Buxton, Oliver Clegg, Henry Hudson, Bridget Hugo, Polly Morgan, James Putnam. Moderates Elena Quarestani.

Wonderland features works by 14 young London based artists at Milan’s innovative Assab One project space: Alice Anderson, Sam Buxton, Oliver Clegg, Shezad  Dawood, Tom Gallant, Stephane Graff, Henry Hudson, Bridget Hugo, Alastair Mackie, Polly Morgan, Boo Saville, Martin Sexton, Jamie Shovlin, Hugo Wilson.

As the title suggests this show is intended to evoke a magical realm that proclaims a universe of fertile imaginative possibilities. Nowadays wonderment tends to be more narrowly associated with childhood and it has become an increasingly remote experience in our era of relentless advancements in science and technology. Yet in the field of visual art there is still a great capacity for wonder, which is one of the most fundamental aspects of aesthetic experience. It relates to the powers of thought, feeling, imagination and creativity. But perhaps most significantly wonderment generates an enlarged perception, a freshness of feeling and a general aura of optimism.

This diverse selection of new art from London includes painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, sculpture, installation, photography and video. Much of this displays an emerging new tendency in artistic practice with a return to more traditional artistic virtuosity, and attention to detail matched by an emphasis on process with a strong conceptual edge. While artists of the previous generation were frequently preoccupied with their own existence these artists tend to produce work rooted in more universal subject matter. Their practice frequently involves in depth research into history, science, natural history and futurology. Also, instead of their input being just conceptual with the work fabricated by someone else, many of them show practical skills and are directly involved in the actual production.

is characterized by an overall sense of hybridity, where notions of miraculous scale incorporate elements of nature and  technology and intriguing scientific principles.

Assab One is a cultural association, active since 2002, whose exhibition space is a vast 2500 square metre former printing factory. Its name comes from the building’s address, which is easily accessible by public transport, just a short walk from the Cimiano stop on the Milan subway system. Wonderland will open on March 26th to coincide with the opening of MiArt, one of the major Italian international contemporary art fairs. The  exhibition will also run concurrently with Milan’s world famous design fair (Salone del Mobile) which opens two weeks later.

Supported by

British Council Logo

Thanks to:

MACtac Italia
, All Visual Arts, BIOKIP, Urò (Martina Merlini, Arianna Vairo), Coralla Maiuri e Filippo Lancellotti, Nathalie du Pasquier e George Sowden, Valeria Orioli e Sandro Castiglioni, Leone Bernardini e Giulia Guzzini, Riccardo Crespi, Giangaleazzo Visconti, Gigi Giannuzzi, Bersi Serlini Franciacorta, Blacks Club & Nancy Fouts.

Watch the report of Wonderland on
The artists
Alice Anderson, graduated from L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris and Goldsmiths College, London. She works from film to drawing and sculpture, playing with dislocation of time as children construct parallels worlds. Her work is a compulsive and obsessional production through which she explores and gives shape to her childhood memories.

Sam Buxton
, graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in 1999. His work is characterized by complex ensembles of miniature etched stainless steel architectural sculptures. He is concerned with the interface between the living body and the built environment, breaking down boundaries between design, science and art.

Oliver Clegg
received his MA at City and Guilds London Art School in 2005. His principal medium is painting and printmaking but he also creates sculptural installations. His characteristic paintings on old drawing boards, often depict haunting, lonely portraits of abandoned and disarrayed toys in stark and unsettling scenes. He had a critically acclaimed solo exhibition at the Freud Museum (London, 2008), which explored the notion of play and childhood memory.

Shezad Dawood
received his MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2000. His multi-media works build up a bizarre and complex dialogue of subversive parallels between diverse value-systems and artistic practices.  The work playfully but critically questions our traditional assumptions about the nature and role of art in contemporary consumer society.

Tom Gallant
examines the pathologies underlying the West’s continuing fascination with pornography and collector culture. His interests in Victorian decorative craft and his training in the traditional far-eastern techniques of Kirigami and Origami conjoin in his works in which highly intricate and beautiful shapes are cut and folded from pages extracted from pornographic magazines.

Stephane Graff
works with photography, painting and installation in his project Professore, an alter ego blurring the distinctions between fact and fiction. Professore challenges perceptions of identity and social order, whilst raising issues regarding society’s innate trust in science and institutions. His unconventional science can range from the fantastic to the banal, but it is always treated with equal reverence and ironically comes across as plausible.

Henry Hudson
, graduated from Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in 2005. Primarily a painter he often combines paint with the unusual medium of plasticine and his expressive style is inspired by the caricatured tradition of William Hogarth. His subject matter frequently relates to London and the real detritus of the city and the tarnished reverberations of modern-day society.

Bridget Hugo
. Her work is concerned with how art can perform critical functions without relying on discourse which she feels can be limiting. This has led her to practice outside the conventional institutions of art to test whether the art object can be politically and culturally relevant while holding its own as an integrated part of a more social/public landscape. She created the critically acclaimed installation/bar improvised from found objects for the Distortion exhibition at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Alastair Mackie completed his M.A. at City and Guilds London Art School (2000). His work, usually in sculptural form is often concerned with the cycle of birth, death, regeneration and the conflicts that occur within nature and mankind. His thought provoking works are the result of a complex and time consuming construction processes, using unusual natural materials that tend to highlight the contradiction between nature’s beauty and harshness.

Polly Morgan
uses her skill as a taxidermist to create intricate imaginative sculptural works and tableaux. Unlike conventional taxidermy displays she subverts the traditional goal of mimicking the natural habitats of animals, instead placing them in less expected, unnatural contexts often combining and juxtaposing them with diverse found objects.

Boo Saville
, graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art BA in 2004. Saville is known primarily for her detailed Biro pen drawings and her subject matter often focuses on the decomposition of the body after death. Yet she manages to extract a kind of beauty from the macabre by exploring shapes, textures and surfaces.

Martin Sexton works at the interface of ancient history, metaphysics, the psychosocial aspects of ufology and the politics of aesthetics – all countered with an overpowering poetic vision. His art is heavy with myth and inherent narrative and his mediums include ice, fire, meteorites, sound, film and text. He refers to his practice as ‘writing’ and his work as ‘sculptural poems’.

Jamie Shovlin, graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2003. He is interested in the tension between truth and fiction, reality and invention, history and memory. His projects combine his facility as a draughtsman, printmaker, painter and writer with conceptual complexity and playfulness. Shovlin questions how information becomes authoritative and explores the way we map and classify the world in order to understand it.

Hugo Wilson
studied painting in Florence and had a successful career as portrait painter prior to completing his MA at the City and Guilds, London in 2008. Wilson’s subsequent conceptual work has been concerned with exploring organizing systems, scientific principles and genetics. Fascinated by a Victorian sense of wonder, he often borrows from the aesthetic of the era, often incorporating obsolete media and technologies.