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Ghosts - The Fine Art Society

Ghosts: how we live in the future

Exhibition preview

GHOSTS, The Fine Art Society’s group show which includes work by Stuart Semple, Laura Oldfield Ford and street artist Macarena Yañez, is on display from March 4 to April 10, 2015.

Ghosts examines the social effects of urban regeneration in cities around the UK, and particularly in London. This is obviously a timely issue as more and more historic buildings and areas are razed to the ground to make way for new developments.

The artists in this exhibition react to urban regeneration in different ways, some use humour whilst others take a more poignant approach to their work.

This is particularly relevant in the work of Stuart Semple who, alongside his pop-art pieces, will display an installation of the original door of the historic 12 Bar Club in Soho. The bar, situated on ‘Tin Pan Alley’ (Denmark Street) was a legendary destination for musicians, playing host to such musicians as Jeff Buckley, Adele, The Libertines, The Rolling Stones and the Black Sabbath.

The story was reported nationally a few weeks ago when riot police had a violent encounter with squatters in the venue. Semple, was able to obtain the door, thanks to one of the squatters, the 159 bus and a Tesco trolley. He has managed to retain the readymade artwork in order to narrate the story of the venue but more widely the homogenisation of Soho and our cities which have fallen prey to relentless regeneration projects.

The story is a topical example of the themes of the exhibition at The Fine Art Society, and the gallery, (the oldest commercial gallery in London still situated in its original location) is an apt venue to discuss this issue and display the piece, being itself at risk of encroaching developers alongside other commercial galleries within Mayfair.

The Fine Art Society’s new head of Contemporary, Lee Cavaliere, commenting on the decision to stage this exhibition, said the following:

“The subject of regeneration is particularly prescient; some of London’s treasured cultural markers are under threat from an apparently exponential building project. The recent ‘destruction’ of the Paolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road and closure of Soho’s cultural centres are examples that have raised debate around the threat of homogenisation, which London has always resisted. These artists react to the phenomenon of the city with particular insight and erudition; it is only fitting that this conversation is carried out at the Fine Art Society, a long-time resident at London’s cultural heart.”

The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London, WI5 2JT

Tel: 020 7318 1895