The openings were crowded in Mayfair and Old Street on Tuesday evening for this dense, two-site exhibition. Including work by fifty artists and spanning a full 100 years, Surface Work is something like the tasting menu at a Michelin Star restaurant: exceptional, if slightly overwhelming as a total experience - enduringly memorable for exquisite individual moments.
The premise of the show is disarmingly simple: abstract paintings by female artists. The title is taken from a quotation from the American painter Joan Mitchell: "Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make the surface work". Mitchell was notable as one of only four women artists included in the Royal Academy's authoritative Abstract Expressionism show in 2016.
Image: Liubov Popova, Non-Objective Composition, c1920
Gouache, oil and india ink on cardboard
45.6 x 28.3 cm, 18 x 11 1/8 in
Courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art