Several things I noted from the first day which included not just the works but also about curation, how we talk about the works and something of the business that supports the 'Art'
Tal R was born in Israel in 1967 but now works in Copenhagen where his mother is from.
The series of 'painterly' works that Tal created last year were painted in the open air (en plein air in artspeak), they were mainly oils on cardboard, board and other media that were grabbed from the shed before he set out on foot or bicycle to nearby woods.
The fact that he was on his way towards Hare Hill was not realised by the artist at the time but this is known for being a picturesque spot.
As well as oils Tal used ink for a couple of the works (these were the more appealing works for me). Generally there was a spirit of the Fauve's about the work they were impressionistic generally featuring trees and showed a bold use of colour. For me the lack of figures and perspective moved the works towards abstraction and although the complementary palette was vibrant it did not show the artist's full talents (you can see more about him and his works here) . As an exercise for the artist in creating works to a set of self imposed rules it was intriguing but perhaps for the what the viewer could take from the work it was limited.
The Victoria Miro gallery in 14 George Street is a nice space for what are works on a very human scale - be careful with the sliding door if you visit.
Marius Bercea at Hypernova
The contrast experienced by the group in our second visit was quite powerful, we were introduced to works from 2013 by the Romanian born artist Marius Bercea (born in 1979 during the communist rule) , the works here were evocative and generally on a far bigger scale, some featured figures and they were (unlike Tal R's works) individually titled.
The Hypernova is a more open (to light an people) and an exciting place to see paintings, it has light coming in from the street and the works were curated sympathetically across two rooms.
Bercea is an artist who is a rising star and his work we were told is only sold/released to suitable purchasers (seems a little egotistical perhaps?)
The most striking of his works was Seasonal Capital of Itinerant Crowds (2013), there is irony and humour in the works here as well as technique and emotion.
There were clear cinematic references within the show with Toyon and The Flame of the Match Girl being prime examples.
Having seen the works by Bercea after those of Tal R I perhaps over enthused on the work of the Romanian some of the painting were a little flat and although there was detail the works may have benefited from more time and care.