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  • Raven Row
    56 Artillery Ln

    London E1 7LS
  • Phone number 020 7377 4300
  • Business website ravenrow.org

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating

    Marvelous gallery owned & run by Alex Sainsburythe socialist son of the famous family. This is a mustsee place.Even if you dont see an erxhibition,a visitis worth it for the buidling alone.I went on a fabulous, free organised walk with a localhistorian, who showed us all the famous buildingsassociated with the silk & fashion trade of the 17th& 18th centuries in the area. Most houses were bothlived & worked in, & attempts were even made to growmulberry trees in the house gardens for the silk worms.English climate prevented this, so silk was imported& woven here & stretched on the lawns or "tenterdowns'with 'tenter hooks' to make the clothes for the rich famous. Street names reflect this industry

  • 3.0 star rating
    First to Review
    Listed in Culture Vultures

    My girlfriend being a designer dragged me to an art gallery the other day. Now I love art, but, it has to have a certain dimension to it. I'm not being picky, I just want to see something that I couldn't do. (Now for my rant) I get irritated when I go to a gallery and there in front of me in all its glory is an A4 piece of paper with a blue square on it. No frills, no beautiful flowing brush strokes, just a blue square. Now you can put all the artistic blurb you want as a write up but it 'ain't gonna impress me.' Fortunately the Ray Johnson Please Add to and Return gallery wasn't like this.

    Ray Johnson was the pioneer for the mail art movement. The movement is where he would start a piece of art and mail it to somebody else, they would add to it and send it back, and on it went like this until the piece was deemed complete. The percentage of his work is collages, that in the beginning of the exhibit I couldn't connect with. As the exhibit went on I found I was coming around to Ray's extraordinary ability to combine complete randomness, humour and skill in his work. What truly inspired me about Ray's collection wasn't his art, but his random letters and snippets of notes he wrote when he forwarded his work to colleagues and friends. His mind fluctuated like an arachnophobia suffers bum-hole whilst watching, well, Arachnophobia. His chat was hilarious, he would have made a sensational yelper. One of my favourite letters was


    I have eaten
    the limes
    that were in
    the iceb ox

    and which
    y ou were probably
    for breakfast

    forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    (The mistakes were as he made them)

    Ray's collection is bizarre, imaginative and often funny. His work is theoretical in approach and follows the Gestalt laws. Occasionally though he throws artistic theory out of the window with pieces that cause the viewer anxiety.

    If you are interested in collage or font, you should go to this exhibit. It is entertaining, creative cheese for the mind and best of all, free.

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