The Poster Show at Bow Mayor’s Parlour
Jamie Reid, Damien Good and Mat Collishaw – these names, alongside those of many other renowned artists, are quirkily printed on the walls of the stairwell leading up to the Mayor’s Parlour, giving an exciting glimpse of what might be seen in The Poster Show. Unfortunately, what lies beyond this promising display is less likely to impress.
The exhibition consists of 50 limited edition posters by 50 contemporary artists, all of which are available to purchase. The organisers, Plus Art Projects, are known for their annual Frieze week exhibitions and have previously shown works by the Chapman Brothers, Tracey Emin and Polly Morgan. With this successful history, it’s perhaps even more disappointing that The Poster Show leaves so much to be desired.
The selection of posters is varied and the exhibition acts as a showcase for works in a range of very different styles. There are text pieces, such as Dingbot McLatchey’s Prescient Protest (2013), mixed media pieces and paintings, including Kristof Jeney’s After Their Likeness: Self-Portrait (2011-13). There is a photograph by Tracey Emin Austria (2013) and a humorously critical letter Fan Letters (Robbie Williams) by Mark Siebert.
While the posters, as a collection, are compelling, it is the way that they are presented which seriously lets the show down: a couple of the framed posters have slipped down inside their mounts, whilst others are curling at the edges or, in one case, stained. Many appear to be held up by blue-tack and some are hanging off the walls.
An attendant mentioned it may be that the moisture in the gallery is causing some of the problems such as warping, however, with access to wonderful free exhibitions at many galleries, and the availability of posters online, shows such as this are becoming a thing of the past, and this exhibition sadly doesn’t argue the case for their survival.
The Poster Show is at the Mayor’s Parlour until 29th April 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.