THE TOP 10: LONDON'S HOT NEW GALLERIES
A new crop of dealers and galleries have emerged now that the race for premium art spaces in London is all but over. From sheds to cabs, these ten galleries may be off the beaten track, but they exude energy and cutting-edge dedication. Despite all the odds, and with few concerns for market buoyancy or celebrity status, young and ambitious galleries are still opening up shop - post d'Offay and Jopling. Hit the trail.
The Cab Gallery, www.cabgallery.com
Actors call it "resting", but Paul Stolper doesn't see the need for euphemism. He's happy to admit he's "between galleries", and what's more, he rather likes the feeling. Following his decision to close A22 this summer, Stolper is taking his time about finding a replacement. Refusing to commit too quickly to an expensive, second-rate space, Stolper prefers his artists to explore less conventional sites: a Spitalfields mansion, St Giles Cripplegate, a French chateau.
This explains his involvement with the Cab Gallery, a hugely successful project launched with taxi driver and collector Jason Brown in September 1998. "Jason used to come and see me in A22, and he seemed to have an inordinate amount of time on his hands. He wouldn't tell me what he did for ages - then he finally pulled his cabbie's badge out."
Stolper knew he had found "the perfect vehicle to show art", and the artists that he approached more than rose to the occasion. Bob & Roberta Smith emblazoned "TAXY" on the doors; Abigail Cohen sang along to Robert de Niro's speeches in Taxi Driver; Rachel Beckett made cushions for the back seat using fabric from the District Line; Layla Curtis plotted the cab's daily journeys on the gallery website. Stolper was fascinated to see how the work expanded the self-contained world of "this little ball of metal".
When Stolper puts the brakes on the Cab Gallery at the end of the month, it's worth watching where he and his artists - who include Susie Hamilton, Peter Liversidge, Jim Medway and Vinca Petersen - pop up next. It'll probably be somewhere unexpected. "I've even looked in West London, you know."