EXHIBITION: Ruth Marten @ Isis Gallery, London / UK
13.12.2012 – 19.01.2013
169 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW
A Treasure Hunt In A Lazar House
Arranged literally as a treasure hunt amongst the fine prints on offer at London’s wonderful vintage print store Pure & Applied, Ruth Marten’s elegantly lubricious work is a joyful encounter. Using 17th-19th century prints from the flea markets of NYC as starting points, Marten looks for a hidden narrative and draws it out with super-subtle collaging, rearrangement, the finest hand with pen and ink and a lightness of touch that corresponds to John Heartfield’s proclaimed “tiny spot of colour” needed to turn a work into “art of a special kind”.
* The venue on Bermondsey Street is apt. There was a leper hospice - or Lazar House - close by in the 13th century and Pure & Applied has long been a good place to find a vintage engraving of a neck goitre, should you need one. Positioned directly opposite White Cube’s wonderful new museum-grade space and with plenty of fine food close by (including Zucca - ***** Time Out), A Treasure Hunt In A Lazar House at Pure & Applied is a delight.