Andy Hope 1930, ‘Medley Tour London’, Hauser & Wirth, Savile Row, on now until 26th May
On display at Hauser &Wirth’s second London outpost is a colourful, cryptic yet undoubtedly comic exhibition of works by Berlin-based artist Andy Hope 1930. 1930 is the year in which the artist, formerly known as Andreas Hofer, believes the comic book to have achieved the status of a mass medium, associating it with the rise of superheroes and, equally significantly, with the denouement of suprematism and Russian constructivism, developments which have proved inspirational for Hope and have therefore played a significant role in the elaboration of his oeuvre. Works on display at Hauser & Wirth include, the ‘X-Medleys’, a new series of paintings in which the artist re-visits key signifiers developed throughout his career, amalgamating aspects of previous works whilst also, and in some cases, explicitly, adopting the visual vocabulary of Modernist giants, Francis Picabia, Paul Klee and Rodtschenko to new form newly re-imagined compositions. Hope references too in these images, the abstract comic illustration of Steve Ditko, subjecting them to, in the artist’s words, ‘a process of revision, erosion and dislocation’. Also on display is the ‘Amazing’ series, 11 paintings in which Hope experiments with hyperbolic type and font, a re-invention and deconstruction of his 2004 installation, ‘Batman Gallery’ which it its original form constituted a unique architectural interpretation of the eponymous superhero’s iconic outerwear, his legendary black cape sculpted into the long receding roof of a gallery housing a selection of Hope’s paintings, and, rather bizarrely, a blender mounted on a plinth. Also included is ‘Screentest Gotham Book’, a silent 4 minute film projected on to the windows of the gallery. On a bright day, ‘Screentest’ is rendered sadly invisible, the evanescent ebb of circular bands of white light and the elusive, ephemeral and rather ghostly presence of phantom figures are all I could make out. Perhaps, however, this is the artist’s intention, to evoke a sense of the evasive nature of a paranormal past populated by magical, mythical people. London is the second stop along Hope’s Medley Tour which began at the Kestnerg Gesellschaft in Hannover at the end of February.