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Cleaning Up After Berlin Gallery Weekend
05.05.2009
David Nicholson and John Isaacs' sculpture, before..."No more sugar for the monkey" is the name that curator Christopher David chose for the show that he organized with Jochen Kooper in Stattbad, the guerrilla gallery they are developing from a 2,000 square-meter early nineteenth-century swimming complex in Wedding, because "there is no more money or other sweet stuff hyping up art world any more." Yet no creature at the packed all-night opening for the most renegade show during Berlin's Gallery Weekend lacked for stimulation. After all, there was work to see by more than thirty Berlin-based artists arranged in a labyrinthine industrial basement beneath a former public pool: Hundreds of cool kids swarmed through a space that looked more like the set for the next instalment in the Hostel series than an art exhibition.
David Nicholson and John Isaacs' sculpture, after...Keller proved prescient back at "No more sugar for the monkey." After an assistant started locking up the Stattbad space, Damien Hirst's favorite sculptor John Isaacs enlisted painter of luscious, eruditely inspired mythic pin-ups, David Nicholson in an unscripted smashing of Isaacs' centerpiece for their collaborative contribution to the show. Isaacs' sculpture consisted of an elegant polished black plinth supporting a glazed crude-colored ceramic rock with delicate metal chains. Each side of the plinth featured brilliantly bright allegorical paintings by Nicholson, including a self-portrait of himself, posed as a bearded centaur and hoisting a brown boulder over his head while lions leapt at his hooves, inspired by a Roman fresco in the Pergamon Museum. Isaacs felt something was unresolved. So they smashed the rocks. At the sound of shattering art, gallerists David and Kooper came racing. Nicholson explained that he and Isaacs, the most accomplished and mature artists in the show's roster, were responsible, and David turned back to the issue of finding more vodka. With that, the monkey got back to business.
by Ana Finel Honigman
from Interview Magazine
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David Nicholson biography
Interview with David Nicholson

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