Special Report: Contemporary Art New York TimesÂ By Alice Pfeiffer: October 14, 2009
Peckham, a run-down district of London, south of the Thames, is said to have the capitalâ€™s highest concentration of knife crime, hairdressers and gospel churches.
Now, add up-and-coming artists: in easy reach of some of the capitalâ€™s leading art schools, the areaâ€™s low prices and vast, empty industrial spaces are attracting experimental avant-garde collectives, studios and galleries â€” a countercultural challenge to the established North-of-the-river world of the Frieze art fair and the gentrified East End.
â€œPeckham is the land of the free. Itâ€™s like a blank canvas,â€ said Hannah Barry, an enterprising 26-year-old who founded her eponymous gallery last year in a warehouse of a former cricket bat factory.Â At the end of an industrial road populated by factories and faith groups, Ms. Barry and her co-director Sven MÃ¼ndner, 31 â€” both graduates of Cambridge â€” put on 15 to 20 shows a year, showcasing young emerging artists. Ms. Barry and Mr. MÃ¼ndner have also put on an annual sculpture show since 2006, on the roof of an abandoned parking garage nearby. â€œWe felt there was room for an ambitious sculpture park in London,â€ Ms. Barry said. In June, she and Mr. MÃ¼ndner took Peckham to a global audience, with a show, the â€œPeckham Pavilion,â€ on the fringes of the Venice Biennale.Â read more …