Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow

kurimanzutto, Mexico City

June 8–July 21, 2018
May 23, 2018
Thomas Dane Gallery
3 & 11 Duke Street St. James's
London SW1 6BN

kurimanzutto is pleased to announce the opening of Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow, a major exhibition focusing on the renowned art gallery and meeting place Signals London (1964-66), which will be presented at Thomas Dane Gallery in London from June 8–July 21, 2018.

Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow is the first exhibition to reunite the works of Signals London’s three founding artists, David Medalla, Gustav Metzger, and Marcello Salvadori, while also tracing the global impact resulting from the confluence of interests generated at that specific point in art history. As a cross-disciplinary space open to critical research and social encounter, Signals London has long been a source of inspiration for kurimanzutto. Celebrated internationally for its ground-breaking series of solo exhibitions, by artists including Lygia Clark, Jesus Rafael Soto, and Mira Schendel, Signals London also used group exhibitions as a device for creating aesthetic relationships between the diverse national and international avant-garde networks orbiting its founders. As such, Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow will act as part of a process of research, guided by the possibility of tracing these wider networks. By doing so it will define a connection between past and present gallery models.

The exhibition was conceived by kurimanzutto co-founder José Kuri in 2016, and is curated by Dr. Isobel Whitelegg, an art historian who has published widely on Signals London and the international circulation of Latin American art. Its transition from concept to realization has benefitted from the guidance of Signals London’s original supporters and founders. The exhibition title cites a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky, which was published in the Signals Newsbulletin Vol. 1, No. 2 in reference to David Medalla’s iconic bubble machine sculptural works.

kurimanzutto artist, exhibition collaborator, and José Kuri’s brother, Gabriel Kuri, articulates the role that founding artist David Medalla played in awakening his curiosity for Signals London:

“I met David Medalla in London in 1994 and was profoundly impacted by his anarchic and organic, yet direct and precise approach towards artistic creation. Witnessing the gestation and development of his survey exhibition of 1995 really marked my formative years in that city. The bubble machines and mud machine in that show taught me in an implacable way that sculpture is potential or possibility, rather than merely form. His affirmative and celebratory statements were more charged with politics than any form of deliberate criticism. The Signals London Newsbulletins, published decades before today’s instant-connectivity, are the embodiment of internationalism and cross-pollination. Their spirit of experimentation was genuinely independent of the legitimation of institutions or the incentive of the art market.”

Often appropriating terms and concepts from the science of its times, Signals London was originally conceived as The Centre for Advanced Creative Study—driven by possibility more than by plan. To describe a group exhibition as a “pilot” was characteristic of the gallery’s experimental and interdisciplinary approach. For every exhibition that happened, another remained unrealized, a vital idea informing kurimanzutto’s reimagining. The record of Signals London’s pilot shows produces multiple histories and suggests many possible futures exceeding those realized in its short lifetime. Thus, the aim of Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow, is not to establish a definitive history of the gallery, but to re-activate its past as a point of departure in the present.

Borrowing from Signals London’s collaborative ethos, kurimanzutto’s Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow will be hosted by Thomas Dane Gallery in London, with whom it shares a long working relationship. Bringing together historic works from public and private collections and including rarely seen works, it utilizes Thomas Dane Gallery as its venue, mapping connections and synergies across both its gallery spaces.