Into Focus: Chewday's

Why Tobias Czudej juxtaposes prehistoric artefacts and emerging art

Tell us about where you're based - the area and your premises.

The gallery space was previously a Polish grocers; it’s located in a housing estate on Lambeth Walk, a couple of streets from the Thames. During WW2 the street was made famous with the song ‘The Lambeth Walk’, and in the 1980's and ‘90's there was an influential artist-run space, City Racing, down the road, near Oval cricket ground. I also recently discovered that William Blake lived round the corner; in Milton: A Poem in Two Books, Milton descends from the heavens in the form of a comet and lands in Lambeth inside Blake's foot. There are only a handful of galleries in the neighbourhood, but they're good oens: greengrassi, Corvi-Mora, Cabinet, and institutions like Gasworks, Tate Britain and the Imperial War Museum.

 

ng2-01.jpg

Chewday's, London

Chewday's, London

How would you describe the gallery's philosophy?

Kippenberger talked about wanting to be seen as a “good mood” artist and I want to be a “good mood” kind of gallery. The programme has no strict parameters: the exhibitions generally stem from ongoing research and conversations. I want to test the conventions of what a gallery is and explore how it can operate in a critically engaged way, true to current conditions as well as being historically aware. The next year includes exhibitions by both emerging and established artists as well as exhibitions of antiquities and other historical objects, collaboratio gwith researchers in their respective fields.

What are you presenting at Focus

For Focus I’m collaborating with two Antiquities specialists – Georgiana Aitken and Martin Snowdon —to present new works by London based artist Gabriele Beveridge alongside Neolithic Idols from 10,000 – 2,000 BCE. Five idols will be displayed on a large glowing plinth: reminiscent equally of museum display, science fiction film sets and high-end retail design. On the walls there will be three new large-scale works by Gabriele Beveridge - assemblages constructed of found advertisements, artist-made frames, hand-blown glass and ephemera.

untitled_found_poster_hand_blown_glass_fake_bamboo_artist_frame_31_x_50_x_20cm_2015_side_view.jpg

Gabriele Beveridge, Untitled (detail), 2015.

Gabriele Beveridge, Untitled (detail), 2015. Courtesy CHEWDAY'S, London. (c) 2016 Gabriele Beveridge

 

What drew you to the Neolithic idols?

I’ve been studying the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods for the past couple of years. It was in the Upper Paleolithic period we evolved into modern humans, from which we trace back the first evidence of image-making, and in the Neolithic period there are the beginnings of agriculture, social hierarchy and capital. These small sculptures - testimony to the popular beliefs of mankind at the birth of human civilization -  resonate with with Gabriele Beveridge’s mysterious portraits of females, which explore experience in our contemporary commodity-world.

The exact purpose of Neolithic Idols is not really known, there’s evidence pointing towards them being used as fertility votives, funerary statuettes, idols for worship or basically as dolls – they are, most commonly, highly stylized anthropomorphic representations of the female form.

What else are you looking forward to seeing at the Frieze fairs?

Frieze Masters! And Nicolas Tremblay’s curated section of the fair about the 1990s.

You've curated shows for PACE gallery in London, among others. How did that experience lead you towards your own gallery?

I decided to open a fixed gallery space as it allows me to curate a long-term program, and to work with artists on solo exhibitions and publications, which is a much slower, focused process than curating one-off group shows.  I got married this year to Catharine Czudej (previously Ahearn), the first artist to show at the gallery; she’s based in New York so I’m half there and half here, and will continue to organize shows independently at galleries in the US and elsewhere.

What are your typical Frieze Week haunts? Any traditions?

Trisha’s basement, on Greek Street.

What are you currently showing at the gallery?

We have a solo exhibition with Bryan Dooley from 24 September until 05 November titled Public Death: it explores fear, future disaster and circulation.

tc.jpg

Tobias Czudej

Tobias Czudej

Chewday's is exhibting in Focus at Frieze London

Stand number: H18

Most Read

A report commissioned by the museum claims Raicovich ‘misled’ the board; she disputes the investigation’s claims
In further news: Jef Geys (1934–2018); and Hirshhorn postpones Krzysztof Wodiczko projection after Florida shooting
If the city’s pivot to contemporary art was first realized by landmark construction, then what comes after might not...
Ignoring its faux-dissident title, this year's edition at the New Museum displays a repertoire that is folky, angry,...
An insight into royal aesthetics's double nature: Charles I’s tastes and habits emerge as never before at London’s...
In other news: Artforum responds to #NotSurprised call for boycott of the magazine; Maria Balshaw apologizes for...
At transmediale in Berlin, contesting exclusionary language from the alt-right to offshore finance
From Shanghai to Dubai, a new history charts the frontiers where underground scenes battle big business for electronic...
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, UK
Zihan Karim, Various Way of Departure, 2017, video still. Courtesy: Samdani Art Foundation
Can an alternative arts network, unmediated by the West's commercial capitals and burgeoning arts economies of China...
‘That moment, that smile’: collaborators of the filmmaker pay tribute to a force in California's film and music scenes...
In further news: We Are Not Surprised collective calls for boycott of Artforum, accuses it of 'empty politics'; Frida...
We Are Not Surprised group calls for the magazine to remove Knight Landesman as co-owner and withdraw move to dismiss...
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is both gorgeous and troubling in equal measure
With Zona Maco opening in the city today, a guide to the best exhibitions across the Mexican capital
The question at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery’s artwork removal: what are the risks when cultural programming...
In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to...
Ahead of the India Art Fair running this weekend in the capital, a guide to the best shows to see around town
The gallery argues that the funding body is no longer supportive of institutions that maintain a principled refusal of...
The Dutch museum’s decision to remove a bust of its namesake is part of a wider reconsideration of colonial histories,...
At New York’s Metrograph, a diverse film programme addresses a ‘central problem’ of feminist filmmaking
Ronald Jones pays tribute to a rare critic, art historian, teacher and friend who coined the term Post-Minimalism
In further news: curators rally behind Laura Raicovich; Glasgow's Transmission Gallery responds to loss of Creative...
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
‘An artist in a proud and profound sense, whether he liked it or not’ – a tribute by Michael Bracewell
Ahead of a show at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, how the documentarian’s wandering gaze takes in China’s landscapes of...
In further news: Stedelijk explains why it cancelled Ettore Sottsass retrospective; US National Gallery of Art cancels...
With 11 of her works on show at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most underrated artists in modern European history is...
Reopening after a two-year hiatus, London’s brutalist landmark is more than a match for the photographer’s blockbuster...
What the Google Arts & Culture app tells us about our selfie obsession
At a time of #metoo fearlessness, a collection of female critics interrogate their own fandom for music’s most...
A rare, in-depth interview with fashion designer Jil Sander

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

October 2017

frieze magazine

November - December 2017

frieze magazine

January - February 2018