The small but perfectly formed Signal Gallery in the heart of Shoreditch is at again. Having just been down there for an exhibition by Brooklyn street artist RAE, I have to say I was itching to get back. Happily, the clever folks at the gallery have come up with yet another tasty morsel for your artistic delectation. Two Plus Two is an exhibition that features two painters from the States and two street artists from dear old Blighty, and it promises to be very special. At first glance it might seem like some sort of aesthetic face-off but in fact the four have been chosen for their complimentary styles. Bael, from England’s northeast, is a painter whose dramatic pieces combine sexuality with menace, and exemplary linework. Michael Jankowski, a Chicago-based artist, also demonstrates this skill, while his work has an ethereal, almost distant quality to it.
Joe Iurato, from New Jersey, has gained recognition for his striking street art and installations. The subtle menace seen in Bael’s work is very much evident here – a faceless hooded man is a constant – alongside dabbling in a kind of a portraiture – his Tom Waites is remarkable. And for the final helping in this finely balanced Michelin-star meal is SPQR, a Bristolian stencil artist who has exhibited at the gallery before. Unsurprisingly perhaps, his work combines humour with darkness, his natural menace more joyous, and the perfect addition to the spectrum of work on offer.
All in all, this is a well crafted exhibition, and a real opportunity to see four young artists plying their trade in different but complimentary ways, and all under the same tiny roof. (Words: Ed Spencer) Two Plus Two is on until March 15th. For more info visit www.signalgallery.com