Curated by Angelica Jopling, the six-week-long programme debuts the solo shows of six emerging artists you need to know about
“Incubator is ephemeral by nature,” says founder and curator Angelica Jopling, explaining her dynamic series of week-long consecutive exhibitions. “The programme is constructed to be so fast-paced that each show is practically over as soon as it’s begun.” Showcasing six emerging artists all working in London, Incubator 22 features Mary Stephenson, Xavia Duke Richards, John Richard, Archie Boon, C. Lucy R. Whitehead, and Alicja Biala.
Despite the variety of mediums and divergent subject matter engaged with by each artist, they have all been selected for their overarching qualities of integrity and curiosity. “I look for artists who stand passionately and confidently behind their work. I’m drawn to challenging work; art that demands a different way of looking, thinking, or considering a medium,” the trailblazing curator explains. “The artists in this upcoming series grapple with the unconscious, the distorted body, the stillness of a cloud, childhood landscapes, and memory through paintings, photography, and etchings.”
The show follows the success of Incubator 21 and repeats the unique format of last year’s “adrenalised series”. In residence at London’s A. Society in Chiltern Street, the space will be continually reimagined as each week draws to a close and the next artist occupies the gallery.
Jopling tells Dazed: “The 12 artists from both series come from very different backgrounds and explore a range of media. The only unifying factor is that they are all artists working in London who have never had a solo show. The goal is to create a programme that is artistically and conceptually diverse. Each week the space transforms to accommodate a completely different and unique body of work. It’s a challenge, but it’s been exciting as a curator and brings together artists who might not have shared a space otherwise.”
While the initial five artists were found independently, the final artist to exhibit in Incubator 22, Polish-born Alicja Biala, was selected from among 118 applicants who responded to an open call. Exploring ideas of cultural identity, fragmentation, folk traditions, paganism, migration, politics, and much more, the artist explains: “My work, like the identity of many Slavs, is an amalgam of fragments of those before us, borrowed and collaged together in an ad hoc fashion. I work in an ad hoc manner across many media and scales to cut into a cultural past that is at once distant and remarkably close, in the hopes that some bizarre truth leaks out. It is speculative and interrogative: Where have we been, and where might we go?”
Incubator founded and curator Angelica Jopling has had a unique vantage point on the art world. As the daughter of White Cube founder Jay Jopling and artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson (neé Taylor-Wood), Jopling’s perspective has been informed by a lifetime surrounded by art. She reflects on her aspirations and ideology as a curator: “I try to take an interdisciplinary approach – I think it’s incredibly important, as a curator, to be curious about new media, ideas, and experimental formats. Curators often serve as arbiters between art and the public, especially in new or uncertain terrain, so it’s important to be able to speak to a wide range of practices. Being adaptable is also imperative; one needs to be able to acknowledge their default biases and learned prejudices.”
Take a look through the gallery above for a glimpse of some of the work that will be on display across six weeks of Incubator 22.
Incubator 22 is now open at A. Society, 2 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 7PR by appointment