Inflatable Trump and a singing Sophie Jung: Matt’s Gallery turns 40

Sophie Jung performs at the 40th birthday dinner of Matt's Gallery © Dafydd jones

All hail Matt's Gallery! Last night Londons most enduringly experimental non-profit celebrated both its 40th birthday with a characteristically unorthodox fundraising dinner. Having also just moved south of the river, the event, organised by the Matt's Gallery trustee Marcelle Joseph, took place in the shell of its new Nine Elms space. For the past four decades this crucible of creativity, founded and led by the inimitable and often wonderfully irascible Robin Klassnik, has enabled an awesome roster of artists to realise projects that would have flummoxed fainter organisations. Among these are 20:50 (1987), Richard Wilsons epic room of sump oil snapped up by Charles Saatchi, Mike Nelsons labyrinthine The Coral Reef (2000) and the late Susan Hillers 1990 An Entertainment, which are now both in the Tate's collection. Other more recent Matts luminaries include Nathaniel Mellors and Benedict Drew, the 2016 Max Mara prizewinner Emma Hart, and Marianna Simnett who recently had a solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York.

Lindsay Seers and Keith Sargents Balloonatic Trump centrepiece © Dafydd Jones

Now Matt's promises to inject a welcome dose of artistic experiment and unpredictability from among Vauxhalls shiny new property developments, all clustered around the super-bling US Embassy. Last nights festivities set the tone with guests including Jane Cooper, the mayor of Wandsworth, and the Whitechapel gallery director Iwona Blazwick seated at 12 tables that were custom-created by the artist Milly Peck. Each of these were further adorned by a special Matt's artist-designed centrepiece by the likes of Jimmie Durham, David Batchelor and Willie Doherty, many of whom were hosting their tables in person. Especially appropriate given the proximity to his embassy, was the giant floating inflatable BalloRead More – Source