Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow

An exhibition conceived by kurimanzutto’s co-founder José Kuri
Part l: 8 June – 21 July 2018 (Thomas Dane Gallery, London)
Part ll: 13 November 2018 – 19 January 2019 (kurimanzutto, New York)
Curator: Dr. Isobel Whitelegg

Curator and writer Guy Brett and artist David Medalla passed away in February 2021 and December 2020 respectively. Together they established the gallery Signals London and published Signals Newsbulletin between 1964 – 1966, along with fellow co-founders Paul Keeler, Gustav Metzger and Marcello Salvadori. A cross-disciplinary space invested in experimental practices, Signals London also played an important part in the recognition of artists from Latin America in a context and market in which they were overlooked. They embraced work by now well-known artists such as Hélio Oiticica, Jesus Rafael Soto, Lygia Clark and Mira Schendel. The individual and collective practices of Brett and Medalla made steps forward in the desire to push against a Eurocentric framework for arts practice and the parameters of art history.

The gallery space and Newsbulletin became articulations of an openness to learning, discovery and collaborative forms of knowledge production and art display. Newsbulletin can be highlighted as particularly powerful in how the relationships between various art forms, cross-regional practices, and the possibilities in exhibition documentation and reflection were aggregated. In these publications their exhibitions were presented alongside essays, poetry, and reports on new art and new science.

The term ‘pilots’ was used by the gallery to describe their group shows, indicating an emphasis on a free flow of ideas between exhibitions rather than an insistence on finality.

Paul Keeler, Sergio de Camargo, Guy Brett, Christopher Walker, David Medalla and Gustav Metzger mailing Signals Newsbulletin from Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. © Clay Perry, England & Co, London.

Paul Keeler, Sergio de Camargo, Guy Brett, Christopher Walker, David Medalla and Gustav Metzger mailing Signals Newsbulletin from Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. © Clay Perry, England & Co, London.

David Medalla with a Cloud Canyons work, Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. © Clay Perry, England & Co, London.

Liliane Lijn & David Medalla at Signals London, 1964. © Clay Perry, England & Co, London.

Otero and Guy Brett in Venezuela. Courtesy of the Otero Pardo Foundation.

Sergio Camargo and Guy Brett. Courtesy of the Otero Pardo Foundation.

David Medalla with a Cloud Canyons work, 1964. © Clay Perry, England & Co, London.

In 2018 kurimanzutto in collaboration with Thomas Dane Gallery hosted the exhibition Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part l). This was 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.

The exhibition was conceived by kurimanzutto co-founder José Kuri in 2016, and curated by Dr. Isobel Whitelegg, an art historian who has published widely on Signals London and the international circulation of Latin American art. The exhibition title cites a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky, which was published in Signals Newsbulletin Vol. 1, No. 2 in reference to David Medalla’s iconic bubble machine sculptural works. The aim of Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow, was to pay homage to Signals London’s rhizomatic, collaborative and exploratory foundations, and to re-activate its past as a point of departure in the present.

This show brought together historic works from public and private collections, including rarely seen works, mapping connections between kurimanzutto and Thomas Dane Gallery. It featured artists who worked across Latin America, the USA, and Western Europe, as well as shed light on the diverse body of British artists who formed part of Signals London’s network.

Following the thread established by the first iteration of the show, Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part ll) took place between 13 November 2018 – 19 January 2019 at kurimanzutto’s New York space, sharing more than 80 works from public and private collections by a wide-range of artists that exhibited at Signals.

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Through this SOUTH SOUTH pays tribute to Guy Brett and David Medalla; two exceptional contributors to art histories.

Installation image from Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part ll), kurimanzutto, New York, 2018

Installation image from Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part ll), kurimanzutto, New York, 2018

Installation image from Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part ll), kurimanzutto, New York, 2018

Installation image from Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part ll), kurimanzutto, New York, 2018

RESOURCES

Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part I)
Handout
Press release

Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II)
Press release

Archive images
© Clay Perry, England & Co, London
Otero Pardo Foundation

Installation images
kurimanzutto, New York, 2018 – Signals: If You Like I Shall Grow (Part II)

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