A beautifully curated and prescient show from Lawrence Van Hagen examines the tension between the human and the machine in a transforming society.




There’s a delightful dissonance arriving at Lawrence van Hagen’s new show. In a residential development on a corner of London’s Curzon Street, tucked neatly behind Berkley Square, the lobby is all thick pile carpets and polished wood, burnished brown and tactile. And then, after the lift, a wide industrial space with floor to ceiling windows, and a pathway through scaffold-hung artworks.

The hanging reflects the nature of a space in limbo; it is ready, but not quite. Exposed pipes line the ceilings and the floor is naked concrete. There’s a route through the scaffolds, and you catch glimpses of the work to come; a corner of Warhol’s inky and brooding “Shadow, 1978” behind Wanshui’s gleaming aluminium “Poesis III.”



The show explores the theme of perception, between art and technology. Every day, technology forces us to consider and re-consider what is real or fake, true or untrue. We have to ‘Double Take,’ constantly, in order to anchor ourselves.

The location proves this point—a contrast between the lobby and the space captures an artificiality of image, and the tension between what we see and what lies beneath. How can we know anything?

Each of the 28 artworks asks a variation of this question. Whether it’s the material or the method, you’re confronted with uncertainty. Jack Warne’s “TEH Cedan,” for example, is an ultraviolet flatbed print on composited material with an augmented reality filter.

You wonder with each, whether they are machine made or human made. Some are both. One of the only hung pieces was “Resonance Painting”, by Oliver Beer, a cloud-like and ethereal painting created from the vibrations of speakers placed beneath the canvas. Wade Guyton “Untitled, 2019” is one of a number printed with InkJet.



At the top of level 2 is Dustin Emory’s “Hurry Up, Wait, 2023.” Monochromatic, we see a man in boxer-shorts looking through curtains, hiding slightly. Light streams in.

You have the impression he’s watching something he shouldn’t, and yet you feel like the voyeur. It is eerie, beautiful, with a sense of longing that perfectly expresses the uneasy connections and loneliness of technology.

LVH has a talent for bringing artists together. His series of ‘What’s Up’ exhibitions tap into the current, from Seoul to London, and he has a knack for reading the market. Double Take is no different, and the exhibition is insightfully curated, highlighting the best of each artist.

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