Statement of facts:
I met ****** for breakfast on 08/11/2023 at Mayfair Little Soho House, 2 Queen Street, London.
There she asked me to carry out a punctual and discreet investigation of the walls of three of the worldwide leading commercial galleries based in the UK’s capital: Sadie Coles HQ, Gagosian and White Cube. She is convinced that they host London’s whitest walls.
Assessing in detail their whiteness, cleanliness and surface appearance I scheduled a visit to the indicated spaces on 06/12/2023.
I hired an external photo reporter to closely document my investigation on this occasion. A full description of the collected photographic evidence will follow.
see bottom of the page for full Report
Live Investigation 1, Sadie Coles HQ, 62 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QN
Photographic evidence 001: white large paint drop, 50 mm in length, 4.5 mm in width and 0.7 mm in depth. Running vertically towards the floor with a -15 degrees angle from the vertical axis. Height 149-154 cm from the floor, on the right wall inside the small square room on the left side of the first floor.
A noticeable imperfection which thanks to its colouration can be easily missed by non-trained eyes.
Photographic evidence 002: white bulging round paint built-up, 4 mm in length, 4 mm in width and 2.5 mm in depth. Height 88 cm from the floor, on the right wall inside the small square room on the left side of the first floor, lower on the left of Photographic evidence 001.
Isolated and disturbingly visible. Comparable imperfection to Photographic evidence 001. Paint must have been applied unheavenly on this specific surface wall by a distracted painter and decorator.
Photographic evidence 003: grey irregular mark, 3 mm in length, 0.4-1 mm in width, no depth. Height 4 cm from the floor, on the front wall inside the small square room on the left side of the first floor. The tonality of the mark is relatable to the adjacent lower surface but I cannot prove a direct correlation with it. This evidence can be classified either as an unintended paint mark or a scratch mark. An imprecision in the wall finishing which I didn’t expect to find at Sadie Coles HQ located in an area which receives little attention.
Further investigation in the building’s larger rooms has been impeded by low-dimmed lighting in the main space and by a chain which blocked access to the back room. I left Sadie Coles HQ heading towards my second stop: Gagosian.
Live Investigation 2, Gagosian, 20 Grosvenor Hill, London, W1K 3QD
I left 20 Grosvenor Hill with no collected photographic evidence recording any wall imperfections. I stopped near the other Gagosian space at 17-19 Davies Street pondering if trying to investigate this building instead. I quickly understood that the level of security and inaccessibility was equal to the previous one. I finished my cigarette and moved on, in the direction of Bermondsey, South London. I had another stop planned on my diary and the evening darkness was approaching.
Live Investigation 3, White Cube, 144-152, Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ
Photographic evidence 004: dark grey long irregular scratch, 120 mm in length, 0.7 mm in width and no depth. Running vertically unheavenly towards the floor with a -1 to -2 degrees angle from the vertical axis. Height 115 cm from the floor, on the right wall inside the medium-sized room on the right side of the central corridor. It is an unmissable imperfection which runs through the wall, in proximity to other similar marks. After asking the reporter’s invigilator friend about the scratch, he mentioned that as the current exhibition features anthropomorphic sculptures, visitors lean regularly against the walls to replicate the artwork’s positions leaving a large quantity of unpleasant marks. Photographic evidence 004 and similar marks must be the result of this activity.
Photographic evidence 005: brown-red uneven mark, 38 mm in length, 0.1-3 mm in width and no depth. Running diagonally towards the ceiling with a -28 angle from the vertical axis. Height 122 cm from the floor, on the front wall inside the largest room in the premises on the left side at the end of the central corridor. It is a small imperfection compared to the size of the wall, isolated and difficult to spot. The colouration of the mark is too similar to the colour of the bricks which compose the installation in the same room to be a coincidence. I hypothesise that one of the designated assistants while assembling the artwork inadvertently damaged the white wall by mishandling a brown-red brick. Only a scientific analysis of the wall could verify my assumption.
When the night was approaching I left Bermonsdey and thankfully dismissed the efficient reporter.
What money can’t buy?
Is it possible to break out from conventional thinking patterns and start looking at the world from new perspectives?
on behalf of TLSB
Photography: Dora Perini on behalf of TLSB.