A London Gallery Has Curated an Art Exhibition Just for Canines. We Took Pico the Dog to Sniff Out if It’s a Success

Our roving reporter Pico checks out the best in show at an art exhibition selected by London's most cultured dogs.

Pico watches a video work that he appreciates being installed on the floor.
Pico watches a video work that he appreciates being installed on the floor.

For proof that an artist’s best friend is a dog, we headed to “The Dog Show.” A small but super dog-friendly gallery in South London is mounting the exhibition, which is curated by the pets of some of the city’s art-world luminaries, for its 35th birthday.

Work featured in the show at the Southwark Park Galleries, which opens this week, includes—of course—William Wegman’s raucous experiments with his pet Weimaraners. They have been selected by art critic Louisa Buck’s dog, Samson. Curator Matthew Higgs’s dog Olive has chosen portraits of herself by the artist Babak Ganjei, while the gallerist Karsten Schubert’s cultured Border Terrier, Tess, made a more highbrow selection, showing Lucian Freud’s etching of his beloved Whippet, Pluto.

We sent our keenest young newshound, Pico (the dog of this reporter’s friend), to sniff around and judge the curatorial chops of the canine curators. Here’s what he thought.

 

Pico poses in front of a selection of portraits of Matthew Higgs’s dog Olive by Babak Ganjei.

Pico poses in front of a selection of portraits by Babak Ganjei of Matthew Higgs’s dog, Olive.

What: Babak Ganjej’s portraits of Olive, selected by curator Matthew Higg’s Shih Tzu and Poodle mix, Olive.

Pico says: These may be a good likeness. I was trying to do some sniffing around but I couldn’t find their butts.

 

What: Work from Ryan Brown’s “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” series, selected by Matthew Higgs’s dog, Olive.

Pico says: It’s always cool to be spotted at an art gallery.

 

Pico sniffs more of Ryan Brown's sleeping dogs around the foot of Joan Jonas's My New Theater IV, Dog Hoop(2004).

Pico sniffs more of Ryan Brown’s sleeping dogs around the foot of Joan Jonas’s My New Theater IV, Dog Hoop (2004).

What: Joan Jonas, My New Theater IV, Dog Hoop (2004) selected by curator Joyce Cronin’s Bedlington Whippet, Agnes.

Pico says: Agnes is tall, this work is too high up. These two guys are more on my level.

 

Pico poses in front of a large screen showing Martin Creed's <i>Work No. 670 Orson & Sparky</i> (2007).

Pico poses in front of Martin Creed’s Work No. 670 Orson & Sparky (2007).

What: Martin Creed’s 2007 film work, Orson and Sparky, selected by Southwark Park Galleries’ director Judith Carlton’s Border Terrier Cross, Ruby.

Pico says: I barked for a good five minutes and they refused to play ball. Rude.

 

Pico reflecting on a film by William Wegman selected by art critic Louisa Buck's dog Samson.

Pico reflect on a film by William Wegman selected by art critic Louisa Buck’s dog, Samson.

What: William Wegman’s 1975 Dog Duet, selected by art critic Louisa Buck’s Cockapoo, Samson.

Pico says: It’s good to see diversity represented on screen, although Weimaraners are so entitled.

 

Pico poses in front of David Shrigley’s Hello There (2012).

Pico poses in front of David Shrigley’s Hello There (2012).

What: David Shrigley’s 2012 film Hello There (Stick), selected by Whitechapel Gallery curator Habda Rashid’s Labradoodle, Spencer.

Pico says: I like it but I’m not sure it’s art.

 

Pico refuses to make eye contact with Brian Caitling's <i>REX</i> (2017).

Pico refuses to make eye contact with Brian Caitling’s REX (2017).

What: Brian Caitling’s sculpture REX (2017), selected by Matt’s Gallery director Robin Klassnik’s English Sheepdog, Matt E Mulsion.

Pico says: Can somebody please feed that poor creature?

 

The Dog Show: Contemporary Art. Chosen by Dogs. For Dog and Humans.” is on view at Southwark Park Galleries, 1 Park Approach, Southwark Park, London, July 18–September 8, 2019.

Follow Pico on Instagram at @_picogram. See more images of Pico enjoying the fun below:

Pico poses in front of more dog portraits by Babak Ganjei.

Pico poses in front of more dog portraits by Babak Ganjei.

Pico poses in front of Martin Creed’s Work No. 670, Orson and Sparky (2011)

Pico poses in front of Martin Creed’s Work No. 1094 (2011).

Pico admiring work by David Harrison.

Pico admiring work by David Harrison.


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