Débora Delmar - Corporate Facades | Soft Opening

I’m a Londoner who writes regularly about exhibitions at commercial galleries. This means I spend a lot of my time, in lunch hours and at weekends, walking around the tangle of streets behind the Royal Academy, where designer clothes and jewellery shops and white cubes jostle for space.

Mexican artist Débora Delmar is also familiar with these Mayfair streets, as they’re the subject of this mini show in the mini gallery at Picadilly Circus underground station. (It took a long time after Soft Opening “opened” for me to work out that the window is basically all that’s accessible in the gallery: that sad shameful feeling when you struggle with a locked gallery door rendered all the sadder for being observed by rush hour crowds.) For her, Mayfair is a place of coffee meetings and suits: there’s a stack of steel cafe chairs and tables, and wall works made up of scraps of dark suit material from Savile Row.

Installation view

This is aimed at being a critique of consumerism and the corporate world, not an original topic for an artist. Supposedly, there’s also a pile of free newspapers loaded with business aphorisms that’s a part of the show, outside of the vitrine, though I haven’t see any on the occasions I’ve passed by. I don’t blame my fellow commuters for taking them before I could see: it’d likely be a lot more interesting than the Metro.

Her Mayfair isn’t that recognisable: I can pick up a free newspaper anywhere in London, and you’d go to Canary Wharf and the City to see Savile Row suits. Mayfair to me is a place of exciting and surprising gallery shows, of which this isn’t one.

Débora Delmar: Corporate Facades is at Soft Opening (London). 1 September - 23 September 2018