Open: By Appointment

7 Ledbury Mews North, Notting Hill, W11 2AF, London, United Kingdom
Open: By Appointment


Beat Zoderer: The London Soap Opera

Bartha Contemporary, London

Tue 5 Jul 2022 to Sat 23 Jul 2022

7 Ledbury Mews North, Notting Hill, W11 2AF Beat Zoderer: The London Soap Opera

By Appointment

Artist: Beat Zoderer

The exhibition features new Soap-Reliefs made during the artist's residency in London this Spring.

Installation Views

The introduction to the accompanying publication reads: Over the past months, Beat Zoderer explored London and slowly built a suite of new works that culminated in an exhibition held at our space in July of 2022. Made during the artist’s residency with the Swiss Landis & Gyr Foundation, these works offer a glimpse into the artist’s extensive vocabulary of sculptural forms, all reinterpreted in miniature. As so often in Beat’s oeuvre, the chosen material is ubiquitous: soap bars bought at local shops, market stalls, or barbershops across the East End of London.

It was an early experience at the Royal Opera House in London, which came to offer the title for this show. A play on words, typical for Zoderer’s practice, and the wish to make the suite uniquely site-specific, resulted in ‘The London Soap Opera’.

Soap as a sculptural raw material is somewhat unusual, but so were materials the artist employed throughout his career; these include office folders, tapes and hosepipes. Indeed, hosepipes were the source material for Beat’s first exhibition at our gallery following a previous residency here. The show coincided with the Hosepipe ban of 2006. It unintentionally ended up being as timely as the Soap-bars are today.

As we emerge from a period of intense hand-washing and germ-fitting, the material has taken on a new meaning in our everyday lives. No longer languishing in the corner of our sinks, the humble soap bar is now a kind of hero or barrier in our fight against the outside world and all its dangers. Indeed, over thousands of years, we came to absolve ourselves of the horrors encountered by washing our hands.

The history of soaps is littered with dirt and grime; this exhibition is the polar opposite. The abundance of colour, the playful use of geometry and the sensual quality of the material invite you to explore the sheer limitless scope of Zoderer’s artistic vocabulary.

Courtesy of the artist and Bartha Contemporary, London

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