In October Crucifix Lane Project will stage a major exhibition by the German collective Hobbypop www.hobbypop.com. Hobbypop (pictured right) have exhibited extensively over Europe. In September and October their work can be seen at a special exhibition at the Royal Academy. Crucifix Lane Project are working with Hobbypop on film, directed by Polly Hayward.
The following is an extract from Guardian following Hobbypop's show at the Anthony D'Offay gallery in May 2000.
But the stars of the show are a collective of eight painters who call themselves Hobbypopmuseum. They come from various parts of Europe, live in London and have created something truly excessive, a sprawling, ludicrous installation of big, loosely painted canvases. They give you a satisfaction that only grows with time. This palace of painted surfaces, wrapped around pillars as well as dominating the walls, is easy to dismiss as derivative. It's obviously indebted to the late painter and prankster Martin Kippenberger. It also pays homage to Gainsborough in its louche landscapes, Daumier in its caricatures conjured in a couple of brushstrokes, Tiepolo in its decorative magnificence. There are painted tower blocks that remind you again of what a pointless artist Julian Opie is as they take his banal architectural motifs and breathe life into them.
Once you get past the jokey profusion, you notice that these painters can paint. The terrorists, planes held at airports and interrogation rooms on which their imaginations immaturely feast have a sensual presence; the hooded figure marching across one canvas with a machine gun looks like a Republican mural if it had been painted by a French Impressionist.
Promiscuous and in poor taste, this is a visual pleasure, which is what painting is supposed to be. It's easy to imagine one of the Hobbypop artists turning out to be a real painter, a brash eater of art history. Nothing about this show justifies premature celebrations of painting's resurrection, but at least it presents work that is literate in its own traditions, and therefore has a chance of a future.