Limoncello Gallery

It’s a miracle anyone has even heard of Limoncello Gallery. Not only is the tiny art space hidden behind a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gray door on a back street in East London, but its 30-year-old founder and director, Rebecca May Marston, claims she is terrible at PR. “My press releases are like oblique poems,” she laughs, swiveling cross-legged in her office chair. Case in point, a recent show, Giles said . . . , by conceptual prankster collective The Hut Project, was advertised with nothing more than a passage from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 book Jealousy, the show’s start and end dates, and a short artist bio. But thanks to Limoncello’s roster of nine young lo-fi U.K.-based artists, Limoncello is attracting a lot of attention at home and abroad—this past fall the gallery even co-organized the London edition of the Sunday art fair. “A lot of our artists make work out of things like Blu-Tack and Sellotape,” explains May Marston. “Which is different from polished bronzes or painted canvases.” Recent exhibited works include a portable DVD player covered in yellow and pink Post-it notes by Josephine Flynn, Vanessa Billy’s cinder block wrapped in a clear plastic bag, and hundreds of hole-punches from £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes by Jack Strange. “In the past we’ve been called sad, spare, and unmonumental,” May Marston says. “But I quite like that description, because I’m not interested in the opposite of those things, which would be happy, big, bright, and shiny.” May Marston started Limoncello in 2007 after the end of Associates, the yearlong space that she founded with her artist husband, Ryan Gander. (The couple has a 15-month-old daughter named Olive May Gander. “I know, her initials are OMG!” May Marston concedes.) Whereas Associates was a nonprofit project, Limoncello’s business objectives are clear: “It has to maintain critical integrity, but it is a commercial gallery—we have to make sales at the art fairs,” she says. Today, though, May Marston’s duties are confined to tidying up the remnants of last night’s end-of-show party. “I sometimes regret the name of this place,” she admits, picking up another empty bottle of Limoncello, the potent Italian lemon liqueur. “I get so many gifts of the stuff, I wish I’d called the gallery Champagne.”

See the work shown by The Limoncello Gallery, here.