Oh London. The famous saying “art is everywhere” makes complete sense when you are here. It is literally all over the place, museums, galleries, auction houses, installations, street art, and performances are taking over the city. Overwhelming much? Yes a bit, but what a joy to be able to see these artworks in the flesh.
I listed for you my dears, seven exhibitions that you must see while you are here. For a complete artsy experience, between two shows I highly recommend you to go grab some food in one of the many restaurant/coffee shops on the very cool Dean Street (Soho). Enjoy!
Richard Jackson : ” New Paintings ” at Hauser & Wirth
The Los Angeles based artist, Richard Jackson, took over one of the stunning space of the Hauser & Wirth Gallery to show his new artworks. Sculptures, neon art, installations, splash of colorful paintings all over his works but also on the gallery surface, made me think that there is some influence from the action painting here, his painting is without a doubt performative and quiet abstract. His art is pretty straight forward, he draws his inspiration into american culture, common figures and references. My favorite piece? “The Shower Room” aka where American Psycho meets Mondrian. Go see it !
Where | Hauser & Wirth : 23 Savile Row London W1S 2ET
Henri Matisse : ” The Cut-Outs ” at the Tate Modern
No need to introduce the French Master Henri Matisse. Facing health issues (and not being able to paint), this giant of Modern Art invented a new medium : les gouaches découpés (paper cuts outs). He started to cut into painted papers to make the wonderful shapes that we know today. What he called “Paintings with Scissors”, are amazing free spirited compositions. This wonderful and unique exhibition at the Tate Modern is such a treat. Just sit there, lie on the floor if you can, it’s like the figures are flying.
Where | Tate Modern : Bankside, London SE1
Pangaea : New Art From Africa And Latin America at Saatchi Gallery
You can love or hate the man, but you need to admit that the Saatchi Gallery is one of a kind. It’s bigger than life like his owner, it’s a museum more than a gallery as the space and the numbers of room dedicated to the exhibitions is wide. The running shows are focusing on artists from Africa and Latin America, each exhibition is special and will make you travel. My favorites? Vincent Michea, Boris Nzebo, and Rafael Gómezbarros’s ants for their freakiness. Also, if you wonder from where the weird smell in the gallery is coming from, just go downstairs, you might have an interesting art/illusion experience.
Where | Saatchi Gallery : Duke of York’s HQ King’s Road London SW3 4RY
Chris Marker : ” A Grin Without A Cat ” at the Whitechapel Gallery
Marker passed away two years ago, letting behind him an experimental and quiet enigmatic art production. The legendary French filmmaker created over his career film-essays that influenced generations of cineast after him. Mixing science fiction, realism, politic and poetry, his oeuvre is incredibly rich. Sometimes dark, always witty, his work will makes you travel. The Whitechapel Gallery is an incredible space in east London that you have to visit.
Where | Whitechapel Gallery: 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX
Moyra Davey : “Life without sheets of paper to be scribbled on is masterpiece” at Camden Art Center
“Canadian artist Moyra Davey works across photography, film and writing to create intimate, flâneur-like visual essays on the everyday passing of time and her filtered relationship to literature”*. I really enjoyed the photographies/diary of the artist, each picture was folded and sent by post to the Camden Art Center, it focuses on details captured accidentally. Somehow the whole process made me feel that the pictures were becoming objects as they were “used” before being displayed on the walls. The show is quiet autobiographic, and slightly melancholic.
Where | Camden Arts Centre : Arkwright Road London NW3 6DG
Phyllida Barlow : “Dock” at the Tate Britain
“For over four decades Phyllida Barlow has made imposing, large scale sculptural installations using inexpensive, everyday materials such as cardboard, fabric, timber, polystyrene, plaster, scrim and cement. Her distinctive work is focused on her experimentation with these materials, to create bold and colourful three-dimensional collages”**. Commissioned by the Tate Britain, this ambitious work will take you to another world. Working with its surrounding, the pieces are dialoging with the docks facing the museum. If you like Barlow’s work, I also highly recommend you to visit her current show “Fifty Years of Drawings” at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Where | Tate Britain : Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Lea Cetera : ” Observational Comedy ” at Southard Reid Gallery
“Cetera makes sculpture, performance and video, integrated and overlaid with one another so as to co-exist in a ‘live’ capacity when viewed in an exhibition context”***. The New-York based artist brings us into her quiet complex universe. The objects/sculptures displayed and the videos need to be seen as the whole piece of art and not individually.I spent a lot of time in the gallery trying to understand what was going on, until I realised that the performers on the videos were referring to the setting of the exhibition itself. Suddenly the objects in the room took another dimension,and started a dialogue with the videos. I really enjoyed the porcelain take away cups. Southard Reid Gallery is not easy to find, but their location is quiet amazing especially on a sunny afternoon.
Where | Southard Reid Gallery : 7 Royalty Mews Soho London, W1D 3AS
Also recommended :
Céline Condorelli at Chisenhale Gallery – Leo Gabin at White Cube Gallery – Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn at Trafalgar Square (in front of the National Gallery) – The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at Barbican.