Guide to London - Art in America Guide
City Guide

EDITORS' PICKS

“Monochrome: Painting in Black and White”

through February 18, 2018

This exhibition explores its subject from the Middle Ages through the present day. Comprising a selection of around sixty painted objects in a wide variety of materials (canvas, wood, glass, vellum, ceramics, silk, and more), the show includes work by masters of the Northern Renaissance, such as Jan van Eyck and Albrecht Dürer, as well as major modern and contemporary figures like Jackson Pollock and 
Gerhard Richter.

Image: Gerhard Richter, Helga Matura with her Fiancé, 1966, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 × 39 1/2 inches. Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf. Copyright © Gerhard Richter 2017. Photo: Museum Kunstpalast – ARTOTHEK.
through May 21, 2018

This show focuses on two rare self-portraits—one owned by the Frick Collection in New York, the other by London’s National Gallery—by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682), the Spanish Baroque artist best known for religious paintings and genre scenes of beggars and street urchins. Fifteen other works by Murillo, including prints, books, and drawings, accompany the two self-portraits, which have not been exhibited together since the early eighteenth century.

Image: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Self-Portrait, ca. 1650−55, oil on canvas, 42 1/8 x 30 1/2 inches. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Frick II, 2014. Copyright © The Frick Collection.

“More Dimensions Than You Know: Jack Whitten 1979–1989”

through November 18

For the past five decades, Alabama-born, New York-based abstractionist Jack Whitten has been working magic with acrylic paint, combing it, carving it, and casting tiles, membranes, and objects out of it to use in tessellated or collaged compositions. This exhibition, Whitten’s first at Hauser and Wirth’s London branch, presents a selection of his paintings from 1979 to ’89. Striated, scraped, impastoed, incised, and built up with textured skins molded from diamond plate, metal screening, and hardware—sometimes all in the same painting—they put on vivid display Whitten’s engagement with process.

Image: Jack Whitten, Black Monolith I, A Tribute to James Baldwin, 1988, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 82 inches. Copyright © Jack Whitten. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

“Jessi Reaves: Android Stroll”

through November 12, 2017

Bits and pieces of midcentury chairs, chewed-up baskets, tree branches, flannel, foam rubber, and doodads molded out of wood glue and sawdust, among other things, come together in Jessi Reaves’s sexy, funky, more-or-less usable furniture. In Reaves’s first show at Herald Street, a tailored, bright yellow organza cover must be unzipped to access the shelves of a hunchbacked cabinet. A plywood platform upholstered with patchworked and tufted fabric—part Charles James sofa; part homemade cable reel table—invites lolling. Addressing the modernist dictum that form must follow function, Reaves subverts both with panache.

Image: Installation view of “Jessi Reaves: Android Stroll,” Herald Street, London, September 30–November 12, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Herald Street, London.

VOICES

Art in America talks to artists, curators, and other leading figures about their favorite current exhibitions.


Showroom director Emily Pethick on four shows in London

“It’s an important moment when such an institution acknowledges work that’s been gestating in the spaces of universities or smaller arts organizations.”

Image: Forensic Architecture, Torture in Saydnaya Prison, animation still, 2016. Witnesses were asked to describe architectural details, such as dimensions and textures, and these recollections elicited further memories of the prison and experiences therein. Commissioned by Amnesty International. Copyright © Forensic Architecture.

MOCA LA director Philippe Vergne on what he would do in London this month

“I would rush to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Leonor Antunes exhibition.”

Image: South London Gallery garden by Gabriel Orozco, 2016. Copyright © Gabriel Orozco. Photo: Andy Stagg.

Art writer Marcus Verhagen interviewed on “Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)” at The Showroom [Published 2017/11/02]

This tightly conceived show engages in subversive, mostly ironic ways with gender politics and notions of national allegiance.

Image: Sanja Iveković, New Star / Nova Zvijezda, 1983, collage, printed paper, hair, 14 1/2 x x 20 3/4 inches (framed). Courtesy of Kontakt, the Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation.

Curator Cedar Lewisohn on upcoming shows at some of his favorite artist-run spaces [Published 2017/10/25]

“You don’t always know what you’re going to see, but that’s part of the fun—being surprised and challenged.”

Image: Verity Birt, Deformation Attends Her (film still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Res.

2017 Frieze Spotlight curator Toby Kamps on exhibitions around London [Published 2017/10/16]

“I love a good title.”

Image: Vittorio Scarpati, Untitled, 1989. Courtesy of Max Mueller. Photo Credit Andy Keate.

Sculptor Sarah Staton on exhibitions in London [Published 2017/10/06]

“There are two exhibitions currently up in London that I think make a great pairing.”

Image: Christopher Wool, Head, 1992, enamel on aluminum, 107 3/4 x 72 inches. Courtesy Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo, Norway.

Diversity Art Forum director Pauline de Souza on “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” at Tate [Published 2017/10/06]

“‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,’ a survey of work made by African-American artists between 1963 and 1983, offers insight into these artists’ practices at a number of levels.”

Image: Emory Douglas, 21 August 1971, “We Shall Survive, Without a Doubt,” 1971, newspaper, 17 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches. Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Culver City, CA. Copyright © Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy of Emory Douglas/Art Resource, New York.

Critic and curator Jennifer Thatcher on Peter and Andy Holden’s father-and-son collaboration at Artangel [Published 2017/10/05]

“I loved this Artangel exhibition . . .”

Image: Andy Holden, Untitled (Bower), 2017, a recreation of a bowerbird’s bower, with a view of the film A Natural History of Nest Building (2017), by Andy Holden and Peter Holden, through it. In “Andy Holden & Peter Holden: Natural Selection,” September 10–November 5, 2017, Artangel at the former Newington Library, London. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus J. Leith.

MUSEUM CALENDAR

Impressionists in London

November 2, 2017–May 7, 2018

Picasso 1932—Love, Fame, Tragedy

March 8, 2018–September 9, 2018

REVIEW ARCHIVE

February 9-May 29, 2017
by Gabriel Coxhead

David Hockney is one of the most popular and widely-recognized artists of our time,” states the introductory wall text in Tate Britain’s retrospective––though actually that’s putting it mildly.

Image: "DOMESTIC SCENE LOS ANGELES" 1963 OIL ON CANVAS 60 X 60" © DAVID HOCKNEY
October 29, 2016–January 29, 2017
by Elizabeth Fullerton

Born in 1860 to a British father and Flemish mother, Ensor lived in the Belgian seaside town of Ostend for most of his life, apart from the three years he spent at the fine art academy in Brussels. This rootedness to Ostend, a resort popular in the…

Image: James Ensor: Skeletons Fighting over a Pickled Herring, 1891, 6¼ by 8½ inches; at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
September 22–December 11, 2016
by Federico Florian

A DIY apparatus composed of pumps, glass jars, porcelain filters, plastic tubes, a copper still, and sundry other items was installed in the first room of Candice Lin’s solo show at Gasworks. An intense, unpleasant smell filled the air.

Image: Candice Lin: System for a Stain, 2016, wood, glass jars, cochineal, copper still, hot plate, and mixed mediums; at Gasworks.