Judy Chicago © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archives C ourtesy of the artist; Salon 94, New York; and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. See full image below.
It’s true what they say, visiting art galleries and museums in the autumn creates a special excitement. The summer vibe may have evaporated into an autumnal mist but the treasures that reside within the white box provide the brilliance, vibrancy, colours and forms needed to transport us back to our happy place.
For sure, there is a healthy line-up of high profile art fairs and events around the world that will certainly excite and soak up headlines, but the list of shows that galleries are mounting away from the fairs will also not disappoint. Venturing down that path over the next few weeks, I'm discovering shows with the promise to tantalise.
‘Sweater weather is art weather’ an article written by Eddie Frankel for Timeout.com1, highlights London's best art events, and inspires me to think where else to start than the UK capital?
RE/SISTERS Curator Tour with Alona Pardo
I would like to highlight two absolute eye-catchers mentioned in the article. The first is 'Re/Sisters', a collection of works by 50 established and emerging, international female and gender non conforming artists. The show is part of the Barbican’s ‘exploration of the relationship between ecology and gender and examines how women’s perception on our environment has often been in opposition with the imperatives of capitalism. It highlights the systematic links between the oppression of women and the degradation of the planet. Re/Sisters is showing from Thursday 5 October to Sunday 14th January 2024 at the Barbican, London..
Re/Sisters: Judy Chicago © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archives C ourtesy of the artist; Salon 94, New York; and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco
Nicole Eisenman, Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, 2011, Collection of Cathy and Jonathan Miller. Image Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles, Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer
'What Happened', the second gem mentioned in the article by Frankel is an assemblage of over 100 paintings that provide an in-depth look at the work of French-American artist Nicole Eisenman. Her humorous and colourful compositional style tackles big themes like gender, identity, sexual politics and recent civic and governmental turmoil in the United States. 'What Happened' is at Whitechapel Art Gallery, from 11th October to 14th January 2024.
After the Nightmare (2023) 22 cm x 19 cm, Etching on c-type print, mounted on aluminium.
While you're in London try and get to 'Strip', a solo exhibition by William Mackrell. a talented British artist whom I featured in a previous Spotlight Interview. And if you missed his first solo exhibition at Lungley Gallery in 2022, grab this opportunity quick!
For his second solo show with Lungley, Mackrell continues his engagement with performance, taking a direct physical approach to the surface of his photographs. Hairy body parts are once again magnified and cropped, before using an etching needle to meticulously scratch out each individual hair from the surface of the paper.
Never disclosing the identity of the model and choosing to represent a universal body instead of a particular identity, the face remains out of sight in his images. Particularly pleasing is the contortion of the body which results in an abstract form that emphasises line and curve, evoking the contours of a natural landscape. The large scale to which it is magnified serves to reinforce this effect.
If that's not enough to whet your appetite, in a new series of paintings, Mackrell adopts the artichoke as a metaphor for life and death. Gathering up and scattering the remains of the vegetable over sheets of paper, the buds are then buried under a blanket of metallic paint applied from above. Fate decides the form, contradicting the actions of the artist. The exhibition runs from 28th September to 11 November.
Cynara Scolymus (2023)
Pigment on archival paper mounted on linen
102 cm x 71.5 cm
'Requiem' a major new site-specific work by Chris Ofili has recently been unveiled at Tate Britain. Spanning three walls, Requiem pays tribute to fellow artist Khadija Saye and remembers the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London to which Saye fell victim. It offers a poetic reflection on loss, spirituality and transformation. And marks a woeful moment in the narrative of London's social history. A compelling see.
Tafelobjekt | Willi Siber
Pulsar 4 | Carlo Borer
If you happen to be in Berlin over the next month be sure to catch Carlo Borer and Willi Siber’s show ‘Shape, Surface, Seduction’ at Galerie Schmalfuss.
The two sculptors play with the sensual perception of the viewer through staging scintillating material, colour and light that give rise to works of art of captivating grace. The show runs from 9 September to 21 October, at Galerie Schmalfuss, Knesebeckstr. 96 | 10623, Berlin.
Photo: Matvey Levenstein, Orient Interior, 2023, Oil on linen, 122 x 152.5 cm / 48 x 60 inches
I am also intrigued by Matvey Levenstein’s serene meditations on landscapes and interiors based on his home surroundings on the eastern tip of Long Island, USA. Working with a controlled palette on toned backgrounds, Levenstein builds his images layer by layer creating an atmosphere of time suspended. His series of ten new works is on show from 21 September at Galleria Lorcan O'Neil Roma, Vicolo dei Catinari, 3, Rome 00186 Italy.
'Conjuring up Trapped /Stollen Memories' by Sofya Skidan is a new exhibition showing at the Vsokhod Vitrines, post passage 9, Basel until 20th October. The installation's title alludes to a kind of manipulation to which memories are often subjected, akin to enchantments and other forms of intentional transformation of the known. In her digital collages, objects of different natures - wood, silicon, sand, stones and plastic, selected by the artist as bearers of particular memories, melt into one another.
By manipulating these memorabilia, Skidan invokes imaginary landscapes where the virtual and the real mix together indistinguishably. In these hybrid meta-landscapes, the artist subtracts the specificity of the object, de-territorialising it and melting it into her own coherently constructed aesthetic world of colours, shapes and textures, whilst responding to the qualities of the elements and creating unlikely fantastical combinations.
Artists: 0xSalon, Cullen Miller & Gabriel Dunne, Ilja Karilampi, Lauren Huret, LI Hanwei
'There Is No Perfect Spell', is HEK's ( Haus der Elektronischen Künste) virtual exhibition that explores occult knowledge, transmuted ideologies, and the sub-temporal spirit of blockchain-based creative processes. It questions where people find their faith in cryptocurrencies and digital collectibles. Beyond the investment hype, the exhibition questions whether blockchain technology has the ability be a weapon against corruption and totalitarianism and protect people's love, faith and hope, Curated by Bi Xin from the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai, the tantalising visual experience intentionally weaves connections between occult rituals, magic, alchemy, and blockchain implementations. What's also great is that you can access this exhibition from the comfort of your home!
I hope these delights have put you in the mood for some serious doses of contemporary art. Keep watching this space dear readers for more events around Europe and beyond, that you'll simply not want to miss out on!
1.https://apple.news/AL88XEKjNSy2IVM0e2BmXng Accessed 3 Sep 2023
© Copyright Hazel Clarke 2023