Exhibitions Newsfeed

  • 24 September: ‘I thought we’d stormed the citadel, but we hadn’t’: Claudette Johnson on blazing a trail for Black artists – and the joy of reigniting her career - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    As a retrospective of her work opens, the British artist talks about the 1980s BLK Art Group, being eclipsed by the YBAs and how her paintings have a new sense of empowerment

    There is a crackly tape recording of Claudette Johnson addressing Britain’s first ever Black Art Convention in Wolverhampton in 1982. It is one of those stray recovered moments in the national conversation that passing time has made electric. Johnson was 22, and her voice on the recording is tentative but spirited as she goes through slides of the new paintings she has been making as a student at the city’s polytechnic – mostly big, bold canvases of Black women – and sets them beside more familiar images from the canon of western art: Paul Gauguin’s “exotic” South Sea islanders, say, or Édouard Manet’s Olympia, in which a Black servant almost disappears into the shadows beside the spotlit white nude in the foreground.

    On the tape, Johnson’s small voice makes a determined case for the idea that what she was doing in her second-year fine art course in the Midlands had never been done before, at least in Britain. “Black women have been presented as people who did not have anything to offer in themselves but were just there to be looked at,” she says. “I have tried in my own images to be very personal, and to talk from my own experience and nothing else, so I can be sure it’s honest and explore a side of Black women that isn’t often seen.”

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  • 22 September: Sarah Lucas’s scandalous sculptures, a new slant on Rubens and Abramović’s RA takeover – the week in art - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    There’s a Constable in the living room, the Turner prize in Eastbourne and a sensual statuette at the Wallace – all in your weekly dispatch

    Rubens and Women
    The rich, heady paintings of Peter Paul Rubens are seen from a fresh perspective.
    Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, from 27 September to 28 January

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  • 22 September: Under the spotlight: Jarman award nominees on tour – in pictures - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    As work from the six shortlisted artists traverses the UK, here’s your chance to see films that tackle pollution, cryptocurrency and nuclear warheads

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  • 20 September: ‘War is back. People want to stock up’: inside Europe’s biggest arms fair - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Military spending is at an all-time high – and from laser-guided drones to dog armour, there is no shortage of hardware. Our writer visits the vast ‘supermarket of death’ that is London’s DSEI shop floor

    A body convulses on a table, with broken bones poking from a stump of torn flesh below the knee, one arm gruesomely peppered with gunshot wounds, as men in military uniforms look on approvingly.

    “He bleeds, he moves, he breathes, he has a pulse,” says the smiling sales rep. “His eyes even react to light. We have a canine version too, which barks and whines – and it comes with interchangeable injured limbs.”

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  • 19 September: Marina Abramović’s RA retrospective is terrifying and vital - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Show documents vast legacy of brave artist who has turned her life into a relentless performance

    Here is Marina Abramović asking to be treated as an object, her audience provided with a hammer, a saw, chains, a whip and other frightening implements to do what they want with her.

    And here she is wearing a doctor’s white coat as she tells us a story “about how we, in Balkans, kill the rats …”, as she embarks on a blood-curdling video lecture as part of her 1997 Balkan Baroque at the Venice Biennale, at the height of the Yugoslav civil wars. I remember it from then as one of the most gruelling and moving performances I have ever seen.

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  • 19 September: Coked-up caped crusader: how Hélio Oiticica liberated the art world with drugs, nests and hammocks - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    He co-founded Brazil’s Tropicália movement, fled fascism, pioneered immersive art in his flat, became a drug dealer and then died aged 42. Now his wild world is being rebuilt at the English seaside

    In the early hours of 13 March 1973, the artist Hélio Oiticica was at his downtown New York loft, high on cocaine, with his friend, the film-maker and fellow Brazilian Neville D’Almeida. He reached for the nearest thing at hand on which to cut another line – Weasels Ripped My Flesh, an LP by Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention – and as he snorted, the artist noticed how the specks of powder sprayed out across the illustration of a man having his face lacerated. This transgressive interruption to what was already a violent image appealed to the pair of them, and they hit on the idea of using the drug as “paint” to deface the images of a series of similarly boundary-pushing icons of pop culture.

    “We decided to transform it from cocaine to ‘white colour’. It was no longer cocaine, it was just a colour, it was like transubstantiation,” says D’Almeida, now 82, sitting in the garden of his Rio de Janeiro home.

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  • 17 September: Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto review – a dizzying excess of good taste - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    V&A, London
    Taught to sew by nuns, most likely a spy, the French fashion designer and genius businesswoman better known as Coco Chanel remains an enigma in this show overflowing with her intensely covetable work

    The V&A’s new Chanel show, a reimagining of an exhibition originally staged at the Palais Galliera in Paris in 2020, begins and ends with utmost simplicity. The first thing the visitor sees, its ivory folds radiant in the dark, is a blouse of silk jersey with a sailor collar; the last is a rather severe black worsted suit and hat. Neither of these garments is especially stunning: the former is simply one of the earliest extant Chanel pieces, dating from 1916; the latter, designed in 1969, was bought by the V&A at a Christie’s sale of Chanel’s personal collection in 1978, seven years after her death. But together they bookend the displays stupendously. If the blouse speaks of inception – here is Chanel falling on the unadorned ease that would become her trademark – the suit brings to mind a priest racing to a bedside. Its long, dark jacket worked on me like smelling salts after a deep swoon.

    What was Chanel like? How did this creature – “a peasant and a genius”, as her friend Diana Vreeland had it – come to make such a success of her life, let alone to enact such an enduring influence on women’s wardrobes? At Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto, you won’t find complete answers to these questions. Sensing, perhaps, that too much investigation will break the spell it wishes to cast, biographical details are at a minimum . It is equivocal about everything from Chanel’s activities during the second world war to her relationship with Hugh Grosvenor, the then Duke of Westminster (and a notorious antisemite, though the show prefers to emphasise the link between his shooting parties and her fondness for tweed). About the work, however, it is unstinting. Here are more than 200 suits, dresses and quilted handbags, a display of sartorial good taste so protracted, it left me – even after I’d breathed in that stern, clerical coat – quite stupid with covetousness.

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  • 16 September: ‘Used as dartboards’: rare British war comic art rescued from bins, skips and floods - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Original drawings and paintings from 60s and 70s comics such as Hotspur and Commando will feature in an exhibition in Oxfordshire

    When the war comic was at the height of its popularity, titles included Battle, Warlord, Valiant, the Hotspur and the pocket-sized Commando, which is still published today.

    Many of the stories published in the 1950s and 1960s relayed the gung-ho heroics of plucky British troops, often up against the odds, fighting two-dimensional German foes who routinely barked phrases such as “Schnell!” or “Gott in Himmel!” from their limited vocabulary.

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  • 16 September: Fragile, fantastical designs in cardboard – in pictures - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Daniel Agdag began working with cardboard after seeing his architect neighbour use it to mock up designs. The Melbourne-based artist and film-maker was struck by its ability to resemble timber or steel. “Cardboard gave me means to realise ideas I had only imagined previously,” he says. His latest series is Tide Houses, a collection of spare structures on stilts. “The narratives that feed my work tend to stem from my subconscious. The pieces are like mathematical problems, which I work through as I create them, decoding the world around me.”

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  • 16 September: ‘Drawing was her center of gravity’: another side of sculptor Ruth Asawa - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    The artist, best-known for elaborate wire sculptures, has a new exhibition at the Whitney highlighting lesser-known drawings

    “Drawing, always, was the through line.” So concludes Whitney curator Kim Conaty in her introductory essay to the catalogue for the exhibition Ruth Asawa Through Line, which she co-curated with the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston. Among other things, Ruth Asawa Through Line seeks to demonstrate the centrality of the daily practice of drawing to both Asawa’s life and her artistic world.

    Asawa is best-known for her elaborate hanging wire sculptures – sinuous, organic-like forms that stretch on and on in intricate, interleaved chambers, bearing a mysterious presence and casting extraordinary shadows. She began experimenting with them in the 1940s while a student at Black Mountain College, studying under the likes of Josef Albers, Merce Cunningham and Buckminster Fuller, and she began earning substantial attention for her sculptures throughout the 1950s.

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  • 15 September: Watercolour slamdown, changing Chanel and Ofili’s Grenfell mural – the week in art - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Turner and Bonington duke it out, a fashion icon gets a major show and Chris Ofili tackles the burning tower with swirling emotion – all in your weekly dispatch

    Turner and Bonington
    Two great artists of the Romantic age go head-to-head in this comparison of their intense watercolour landscapes.
    Wallace Collection, London, 20 September to 21 April

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  • 15 September: Ed Ruscha: Moma offers pop artist’s biggest exhibition to date - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    A major, career-spanning retrospective brings together more than 200 works, including the infamous Chocolate Room

    With Ed Ruscha / Now Then, the Museum of Modern Art presents a career-spanning retrospective of an American art institution. Offering more than 200 works in total, it is the most comprehensive retrospective of the major pop artist and conceptualist ever attempted.

    One of the distinctive aspects about the Moma show is that it offers the ability to see Ruscha evolve over time. The lead curator, Christophe Cherix, said he wanted to be comprehensive enough to avoid the fragmentary feel that he believes other large Ruscha shows have had. “The idea of the exhibition was to really try to bring out the work in a different way,” he said. “To me, other exhibitions always felt very medium-specific, very fragmentary. And I felt that Ruscha was sometimes too locked into specific tendencies.”

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  • 15 September: Nicolas de Staël exhibition aims to put art back at centre of tragic artist’s story - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Works by painter, whose turbulent life often overshadowed his short career, go on display in Paris

    The life of the Russian-born French artist Nicolas de Staël was short, turbulent and ultimately tragic.

    Forced into exile by the 1917 revolution, orphaned, a loner who was hopelessly romantic but unlucky in love, De Staël died at the age of 41 after he threw himself out of the window of his Côte d’Azur atelier after the woman with whom he was obsessed rejected him.

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  • 14 September: Peter Hujar: new exhibition celebrates his unflinching photos of gay life - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    At a new exhibition, the photographer’s work within the queer community of 70s and 80s New York takes center stage

    “Photography,” wrote Susan Sontag in the introduction to photographer Peter Hujar’s 1976 book Portraits of Life and Death, “converts the whole world into a cemetery. Photographers, connoisseurs of beauty, are also – wittingly or unwittingly – the recording-angels of death.”

    Sontag’s seminal essay is reprinted in the catalogue – produced in the form of a newspaper – for Peter Hujar: Echoes, an exhibition at the 125 Newbury gallery in New York’s Tribeca neighbourhood. It could hardly be more fitting for a show that turns an unflinching eye on permanence versus evanescence and brings to mind TS Eliot’s lines: “Webster was much possessed by death / And saw the skull beneath the skin.”

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  • 13 September: ‘The most fun!’ Paul Simon unveils collaboration with The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse illustrator - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Charlie Mackesy created his new drawings while listening to Simon’s music, the pair explain at the exhibition launch, with Simon outlining how the Covid-19 pandemic helped his creativity

    The singer-songwriter Paul Simon and artist Charlie Mackesy, known for the bestselling book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, have unveiled the fruits of a remote collaboration – and have hinted at further work together.

    Seven Psalms, the exhibition at Frieze art fair’s London gallery No 9 Cork Street, features drawings produced by Mackesy while listening to Simon’s 2023 album of the same name. At the exhibition launch, in discussion with Simon, Mackesy explained how the collaboration came together.

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  • 13 September: Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto review – modernist magnificence still chic after 140 years - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    V&A, London
    While Coco’s understated elegance lacks the fireworks of Dior or McQueen, the exhibition is carried by the energy of a formidable, if not exactly likable, character

    The V&A’s very enjoyable exhibition Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto kicks off with a photograph of the designer outside one of her first boutiques. At 29, she does not yet look like Coco, queen of chic: her long skirt is somewhat stodgy, her belted sweater a little lumpy. There is no glitter-flecked tweed, nor ropes of pearls. But the jut of her chin as she squints into the sunshine in Deauville, northern France, under the awning printed with her name, the hands clenched into boxer’s fists and thrust into her pockets, makes her instantly recognisable as a force of nature.

    This blockbuster exhibition is first and foremost the story of a formidable woman. Born into poverty and chaos in rural France and brought up by convent nuns, Gabrielle Chanel became the architect of the modern woman’s wardrobe. Chanel’s tweed suits, little black dresses and iconic glass perfume bottles are a chic supporting cast, but there can be no overshadowing this protagonist.

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  • 11 September: Blitz firefighters’ wartime paintings to go on display in London churches - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    Initiative marks 300 years since death of Christopher Wren, many of whose churches were bombed in second world war

    It became known as the second great fire of London, the worst night of the blitz in the British capital during the second world war. On the night of 29-30 December 1940, more than 100,000 bombs were dropped on London, causing widespread fires and destroying many buildings, including 13 of Sir Christopher Wren’s churches.

    At the centre of the tragedy were countless firefighters who went to extreme measures to save lives and buildings. Many of them were also skilled artists, who later documented the turmoil and terror they witnessed in a series of evocative paintings and sketches.

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  • 10 September: Social history, sewn up: English street scenes embroidered – in pictures - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    When the artist Lynn Setterington moved to London in the early 1980s for university, she started to make embroideries of her new surroundings. “My favourite is Electric Avenue in Brixton – I love markets, and the one there was so different from market day back in my Yorkshire village.” She began posting her textiles on Instagram during lockdown and is writing a book about shared embroidery practice. “Embroidery is having its moment,” she says. “Its reach, power and value are being appreciated by the wider public. I have worked with people from all parts of the world on stitch projects – embroidery has proved an amazing connector.”

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  • 10 September: Christian Marclay: Doors review – spellbinding entrances and exits - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    White Cube Mason’s Yard, London
    In the manner of his acclaimed work The Clock, and 10 years in the making, the Swiss-American artist has spliced together hundreds of film clips to create an extraordinary montage of cinematic comings and goings

    A door bursts open, a man hurtles across the screen, overturning a table in pursuit of some vanishing figure. A door bursts open, and a woman slams it hard against whoever is chasing behind her. A door opens more slowly, a face peering anxiously round it, eyes widening with astonishment. Just as you are about to see who or what they saw, the door closes with a click. A key turns sharply in the lock.

    Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay’s Doors is all revelation and drama. For almost an hour, the viewer sits spellbound in a darkened cinema specially created for the film’s UK premiere at White Cube, watching a nonstop onslaught of entrances and exits. Clip after clip, selected from hundreds of movies, appears on the big screen in an extraordinary feat of choreography and collage. Somehow, it seems as if each is directly connected to the next, no matter that they shift between monochrome and colour, and all the way from silent films to French New Wave and Hollywood blockbuster.

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  • 8 September: To dye for: why Victorian Britain was more colourful than we think - Exhibitions | The Guardian

    A new exhibition shows how a textile transformation brought brightness to the masses, in an era where electric purples and absinthe greens reigned supreme

    Early photography’s sepias tint our impression of the 19th century. Yet a real-life encounter with an everyday 1860s gown reveals a startling truth: “It’s electric purple and still shocking now,” curator Matthew Winterbottom enthuses. And, as the exhibition Colour Revolution: Victorian Art, Fashion and Design will explore, its garishness was typical in the 19th century.

    A decade earlier, the flamboyant purple dresses made fashionable by the style leader Empress Eugénie of France were the preserve of the fabulously wealthy. Yet in just a few years, colours once made with expensive vegetable dyes were being industrially produced cheaply, thanks to an accidental discovery by an 18-year-old chemistry student William Henry Perkin. While attempting to synthesise quinine from aniline, a derivative of coal tar, Perkin realised the intense purples this colourless chemical produced could be used as a dye. He quickly established a factory for his new “mauveine”, as he called this early synthetic dye and chemists across Europe soon followed suit, expanding the synthetic colour palette. “The modern world of ubiquitous colour begins at this point,” says Winterbottom. “London’s streets and train stations are covered in brightly printed posters. People wear brightly coloured clothes. Everything from books to postage stamps becomes colourful.”

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Originally posted 2011-02-25 17:28:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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