Thursday, 9 December 2010

Exhibition Roundup - December 2010

An occasional, and highly selective, pick of current and forthcoming exhibitions.

Len Lye, still from Colour Box, 1935

The Ikon Gallery is presenting the first ever UK retrospective of Len Lye (1901-1980). Lye is best known for his extraordinary hand-painted films made in the 1930s in the UK and in the 1950s in New York. Astonishingly, his early ground-breaking avant-garde films were sponsored by the General Post Office through the work of the GPO Film Unit. (In fact, the GPO Film Unit, under the leadership of John Grierson, was a major sponsor of innovative and experimental film-making). Watch Colour Box (1935) and other films on YouTube.
The Ikon exhibition, which includes Lye's film, painting, sculpture and drawing is on until 13th February, 2011. Read Laura Cumming's review.

More colourful abstraction can be seen at the National Gallery, where Bridget Riley is showing Paintings and Related Work until 22nd May, 2011. See reviews by Adrian Searle and Laura Cumming.

Bridget Riley, Red with Red, 2007

The Lisson Gallery is showing a pair of abstract painters: the recently 'discovered' Cuban, Carmen Herrera and British, Stroud based, painter Peter Joseph. Herrera, born in 1915 has been developing her abstract style since the 1940s but only sold her first painting in 2004 at the age of 89. Read Laura Cumming's review of Herrera's exhibition at the Ikon Gallery, last year.

Carmen Herrera, Blue with Orange, 1984

Peter Joseph, an admirer of Rothko and Newman, employs a methodology associated with Renaissance painters to produce precisely toned two-colour canvases.

Peter Joseph, Turquoise and Grey, 2006

Also at The Lisson Gallery is an exhibition by Ceal Floyer whose multimedia works combine conceptualism and minimalism. The current show includes "Things" which is described on the Lisson Gallery website, as follows: A cluster of plinths stand in an empty room each emitting at different intervals in real time the word "things”, the only audible section from otherwise silenced pop songs. However, apart from the plinths themselves, no ‘things’ are present in the room.

Ceal Floyer, Things, 2009

Victoria Miro is presenting a rare show of the work of Francesca Woodman. Woodman died at the age of 22 in 1981, but left a substantial portfolio of work exploring the self and the body. See Sean O'Hagan's review. The exhibition continues until 22nd January.

Francesca Woodman, Untitled, Rome, Italy, 1977-1978

The Serpentine Gallery is presenting multimedia work by the Algerian, Philippe Parreno. The Serpentine describes the installation as a scripted space in which a series of events unfolds. In his enthusiastic review Adrian Searle describes his journey through the 4 short film and video works which comprise the exhibition. See also review by Laura Cumming.

Philippe Parreno, still from Invisible Boy, 2010

Most of the exhibitions listed in the November Roundup will run through December - see below, for details.

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