Friday, 4 February 2011

Exhibition Roundup - February 2011

 An occasional, and highly selective, pick of current and forthcoming exhibitions.
John Stezaker, Pair IV, 2007
John Stezaker has been a quiet presence on the British art scene since the 1970s - he was included in the "New Art" exhibition at the Hayward in 1972, alongside Richard Long, Gilbert & George et al, as part of the generation of conceptually-oriented artists who embraced lens-based and other media. His precise, witty and disturbing images, spliced together from old film stills and postcards, are presented in a career retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery until 18th March. Read Brian Dillon’s profile and Laura Cumming’s review; see a 2006 video interview with the artist on the Tate website.

John Hilliard, Camera Recording its Own Condition (7 Apertures, 10 Speeds, 2 Mirrors) 1971
Stezaker also features in Anti-Photography at the Focal Point Gallery in Southend. In 1976, Nancy Foote published "The Anti-Photographer"*, an article which examined the uses of photography in conceptual art. Foote noted that, Despite its dependence on photography... conceptual art exhibits little photographic self-consciousness, setting itself apart from so-called serious photography by a snapshot-like amateurism and nonchalance that would raise the hackles of any earnest professional. Foote made specific reference to the work of Eleanor Antin, Robert Smithson, Ed Ruscha, Richard Long and others.
Now, in what is described as a 'reworking' of Foote's thesis, the Focal Point Gallery exhibition "brings together a selection of historic and contemporary works exploring and challenging our understanding of the medium of photography". Artists include: Ceal Floyer, John Hilliard, Sherrie Levine,  Ed Ruscha,  John Stezaker, Wolfgang Tillmans, James Welling and others.
* Foote, Nancy (1976) “The Anti-Photographers” Artforum, September, pp46-54; reprinted in in Fogle, Douglas (2003) The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982, Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, pp24-31
Susan Hiller, Genuine Essence: Homage to Joseph Beuys, 1969 - 2009
Like Stezaker, Susan Hiller is an artist whose reputation has generally exceeded her visibility. She has been exhibiting multi-media installations exploring psychic phenomena and other mysteries for the past 30 years and is now the subject of a major survey at Tate Britain until 15th May.
Read interview with Rachel Cooke, and reviews by Adrian Searle and Laura Cumming.
Andy Warhol, Screen Test: Lou Reed, 1966
Moving Portraits at the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill presents 60 years of portraits made in moving images. Artists include Richard Billingham (lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire), Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, Robert Mapplethorpe, Julian Opie, Andy Warhol and many more. The exhibition continues until 27th March.
Martin Creed, Work No. 1127, 2011
Martin Creed: 'Mothers' is at Hauser & Wirth until March 11th. The prolific Creed, who won the Turner Prize in 2001 for Work no. 227: ‘The lights going on and off’ is showing more than 50 works in the show, including a monumental, rotating sculpture in white neon and steel: Work no.1092, MOTHERS, 2011.
See short video of Martin Creed talking to Paul Morley at the exhibition, and a video of Creed introducing and performing his single, Thinking/Not Thinking.
Sheela Gowda, of all people, installation view at Rivington Place, Iniva, 2011
Sheela Gowda: Therein and Besides at Iniva is the first UK solo show for the Indian artist. The Guardian described her installation in the Serpentine's 2008/9 survey of contemporary Indian art, Indian Highway, as the standout work. The Serpentine described her work as follows: Sheela Gowda’s process-based practice, which includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, blurs the boundary between fine art and craft. Her materials are chosen for their symbolism. Substances such as cow dung, incense, threads, fibres and ceremonial dyes are used as subversive political statements, which straddle their everyday presence both in urban and rural India. This history of manufactured found objects, such as tar drums and plastic sheeting, recycled by India’s migrant workers, is further extended towards a nuanced reading.
Haroon Mirza, Un_Infinato (detail), 2009
Haroon Mirza, winner of the 2010 Northern Art Prize, will be showing  sound and assemblage installations at the Lisson Gallery, 15th February - 19th March. As described on the Northern Art Prize website: Haroon Mirza creates sculptural assemblages and installations that are often heard before they are seen. He uses household objects such as found furniture, outmoded musical equipment, lamps and television sets to generate a seemingly infinite field of sound.

Other shows worthy of note:
Robert Mapplethorpe, George Bradshaw, 1980  
Robert Mapplethorpe: Night Work curated by Scissor Sister at Alison Jacques, until 19th March;
Georgi Petrusov, Portrait of Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1933
Rodchenko and his Circle at Art: Sensus, until19th March;
Richard Phillips, Most  Wanted, 2009
Richard Phillips: Most Wanted at White Cube, Hoxton Square, until 5th March.
Many of the exhibitions listed in the January Roundup will run through February - see below, for details.

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