Sunday, 6 March 2011

Exhibition Roundup - March 2011

An occasional, and highly selective, pick of current and forthcoming exhibitions.
George Shaw, Ash Wednesday: 8.30am, 2004-5 (see exhibition details, below)

I noted, in the February Roundup, a flurry of exhibitions which hark back to the 1970s: John Stezaker (Whitechapel Gallery until 18th March), Susan Hiller (Tate Britain until 15th May) and Anti-Photography (Focal Point Gallery, Southend, until 2nd April); now a further range of exhibitions: suggests that a full-scale reassessment of that period is under way:
Mary Kelly: Projects 1973 – 2010, at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester until 12th June, is the first major UK retrospective of an artist whose feminist practice has been hugely influential. Kelly is probably most famous for her extended study of the mother-child relationship, the Post-Partum Document (1973-79), but infamous for an exhibition of part of that project, at the ICA in London in 1976, which included her son’s soiled nappies.  The exhibition at the Whitworth includes examples of work from all stages of her career to date.

Mary Kelly, Post-Partum Document, Documentation VI, Pre-writing Alphabet, Exergue and Diary, 1978.


A major exhibition at the Barbican revisits the 1970s in New York: Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s. Adrian Searle’s review in the Guardian gives something of the flavour of that period:

Back in the day, [Trisha] Brown had dancers performing on the flat roofs, fire-escape ladders and water towers of Manhattan. … [Laurie Anderson] photographed strangers who had assaulted her with sexual remarks in the street. … [Gordon] Matta-Clark… covered himself in shaving foam while roped to a huge clockface high above the Manhattan street... He devised dances in trees, imagined floating islands in the Hudson, and started slicing up buildings, excavating floors and hacking through walls in the Bronx.
Those were the days. The exhibition continues until 22nd May.
Trisha Brown, Woman Walking Down a Ladder, 1973

Completing the 1970s fest is the first major UK show of the politically engaged and sometimes angry work of the late Nancy Spero at the Serpentine until 2nd May. Read Laura Cumming's review.
Nancy Spero, Female Bomb, 1966

Just missing the 1970s is ‘… a multitude of soap bubbles which explode from time to time…’: Pino Pascali’s final works 1967-1968, at Camden Arts Centre until 1st May. The first UK show dedicated to this Italian artist associated with Arte Povera; Camden Art Centre will host an Arte Povera Symposium on March 12th.
Pino Piscali, Atrezzi Agricoli, 1968

The National Gallery is presenting a ‘complete re-examination’ of the work of the relatively little known Jan Gossaert (active 1503-1552) Gossaert (aka Jan Mabuse) is credited with transforming Flemish art by melding the technique of Jan van Eyck with Italian Renaissance conventions of the nude. Generally, this exhibition has received ecstatic reviews (eg Jonathan Jones, Richard Dorment), but Laura Cumming’s response in the Observer was distinctly cool. Jan Gossaert’s Renaissance is on until 30th May.
Jan Gossaert, Venus, c1521

Other big shows in London include Watercolour at Tate Britain, until 21st August, (see reviews by Laura Cumming and Adrian Searle) and British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet at the Hayward Gallery until 17th April (see below for reviews of its first showing in Nottingham).

Anthony McCall is showing Vertical Works an exhibition of his intriguing ‘solid-light’ installations, at Ambika P3 until 27th March. McCall has been commissioned to make work for the 2012 ‘Cultural Olympiad’: his proposal is for Column, sited in Liverpool, which should (on a calm clear day), comprise a spiralling column of mist rising to the height of a cruising jumbo jet and visible from 60 miles away!
Anthony McCall, installation, 2009

Two versions of the sublime are on show in Newcastle and Gateshead: John Martin: Heaven and Hell is at the Laing Art Gallery until 5th June. Martin (1789 – 1854) is probably best known for his giant, apocalyptic triptych of ‘Judgement’ paintings in Tate Britain. The Laing show is the first major examination of Martin for more than 30 years and brings together more than 80 paintings and prints and will travel to the Tate in September.
John Martin, The Great Day of his Wrath, 1851-3
Across the Tyne, in Gateshead, the Baltic is showing the work of George Shaw: The Sly and Unseen Day – a contemporary version of the sublime?. I first came across Shaw at Tate’s 2003 ‘triennial’: Days Like These, and was impressed by his atmospheric, photo-realist scenes of unprepossessing urban scenes – specifically the Tile Hill estate in Coventry – all painted in Humbrol enamels. The exhibition continues until 15th May.
George Shaw, Scenes from the Passion: Late 2002

Larry Clark’s Tulsa, published in 1971 opens with the following statement: i was born in tulsa oklahoma in 1943. when i was sixteen i started shooting amphetamine. i shot with my friends everyday for three years and then left town but i’ve gone back through the years. once the needle goes in it never comes out. L.C.  
Tulsa has been cited as one of the most influential photobooks of recent times, its autobiographical, intimate and seemingly authentic representation of drug addiction seen as groundbreaking. Clark went on to make Teenage Lust (1983) and A Perfect Childhood (1992), both controversial for their explicit representations of youthful sex, but achieved wider notoriety with his film Kids (1995). What do you do for fun? is a selection of vintage and new work at the Simon Lee Gallery until 2nd April. See feature by Ryan Gilbey.
Larry Clark, from Tulsa, 1971

Other current photography shows, include:
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, culture 3, sheet 72, 2010
Sohei Nishino: The Diorama Map Series at Michael Hoppen Gallery until 2nd April. The making of the monumental Diorama Map of London, below, is described on the gallery website as follows: When photographing London, Nishino walked the entire city on foot for a month, wandering the streets and recording from every possible angle, from building tops to get an overview of the Gherkin, to shooting in step with the Queen’s Guard marching on the Mall. In total he used over 300 rolls of black and white film and took over 10,000 pictures.
In the following three months Nishino selected some 4,000 of these photographs, hand printed in his own dark room, which he then meticulously pieced together with scissors and glue in his Tokyo studio. The result was an aerial view of London, which was then reshot as a completed collage to produce a final image in photographic form.
Sohei Nishino, Diorama Map London, 2010
Slinkachu: Concrete Ocean is at Andipa Gallery until 2nd April. Slinkachu creates miniature installations in urban street which he photographs and then abandons.
Slinkachu, Chicken Tikka Disasta
The Format 11 photography festival in Derby (see also below) includes a host of exhibitions with an enormous range of international photographers represented. See the festival website for details. The event continues until 3rd April.

Finally, Construction & its Shadow is a display in the sculpture galleries of Leeds Art Gallery, curated by Andrew Bick. Andrew is a long time friend and associate of art and design at the University of Gloucestershire where he is currently a tutor on the MA Fine Art course. The display draws on the collections of Leeds Museums and Galleries and the Arts Council Collection and examines the Construction and Systems groups of British artists active in the1950s and 60s. It is an outcome of research Andrew undertook during a Henry Moore Institute Research Fellowship in 2008. The display will continue until 5th June; a symposium on Construction & its Shadow, co-hosted by the Henry Moore Institute, will take place on Wednesday 11th May 2011.
 Construction & its Shadow, installation shot

No comments:

Post a Comment