After such a good end to the year for Photography in London, a barren 2013 seemed likely, but though there will be fewer outings by some of the major institutions, there looks to be some quite exciting shows on the horizon.
Photo50 @ The London Art Fair: 16-20 January, Islington Business Design Centre
First up is the now regular Photo50 at the London Art Fair. This time it is curated by Nick Hackworth, director of Paradise Row. ‘A Cyclical Poem’ promises to be an interesting if vague journey through British documentary and photojournalism from the 70’s to the present day. Featuring, as ever, 50 works from a range of photographers including Dorothy Bohm, Chris Steele-Perkins, Marketa Luskacova, Brian Griffin and Homer Sykes, this could be a treat.
ArtLyst have a stand at the London Art fair this year. Feel free to drop by the stand at the fair to say hello! We may be able to help promote your work.
Juergen Teller, Woo @ the ICA: 23 January-17 March
It’s hard to know how to feel about Juergen Teller. Immature, brilliant, lightweight but significant, he is the embodiment of many of photography’s inherent contradictions and he knows it. Moving between high-end editorial and commercial work and a more fine art based practice with alarming ease; he has become a leading figure of the medium. This retrospective should encapsulate his incongruity and it is somewhat fitting that it be held at the ICA, itself a slippery proposition nowadays.
Bettina Rheims, Gender Studies @ Hamiltons Gallery: 26 January- 1 March
Always interested in notions of gender, former model Bettina Rheims presents a series of portraits of young people whose sense of their own gender is fluid. Some trans-gender, some intent on straddling the boundaries between femininity and masculinity in trying to foster a ‘third sex’, the subjects for these portraits were culled from a facebook page. This should be a timely and meditative show.
Geraldo de Barros, What Remains; Perspectives on Collage; Laura Letinsky, Ill Form and Void Full @ The Photographers Gallery: 18 January-17 April
A series of shows focusing on the role of collage in Photography, with de Barros as the highlight, this is an exciting prospect. It’s fair to say that since re-opening last year, it’s been a mixed bag from this institution, so a weighty show concerned with an important sub-genre of the medium might bring some much needed gravitas to its programme.
Man Ray Portraits @ National Portrait Gallery: 7 February-27 May
The great surrealist, best friend to Duchamp, lover and mentor to Lee Miller, gets a retrospective long overdue in the UK. Featuring over 150 vintage prints from his career in America and Paris taken between 1916 and 1968, the exhibition will highlight Man Ray’s central position amongst the leading artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements. His subjects include friends, lovers and contemporaries, ranging from Kiki de Montparnasse to Pablo Picasso and Catherine Deneuve. Not to be missed!
Michael Eastman, Havana @ Michael Hoppen Contemporary: 12 February-29 March
Michael Eastman’s photographs of Cuban interiors are sumptuous, rich and expose the colourful and crumbling interiors and exteriors of Cuba’s capital. Eastman is recognized for his large-scale photographs of the world’s most beautiful cities including Rome, Paris, and New Orleans. Inspired by Aaron Siskind, Eastman is transfixed by the textures of architectural decay and the narrative they reveal about the life of a building.
Jackie Nickerson @ Brancolini Grimaldi: Dates TBC
It’s not clear what of Nickerson’s work will be shown but if it’s either of the projects the photographer has become known for, then it should be an exciting propositions. Nickerson has had two major publications ‘Farm’ and ‘Faith’, both of which juxtapose powerful portraits with an emphasis on gender, with intimate details of the environment being examined. In the case of ‘Faith’, the most likely to be shown, Nickerson photographed inside the churches, convents and abbeys of Ireland. She was granted unprecedented access to the private worlds of the religious in their places of work and prayer, some of which had never before been seen by the outside world.
Jim Naughten, Conflict and Costume @ Margaret Street Gallery: 5 March-13 April
Naughten has photographed portraits of members of the Herero tribe in Namibia, in which the subjects wear the Victorian dresses or paramilitary uniforms that harken back to the country’s colonization by Germany in the early 20th century. During the bleak conflicts between the tribes and the colonizers, set against one of the bleakest and most arid landscapes in the world, the Hereros would adapt and adopt German costumes as an expression of prowess, despite being almost decimated, losing up to 80% of its population. It is a tradition that has continued through to the present day. A very interesting body of work.
Landmark: The Fields of Photography @ Somerset House: 14 March- 28 April
Last year’s ‘Cartier-Bresson; A Question of Colour’ was a surprising pleasure at a wonderful venue. It seemed to have been the result of collaboration between Somerset House, esteemed curator William A. Ewing and the ‘The Positive View Foundation’. Here they seek to repeat the trick. Landmark’ is a wide-ranging 21st Century exhibition of important photographs by a roster of international artists working with landscape and environmental themes. It brings together for the first time in a major exhibition, relevant works by the most important 21st Century photographers
working in a genre that has always occupied a central place in photography, but is today more relevant than ever. The show will include work by a host of great names: Thomas Struth, Edward Burtynsky, Taryn Simon, Richard Misrach, Nadav Kandar, Sophie Ristelheuber, Mitch Epstein, Simon Norfolk, Thomas Joshua Cooper and Robert Polidori to name but a few. – Photos: Various Galleries/ Words: Kerim Aytak © 2013