The noted writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent gives us his rolling ten recommended Contemporary and Modern art exhibitions in London now (December 2019).
28 November 2019
The Queen’s Gallery, behind Buckingham Palace, is the place where the British Royal Collection Trust displays its treasures. The latest exhibition there – George IV: Art and Spectacle – is a particularly splendid example. George IV, alias the Prince Regent, was, next to Charles I, the greatest collector of art in the history of the British monarchy.
26 November 2019
Fog was rising over the Wiltshire fields and the majestic beeches of Roche Court Sculpture Park dripping with November rain when we arrived for the opening of Tess Traeger’s photographs.
Kiki Smith creates an embodied art. She chose the human body as her subject because it is the one form that we all share; something with which each one of us has our own authentic experience. Her choice was informed by undertaking training to become an Emergency Medical Technician and also by the Catholicism of her upbringing.
25 November 2019
White Cube, in this instance, seems the perfect place for this exhibition. So perfect I feel it is over-designed. The perspex boxes of wires, cables are too perfectly matching, autumnal; this could be a fashion collection doesn’t Vogue recommend this kind of palette at this time of year, in tweed? Browns, rusts with a splash of turquoise? Nothing vulgar. Nothing synthetic. Organic colours.
19 November 2019
I increasingly get the feeling that the two London Tates are struggling to know what to do with the huge central spaces that are a characteristic feature of both buildings. The new show at Tate Britain – Steve McQueen: Year 3 – is symptomatic of this, though it is in many ways a more successful solution to the problem than some of the previous ones.
19 November 2019
As the nation plunges towards Brexit, and, as the official galleries – specifically the two big London Tates – grow more and more self-satisfied and increasingly inclined to offer displays of civic virtue as substitutes for anything you can actually describe as art, one turns towards the commercial galleries for solace.
The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize has come round once again, just as the announcement went out that the NPG will very soon close its doors for a much-needed update, and won’t be accessible again for three years. It’s hard to be entirely regretful about the hiatus.
4 November 2019
I found this latest exhibition at FACT Liverpool thought-provoking. It challenges the way we view the world and what we are being taught to believe. It encourages you to think about the possibilities of changing the limitations and constrictions imposed upon us through a contrived system of power and incivility that has been spoon-fed to us throughout our lives.
29 October 2019
At a time when there is a continual fuss about giving ‘fair representation’ to women artists, many of whom were not, in fact, central to the major art movements to which they, often peripherally, belonged, the Bridget Riley show at the Hayward comes as a major relief.
28 October 2019
Lucian Freud / Antony Gormley, two shows at the RA, both by contemporary British artists. Apparently very different from one another
24 October 2019
Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was a Korean-born artist who lived and worked in Japan, Germany and the United States. He played a considerable role in the international avant-garde. His first solo show, Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, was staged in Wuppertal Germany in 1963.
20 October 2019
The main items in Sterling Ruby’s exhibition at Gagosian Britannia Street (his first solo show with the gallery here in London) are huge works from a series called ACTS (2006-2018). In this case, the word has no direct reference to Holy Scripture.
20 October 2019
Beauty. Not a word used much today. Not a popular concept. Not necessarily an accolade. Yet Victoria Crowe creates beauty with her every brushstroke, line, smudge, highlight, shadow. Superb draughtsmanship combined with a perfect painterly touch and humane sensitivity produces overarchingly intelligent pictures, rarely encountered in 21st-century art galleries.
17 October 2019
All too often, when there is a sudden enthusiasm for a particular cause, those promoting it achieve the opposite of what they intend. This is the case with the exhibition entitled Pre-Raphaelite Women, which has just opened at London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Glasgow: Love it or loathe it, the Tate Turner prize is here to stay. It’s a huge accolade. And you don’t need to win. Being nominated (4 each year since 1984) is almost as good.
A new show at the Barbican is devoted to the theme of Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art.
If you are planning an imminent trip to the Netherlands, there are two must-see exhibitions on at the moment. Pieter de Hooch in Delft: From the Shadow of Vermeer at the Museum Prinsenhof, Delft and Rembrandt-Velázquez: Dutch & Spanish Masters at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
9 October 2019
The stone tower of Saint Augustine is a dramatic setting for an art exhibition and has been host to some interesting shows by alternative London artists over some years.
8 October 2019
Two London shows from big commercial galleries reflect different but related aspects of the current international scene. One, at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, is for the internationally known American artist Cy Twombly.
7 October 2019
Two exhibitions of modest size – Bridget Riley at Lindsey Ingram, and Rebecca Parker at Huxley-Parlour – both at the very centre of the West End art district. They have one thing in common: the fact both artists are female. Plus real divergences, which symbolise the lack of any real direction in British art right now.
7 October 2019
I am a painter, and as a painter, I tend to look at other painters work, under the scrutiny of deciphering the surface, the pictorial plane. The sheer vastness of American Artist Mark Bradford leaves me breathless and dazed.
4 October 2019
Gauguin both is and isn’t a hero for our time. In one sense it’s brave of the National Gallery to mount a big show of his work in the /MeToo era. It’s hard to think of any artist, of the immediately Pre-Modern or Early Modern epochs, who behaved worse to women.
29 September 2019
Burnt-out domesticity. Chicken-wire with burnt-black wood wedged inside in the shape of the chair.
28 September 2019
“I had an idea in the late sixties, like putting my poems on matchboxes. I wanted to do poems on marble. I was a poet, but not in the art world. Five years ago, Jean de Loisy asked twelve artists to do things at Chateau de Versailles, outside of Paris.
28 September 2019
“I want to be my own connection to America,” Amy Sherald tells the rapt audience, at her spectacular inaugural show at Hauser and Wirth.
24 September 2019
Having just opened an exhibition devoted to the work of William Blake, who is, for all his eccentricities, a representation of art as we used to know it, Tate Britain has now
23 September 2019
Yassine Balbzioui/James Ostrer – Kristin Hjellegjerde London: Masked figures in balaclava style hats, only their eyes visible peer directly at the viewer
22 September 2019
Damien Hirst’s show Mandalas, at White Cube Mason’s Yard, has already attracted indignant commentary in The Times. Rachel Campbell-Johnson’s review
The influx of immigrants into any vernacular urban culture has always been a gamechanger, and there is no better example than Paris at the turn of the 20th century.
20 September 2019
Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Victory is Not an Option’ is a perfectly timed exhibition that parodies Britain’s long slide into populist self-destruction.