…from the clarity and intimacy of Mapplethorpe’s photographic image, to the transparent quality of Silke Otto Knapp’ paintings and to Anselm Kiefer’s ‘heavy-load maximalism’, we find ourselves wandering into a new terrain where everything dissolves into light and shadow, and into illusions.
Silke Otto Knapp
Greengrassi Gallery — Until 23 Dec 2016
Dark, matt, simplified shapes; paintings appear like mirages or impressions, their lack of solidity allow us to experience a sense of sinking into a dream world, to confront a space of contemplation and solitude. Gouache and watercolour are applied in delicate layers, depicting landscapes, seascapes and figures of a fugitive beauty— imbuing the works with an ethereal magic. In ‘Rehearsal (Seascape with moon)’ and in ‘In the midnight hour’ bodies are depicted in different positions – thanks to these choreographic movements, the pictorial space is described, it too becoming a kind of stage.
Teller On Mapplethorpe
Alison Jacques Gallery 18 Nov – 7 Jan 2017
To celebrate what would have been the iconic American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe’s 70th birthday, Alison Jacques has invited the German-born, UK based, photographer Juergen Teller to curate an exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s work. A selection of 48 rarely exhibited photographs, including sexually-explicit images, as well as still lifes and architecture – elegant yet subversive black and white shots which are the antithesis of conventional fashion photography. Teller’s curation unfolds an untold aspect of the artist’s identity, revealing his gentler and more romantic side, along his life-long quest for perfection of form whatever the subject matter may be.
Ce?line Condorelli, Laura Gannon, Donna Huddleston, Goshka Macuga, Corin Sworn, Patricia Treib
Kate MacGherry Gallery — Until 17 Dec 2016
Following a fresh and playful approach, the exhibition focuses on the evocation of boutique display windows, exploring the duality of image and environment and the interaction between art and the architectural space it exists within. Works by six international artists are brought together and the result is a ‘delicately poised yet probing exhibition’, as described by Caroline Douglas (Contemporary Art Society, London, Nov. 2016). Upon entering the gallery space, we are greeted with ‘After Image (Gray and Bayer)’, a geometric wall painting and standing sculpture by Celine Condorelli; on the right we see Corin Sworn’s silk panels and Donna Huddleston’s drawing, a pastel coloured, narrative space in which she depicts surreal landscape and characters. Goshka Macuga’s sculpture, on the other hand, builds eclectic connections between great thinkers throughout history, revealing the artist’s own suggestive narrative.
The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s
The Photographers’ Gallery — Until 29 Jan 2017
With this expansive exhibition, the Photographers’ Gallery presents over 150 works as part of the Verbund Collection in Vienna; all international female artists working with photography, collage, performance and videos produced during the 1970s. Through a new mode of presentation and employing poetic, humorous and often provocative investigations, these artists questioned feminine identities, gender roles and sexual politics. Challenging, inventive and less known work like, for instance, Ulrike Rosenbach’s video ‘Einwicklung mit Julia [Wrapping with Julia] (1972), in which the artist, accompanied by the musical sounds of breathing, tied herself together with her daughter using transparent gauze bandages, in any case inseparably joined.
Walhalla, Anselm Kiefer
White Cube Bermondsey — Until 12 Feb 2017
The exhibition immerses us in a post-apocalyptic, ghostly scenario. The whole is dark, sparsely illuminated by a series of bare light bulbs – The main work consists in ‘Walhalla’, a long line of concrete beds situated in a narrow corridor; the atmosphere suggests us being in an abandoned dormitory, military sleeping quarters or battlefield hospital. A series of new paintings and vitrines are presented in the largest gallery: employing different materials such as oil, acrylic, shellac and clay, he creates three-dimensional art. History, religion and philosophy are interwoven with fragments of our personal and collective memory and we just feel lost, like in a labyrinth.