RA Magazine Autumn 2012
Issue Number: 116
Ben Luke's picks of art across London
As London galleries gear up for Frieze, Ben Luke’s pick of the shows includes Peter Doig’s Trinidadian idylls, Giuseppe Penone’s gold-leaf tree, and Bharti Kher’s bindi art
Hiroshi Sugimoto. © Hiroshi Sugimoto/Courtesy of Pace/Photo courtesy Pace. Three major international galleries open London branches this autumn during Frieze season. David Zwirner and Pace Gallery from New York and Michael Werner, a gallery with roots in Cologne, will bring the latest offerings from world-class contemporary artists to the capital.
which moves into part of the RA’s 6 Burlington Gardens, an intriguing exhibition links the black and grey paintings of Mark Rothko with the seascape photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto (4 Oct–17 Nov). Both bodies of work are dominated by the meeting of rectangles, with Rothko resolutely abstract and Sugimoto finding abstraction at the point where sky meets sea. The Belgian artist Luc Tuymans’ paintings at David Zwirner
draw on the Technicolor scenes from the 1942 film The Moon and Sixpence,
Luc Tuymans. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London. loosely based on the life of Gauguin (5–17 Nov). Tuymans filters the film’s imagery through his distinctive, muted tones, creating an ineffable, disquieting atmosphere.
first London exhibition features Peter Doig (27 Sep–22 Dec), whose paintings are based on photographs, often of landscapes, yet depart dramatically from their sources. The otherworldly sensibility of his paintings has been enhanced by his years in Trinidad.
The season’s sculpture highlights include the Whitechapel’s
2012 Bloomberg Commission featuring Giuseppe Penone (5 Sep–Sep, 2013).
Giuseppe Penone. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, N.Y./Paris/Photo © Archivio Penone. Penone focuses on our relationship to nature through simple transformations of materials – his new sculpture Space of Light (2012) is a vast bronze cast of a tree lined with gold leaf. Meanwhile his drawings go on show at Haunch of Venison
(6 Sep–6 Oct). Haunch also shows the fantastical creations of Franco-Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (10 Oct–17 Nov), fresh from exhibiting at Versailles, and at Waddesdon Manor this summer.
At Hauser and Wirth
(7 Sep–27 Oct) Thomas Houseago presents Ghost of a Flea I (2011) – a bronze work based on William Blake’s mysterious painting of the same title in the Tate Collection.
After his towering presence at the Olympic Park, Anish Kapoor RA shows at the Lisson Gallery
(10 Oct–10 Nov) on a more intimate scale. Using matt colour, he continues to strike an uncanny balance between seductive surfaces and a sublime illusion of depth.
The German artist Thomas Schütte focuses on portraits for his Serpentine Gallery
show (25 Sep–18 Nov). His sinister Fimo clay heads, United Enemies from the 1990s, satirise political leaders of that era.
Indian artist Bharti Kher uses artificial bindis (adornments worn on the foreheads of Asian women) to explore the role of women in her culture. Her Parasol Unit
show (14 Sep–11 Nov) includes The skin speaks a language not its own (2006), in which that great Indian symbol, the elephant, is covered, dazzlingly, in thousands of bindis.
Finally, at the Zabludowicz Collection,
recent RA Schools graduate Matthew Darbyshire is creating a village from the decorative ‘building wraps’ that surround building plots (4 Oct–16 Dec). Darbyshire suggests the wraps are a mask for the visible effects of the economic crisis.
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