Ordovas, until 15 December 2012
Ordovas on Savile Row presents from Friday what promises to be a highly illuminating exhibition: a two-person show featuring Lucian Freud and the Baroque Bolognese painter Annibale Carracci.
Left: Annibale Carracci, 'Head of an Old Man', circa 1590-92 By Permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. Right: Lucian Freud, 'Frank Auerbach', 1975-6. Courtesy of Lucian Freud archives. © Lucian Freud.
What could the ‘Ingres of Existentialism’, as the critic Herbert Read dubbed Freud, have in common with a seventeenth-century Italian artist lauded in his lifetime for his highly idealised depictions of the human figure? A link is promised through three of Carracci’s head studies, including a loan from the Dulwich Picture Gallery of Head of an Old Man (c.1590–92), a work with which Freud was familiar. Ordovas has previously juxtaposed Bacon and Rembrandt to huge numbers of visitors – this new show should be just as successful.
David Zwirner, until 17 November 2012
The celebrated Belgian painter Luc Tuymans presents a solo show from Saturday at David Zwirner, a new Mayfair outpost for one of New York’s most important commercial galleries. Tuymans’ canvases represent images from historical film stills and photographs, source material commonly related to the most abhorrent episodes in European history, including war and colonialism.
Luc Tuymans, 'Allo!', 2012. Oil on canvas 133.7x182.6cm. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner New York, London.
Rather than Photorealist copies, the Antwerp-based artist produces slightly sparse, abstracted versions of the originals, often eerie in colour and out of focus. His reworkings suggest some of the hidden and horrendous truths that lie behind images that might seem straightforward; the paintings point to the inadequacy of photographs and our memory. The new exhibition – his first in London since his survey show at Tate Modern in 2004 – features a series ‘Allo!’, inspired by both Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) and, more specifically, a fictional film of Paul Gauguin’s life, including his time in Tahiti.
Gillian Ayres RA
Jerwood Gallery, 6 October – 25 November 2012
From this weekend Hastings’ Jerwood Gallery gives the public a rare opportunity to enjoy the early abstracts of Gilliam Ayres RA, painted between 1957 and 1960. These were the series of works that brought the artist to prominence.
Ayres painted without brushes during this period, placing the canvas on the floor and applying paint in a rough-and-ready, gestural manner akin to American action painters such as Jackson Pollock. The result, however, had an aesthetic all her own, characterised by large globular areas of colour that remained distinct while jutting up against one another, or being covered by exuberant splashes of other pigment.
Edmund de Waal
Alan Cristea, 6 October – 10 November
If you live in London but can’t make it down to the coast to see the Gillian Ayres exhibition, visit Alan Cristea Gallery in mid-November, which will present over 20 new oil paintings by the Academician. But before that show, Cristea’s two spaces on Cork Street are installed with the works of the preeminent British ceramicist Edmund de Waal, whose skills as a writer have been enjoyed by the thousands who have read his recent bestseller The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance.
Edmund de Waal, 'three poems of return: everywhere in the roads', 2012. 36 unglazed thrown porcelain vessels within a triptych of black lacquer cabinets and translucent glass partitions. Each cabinet 35 × 90 × 25.5 cm / 13 ¾ × 35 ½ × 10 in. Overall dimensions 35 × 298 × 25.5 cm / 13 ¾ × 117 ¾ × 10 in.
Some of the works planned for display sound fairly spectacular, with the artist presenting huge numbers of objects. One gallery includes an installation of 1,000 pots – entitled A Thousand Hours (2012) – in two huge vitrines; the other features an aluminium cabinet containing 600 examples. For a recent interview with De Waal, filmed at the time of his show at Waddesdon Manor, click here.
Random International: Rain Room
Barbican, until 3 March 2013
What looks like a must-see experiential work of art has just opened at the Barbican: Rain Room (2012), literally a room full of rain in which the visitor walks. But if you’ve had enough already of autumnal showers, don’t worry, as this work by artist-designers Random International is engineered so that you don’t get wet.
'Rain Room' Installation image. © Felix Clay Rain Room, Random International 2012. Courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery.
Critic Oliver Wainwright previewed the work on Wednesday with this video on the Guardian website. During the run of this free exhibition the choreographer Wayne McGregor and his company Random Dance will present a dance piece in response to the work – keep a look out for dates on the Barbican website.
Hannah Sawtell, at the ICA and Bloomberg SPACE until 18 November 2012
Matthew Darbyshire: T Rooms, Zabludowicz Collection, until December 2012
Two alumni of the Royal Academy Schools stage exhibitions in important London art venues from this week. Hannah Sawtell, who finished the post-graduate course in 2010, presents linked exhibitions at the ICA and Bloomberg Space. During the show she will source live images from the monitors in the Bloomberg offices, editing them into real-time video collages that are then relayed in the gallery spaces.
Left: Hannah Sawtell, 'Vendosculant', 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Vilma Gold, London. Right: Installation view, Matthew Darbyshire: T Rooms, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2012. Matthew Darbyshire, 'T Rooms', 2012. © Matthew Darbyshire. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo by Tim Bowditch.
Matthew Darbyshire, from the class of 2005, shows works at Kentish Town’s Zabludowicz Collection, including his sculptural installation T Rooms, which is comprised of digitally printed banners of the sort that wrap buildings in cities, either for promotional purposes or to mask building sites.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine