Our pick of this week’s art events: 5 – 11 September

RA Recommends

Published 5 September 2014

From an exhibition of the late works of JMW Turner RA at Tate Britain to 1930s fashion photography from Horst P. Horst.

  • Late Turner: Painting Set Free

    Tate Britain, London, 10 September - 25 January 2015
    JMW Turner RA’s late paintings form both one of the most celebrated and most contested bodies of work in British art. Does their radical handling of paint represent a type of proto-Impressionism, over twenty years before Monet and friends displayed their groundbreaking works in Paris? Or was Turner, as he claimed, just continuing the project of his whole career, to record with accuracy the land, sea and sky?

    Although many of his paintings are normally on permanent display for free at Tate Britain, this week’s new exhibition on his late style is worth the ticket price, as it promises to unite rarely seen works and reveal new research about his technique and intentions.

  • JMW Turner RA, Peace - Burial at Sea

    JMW Turner RA, Peace - Burial at Sea, Exhibited 1842.

    Oil paint on canvas support. 87 x 86.7 cm. Tate. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856.

  • Folkestone Triennial

    In and around Folkestone, until 2 November 2014
    The Folkestone Triennial has returned to the Kent coast this autumn, with the town once again become a canvas for contemporary artists – site-specific artworks spring up in unexpected places, always in response to the particular social and environmental circumstances of Folkestone. The twenty-odd pieces – taken together with works from the previous two Triennials that remain in situ – help Folkestone reach a kind of critical mass of art, so that one stumbles on an interesting work of art at nearly every turn.

    This year’s highlights include Pablo Bronstein’s hyper-real beach hut inspired by Baroque architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, Tim Etchells’s neon text piece installed in the wonderfully atmospheric ruins of the Harbour Railway Station and Jyll Bradley’s affecting light installation, which takes the structure of a hop garden – vertical strips of aluminium and green-lit plastic come together with diagonals of handwoven hop string. Bradley’s lightboxes and drawings have meanwhile gone on show at London’s Mummery + Schnelle gallery.

  • Jyll Bradley, Green/Light (for M.R.)

    Jyll Bradley, Green/Light (for M.R.).

    Folkestone Triennial 2014. Photo by Thierry Bal.

  • Gert & Uwe Tobias

    Maureen Paley, London, 8 September – 6 October 2014
    Wall paintings and woodcuts by Gert and Uwe Tobias go on view at London’s Maureen Paley from Monday, following a major show of the Romanian brothers at the Whitechapel Gallery last year. Macabre but always highly alluring, the works bring together forms that range as wide as their native Transylvania: folksy flowers and plants, surreal animal creatures, everyday items from furniture to cutlery, and arrangements of geometric shapes in the style of minimalist abstraction.

  • Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled

    Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled, 2014.

    woodcut on canvas. 200 x 200 cm. Photo Alistair Overbruck, © Gert & Uwe Tobias, courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

  • Bernd and Hilla Becher

    Sprüth Magers, London, until 4 October 2014
    Sprüth Magers displays the first exhibition dedicated to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs in over 15 years. The German duo hold a pivotal position in contemporary art, partly through their influence on younger photographers, including artists such as Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth who studied under them at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

    Their work is always recognisable: coolly composed black and white images of individual structures, which comprise a five-decade-long project to document – in series and with exceptional rigour – the industrial buildings of Europe. Their detached style has come to define photographic minimalism, allowing their austere metal subjects to be assessed on their own terms.

  • Bernd + Hilla Becher, Coal Bunkers

    Bernd + Hilla Becher, Coal Bunkers, 1966-99.

    15 black and white photographs. 30 x 40 cm each. Edition Unique. Image courtesy Sprüth Magers London..

  • Lynda Benglis: Planar Device

    Thomas Dane, London, until 4 October 2014
    American artist Lynda Benglis pioneered experimental processes in the 1960s, perhaps most memorably with her series of ‘spills’, for which molten latex was mixed with neon pigments before being poured across the floor – once cool and hard, the latex became an abstract to be viewed from above (see this interesting video about how Benglis made Contraband (1969), her work in the Whitney). Thomas Dane in London presents from this week her recent works in clay, ceramics that could not be further from the elegant produce of potter’s wheel. Instead Benglis shapes her material with rough, expressionistic gestures, with paint seemingly splattered on top in impulse and glaze added haphazardly. They feel the result of a freeform performance.

  • Lynda Benglis, LIPAN

    Lynda Benglis, LIPAN, 2013.

    glazed ceramic in two parts. 55.9 x 73.7 x 40.6 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London..

  • Horst: Photographer of Style

    Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 6 September – 4 January 2015
    They might not be fine art, but I should also recommend the splendid fashion photographs of Horst P. Horst, which come into focus at the V&A from this weekend. In the 30s he became Vogue’s photographer-in-chief in Paris, at a time when the French city was still “capital of the arts” – and one can see the influence of Surrealist painters on his images from this time.

  • Horst directing fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives, 1949

    Horst directing fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives, 1949

    Photo by Roy Stevens /Time & Life Pictures /Getty Images