Our pick of this week’s art events: 18 – 24 September

RA Recommends

Published 18 September 2015

From Frank Bowling’s ‘Poured Paintings’ to Nollywood videos in Peckham, we guide you through our pick of this week’s art events.

  • Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat

    Courtauld Gallery, London, 17 September 2015 – 17 January 2016.

    This tightly focused exhibition considers the significant ways in which Bridget Riley has been influenced by the work of Georges Seurat, revealing how her innovative style of painting is rooted in the art of the past.

    Learning from Seurat brings Seurat’s Bridge at Courbevoie (1886–1887) together with a copy of the painting that Riley made in 1959 (below). It also shows a small selection of Riley’s seminal abstract paintings, illuminating the ways in which the artist developed her radical style. The exhibition shows how studying the work of Seurat changed the way Riley perceived the world.

  • Michael McMillan: Doing Nothing is Not an Option

    Peckham Platform, London, 17 September – 22 November 2015.

    Twenty years ago, Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed, alongside eight of his colleagues, for crimes he did not commit. Saro-Wiwa was the president of a non-violent campaign group that fought against the environmental exploitation and destruction of his homeland Ogoniland, an indigenous region of south-east Nigeria. Since the 1950s Ogoniland has suffered extreme environmental damage and degradation from crude oil extraction and waste dumping by multi-national oil and gas companies.

    For this commemorative exhibition, artist and writer Michael McMillan has created a multi-media installation that expands upon a work by Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas Camp, Battle Bus (2006). Earlier this year, Battle Bus – a large-scale mobile interactive steel sculpture topped by oil drums and etched with the words of one of Saro-Wiwa’s final speeches – was brought to Peckham, and is now making its journey back to Nigeria and the Ogoni land.

    Peckham is at the heart of London’s Nigerian and Ogoni diaspora, and this exhibit hopes to develop and sustain a meaningful dialogue between the artist, the work, and the local community.

  • Michael McMillan: Doing Nothing is Not an Option

    Michael McMillan: Doing Nothing is Not an Option

    Courtesy of Peckham Platform

  • Frank Bowling: The Poured Paintings

    Hales Gallery, London, 11 September – 24 October 2015.

    Don’t miss your chance to encounter the beguiling poured paintings of Frank Bowling RA. The ‘Poured Paintings’ represent a turning point in Bowling’s practice, marking the moment that he moved away from the referential towards pure abstraction. A sense of exhilaration emanates from these works; there’s a contradiction between movement and stillness, between the flowing effluence of the paint and the absolute stillness of the paintings within their fixed rectangular frames.

    This exhibition coincides with another Frank Bowling solo show at Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles, which runs from 26 September to 31 October 2015.

  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries

    Primary, Backlit, and One Thoresby Street, Nottingham, 18 September – 31 October 2015.

    This year, Bloomberg New Contemporaries is launching across three artist-led spaces in Nottingham, before coming to the ICA in London in November. The 2015 judging panel was made up of artists Hurvin Anderson, Jessie Flood-Paddock and Simon Starling, and their selection was informed by a consideration of materiality, form and the process of making.

    Previous participants in New Contemporaries include Turner Prize-winner Laure Prouvost, Mona Hatoum (the subject of a show at Tate Modern next year), and Academicians Tacita Dean RA and Mike Nelson RA Elect which illustrates the power of this platform in discovering the best emerging artists from UK art schools. This show’s strength lies in its diversity. Highlights this year include sculptural work by Sophie Giller, Neal Rock, and Katie Schwab, photography from Beatrice Lily-Lorigan and Tim Simmons, and contemporary painting from James William Collins.

  • Tim Simmons, Burr Trail #3, 2010

    Tim Simmons, Burr Trail #3, 2010

    Photograph by Hopwwod & Kirby, 2015

  • Arturo Herrera: Faculty Band

    Thomas Dane Gallery, London, 18 September – 7 November 2015.

    Thomas Dane Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Venezuelan-born artist Arturo Herrera, whose practice combines found images and objects with drawing, collage, sculpture and paint. Herrera’s new work pushes the limits of modernist abstraction, counterbalancing the figurative object and abstract mark-making, developing ambiguous narratives, through repeatedly displacing and fragmenting its referents and subject matter. The mixed-media pieces brought together in this exhibition are not intended to be viewed individually, but rather make up a complete environment.

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