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This week's best art

All the art exhibitions, shows and events to hunt down in London

Jackson Pollock, 'Blue Poles', 1952 © Courtesy of The Pollock-Krasner Foundation ARS, NY and DACS London 2015 EditX

Fancy checking out some art this week but don't know where to start? Have a flick through our selection of weird and wonderful shows on at the moment and take your pick. With galleries spread all over the city and an art scene as changeable as London's, we've divided it into areas to help keep track. 

Peter Saul: Some Terrible Problems

There’s a painting in this show called ‘Abstract Expressionist Still Life’. It’s a kind of swirling torrent of shit, ketchup and cartoonish, ’50s cars, plus some other bits and pieces. It’s not abstract, expressionist or a still life. It looks like a pisstake of pop art, maybe. And that’s Peter Saul in a nutshell. Now in his eighties, the San Francisan is one of the originators of pop, but he’s always done his own thing, to the extent that he’s almost regarded as an outsider artist.

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Michael Werner Gallery , Mayfair Until Saturday November 5 2016

Abstract Expressionism

Recommended

If you don’t leave this show feeling completely overwhelmed and totally breathless, you’re either blind, dead or a bit of a dick. The RA has pulled together room after room of paintings and sculptures from probably the most important art movement of the twentieth century and it’s staggering. The abstract expressionists tore painting apart and restructured it into something bigger than it ever had been: more abstract, more passionate, bigger, bolder.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Until Monday January 2 2017

The Infinite Mix

Video art is so fucking boring. Okay, not always. Some of it’s great. Loads of it, even. But invariably, gallery shows of video art, especially group shows, involve countless hours of over-long, over-complicated, poorly shot nonsense in black and white, with loads of naked people reciting Baudelaire and rubbing ketchup into each other’s boobs. Not at ‘The Infinite Mix’, though.

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180 the Strand , Temple Until Sunday December 4 2016

Jack McConville: Capital Depths

Recommended

‘Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances, 401k, make sure it’s low risk, then get some real estate, 4.25 percent thirty-year mortgage.’ That bit of sound financial advice doesn’t come from Forbes or The Financial Times, but from Kendrick Lamar in the song 'YOLO'. Fiscal savviness: it’s hip, it’s now, and it’s everywhere. It’s in music. It’s even in art, because life is all about that cash money.

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Ibid Gallery , Fitzrovia Until Saturday October 1 2016

Giuseppe Penone: Fui, Saro, Non Sono (I was, I will be, I am not)

Getting old is the worst. I’m only 31 but I know it’s all been downhill since I turned 18. So I can only imagine how Giuseppe Penone feels. The dude’s almost 70 now, and it’s weighing on him: age, ageing, time flitting by, youth evaporating. And that’s what this big, spacious show by the founding member of the Italian Arte Povera movement is all about.

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Marian Goodman Gallery , Soho Until Friday October 21 2016

Dorothea Tanning

You wait decades for an exhibition of erotically-tinged flower paintings by important twentieth-century American female artists (don’t you?), and then two show up at once. Like sexy, arty buses. The Tate has its Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective, and now Alison Jacques Gallery has just opened a show of surrealist Dorothea Tanning’s late-career paintings. 

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Alison Jacques , Fitzrovia Until Saturday October 1 2016

William Eggleston Portraits

Legendary Memphis photographer William Eggleston has created a whole genre of psychologically ambiguous Americana, much of it centred on apparently mundane bits of his home town. I expected that isolating his portraits from the rest of his work wouldn’t work. How would they fare, without all those existential landscapes and unanswered questions to problematise them?

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National Portrait Gallery , Leicester Square Until Sunday October 23 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe

Recommended

Forty-four million dollars is a lot of money. That’s how much someone spent on a painting by the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) in 2014. It set a record for a work of art by a woman. That last part there is important, because the most ever paid for a work of art by a man is around $300m. O’Keeffe doesn’t even make the top 50, not even close. In the art world, women are simply worth less. 

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Tate Modern , South Bank Until Sunday October 30 2016
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Dinh Q Le: The Colony

You think your job’s shit? You’ve got nothing on the labourers who harvest guano on the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru. Every few years they head across the ocean to these barren rocks to collect sack-loads of guano – bird shit – to sell as fertiliser.  But the trade in guano isn’t what it used to be. 

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Bussey Building , Peckham Until Sunday October 9 2016

Jeff Koons: Now

Jeff Koons is why people loathe modern art. According to the haters, the American superstar is a cynical artistic oligarch, using shock and pop culture to make his pile: he made porn-art, he ripped off comic books, he did balloon sculptures – and he’s become one of the most expensive living artists in the process. So it’s no surprise that Damien Hirst has a massive collection of Koons originals, which he is displaying here in his fancy gallery.

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Newport Street Gallery , Lambeth Until Sunday October 16 2016

Peter Wachtler: Far Out

Since it’s nigh-on impossible to explain Peter Wächtler’s show at the Chisenhale, I’d better describe it. So here goes. The Brussels-based German artist has created a four-minute, hand-painted animation in which a solitary figure in a top hat and tailcoat walks towards, but never reaches, a mountaintop castle. Playing over the top is an uptempo rock ’n’ roll song written and performed by the artist himself. 

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Chisenhale Gallery , Mile End Until Sunday December 11 2016

Olivia Plender

The Kibbo Kift Kindred (no connection to the KKK) were a British outdoorsy social movement set up in 1920 as a non-militaristic, co-educational alternative to the Boy Scouts. It was pretty weird – they hoped that nature play would eventually lead to world peace – and it’s referenced by London-born Olivia Plender as part of her new solo show in photographic ink drawings that depict the brethren waving flags in the countryside in full regalia.

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Maureen Paley , Bethnal Green Until Saturday October 1 2016

Find upcoming art shows in London

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IIP Foundation
IIP Foundation

The Indian Institute of Photography wishes you a happy & Colourful Holi !