Short of Banksy reinterpreting ‘Guernica’ accompanied by bottomless prosecco, it’s hard to think of a more solid banker of a show than this. The Courtauld Gallery is being refurbed for two years, but the decorators have hardly had time to stick the radio on, than its greatest impressionist hits are back on display, with support from iconic works from the National Gallery.
What you see is what you get with Renzo Piano. Literally. His buildings are all about guts-on-the-outside, glass-for-days clarity. And the Italian architect is a behemoth of his art form. From the eviscerated shock and awe of the Centre Pompidou to the shimmering, looming blade of The Shard, Piano’s buildings have a habit of defining a city.
Men are obsessed with sex. I mean, really, it’s a miracle we can keep from blurting out our perverted mental meanderings for any extended period of time at all: a real triumph of evolution and societal conditioning. German painter Daniel Richter (no relation to Gerhard) seems to have no such filter.
Life is hard, work is exhausting and love is confusing. It’s the same for all of us. If you’re looking for art as some sort of escape from the ceaseless neurotic mundanities of your terrible life, Martine Syms’s new show isn’t it. But if you’re ok with an artist perfectly and neatly reflecting all of that business, then boy are you in for a treat.
American artist Jenny Holzer’s work is decades’ worth of statements, aphorisms, quotes and poetry. She takes words and sentences and plasters them over the streets, prints them on cups and condoms, engraves them into marble, and sends them stuttering at lightspeed along LED columns.
HIs every crotch grab sent jolts of ecstasy across the globe, his every spasmodic hip thrust left the world reeling. That’s an inhuman level of power for one human to have. It ended up being too much for Michael Jackson, and maybe too much for the rest of us too, which may explain how the National Portrait Gallery can put together a whole show of art inspired by MJ and without it being mega-cheesy or ultra-dull.
‘As far as most strippers and peep-show dancers are concerned, audience is too elevated a term for the men who watch. They are punters and bloody wankers to boot,’ wrote Karen Leslie, the writer and stripper who Tish Murtha collaborated with on ‘London by Night’, a project documenting the London sex industry in 1983.
You get an eerie sense of déjà vu in this show of American artist Alex Prager’s photography. Seeing the drunken parties, suspicious faces and elaborate beach scenes she meticulously stages, you’re certain that each scenario is familiar.
Made more than 20 years apart, the works here paint a portrait of a shapeshifting city (Los Angeles, Ruscha’s home), a city in the constant, ceaseless throes of change.
The future is scary – ecological disaster, the technological singularity, destruction, annihilation… But the future’s always been scary. Back in British-born American painter Thomas Cole’s day (1801-1848) it wasn’t AI or atom bombs that struck fear, it was the unstoppable force of industrialisation. His body of big, bold, adventurous landscape painting is a warning against greed, modernism and unchecked industrial progress.
Imagine you’re a squash – as in, a butternut squash. Now imagine what kind of art you would most like, based on your squashy-brained characteristics. For her 2018 Tate Britain Commission for the Duveen Galleries, Anthea Hamilton has created a squash-human hybrid, performed each day by an individual dressed in one of seven outfits inspired by various strains of curcubita (that’s for you, ‘Gardeners’ World’ fans).
CGP’s Marcia Farquhar exhibition isn’t difficult to love, but it is difficult to define. Staged across the gallery’s two Southwark Park spaces, it’s basically a retrospective of a career spent creating indefinable pieces of performance art, installations and sculptures, lots of which wouldn't normally be in a gallery space.
Argentinian artist Mika Rottenberg knows all about stuff, capitalism, consumerism and all that business. Her show here at the brand new Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art is rammed full of videos and installations that needle, twist and poke at economics, consumerism and commodities.
This isn’t your average summer blockbuster. The basic idea is to show the link between the greats of abstract art (your Braques, Mondrians, Kandinskys etc) and the type of no-selfie-sticks-allowed photography you’d have no trouble calling ‘art’.
With summer beckoning like a mermaid in a sailor’s wet dream, the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich has turned its main gallery over to an exhibition of photographs taken at the seaside resorts of Britain. Four major names in coastal snapping are represented: Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts.
There’s crap everywhere in this show. There’s a bin full of plastic tubing and a cricket bat, a stepladder, metal shelves covered with popcorn, teacups and trainers, watermelons on the floor, big bottles of fizzy drink, a paddling pool. Just a bunch of junk hastily and messily laid out. Feeling dismissive is a legit reaction – until it dawns on you what this all means.
Like an expert butcher, Swiss artist Heidi Bucher (who died in 1993) was a master of flaying skin. But it wasn’t animals that she peeled with intricate precision, it was whole lives.