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Gilbert & George, ‘Priority Seat’ (2020)
Image: White CubeGilbert & George, ‘Priority Seat’ (2020)

These London art galleries are open to visitors right now

You can finally go and see some art IRL, so make sure it’s something half-decent

By
Chris Waywell
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London’s art scene has been locked down with the rest of us, but now it’s had a towel down, spat in the bucket and is coming out of its corner swinging. The major art galleries are reopening on or around May 17, including major shows from Matthew Barney, Zanele Muholi and Jean Dubuffet. Until then, there are scores of shows at small independents. Here’s where you should be heading to get your spring art fix. Check with the galleries first if you ned to book an appointment.

White Cube Mason’s Yard: Gilbert & George, ‘New Normal Pictures’. Until May 8. Art’s oddest odd couple examine being shut up together for months on end. How will they cope?

Gagosian Britannia Street: Damien Hirst, ‘Fact Paintings and Fact Sculptures’. Open now by appointment. Hirst takes over the Britannia Street gallery with a kind of knowing personally curated retrospective of rarely seen works. 

Gagosian Grosvenor Hill: Rachel Whiteread, ‘Internal Objects’. Until Jun 6 by appointment. Spooky sculptures of found objects coated in household paint and called things like ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘Döppelganger’.

Hauser & Wirth: Charles Gaines, ‘Multiples of Nature, Trees and Faces’. Until May 5. Mesmerising series paintings of trees and human faces in the US artist’s first ever UK solo show.

Gazelli Art House: ‘Curtain Twitching’. Until Apr 24. Group show featuring four artists (Adam de Boer, Khaleb Brooks, Max Prus and Niyaz Najafov) and their responses to lockdown. 

Hamiltons: ‘Helmut Newton: High Gloss’. Until May 28. The iconic photographer/dirty old man is celebrated in what would have been his 100th year with a show of ferrotypes from the ’70s of models with their boobs out. It’s DEFINITELY what he would have wanted.

Marlborough Gallery: ‘Victor Pasmore: Line and Space’. Until Jun 6. Show by the British pioneer of abstraction. Pasmore’s stuff is soothing and faintly troubling, like art made by a polite alien race. 

Phumelele Tshabalala: Becoming Water from the Same Source’. Until May 1. Luminous and sunbaked, Tshabalala’s work reflects his return to his South African homeland after working in the States. 

Simon Lee: ‘Dexter Dalwood: Collages 1999-2011’. Until May 8. Disconcerting interiors, odd bits of figures: Dalwood’s intimate collages are perfect anticipations of lockdown. 

Karsten Schubert: Alison Wilding, ‘Mesmer, Again’. Until May 20. Two rooms of spare sculptural abstraction in an intimate domestic setting.

Bastian: Robert Rauschenberg: Metal, Ink and Dye: Late Works from Captiva Island’. Until May 8. Squashed junk, stuff glued to or shoved into other stuff and some disconcerting collages – Rauschenberg’s later works chart the exuberant industrial filth of post oil crisis USA.

Cristea Roberts: Georg Baselitz, ‘Hands’. Until May 15. Intimate show of disembodied hands by the German sort-of classicist.

Lisson: John Akomfrah: ‘The Unintended Beauty of Disaster’. Until Jun 5. BLM protests, ecological catastrophe and late-capitalist existential dread combine in Akomfrah’s new video and stills installation.

CastorCharline Tyberghein: ‘Many Drops Make a Puddle’ / Simon Mathers, ‘The Frenzy’. Until May 1. Extremely odd coded (?) paintings from Antwerp artist Tyberghein and quilted houses and snogging from Mathers.

More stuff to do this month.

Not into art? How about beer gardens?

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