Category Archives: Exhibitions

Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain

I’ve long been an admirer of Rachel Whiteread’s work which can be seen at Tate Britain for another couple of weeks. Best known for her large scale sculpture projects, one of my favourites includes this one, Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995, laid out in the Duveen Galleries

Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksI almost expect to see the elements vibrate with the memories of the space they contain. Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksMost exhibits are displayed in one large room with no internal divisions; I enjoyed walking from one area to the next and turning back to see the room from different angles  Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksDue Porte, featured on the catalogue cover, looks quite different from the side.Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksI hadn’t seen these studies and domestically scaled sculptures before, which resonated for me  in a different way. Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline Banks Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksRachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksRachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline Banks Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Caroline BanksHer work strikes me with its humanity regarding memory.

Natural Selection exhibition by Artangel

Artist Andy Holden and his father Peter Holden share a fascination with birds. Peter is a bird  expert, running the RSPB’s Young Ornithologists’ Club amongst other activities.

Father and son worked on Natural Selection, an exhibition staged by Artangel which was a combination of education and art. There was much more to it than this one room but I wanted to share the seductive beauty of the eggs, so realistic yet all painstakingly made of porcelain and painted by hand.

Porcelain eggs. Photo by Caroline Banks Porcelain eggs. Photo by Caroline Banks Porcelain eggs. Photo by Caroline Banks Porcelain eggs. Photo by Caroline Banks

Olafur Eliasson room at the Monochrome exhibition, National Gallery

Olafur Eliasson shows us in the last part of Monochrome, Painting in Black & White at the National Gallery, that monochrome doesn’t automatically mean only black & white.

After a fascinating exhibition of more traditional interpretations, including some staggeringly convincing trompe l’oeil painting, you walk into a bright yellow room and everything becomes tones of that colour.

Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksThe ceiling is lined with sodium yellow monofrequency lamps, a colour that suppresses all others.
Photo by Caroline Banksand even my pillar box red jacket cannot resist the influence of the shadow-free light.Photo by Caroline Banks

Everything at Once exhibition at 180 Strand , London

The Lisson Gallery & The Vinyl Factory held Everything at Once at Store Studios recently to mark its anniversary with this exhibition. Of the 24 artists included I’ll mention 2: Richard Long with Pelopennese Line, a temporary mural made directly on the wall.Pelopennese Line by Richard Long. Photo by Caroline BanksPelopennese Line by Richard Long. Photo by Caroline BanksAl Arabia Al Madfuna III by Wael Shawky had me transfixed; here are a few stills from the film where the production in negative created a mythical and dreamlike atmosphere whilst  the text dealt with history, estrangement and, at times, horror.Still from Al Araba Al Madfuna III by Wael Shawky Photo by Caroline Banks Still from Al Araba Al Madfuna III by Wael Shawky Photo by Caroline BanksStill from Al Araba Al Madfuna III by Wael Shawky Photo by Caroline Banks Still from Al Araba Al Madfuna III by Wael Shawky Photo by Caroline Banks

White Noise at The Crypt, London

The Crypt Gallery is to be found below the huge church on Euston Road and is an atmospheric warren of spaces to explore.

White Noise, an artists’ collective, showed there recently including Annamarie Dzendrowskyj  whose oil paintings evoke a sense of mystery and uncertainty Hanna ten Doornkaat has been featured in my posts before – her scribbled, scratched and scraped pieces telling of unknown histories This large canvas by Sandra Beccarelli  intrigued me with its systematic arrangement of marks both on and in the canvas.

Young Masters at The Royal Overseas League in London

London Clubland (not the dancing type) is a world that most of us are only vaguely aware of and the Royal Overseas League is a case in point. A magnificent building tucked in a courtyard in St James and overlooking Green Park, it really is hidden away in the centre of London.

I’d heard about it but never actually been till very recently when invited to attend the Young Masters Art Prize exhibition, held there for the first time.

Organised by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, the Young Masters celebrates artists “who pay homage to  the  skill and techniques of the past; knowing that young artists today are not afraid, unlike their predecessors, to look back at art history and its lessons.” Painting, photography, video and ceramics were all included.

This skylight and the next couple of photos give a small indication of the interior as well as how well the artwork sits within it.

Work by Antoine Schneck and Christoph Steinmeyer below.Isabelle van Zeijl‘s photography is on the left.These 3 photos by Sandro Miller (apologies for the photo quality but it was pretty dark) had me perplexed for a while but I got it by the third one. Can you?Lauren Nauman’s frail porcelain and brass piece below was only one of several ceramic artists shown.  ROSL, as it is commonly known, was the first London club to accept female members from the beginning and has an ongoing programme of art and music. For more information please visit the website.

Cerith Wyn Evans at the Duveen Gallery at Tate Britain

I’d seen a lot of this piece on social media and finally managed to visit it in person a week before it closed at Tate Britain’s wonderful Duveen Galleries.

Cerith Wyn Evans created this sculpture called Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) filling the gallery above our heads with neon shapes drawn in space. The structure begins with a circle

then 3 symbols used by opticians for eye tests , also used by Marcel Duchamp in his The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (the Large Glass)  

followed, as you walk through, by shapes initially inspired by the gestures of Japanese Noh theatre.

You don’t , of course have to view it from front to back; wandering around it gives so many different viewpoints.  I also wanted to mention the way the whole thing has been suspended – the support has a fascination of its own.You can see more of his work in London in the lobby of the recently opened Four Seasons hotel at 10 Trinity Square .

Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic. Tapestry at the National Gallery

The National Gallery is currently hosting Chris Ofili’s large tapestry woven by master weavers at the Dovecot Tapestry Studio for a commission by the Clothworkers’ Company.

Weaving Magic is the exhibition of “The Caged Bird’s Song”, set in a darkened room surrounded by a monochrome painted chorus of dancers.

The original painting below is in watercolour, a subtle medium where, due to rapid drying times, you have to work fast. This fluidity has been beautifully translated into the completely different and painstakingly slow medium of tapestry weaving.
Look how the painting below has been reproduced in a massively enlarged scale and in yarn. This took several master weavers over two and a half years to produce.Here are a couple of close-ups showing the blend of yarns. Such is the level of detail I went back to scour the watercolour to check whether what I saw in the tapestry was in the painting – it was. The tapestry will move to its permanent home at the Clothworkers’ Company at the end of August so visit the Sunley Room before then if you can.

New Designers Part 1 – Katy Gillam-Hull at One Year On

It always surprises me when I see work at this show that I never noticed at a previous New Designers exhibition which just shows what visual overload can do.

Katy Gillam-Hull is one such maker whose loving recognition and restitution of old fragments and tools were, for me at least, quite moving. Her interventions encourage us to look again at items which have been forgotten and discarded, and she gives them a new incarnation whilst retaining a connection with their previous life.These ceramic fragments are a case in point.The top to this old bottle has been made taking into account all the irregularities, ensuring a perfect fit.as does this stopper Apologies for some of the slightly blurred shots here, my macro setting went a bit weird on me.

In Light of the Machine – Conrad Shawcross at The Barbican

Part of the Barbican’s exhibition, Into The Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction, this installation by Conrad Shawcross is hidden 2 floors away from the rest of the show in The Pit so needs a bit of an effort to get down there.

I entered a dark space, where a kind of growling, almost animalistic sound came from a constantly moving machine in the middle of a henge made of lightweight perforated screens.

The  “creature” explores its space with a slow-moving probe, all the while making these sounds between organic and machine.

It’s worth seeing this installation after the main show as your mind is already full of  the imagery and tuned in to strangeness and connection with alien life forms.