11 London Gallery Shows to See During an Unusual Frieze Week, From Laure Prouvost’s Surreal Health Checkpost to Danh Vo’s Plant Sculptures
Here are our picks of the best gallery exhibitions to make room for during London's socially distanced Frieze Week.
It’s October, and that means it’s Frieze Week in London. As usual, galleries around the city are showcasing the best of their rosters, despite the very unusual circumstances of 2020.
Back in July, it was announced that the physical Frieze fairs would be cancelled. By now, it seems almost unimaginable that holding a large event inside an unventilated white tent ever seemed like a good idea. But while the concourse in Regent’s Park was a convenient place to bump into the who’s who of the art world, London’s vibrant art scene always really happened outside of the circus tent anyway.
This week, booze-fueled festivities such as gallery openings and swanky dinners are out; face masks are in. And with many galleries requiring visitors to book slots for exhibitions in advance, art lovers will have to be strategic about their approach.
Here are our picks for what to make room for in the schedule.
“Laure Prouvost: Re-dit-en-un-in-learning CENTER” at Lisson Gallery
October 6–November 7, 2020
The French artist will transform the gallery into a “mock-pedagogical, health-focused institutional setting,” inviting viewers to learn and un-learn a new lexicon and visual language created by Prouvost.
To schedule a visit, click here.
“Rashid Johnson: Waves” at Hauser & Wirth
October 6–December 23
New paintings and ceramic tile mosaics by the American artist will fill both of the mega-gallery’s London spaces. The work responds to anxiety and escapism, themes that recur in Johnson’s oeuvre but are also very relevant to the socio-political climate of 2020.
Tickets to see the exhibition must be booked online in advance, here.
“Helen Cammock: I Decided I Want to Walk” at Kate MacGarry
Through October 17
The Turner Prize-winner’s debut exhibition at the gallery includes Cammock’s most recent film, They Call It Idlewild. Drawing on the work of poets and philosophers from Audre Lorde to Jonathan Crary, the film ruminates on the politics of idleness and who gets to be lazy in a time when the spiraling demands for hyper-productivity are being pulled into question.
The gallery encourages but does not require visitors to book in advance, as just five people will be admitted at one time.
“Tavares Strachan: In Plain Sight” at Marian Goodman Gallery
Through October 24
For his first major UK solo exhibition, Strachan has created an unforgettable immersive experience. Backdropped and enhanced by new and existing painting and sculptural work, the captivating 45-minute journey involves a theatrical and operatic performance inspired by the artist’s research into marginalized historical figures such as the African American explorer Matthew Henson, the first person to reach the North Pole.
Tickets for the exhibition must be booked online in advance.
“Oliver Beer: Oma” at Thaddaeus Ropac, Ely House
Through October 24, 2020
This deeply personal exhibition looks at the influence and knowledge passed between generations in families. Beer, who often mines his own family history in his work, delves into the story of his grandmother, who began composing music late in her life.
There is no time-slot needed to visit, but visitors numbers will be controlled. Oliver Beer will also be offering small, in-person tours Friday, October 9 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. Tickets to this are free of cost, but must be booked via the gallery’s website.
“Gillian Wearing: Lockdown” at Maureen Paley
Through October 25
In a series of self-portraits created during lockdown, Wearing perfectly captures moments of malaise and melancholy, quietude, contemplation, and occasionally, contentment. Another timely addition to her oeuvre is the sculpture Mask, Masked, a title alluding to the theoretical masks we don to fashion identities as well as the literal face shields keeping us safe.
Online via the gallery website for 15-minute appointment viewings.
“Anne Tallentire: As happens” at Hollybush Gardens
Through October 31
In this show of new work, Tallentire continues her ongoing interrogation of the invisible social systems that create conditions of precariousness and contingency.
No more than 6 people will be admitted to the gallery at once, you can book your slot online. The artist will also be in conversation with the writer Chris Fite-Wassilak over Zoom on Tuesday, October 13, at 3 p.m. BST (10 a.m. New York), and you can RSVP directly with the gallery.
“Danh Vo: Chicxulub” at White Cube, Bermondsey
Through November 2, 2020
Vo has brought nature inside the gallery. Trees and plants reference the setting where the artist made this body of work, his studio and farm in East Germany. In this large show, Vo continues his examination of Catholicism, global branding, and flora.
“Sung Tieu: What is your |x|?” at Emalin
Through November 7, 2020
For her first solo exhibition with Emalin, the Berlin-based artist has built a gallery inside the gallery, resembling a cross between a prison, a bank vault, and a site of a dream. The works, all on sheets of cut stainless steel, speak to Tieu’s research into psychologies and their potential for manipulation.
There is no time-slot needed to visit, but visitor numbers will be controlled.
“Nathaniel Mary Quinn” at Gagosian
Through November 21
Quinn’s first solo show at Gagosian’s London outpost presents the artist’s shape-shifting portraits rendered in luscious charcoal, gouache, and oil paint. The compositions, which appear collaged, are informed by flashes of the artist’s own memories and encounters.
You can schedule an appointment via the gallery website.
“Dana Schutz: Shadow of a Cloud Moving Slowly” at Thomas Dane
Through December 19
For her inaugural solo show in London with gallery veteran Thomas Dane, Schutz’s new paintings and sculptures are populated with bedraggled, goblin-like characters who fill the space with their contorted physicality and obvious psychological turmoil.
No early booking available, social distancing enforced upon entry; no groups allowed.
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