Must-See Gallery Shows During Frieze London
From Gerhard Richter's abstractions to Steve McQueen's lush films.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters kick off today, but London’s commercial galleries are also playing hard in their own spaces, luring collectors away from Regent’s Park with their best shows of the year. So whether you want to complement what you’ll see in the tents or simply prefer a more intimate art experience, make a beeline for:
Gerhard Richter at Marian Goodman, London, October 14–December 20
Marian Goodman has opened her London outpost to much acclaim. The stakes were high for Gerhard Richter’s first UK gallery show in 20 years, but Marian Goodman’s exhibition certainly delivers (see “Gerhard Richter Triumphs at Marian Goodman London”). The exhibition showcases Richter’s recent experiments with abstraction, including gray monochromes painted on glass. But it is perhaps the lush colors of the series “Flow” that make this show such a delight.
Tamara Henderson, “Charmer Scripture” at Rodeo Gallery, London, October 11–November 29
The Istanbul gallery also debuts in London and it has chosen to do so, not with one but two shows: the Turkish artist Banu Cennetoğlu and the Canadian Tamara Henderson (see “Rodeo Gallery Lands in London’s Soho”). We are particularly excited to see Henderson’s work, her career having been on a steady rise since taking part in Documenta 13. At Rodeo, she is presenting an ensemble of sculptures and a 16mm film. Henderson’s work is also featured in the new live section at Frieze London.
Mario Merz at Pace Gallery, London, September 26–November 8
It seems hard to believe, but this is Mario Merz’s first major UK gallery exhibition. Pace Gallery’s sumptuous rooms in Burlington House offer a fitting contrast to the explorations of everyday materials by the legendary godfather of Arte Povera. The three-dome installation housed in the first gallery, which contains the final igloo Merz made in 2003, is just breathtaking.
Matthew Barney, “Crown Zinc” at Sadie Coles HQ, London, October 10–December 13
Londoners are still reeling from Barney’s over five-hour-long epic film River of Fundament, screened by the English National Opera last summer. And Sadie Coles knows it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. Here we have Barney’s Crown Zinc, featuring a new set of sculptures that takes the themes of River of Fundament as a starting point. Death, rebirth, and the twilight of modern America, turned into totemic sculptural form.
Helen Chadwick, “Bad Bloom” at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, October 14–November 28
Helen Chadwick was one of the most exciting artists working in Britain in the 1990s until her untimely death, aged 43, cut her career short. Bad Bloom centers on Chadwick’s “Wreaths to Pleasure” series (1992–1993), in which she brilliantly transposed her knack for materiality and texture into the flat medium of photography, depicting flowers with both delicious and poisonous liquids: tomato juice, melted chocolate, and detergents.
James Richards, “Raking Light” at Cabinet, London, October 11–December 6
James Richards is on a roll: he is a Turner Prize 2014 nominee (see “Turner Prize Nominees a Surprise, As Always”), he exhibited his acclaimed film Rosebud at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and won the Film London Jarman Award in 2012. The young artist is now presenting his new film work at Cabinet.
Kerry James Marshall, “Look See” at Cabinet, London, October 11–November 22
The art world seems more than a little obsessed with Kerry James Marshall’s paintings at the moment and with good reason. His superb depictions of African-American society, have been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in museums across the U.S. and Europe in the last two years. “Look See” is Marshall’s first exhibition with David Zwirner, and his first in London since 2005.
Amanda Ross-Ho, “WHO BURIES WHO” at The Approach, London, October 15–November 23
Its title appropriated from Harry Nilsson and John Lennon’s song, “WHO BURIES WHO” features a large installation in which Ross-Ho recreates a theatricalized photography studio that doubles as an abstracted crime scene. The exhibition continues Ross-Ho’s investigations of sculpture and analog photography.
Andro Wekua, “Some Pheasants in Singularity” at Sprüth Magers, London, October 14–November 15
For his first exhibition with Sprüth Magers, Wekua presents one of his uncanny interiors, obscuring the gallery space by blocking the windows and suspending the life-sized sculpture of an androgynous adolescent from the ceiling. The immersive installation is complimented by a set of new paintings.
Steve McQueen at Thomas Dane, London, October 14–November 15
In the wake of McQueen’s roaring success as feature film director (12 Years a Slave, Shame, and Hunger), many pundits were quick to predict his retirement from the visual art circuit (see “Oscar Puts Steve McQueen Beyond Contemporary Art“). But his new show at Thomas Dane proves that he has no intention of slowing down. The centerpiece of the exhibition is his new film Ashes (2014), in which McQueen offers his signature interplay of intimacy, violence, and sensuality.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.