A new week, a new month, and as always, an abundance of great exhibitions to see in London. Luckily for us, the weather conditions aren’t making indoor activities an overwhelmingly amount more tempting than exploring the city. Here is a list of our Art’s Editor’s exhibitions to see this week, including some that can and will only be open this week – the must sees:
1) Mouna Rebeiz, Le Tarbouche — Saatchi Gallery
Mouna Rebeiz partners with a host of some of the most influential names in the worlds of art, fashion and design to present a collection of one-off pieces in her first London-based solo exhibition, Le Tarbouche. Using the influences of her upbringing as a Lebanese native and her education in Paris, Mouna’s paintings set out to represent a bridge between the two worlds not only as East and West, but male and female by using a mix of techniques of the ‘Old Masters’ to examine contemporary issues.
Le Tarbouche is a development of Mouna’s ongoing work with the female form, using the Tarbouche, commonly a traditional male symbol of virility across the Middle East, to express the female as a complex combination of the dominant and submissive, the sophisticated and the vulnerable. To continue the dialogue of her exhibition in support of the charity ‘Innocence in Danger’, Mouna has included the likes of Lanvin, Twiggy, Bay Garnett, Naomie Harris, Star Diamond, Helen McCrory, Elie Saab, and Sandra Choi of Jimmy Choo (to name but a few) to reinvent a Tarbouche in their own style which will be auctioned by Sotheby’s following the exhibition.
A MUST SEE early this week as Le Tarbouche closes 3th March at the Saatchi Gallery.
Duke of York’s HQ
SW3 4SQ 10am – 6pm daily
A complete list of participants can be viewed at http://www.tarboucheproject.org/participants.html
2) Sheila Hicks, Foray into Chromatic Zones — Hayward Gallery
Another first solo exhibition in the UK by American-born, Paris-based artist Sheila Hicks, iternationally renowned for her large-scale works in applied arts and sculpture as well as performance. Hicks has distinguished herself over the past five decades as one of the most influential figures in contemporary art working with fibre and yarn.
For this spectacular installation, the artist as created a piece in response to the location and design of Hayward Gallery’s Project Space while also complimenting the Waterloo Sunset Pavilion. Through the curved, translucent walls of the Pavilion, Hicks’s brightly coloured masses of pigmented fibres are visible to the passing public, while inside the space visitors are invited to interact with the large-scale works while looking out at London’s changing cityscape.
A selection of the artist’s fibre-based calligraphic drawings are also featured in the exhibition along with her ‘Minimes’, the intimate hand-woven works which she has produced throughout her career.
Foray into Chromatic Zones opens Monday 23 February – Sunday 19 April at Hayward Gallery
London SE1 8XX
3) Sarah Choo Jing, From Across the Road — Presented by A.I Studio
Known for her immersive panoramic photographs, Sarah Choo Hing confirms viewers with a slow burn view of every day life in her new exhibition, From Across the Road, a title that references not only the physical distance in which she retains between her subjects, but also her concern with observing the role and the relationship between spectator and performer. The works presented explore the acts of looking, surveillance and voyeurism in contemporary urban society.
A copy of the artist’s journal, Accelerated Intimacy, in which she annotates the thought process behind her works will also be exhibited alongside her photography, video and installation works.
Choo’s work evokes a certain intimate yet poised stillness akin to the comfort found in watching the city move past us from the remission of a coffee shop.
Exhibition opens from 27 February – 15 March with a late opening on Thurs 6 March, 6 – 9pm at A.I Studio’s pop up space
30A Redchurch Street,
4) Rashid Johnson, Smile — Hauser & Wirth Gallery
A compelling and intriguing new body of work by an artist of the same merit. Johnson takes inspiration from the famous image by French-American photography Elliot Erwitt in which a young black boy grins broadly while holding a gun to his head. To surround the viewer, hundreds of copies of this same image paper the walls of the main gallery, of which Johnson has installed a group of new bronze wall panels – these wall-mounted sculptures are punctuated with abstract splashes in Johnson’s signature black soap and wax mixture. The tension within Erwitt’s image, which is at once joyful and inherently tragic, underpins this entire exhibition.
In some places, ‘cutouts’ in the bronze reveal the smiling image on the wall behind. Bronze is of particular interest to Johnson because of its association with the preservation of memories – when he was a child, his mother would cast his baby shoes in bronze. Johnson refers to his use of the material in these wall works as a ‘memorialisation’ of the creative process itself.
In the back gallery, Johnson has installed a group of new quasi-figurative paintings on white ceramic tile. Each painting reads as an unidentifiable portrait in an un-authored location, a solitary figure scrawled roughly in black soap and wax across the tiles’ grid. The artist alludes to the semi-autobiographical nature of these works, titling the series Untitled Anxious Men; anxiety, neurosis, and psychotherapy are frequent themes of Johnson’s work.
“Smile” opens 28 Jan – 7 March at Hauser & Wirth Gallery
23 Savile Row
5) SNIK, Shadow Aspect – Stolen Space Gallery
One for the urban/street art lovers, the name SNIK rings prominent to all. With over a decades experience painting walls inside and out worldwide, the artistic duo are well and successfully established as one of the most distinguishable and progressive stencil artists in the UK. Their new exhibition Shadow Aspect sees a collection of new and classic works which aim to explore the effects of light on a subject or moment through the medium of stencil and spray paint.
The development of an intense and bold aesthetic has come to define their style. Portraits are shown emerging from darkness in a gradient of vivid colours, often portraying frozen moments of dynamic action, the engaging stare of the subject, or a theatrical play of light. It is this almost Caravaggesque contrast of light and dark, which is the focus of this new exhibition. By directing our attention away from the impact of the stark vacant spaces, light illuminates the more delicate details of their intricate cuts; the tangled strands of hair, the folds and textures of the fabrics.
The exhibition open until 8th March at the Stolen Space Gallery will feature a number of unseen originals, as well as a few classic pieces showcased with their original stencils.