Eight gallery shows to see during London’s Frieze Week
Between 3 and 9 October it’s Frieze Week – named after and coinciding with famous art fair taking place this week in London. It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year on the art calendar, and with so many things taking place around the city, it’s hard to know where to start.
In this post we are listing eight gallery shows that we think you should try to see. Also have a look at our separate posts in which we list our favourite booths of the fair and advise which institutional shows and events to have a look at during this crazy week.
George Henry Longly at Studio_Leigh
Studio_Leigh is presenting a new body of work by London-based British artist George Henry Longly. Longly’s latest work builds on his long-term interests in consumer fantasy, branding and notions of museology. In Indiscretion, he invites viewers to see his work and a transformed gallery space as a whole and substantively in order to reconsider the status and narrative capacity of objects.
Informed by a range of disparate references including classicism, minimalism and the aesthetics of postmodern design, Longly employs marble, copper-plated aluminium and readymades to produce free-standing and wall-based works in a method of making which borrows from craftwork and industrial design processes. Encompassing a table, a plinth cum sports-bench, phallic hooks, a mirror, the works in the exhibition play with the possibilities of their associative potential and multivalency as autonomous objects. These objects acquire additional meaning through a hanging strategy, which positions Longly’s work directly into the space. Staged to hint at commercial display, the production line and even domestic interiors, the gallery space becomes a threshold to subvert and escape the taxonomical stresses that objects often labor under.
George Henry Longly’s Indiscretion runs through 29 October.
4 Garden Walk
Thursday to Saturday 12h – 18h
Amalia Ulman at Arcadia Missa
Amalia Ulman’s Labour Dance could at first glance be interpreted as a nod to open-plan fail harder work cultures of recent years, however the term is taken directly from a practice used by some women to induce birth. The installation at Arcadia Missa acts as a one durational piece, an aftermath of Privilege (seen online and in part at the Berlin Biennial). The dominant aesthetic of power and legitimacy are explored and dramatised by Ulman, suggesting that the artist’s own ability to express and complain carries its own privilege – a position of criticality not accessible to all.
Amalia Ulman’s Labour Dance runs through 5 November.
Bellenden Road Business Centre – Unit 6 (Entrance on Lyndhurst Way)
Thursday to Saturday 12h – 17h
Jannis Kounellis at White Cube Mason’s Yard
This exhibition focuses on Jannis Kounellis’ very first works: the Alfabeto series of works on paper and canvas. It offers one of the most in-depth presentations to date of this historical body of work, offering a review of Kounellis’ artistic development through a reconsideration of these early masterpieces. The selection also features several other works on paper and early wall-based sculptures from the 1980s and 1990s. The Alfabeto series of works on paper and canvas were begun in around 1958 while Kounellis was still a student in Rome. Using black tempera, ink, enamel or acrylic paint on a white ground of paper, cardboard or canvas – either singly or combined – they feature black stencilled numbers, letters, mathematical symbols and arrows. The letters, signs and numbers in these paintings are repeated, overlaid, fragmented or inverted, creating a new visual language. Always impersonal and regularized, the result of their stencilled application, they are painted in a textural and imperfect manner, reflecting both the hand-made quality of these and also the smooth industrial production methods used in the signs and advertising of the street.
Jannis Kounellis’ exhibition runs through 29 October.
25 – 26 Mason’s Yard
Tuesday to Saturday 10h – 18h
Sol Calero at Laura Bartlett Gallery
This second exhibition of Venezuelan Solo Pintura Sol Calero is, as the title suggests, dedicated entirely to painting. It features ten new works which continue to investigate issues of nationality and identity construction – themes at the core of her practice. Embracing the style and pictorial vocabulary of a culture misrepresented, these paintings are bounty rich in tropicália – bursting with fruits, plants and ‘exotica’ – restrained only by the hand-painted frames that contain them. Vibrant colours spool from canvas to wall, as Calero connects the areas of the gallery by painting the walls in pastel shades of green, yellow, pink and peach. Past installations have included the construction of internet cafes, beauty salons, telenovela sets, salsa dance schools, Caribbean houses and most recently a Bureau de change – all spaces that encourage an exchange of ideas, both domestic and social and allow Calero to address issues of place-making and identity. Caleros paintings function within them to bring a sense of the domestic just as now they evoke an inside/outside dichotomy.
Sol Calero’s Solo Pintura runs through 13 November
4 Herald Street
Wednesday to Saturday 11h – 18h / Sunday 12h – 18h
Mike Kelley at Hauser & Wirth
This exhibition presents a single monumental installation from 1999: Framed and Frame (Miniature Reproduction ‘Chinatown Wishing Well’ Built by Mike Kelley after ‘Miniature Reproduction ‘Seven Star Cavern’ Built by Prof. H.K. Lu’). Mike Kelley was fascinated by Middle America’s many diverse and alternative subcultures, and through his work he became both a participant in and commentator on their cultural conventions and constructions. Taking Los Angeles’ marginalised Chinese-American community as its inspiration, Framed and Frame explores the conceptual space between real and imagined places.
Mike Kelley’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth runs through 19 November
23 Savile Row
Through 15 October open daily 10h-18h
After 15 October Tuesday to Saturday 10h – 18h
Sanya Kantarovsky at Modern Art
Feral Neighbours is Sanya Kantarovky’s first solo exhibition with Modern Art, and comprises a group of new paintings. Kantarovsky’s early memories of Moscow are a central theme in these new works. Behind a trio of figures in the painting Kompleks for example, there is a famous apartment building from Moscow – it’s a quarter of a mile long, 16 stories high, with shops on its first floor and an underground train station below. Patrick Amstring says of these works: “We’re not meant to see what is happening in these paintings. We’re not their audience, and probably no one is. Yet, here we are looking at them, and, honestly, how could we have forgotten that these scenes exist? Exhibitionism and doubt, self-aggrandisement and inadequacy, neediness and coercion; the carefully maintained division between what we share and what we desperately want to keep to ourselves collapses into a reckoning of our ideals versus our neurosis.”
Sanya Kantarovky’s Feral Neighbours runs through 5 November.
4-8 Helmet Row
Tuesday to Saturday 11h – 18h
Lanzarote at Union Pacific
Lanzarote is a group show that brings together works by over ten different artists – of which we’re following some closely. The exhibition comes with an accompanying text written by Timur Si-Qin, comparing the island to Mars. With works by Mathis Altmann, Jean-Marie Appriou, Ben Burgis & Ksenia Pedan, Isabelle Cornaro, Martin Soto Climent, Alexander Hardashnakov, Eloise Hawser, Renaud Jerez, Melike Kara, Rallou Panagiotou, Max Ruf, Vivian Suter and Will Thompson.
Lanzarote runs through November 5
17 Goulston Street
Wednesday to Saturday 12h – 18h
Virginia Overton at White Cube Bermondsey
Virginia Overton’s working process is driven by experiment and is often site-responsive and intuitive, beginning with the volumetric understanding of a space in three dimensions. Favouring natural or reclaimed building materials such as wooden planks, stone, glass or metal, her minimal sculptures and installations foreground the physiological encounter, using the drama of proportion, weight and balance to allow the powerful, sensory qualities and inherent associations of the materials to come through.
In the North Galleries a new series of sculptures made from marble and mirrored glass taken from a library in Columbus OH, USA, destabilise the viewer’s perception of both the works’ material and the surrounding space, as the glass is simultaneously reflective and see-through. The same wallpaper that Overton has in her own kitchen, with a pattern of botanical illustrations, covers a gallery wall, playing on notions of indoor and outdoor. The wallpaper brings together the disparate places and materials that Overton has worked with, by creating connections between image, material and place that resonate with the artist. A working wood-burning stove installed in the exhibition fills the space with a scent of wood and the sound of crackling, further contributing to the feeling of being in a welcoming place. In the 9 x 9 x 9 gallery, Overton has returned to one of her signature sculptural elements: the standard pick-up truck, an emphatic icon of America, its labouring classes and dominant car culture.
Virginia Overton’s exhibition runs through 6 November.
144 – 152 Bermondsey Street
Tuesday to Saturday 10h – 18h