As the seasonal celebrations of Halloween and Bonfire Night guide us from one month to another, our 5 To See provides a meeting place for both painterly and digital works by internationals artists from diverse eras. Michelangelo Pistoletto’s invites audiences to consider the potential overlap between the modern world and a bygone Eden in Respect at VNH Gallery, while Tate looks to Britain’s ancient past and the phases of the moon in Paul Nash’s drawings and seminal World War Two paintings. Bringing us into the present day is a showing of Camille Henrot’s award-winning Grosse Fatigue at MCA Screen, accompanied by a foray into the world of technology in James Richards, Requests and Antisongs at ICA London.
1. Carolee Schneemann, Further Evidence – Exhibit B, Galerie Lelong, New York
Organised by P.P.O.W and Galerie Lelong, the two-part solo exhibition Further Evidence – Exhibit A and Further Evidence – Exhibit B takes Carolee Schneemann’s research on both the physical and metaphorical manifestations of the body as its starting point. Part of the project, and currently on view at Galerie Lelong, are two multi-media installations that reflect heavily on Schneemann’s earlier works protesting the Vietnam War, including her films Viet-Flakes (1965), Snows (1967), and Souvenir of Lebanon (1983). These works activate Schneemann’s characteristic process of collecting, filming, editing, and then exposing images which are suppressed.
2. Michelangelo Pistoletto, Respect, VNH Gallery, Paris
Displayed in three thematic sections entitled Art, Education and Politics, the presentation at VNH Gallery examines Michelangelo Pistoletto’s early creations in relation to recent and unpublished works. Viewers are immediately drawn into the artist’s vision by the exhibition’s greeting comprised of hundreds of linguistic versions of the word ‘Respect’ gathered together to form a ‘Third Paradise’ symbol: a recurrent emblem in Pistoletto’s oeuvre. Ensuing masterpieces from the artist’s early career, such as Il presente – Autoritratto in camicia (1961) and Uomo sul sofà (1958) are juxtaposed with the likes of Black & White (2012) and Color and light (2016).
3. Paul Nash, Tate Britain, London
A new retrospective of the work of seminal English painter Paul Nash opens at Tate Britain. This exhibition exposes the artist’s fascination with the surreal and mystical side of English landscapes, paying attention to the role that Britain’s ancient past and its Southern coastlines played in the construction of his pieces. Comprised of key pieces from throughout his lifelong career, the show displays some of Nash’s earliest drawings alongside his celebrated World War Two paintings. Time is also spent considering the influences drawn from the equinox and phases of the moon, reflecting upon the artist’s evolving interpretations of his environment.
4. Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, MCA Screen, Chicago
French artist Camille Henrot gained international recognition for her 13-minute film, Grosse Fatigue, following its Silver Lion win at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Presented at MCA Screen this autumn, the work is an incisive meditation on contemporary image culture, knowledge production, and the 21st-century mediascape. Created while working as an artist research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the piece depicts the dizzying wealth of the institution’s holdings – totalling some 137 million artworks, objects, and specimens. Through it, Henrot questions the burdensome task of accumulating encyclopedic knowledge, as well as the anxiety induced by the proliferation of knowledge through computer and mobile screens.
5. James Richards, Requests and Antisongs, ICA, London
Requests and Antisongs, a solo show by British artist James Richards, is presented in partnership with Bergen Kunsthall and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, at London’s ICA. Throughout the artist’s practice, images and sounds are merged into video works that combine footage from a wide range of sources. His recent projects separate these elements out again, making way for multi-channel audio installations that combine sound in a way that is both physical and spatial. In Requests and Antisongs, Richards presents three works which continue an ongoing exploration of the emotive power of appropriated digital video. The works on view are produced separately but conceived as an integrated suite.
1. Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013. Video projection (color, sound), edition of 9; 13 minutes, 46 seconds. LACMA and MCA Chicago, purchased jointly with funds provided by Contemporary Friends and Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.