With this weekend set to be a little cooler, it will be the perfect time to soak up some culture. Get in the mood for summer adventures with Wanderlust at the RA, a retrospective of the fantastical work of Joseph Cornell. Across the city at Grimaldi Gavin, Tomoko Yoneda’s Beyond Memory presents a chance to reflect on the past through landscape photography. If you’re still looking to go to the beach, despite the weather, and happen to find yourself in Washington D.C., the National Building Museum is definitely the place to be.
1. Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust, RA, London
Wanderlust is a long awaited celebration of the work of Joseph Cornell. Bringing together 80 of Cornell’s most extraordinary boxes, assemblages, collages and films, some of which will be travelling outside of the U.S. for the very first time. Cornell’s signature ‘shadow-boxes’ contain imaginary voyages through paper ephemera and small antiqued treasures found in Manhattan. Each of these miniature masterpieces creates a new world from the recycled objects with in it, a feat which was admired by the surrealists to the abstract expressionists to the minimalists to, hopefully, all who see them at the RA.
2. Tomoko Yoneda: Beyond Memory, Grimaldi Gavin, London
Tomoko Yoneda’s photographs of landscapes and interiors not only reflect the beauty of their locations, but also their troubled histories. Yoneda’s locations are meticulously researched and carefully selected as sites of historical conflicts from the late 19th century to the present day. These sites cover a vast geographical range from Brazil to Bangladesh and Taiwan. For Yoneda the past is still alive in these places and can speak through them, allowing the viewer to be connected to, and identify with the history of the world around them.
3. Germaine Krull: A Photographer’s Journey, Jeu De Paume, Paris
Born in East Prussia in 1897, Germaine Krull travelled throughout her childhood as her father looked for work, including a period of time in Paris. This time in Paris is the main focus of A Photographer’s Journey, which looks to Krull’s balance between a modernist artistic vision in her photography as well as her pioneering role in print media. Although the artist is considered one of the most famous female photographers, her work has received little attention. This retrospective not only looks to rectify the lack of attention on Krull’s work but also to put it in context, by juxtaposing her photography with the written documentation she was involved in creating at the time.
4. Vogue like a painting, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Vogue like a painting brings together 60 images by some of the best photographers of the last three decades, courtesy of the Vogue archive. The show looks to explore the relationship between fashion photography and painting. Each image takes cues from devices typically used by painters from dramatic chiaroscuro to set poses and specific décor. For the show’s curator, Deborah Smith, the link between the two mediums is: “an a-temporality in the pose of the models: a kind of mental time lapse in which everything is very, very still.” Whatever the connection between each of the photographs and its painterly source, it is hard to deny that this is a truly beautiful collection.
5. The BEACH, National Building Museum, Washington D.C.
The National Building Museum is quickly gaining a reputation as the place in D.C. for fascinating and fun large scale installations, and The BEACH is no exception. Created in collaboration with Snarkitechture, this one of a kind beach spans the 10,000 square feet of the museum’s Great Hall. This includes an “ocean” of almost one million recyclable translucent plastic balls, in which visitors are invited to “swim”. The 50 foot wide shoreline is dotted with bight white beach chairs and umbrellas, which continue the monochromatic aesthetic of the installation. The whole beach is surrounded by a mirrored wall, which gives the scene a sense of being infinite.
Tomoko Yoneda: Beyond Memory at Grimaldi Gavin features in Issue 65’s 10 to See. Pick up a copy of the magazine www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop
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1. Clifford Coffin, Sin Título/Untitled, 1949. From Vogue like a painting at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.