This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of contemporary art. The Biennale of Sydney and Art Paris Art Fair bring together fascinating and varied selections, while exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, Timothy Taylor Gallery and Ffotogallery showcase the impressive work of individual artists. The photography of Paul Reas and paintings of Alex Katz use bold colour to create striking images of their societies, while the delicate beauty of SIlke Otto-Knapp’s art creates a dreamy state inspired by dance and performance. Here is our selection of this weekend’s best exhibitions.
1. Silke Otto-Knapp: Monday or Tuesday, Camden Arts Centre, London
Catch the final weekend of this exhibition highlighting the talents of artist Silke Otto-Knapp. Delicate layers of black and silver pigment form her ethereal paintings of performances and landscapes, blending the reality of the location with the design of the stage. The artist’s haunting paintings evoke the atmosphere of twilight with their subtle and mysterious style. Otto-Knapp’s works will be accompanied by a programme of performances by dancers such as Kate Coyne and Flora Weigmann.
2. Alex Katz: 70s/80s/90s, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
The sixth solo show by Alex Katz traces the progression of his career from the 1970s to 1990s and focusses on the importance of “town and country” over this period. Katz’s influential portraits and landscapes are characterised by their scale, vibrancy and flat minimalism, invested in the idea of American life, and inspired by his time in both New York and Maine. His pioneering work in the pop art style has influenced artists including Peter Doig, Elizabeth Peyton and Merlin James.
3. Paul Reas: Day Dreaming About The Good Times? Ffotogallery, Cardiff
Engaging with themes such as class, consumption, work and leisure, Paul Reas is one of the most important figures to come out of the mid-1980s British colour documentary movement. This retrospective highlights how Reas’ photography, inspired by his working-class roots in Bradford, critiqued British culture and class towards the end of the twentieth century. Through wit and observation, the photographer shone a light on the complexities of a burgeoning corporate and commercial world, capturing quirky images of heritage industry site, retail parks, supermarkets and more.
4. Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, Sydney
Now in its 19th edition, this year’s Sydney Biennale centres on the theme of the artistic imagination describing the world around through metaphor and poesis. The importance of cultural, political and social conditions defines much of the art on show, with the works often providing a commentary on society, or even acting as an antidote and proposition. The experience of art also comes under scrutiny, as the exhibited artists try to locate themselves within an art historical heritage and question the potential of immersive and expansive environments in the future.
5. Art Paris Art Fair, Paris
This weekend sees the return of the Art Paris Art Fair. 140 international galleries join together in the Grand Palais to showcase some of the world’s most intriguing and exciting modern art. Alongside a survey of popular European names, this year’s selection features many galleries from Asia, with China as the guest of honour. Thematic sections structuring the exhibition include a selection of young galleries entitled “Promises”, an exploration of contemporary design named “ArtDesign” and “Art Books Librairie Flammarion” which showcases art books and artistic binding.
1. Gordon Phantom, 2011, courtesy the artist.