With February coming to a close, make sure to mark the beginning of March with a visit to one of the brilliant contemporary art exhibitions showing this weekend. With highlights including previously unseen photos by Robert Capa in New York, a diverse survey of contemporary Australian artwork in Sydney, and an exciting and thought-provoking look into the power of capitalism by Isaac Julien in London, there is something to see wherever you are. Here are our top five picks of current exhibitions.
Arab Contemporary is the second in a series of exhibitions by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art focused on the integral connection between cultural identity and architectural design. The exhibition will attempt to draw out unifying themes within the broader cultural notion of an Arab world. In an area divided in religion, politics and landscape, Arab Contemporary examines the effects of architecture in expressing common themes and concerns.
Stephen Galloway’s work focuses on experiencing nature in paradoxical ways. His large scale, highly detailed photographs show natural elements as incredibly present, yet also outside our normal expectations. His photographs and installations have been widely exhibited, with works collected and commissioned by the Berkeley Art Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, the San Francisco Arts Commission and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, among others. He is currently working on new public commissions as well as a solo show at the Nevada Museum of Art opening in March, 2014.
Opening next week on 4 March at The Little Black Gallery, London, is a new exhibition from Australian artist Vee Speers. Bordello is a searing vision of Parisian decadence, taking inspiration from the interiors and vibrancy of the city in the 1920s and 1930s. Shot on location in Paris, Speers’ work is set against the backdrop of surviving bordellos, where the lavish interiors have been preserved. Her photographs provide a seductive exploration of the female form and are produced using a hand-rendered Fresson charcoal process, lending Speer’s images an authentic quality.
The Design Museum has announced the nominations for the Designs of the Year 2014. This platform for cutting-edge innovation and original talent showcases the best in global architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphic, product and transport design. This year’s 76 nominees include diverse designs such as Kate Moss’ favourite app, a floating school in a Nigerian lagoon, friendly lamp posts and virtual mountain rescue teams.
David Bailey is known for his iconic portraits of celebrities, but Bailey’s Stardust at National Portrait Gallery, London, of around 300 pictures reveals the true depth of his work. From East End clubs to West End parties, through Aboriginal peoples and the sights of New Delhi, Bailey captures the richness of human life with affection and precision.
Supermodel Helena Christensen stars in Vs. Magazine’s short fashion film, The Double. Christensen is the guest-editor on the newly released issue of Vs. Magazine featuring Julianne Moore, Emilia Clarke and Stacy Martin, amongst others. The short film is a captivating little piece, directed by Karen Collins and styled by Vibe Dabelsteen. Using a hazy colour pallete of the 1930s and elements of a silent black and white movie, The Double is glamorously beautiful.
Several variants of abstraction are investigated in an excellent exhibition of drawings, Abstract Drawing, curated by Richard Deacon, the current Last Words artist in Aesthetica. The show at London’s Drawing Room features 57 works made between 1907 and 2014 by artists including Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, Kasimir Malevich and Sol LeWitt.
A group exhibition, featuring work from John Akomfrah, Phoebe Boswell and Rashaad Newsome, will run from 7 March until 10 April at the Carroll / Fletcher gallery in Central London. Drawing on issues of identity, class, race and gender, these three artists explore the construction of identity on both a personal and cultural level, working in mixed mediums to tell their own narratives and those of the people around them.
Steinkamp is an artist who has been heavily based in the digital media and a pioneer in the world of 3-D animation. Steinkamp’s digitally rendered animations of natural phenomena and movement are projected within the depicted architectural surroundings. This is the artist’s first exhibition in Japan’s capital city. Not only will this exhibition be new for Hong Kong, but it will always feature two new works, which will be on view until 22 March at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Hong Kong.
Palais de Tokyo started its new programme for 2014 under the title L’Etat du Ciel, which is borrowed from Victor Hugo’s Promontoire du songe, where the author wrote “the sky’s normal state is at night”. The programme is a series of exhibitions with a big intention: the participants of individual and group shows are expected to propose reflections on the physical, moral and political factors that are shaping our world. The first part of L’Etat du Ciel opened with two personal exhibitions of David Douard and Angelika Markul, a selection of performance artworks from the Centre national des arts plastiques and a collaborative project by Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger.
About Colour follows Sarah Moon’s major exhibition last year Alchimies at Muséum National D’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Running until 5 April at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, this show presents pieces she has never displayed to the public before. Featuring works old and new, the exhibition highlights the artist’s outstanding ability to shoot fantastical images in colour.