This weekend’s top picks engage with art history, reinventing traditional approaches through photography and installation. Practitioners featured offer new perspectives on social and ecological topographies, transforming their media via formal, conceptual and methodological innovation.
Pier Paolo Calzolari, White Cube Mason’s Yard, London
Calzolari’s (b. 1943) practice engages with notions of transformation, combining materials of different states – including lead, ice, fire and neon – to create installations which reference life cycles and mortality. By linking to earlier creative traditions, the artist highlights the concept of time, suspending materials in the present moment to invite the viewer’s contemplation.
Until 12 May. Find out more here.
Ed van der Elsken: “Love” & Other Stories, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Known for a ground-breaking social documentary approach, street photographer Ed van der Elsken (b. 1925) captured the urban landscapes of Amsterdam, Paris and Tokyo in the 1950s and 1960s. This show brings together works from the celebrated Love on the Left Bank series, which documents love, isolation and countercultural life in Paris. Until 5 May. Find out more here.
Axel Hütte: Far Away – On The Road, Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf
Museum Franz Gertsch tracks the intercontinental journeys of German photographer Axel Hütte (b. 1951). The practitioner employs unconventional formal structures to capture natural and built environments, offering new, painterly perspectives on the nocturnal metropolis and organic landscape.From 24 March. Find out more here.
Irving Penn: Centennial, CO Berlin
An interest in everyday existence defines Penn’s (b. 1917) oeuvre, which celebrates the unexpected in the mundane by breaking down spatial boundaries. This retrospective highlights the artist’s focus on meticulous detail – alongside a formal fascination with the interplay of light and form – offering masterful renderings of human, natural and inanimate subjects. From 24 March. Find out more here.
Early Works: 1964-1984, Blain Southern, London
Featuring unaltered photographs from Wim Wenders’ (b. 1945) archive, this exhibition offers an authentic and spontaneous viewing experience. A strong sense of narrative defines the collection, reflecting the filmmaker’s interest in the masters of American Realism, such as Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Until 5 May. Find out more here.
1. Pier Paolo Calzolari, Abstract in your home, 1970.
2. Vali Myers (Ann), Roberto Inigez-Morelosy (Manuel) and Geraldine Krongold (Geri). Paris, 1950. Ed van der Elsken Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam. © Ed van der Elsken / Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
3. Axel Hütte, Fukuoka, Japan, 2013, Duratrans-print, 145 x 115 cm © Axel Hütte
4. Marlene Dietrich New York, 1948 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. ©The Irving Penn Foundation
5. Wim Wenders, A Mountain of Salt, Northern Germany 2005. Courtesy Blain Southern.