October qualifies as a contemporary art heaven in London, with Frieze coming up and galleries pitching their best shows of the season. Here’s just a very small selection of what you can look forward to: Kehinde Wiley @ Stephen Friedman, UBERMORGEN @ Carroll/Fletcher, Wolfgang Tillmans @ Maureen Paley, Cyprien Gaillard @ Sprueth Magers and Sarah Lucas @ Whitechapel Gallery.
Kehinde Wiley @ Stephen Friedman | opens 15 Oct | runs till 16 Nov
Wiley will show paintings from his ongoing series The World Stage that depict young urban black men from the streets of Israel, China, India, Sri Lanka or Brazil – and for this particular show from Jamaica. His paintings are superbly executed, old masters-style, in the spirit of classical portraiture and with all the luxury and pomp associated with portraits of royalty and aristocracy. It’s his first solo in London and in the gallery.
Stephen Friedman // Press Release
UBERMORGEN @ Carroll | Fletcher | preview 10 Oct 6:30–8:30pm | runs till 16 Nov
From classical painting to something completely different: UBERMORGEN are amongst the artists-pioneers who used digital media and internet from early on, and did so in a brilliant and engaging way. They were eg. behind the (v)ote auction
project: a website offering US citizens to sell their vote to the highest bidder during the Al Gore / G.W. Bush elections. Read more about them on We Make Money Not Art and if that triggers your interest, drop by Carroll | Fletcher on Oct 10 to see their latest subversive and userunfriendly stuff.
Carroll/Fletcher // Press Release
Wolfgang Tillmans @ Maureen Paley | preview 14 Oct 6–8pm | runs till 24 Nov
Tillmans is one of the most interesting contemporary photographers, using the medium in its entirety, with investigation into chemical processes, materials used and the installation of the works being as important as his subjects. It’s difficult to characterize his style as he always comes with something new and surprising. Central nervous system at Maureen Paley will focus on portraiture – self-portraiture, apparently. Not to miss.
Maureen Paley // Press Release
Cyprien Gaillard @ Sprueth Magers | opens 15 Oct | runs till 16 Nov
Looking forward to this one as well, although we haven’t got any detailed info or press release yet. The title of the show is From Wings to Fins and it lists Morris Louis‘ name next to Cyprien Gaillard‘s. What is Gaillard up to in this reversed evolutionary concept and what will be Louis’ part in it? Intriguing and not likely to disappoint.
Sarah Lucas @ Whitechapel | opens 2 Oct | runs till 16 Nov | preview 17 Oct 7–10pm
The best for the last: Sarah Lucas’ retrospective, which opened yesterday at Whitechapel Gallery, is a must-see. It presents her work from the last 20 years, with early iconic pieces such as Au Naturel, Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab and other furniture installations, through her cigarette and nylon Nuds sculptures, wallpaper pieces and her recent Penetralia sculptures. Lucas is as representative for London art scene as you can possibly get, ever since her YBA days till now. Some links:
photos from Lucas’ shows above Sadie Coles gallery in 2012; Alastair Sooke’s interview with the artist and his review of the show.
Whitechapel Gallery // Press Release
Other shows that you should not miss:
Pace Gallery Soho stages Mingei: are you here? curated by Nicolas Trembley and showing Japanese Mingei (folk) art from the 20s and 30s, side by side with works by Isamu Noguchi, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Trisha Donnelly etc. Don’t miss also the great Paul Thek show @ Pace Burlington Gardens.
Candy @ Blain | Southern presents Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ famous candy spill installation together with Damien Hirst’s Visual Candy series.
White Cube Mason’s Yard opened Haim Steinbach’s Travel this week and Mike Bradford’s Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank will open @ their Bermondsey location on the 16th.
Flowers will be showing Edward Burtynsky’s new photographic series Water.
Finally, there’s Pop Art Design, starting @ Barbican on the 21st.