10 Outstanding Solo Exhibitions to Experience in London in April

04/07/2017 12:54 am ET
Moffat Takadiwa, <em>Say Hello to English</em>, exhibition view at Tyburn Gallery, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Tyburn Galle
Moffat Takadiwa, Say Hello to English, exhibition view at Tyburn Gallery, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Tyburn Gallery. Photo: Lewis Ronald.

Springtime in London: the sun has finally decided to show its face, so we’ve been wandering through Mayfair, poking around Peckham, and scoping out the East End, checking in with the gallery scene. Here are 10 solo and two-person exhibitions that have us talking, featuring photography, painting, video, immersive installations, feature films, and assemblages, from young, emerging artists, to established greats.

<em>White ppl think I&#39;m radical</em>, Installation View. Arcadia Missa, London. Courtesy the Artists & Arcadia Missa, Pho
White ppl think I'm radical, Installation View. Arcadia Missa, London. Courtesy the Artists & Arcadia Missa, Photo: Tim Bowditch.

Arcadia Missa, 18 February – 29 April 2017

A timely counterpoint to the Dana Schutz controversy, Los Angeles-based Aria Dean and Melbourne-based Hamishi Farah’s exhibition-as-dialogue confronts “the problems, possibilities, and violences of portraiture,” revealing multiple tensions and issues surrounding the representation of blackness. As such, these portraits appear abstracted, diverted, and coded, looking for “that sweet spot between refusal of the figurative image and an artistic program of representation,” as Dean says.

John Bock, <em>Hell’s Bells</em>, 2017, Production photo. © the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Martin Sommer
John Bock, Hell’s Bells, 2017, Production photo. © the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Martin Sommer.

Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street, 1 March – 13 April 2017

Sadie Coles presents German artist John Bock’s latest feature film, Hell’s Bells, an exploration and exploitation of the tropes of the Western film as “a gory, high-camp, gothic extravaganza,” as critic Louisa Buck put it. Props and set pieces from the film form an immersive installation, cast in a ruddy-golden glow. The 90-minute film is being screened at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm through the run of the exhibition.

Installation view, <em>Maria Lassnig. A Painting Survey, 1950 –2007</em>, Hauser & Wirth London, 2017 © Maria Lassnig Foundat
Installation view, Maria Lassnig. A Painting Survey, 1950 –2007, Hauser & Wirth London, 2017 © Maria Lassnig Foundation. Courtesy the Foundation and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Alex Delfanne.

Hauser & Wirth, 1 March – 29 April 2017

This survey of the career of late Austrian painter Maria Lassnig was first shown at Hauser & Wirth’s Los Angeles gallery, organized by recently departed partner Paul Schimmel and Peter Pakesch, the Chairman of the Maria Lassnig Foundation. The artist’s curious style unfolds from abstraction to figuration, and from landscape to her signature “body awareness” self-portraiture. Lassnig painted what she felt through the abstract sensations of her body. She couldn’t feel her hair, however, as evidenced by her many scalp-less portraits.

Gardar Eide Einarsson and Oscar Tuazon exhibition view, Maureen Paley, London, 2017. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.
Gardar Eide Einarsson and Oscar Tuazon exhibition view, Maureen Paley, London, 2017. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

Maureen Paley, 11 March – 23 April 2017

This joint exhibition explores the formal affinities and shared interests between Norwegian-born, New York-based Gardar Eide Einarsson and Los Angeles-based Oscar Tuazon. Both artists met in the Whitney Program in 2001 and have remained friends and collaborators ever since. Their practices involve the re-appropriation and re-contextualization of images, information, and materials into abstract forms and new narratives. According to Einarsson, their works involve a “levelling of images” and materials, “hot-wiring them and cobbling them together to create new meaning.” Or, as Tuazon characterizes it, their works “cut reality apart and reassemble it.”

Moffat Takadiwa, <em>Judging by Language</em>, 2017, laptop and computer keys, 250 x 210 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist and Tyb
Moffat Takadiwa, Judging by Language, 2017, laptop and computer keys, 250 x 210 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist and Tyburn Gallery. Photo: Lewis Ronald.

Tyburn Gallery, 17 March – 6 May 2017

The new sculptures and wall hangings by Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa are intricate masterpieces of detritus and found materials, like bottle tops and keyboard keys. The standout piece of the show is the impressive Judging by Language (2017), a massive arched wall hanging, resembling an oculus, with cascades of computer keys stretching to the floor—representing the dismantling of the colonial oppression of language.

Fred Tomaselli, <em>Thursday Feb 27 2014</em>, 2016, acrylic over archival inkjet print, 43 x 59 3/4 in. (109.2 x 151.8 cm).
Fred Tomaselli, Thursday Feb 27 2014, 2016, acrylic over archival inkjet print, 43 x 59 3/4 in. (109.2 x 151.8 cm). © Fred Tomaselli. Photo: © White Cube (Max Yawney).

White Cube, Mason’s Yard, 17 March – 13 May 2017

American artist Fred Tomaselli began The Times series in 2005, and it’s on these embellished front pages of the New York Times that his hallucinatory, mesmerizing drawings are at their best. Subtly political, often humorous, viewing the series is like having an acid flashback of yesterday’s news. As Tomaselli has stated, “I think that maybe the Times collages are quietly political, in that I can riff on anything I want, while the horrors of the world become the background buzz. Maybe I’m saying that the world may be going to hell, but I still keep painting.” White Cube presents Tomaselli’s works on paper, including works from The Times series, as well as photograms and collages.

Installation view, Christopher Williams, <em>Open Letter: The Family Drama Refunctioned? (From the Point of View of Productio
Installation view, Christopher Williams, Open Letter: The Family Drama Refunctioned? (From the Point of View of Production), at David Zwirner London, March 17 – May 20, 2017. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London.

David Zwirner, 17 March – 20 May 2017

American artist Christopher Williams’ latest exhibition continues his dissection of the commercial photographic image as a means to critique capitalist culture. Along with several stock images pointing to the conditions of their own production, he presents a series of photographic lenses in cutaway views, revealing their mechanics. The extremely close-up view he takes of the conventions and production of photographic images is summed up by the artist thus: “Imagine holding your finger over a text on your iPhone so that the cursor becomes a magnifier enlarging the area under your finger. This is a good image for the way that I move through types of production.”  

Nico Krijno, <em>Sculpture Figure Study (Mignonne)</em>, 2016, inkjet print on cotton photo rag, 33 x 27 inches. © Nico Krijn
Nico Krijno, Sculpture Figure Study (Mignonne), 2016, inkjet print on cotton photo rag, 33 x 27 inches. © Nico Krijno. Courtesy of BEETLES+HUXLEY.

Beetles+Huxley, 22 March - 22 April 2017

These digitally manipulated images of temporary constructions using everyday materials by young South African sculptor and photographer Nico Krijno reward deep and sustained looking. The playfully deconstructed still-life images experiment with and destabilize the limits of photographic “truthfulness,” reflecting the fluidity of the photographic image in the digital age. Colorful, confusing, and complex, curator and critic Efrem Zelony-Mindell aptly calls them “wonderful freaks.”

Scarlett Hooft Graafland, <em>Still life with Camel,</em> 2016, C-type print, 120 x150 cm, 47 1/4 x 59 1/8 in.
Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Still life with Camel, 2016, C-type print, 120 x150 cm, 47 1/4 x 59 1/8 in.

Flowers, Cork Street, 29 March – 29 April 2017

Dutch artist Scarlett Hooft Graafland travels to remote parts of the world seeking out landscapes that provide the surreal backdrops to her sculptural interventions. The exhibition at Flowers Gallery presents a decade of Hooft Graafland’s seductive images, produced in such far-flung locales as the island of Vanuatu, the Canadian arctic, the salt flats of Bolivia, and the Arabian Desert.

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, <em>Delights of an Undirected Mind</em>, 2016 (still). ©Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg; Courtes
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Delights of an Undirected Mind, 2016 (still). ©Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg; Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Lisson Gallery, Bell Street, 31 March – 6 May 2017

Swedish-born, Berlin-based duo Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg are back with three raucous, risqué and ribald videos—featuring Djurberg’s stop-motion claymation and Berg’s musical compositions—brimming with erotic energy, sexual discovery, and full-on carnal pleasure enacted by cartoonish fairy-tale characters and porn puppets. The exhibition also includes an installation of 60 silicone figurines in a rollicking arrangement on the gallery floor.

—Natalie Hegert

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