Following on from our comprehensive Autumn Exhibition list that was published last week, we have 5 more not to miss events.
Thomas Schutte: Faces and Figures, 25 September – 18 November 2012
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA
Thomas Schütte Walser’s wife 2011 Installation view, Thomas Schütte: Faces & Figures Serpentine Gallery, London (25 September – 18 November 2012) © 2012 Gautier Deblonde
Known for his sinister, yet equally frail, male figures huddled in colourful robes and bound together (United Enemies, 1994), this challenging exhibition will chart Schutte’s divergent investigations of figuration in contemporary art. Combining works on paper with sculptures, the presentation will also include numerous self-portraits. Of particular note is the large-sale Vater Staat (Father State) (2010) which, despite towering over the viewer at nearly four metres tall, is beset by an air of abjection, pathos and isolation. An incredibly important presence from the post-war generation in Germany (b.1954), this is one of the artist’s largest and most significant exhibitions in the UK in recent years.
Anthea Hamilton: Sorry I’m Late, Until 25 November 2012
firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester CO1 1JH
Still just about under the radar for anyone outside of the industry, Anthea Hamilton (b.1978) has already accrued very significant critical acclaim. Following her immersive solo exhibition Gymnasium at Chisenhale Gallery in 2008, this is the artist’s largest solo presentation in the UK since. You may also recognise her work from the commemorative posters which accompanied the London 2012 Olympics, for which Hamilton created a striking work of upturned white leg silhouettes against a vivid swimming pool-blue background.
Sorry I’m Late is a series of vibrant environments and stage sets populated with her own personal language of sculptures and eccentric, camp, performative artefacts and personages. Encouraging lively narratives, and fusing her unique take on performance, art history and cinema, the artist creates highly entertaining worlds for the viewer to navigate and enjoy.
Giuseppe Penone: Spazio di Luce, until August 2013
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Another star exhibitor from dOCUMENTA (13), Giuseppe Penone (b.1947) is a late career artist associated with Arte Povera, the radical, largely Italian, movement from the 1960s which advocated new ways of making art, the adoption of ‘poor’ or humble materials and everyday found objects.
This major commission for the Whitechapel Gallery reworks a seminal piece from 1969, All the Years of the tree plus one, in which the artist coated a large larch trunk with a thin layer of wax. This poetic reflection on the passing of time has been revisited for this new work, Spazio di Luce (Space of Light), in which the layer of wax has been cast in bronze. At first appearance the piece resembles a simple facsimile of the tree trunk, but the trunk itself has been replaced by an empty void. The inside of the bronze cast has been covered in delicately applied gold leaf, which emits a warm glow that celebrates the ‘life giving power of light’. The work is also marked repeatedly with finger and hand prints – signs of man’s robust and intimate physical relationship with nature.
Liverpool Biennial, 15 September – 25 November 2012
Multiple Venues, Liverpool
Bizarrely, despite being one of the most important centres for the art market in the world, and having one of the most developed public infrastructures for the display and appreciation of contemporary art, we are still without a biennial to match. Now with a new Artistic Director, the first change since its inception in 1999, the biennial looks set to make a considerable impact. Under the guidance of Sally Tallant, previously Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Gallery, the 7th edition of the biennial will continue with a heavy emphasis on commissioning new works from important international artists, including, amongst others, Elmgreen and Dragset. Alongside the venues from previous years – FACT, Bluecoat and Tate Liverpool – there will be a new addition: the Cunard Building, the grandiose early twentieth-century home of the Cunard shipping line. The biennial will also be accompanied by the John Moores Painting Prize, and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2012, arguably the most significant survey exhibition of graduating artists which takes place each year.
A House of Leaves: First Movement, 21 September – 15 November 2012
David Roberts Art Foundation, Symes Mews, London, NW1 7JE
The first exhibition in their beautiful new premises in Mornington Crescent, A House of Leaves: First Movement will showcase major pieces from the Foundation’s collection. Started in the mid-1990s, and now totalling almost 2,000 individual works, the David Roberts Collection is one of the most significant on display in London, alongside that of Charles Saatchi and Anita Zabludowicz (shortly to also be joined by collector Frank Cohen). Curated in the form of a ‘symphony’, with three movements and an epilogue, this series of exhibitions will explore key themes initiated by important pieces in the collection. The First Movement takes Louise Bourgeois’ ECHO VIII (2007) as its starting point and will look at ‘hybrid forms, memory and fragmented figures’, and include works by such luminaries as Ida Applebroog, Tony Cragg, Matthew Day Jackson, Thomas Houseago, Martin Kippenberger, Wilhelm Sasnal and Rebecca Warren.