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Top 6 April

Favorites from April.

The Institute of Reconciliation

Installation, 2014 – ongoing (see images 1 and 5 here)

Oscar Murillo (b.1986, Colombia)

Oscar Murillo: Violent Amnesia (8 Mar – 31 Jul 2019) @Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

Oscar Murillo occupied the Kettle’s Yard completely. Walls, handholds, floors, ceilings – the entire gallery, creative space and ceiling were touched by the artist. More than that, to see the last piece at the exposition ‘Violent Amnesia’, you have to climb up to the neighbouring St Peter’s Church. Five human figures, judging from the size, cloths, features looking like ordinary people, workers, sit uncomfortably on the benches at the Church. Just minor awkward element is attached to all of them: in the upper part of the body, somewhere instead of stomach, the ventilation pipe with few objects (burned loafs of bread or stone) is installed. Well, the church is presumable the best place to remove all the stones from the one’s chest. But it looks that this group of five figures expects you to join the reconciliation. You come as a visitor-spectator, but apparently, they are spectators themselves. So, what are we waiting for then?

I Want My Time With You

Installation, 2019

Tracey Emin (b.1963, UK)

I Want My Time With You (10 Apr 2019 -) @St. Pancras, London

Just below the main clock and above the embracing couple at the St Pancras train station in London, there is a giant phrase handwritten in neon lights. I Want My Time with You. Might sound cheesy, but why not?

The Fall of the Damned

Oil on wood, 1450

Dirk Bouts (1400? - 1475, Netherlands)

The Renaissance Nude (3 Mar – 2 June 2019) @Royal Academy of Arts, London

‘Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display.’ – says John Berger at his book “Ways of Seeing”. Curators of the exhibition ‘The Renaissance Nude’ at the RA placed a lot more than nudity on display. The choice of Dirk Bouts’ ‘The Fall of the Damned’ made me shiver from both scare and excitement. How 15thcentury painters knew how to image what happens to those who violate rules and were sent to hell. Such a joy in the faces of demons and such frustration of the fallen angers. Chaos and wild behaviour flourish though dark colours, and neat rendering of the smallest details. A pure pleasure of examining the depicted story.

All Our False Devices

Installation, multiple projects

Joanna Piotrowska (b. 1985, Poland)

Art Now (8 Mar– 9 Jun 2019) @Tate Britain, London

Piotrowska, inspired by various psychotherapies, especially those which involve working with the physical body, as a part of the works displayed at the exhibition “Art Now” at the Tate Britain, shows her silent films. The American psychologist Carol Gilligan suggests that between ages of eleven and sixteen, which is period crucial to the formation of identity, teenage girls learn to suppress their inner moral intuitions, and their voices of resistance become silent. Stimulated by this research, Piotrowska choreographed various poses based on self-defence manuals. Extracted from their context women capture your attention and force to pay attention to every mimicking and move, that goes beyond frame, time, sound.

Study for Portrait of Van Gogh IV

Oil on canvas, 1957

Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992, UK)

Van Gogh and Britain (27 Mar – 11 Aug 2019) @Tate Britain, London

Van Gogh was an inspiration source for numerous artists worldwide. The recent exhibition at Tate Britain gives an insight on the British artists who was influenced by the exceptional Dutch post-impressionist painter. Francis Bacon’s studies on Van Gogh capture his figure in deep thought walking through the fields. Bold, bright, explicit, yet dark colours and wide brushstrokes looks Bacons’, but contrasting blue background and underlining on contours look like borrowed from Van Gogh. The overall setting and unmistakeable hat allow us easily to identify the figure that Bacon admired.

Vesuv (Vesuvius)

Papier-mâché, paint, and steel, (211.8 x 140 x 66 cm), installation, 1987

Franz West (1947-2012, Austria)

Franz West (21 Feb – 5 Apr 2019) @David Zwirner, London

Austrian artist Franz West challenged the conventional understanding of the sculpture and beauty in general. Painted abstract forms supported by papier- mâché and steel with titles from philosophy, mythology and literature, share the irreverent aesthetics and sly humour. Vesuvius juxtaposed from paper and steel chimney looks exactly like volcano. A very positive one.

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