Top 6 July
July comes and goes. How was it? Attended Summer School at the Courtauld Institute of Art (my notes are coming soon), 12 exhibitions visited, 2 exhibitions revisited, a week on holidays, and long to-do-list to be ticket next month. See my July favourites below.
France-Lise McGurn (b. 1983, Glasgow)
Art Now: France-Lise McGurn 'Sleepless' (until 8 Sep 2019) @Tate Britain
Dream like drawing not limited to canvas. The figures are spread around the gallery onto the walls, ceiling and floors. Well, I remember this artist from the exhibition inspired by Virginia Woolf’s writings. An intuitive rather than planned work engages in lyrical, subtle way, providing some time to wander with no rush and develop my own narrative. It feels that the artist is everywhere moving around you.
Oil on canvas, 1967
Faith Ringgold (b.1941, Britain)
Faith Ringgold (6 Jun – 8 Sep 2019) @Serpentine Gallery, London
A hundred sets of eyes and noses in a grid-like structure that is framed within a postage stamp. Repetition is like in works of Pop Art, in particular, of Andy Warhol. Helpful description next to the painting pointed several things: the work hides the statistics from the year of 1967. Back then ten percent of the US population was black. The artist situates black faces diagonally across the composition, and crosses this with the word ‘Black Power’ to form ‘X’. Further reading and more attentive looking reveals the words ‘White Power’ framing all the faces in the composition. The postage looks united by blue colours: dark blue shadows on the faces and light blue background of the work.
In her paintings, political posters and story quilts, Faith Ringgold exposed social inequalities and racial tensions.
Middle Eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard, wood, dims variable, 2018
Michael Rakowitz (b.1973, American-Iraqi)
Michael Rakowitz (4 Jun – 25 Aug 2019) @Whitechapel Gallery, London
If you been to London, Trafalgar Square and seen the Fourth Plinth, you will know the artist I am talking about. The model of the proposal is on display at the Whitechapel Gallery, and allows to investigate how empty Iraqi date syrup cans and the packaging of Middle-Eastern foods sold in the West can speak about economics, war and history.
In real life
Installation: aluminium, colour-effect filter glass (green, yellow, orange, red, pink, cyan), led light, 2019
Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967, Danish-Islandic artist)
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life (until 5 Jan 2020) @Tate Modern, London
Olafur Eliason plays with all four elements of nature and displays natural phenomena under the roof of the gallery, allowing visitors to sense the effect at close. However, as I am attracted to colour, I chose a kaleidoscope ‘In real life’ as my favourite piece from the exhibition. The light shines through the ball of carefully crafted triangles, made from aluminium and colour filters, and gives a lively display of numerous reflected ‘spikes’.
However, what I liked most was the exhibition leaflet with a guiding map, helping to orient myself in the world of darkness, shadows, reflections, video projections, etc.
Main display of the exhibition ‘Jennifer Lee: Potter’s Space’
Jennifer Lee (b. 1956, UK)
Jennifer Lee: The Potter’s Space (9 Jul – 22 Sep 2019) @Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
I simply couldn’t choose one pot of 40 works featured in the exhibition. The display of meticulously crafted pots is so awe-inspiring. Earthly tones in white surroundings. Clean and clear. Fragile and tense.
The exhibition is designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, and photos of the display tell more than words this time.
Stasys Eidrigevicius (b. 1949, Lithuania)
I love spending free time browsing books from macro to micro, that is from random shelves to covers to lettering of the text. Quickly going through pages and slowing down to examine illustrations. The most recent finding is childhood books from my parents’ home library. Now I am obsessed with the artist Stasys Eidrigevicius, for his quirky approach to everyday life with only few line drawings/etchings and more sophisticated paintings, often with an optical illusion twist. Simple and so effective. However, to my eye, colours suggest guilty mood, even more, like being lifeless but happy, or gloomy with hope, not so much of positivity.