April 16, 2021
El Hadji Sy (also known as El Sy) was born 1954 in Dakar where he lives and works. As a painter, performer, curator and activist, Sy has shaped Senegalese art and culture significantly for several decades. Since the mid-1980s, he has used jute rice bags as a surface on which to paint with mixed media including oil, acrylic, tar and wax. Paintings are hung across ceilings, placed on floors, as well as on walls. Sometimes he produces stand-alone paintings on frames, such as could be seen in his installation “Disso-Concertation” for documenta 14. With a swirling script of signs and figures, Sy’s visual language reflects a decidedly performative style. Committed to crossing the boundaries of class and education, he has repeatedly exhibited his work in the streets of Dakar, choosing working class neighbourhoods with their hustle and bustle of daily life.
His work has been shown at the IFAN Museum of African Arts Dakar, the 31st Sao Paolo Biennale (2015), Ujzdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2016), documenta 14 (2017), and the Whitechapel Gallery. He has collaborated with many artists and curators including Clémentine Deliss, who has followed his work for 30 years, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Alison Gingerich, and Peter Pakesch.
The gallery is planning a solo exhibition for the artist in the fall of 2021. Recent works by El Hadji Sy will be featured as part of "DELIRIUM", curated by Clémentine Deliss for NEW VIEWINGS at Galerie Barbara Thumm.
April 15, 2021
Join the gallery on 15 April at 6pm BST in London and online for Black Boys Can Swim, a performance film piece by Khaleb Brooks highlighting black people’s relationship with water. According to the Centre for Disease Control African American children between 5 and 14 are three times more likely to drown compared to white children. A history of segregation not allowing access to pools, financial disparity and fear that can be linked to the Middle Passage has left multiple generations in the African diaspora fearful of water. Watch Khaleb Brooks offer a new take on the common stereotype "Black people can't swim" in Lamu, Kenya where local culture exists in relation to the sea.
April 13, 2021
One of the strongest feminist voices to emerge from Africa over the past 30 years, Everlyn Nicodemus’ life has been marked by movement: herself part of a moving diaspora which she both writes and paints about. Moving across Europe – to Sweden, France and Belgium before finally settling in the U.K. – her experience of racism and cultural trauma has prompted the creation of a unique body of work encompassing paintings, collaged ‘books’ and mixed-media assemblages as well as poems. Throughout her travels, she has taken an active involvement in community life, giving voice especially to marginalised women throughout history. In 2004, she completed one of her most ambitious works: Reference Scroll on Genocide, Massacres and Ethnic Cleansing, a 16-metre-long scroll documenting some of the most atrocious genocides and ethnic cleansings known throughout history.
Her response to her own ordeal with PTSD and personal grief is a major factor in her work, as is her research investigating art from Africa in relation to human suffering and societal responsibility, on which she completed a PhD African Modern Art and Black Cultural Trauma from Middlesex University in 2012.
Born in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in 1954, Nicodemus lives and works in Edinburgh. She was included in the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012, curated by Catherine de Zegher, amongst other major shows and presentations. Significant works by Nicodemus from the 1980s will be included in the upcoming group exhibition 'On Hannah Arendt: What is Authority?', opening on 26 April.
April 9, 2021
The Wisconsin-born and based artist Michelle Grabner is known for her broad perspective developed as teacher, writer and critic over the past 30 years. Her artmaking - which encompasses a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video and sculpture - is driven by a distinctive value in the productivity of work and takes place outside of dominant systems. Grabner instead finds a creative center in operating across platforms and towards community. Grabner is in a cohort that includes artists Tourmaline, Cauleen Smith, and Dread Scott, among others. These exceptional candidates were chosen through a rigorous peer-review process from almost 3,000 applicants.
“I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways. A Guggenheim Fellowship has always been meaningful, but this year we know it will be a lifeline for many of the new Fellows at a time of great hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows do what they were meant to do.”
April 8, 2021
Allen Ruppersberg moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s with the goal of becoming an illustrator, but soon became active in an emerging scene led by artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, William Leavitt and others who explored the intersection of language and image through the lens of mass culture. His early projects, included environments made from found objects, ironic narrative photographic works, and a hand-copied novel-launched a career-long practice of creating works that encourage both reading and viewing, weaving fact with fiction. Since those early years, Ruppersberg has worked actively between Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. His wide-ranging approach is unified by his regular use of everyday American culture, including books, posters, newspapers and magazines, records, old films, and other vintage objects drawn from his extensive collections of source material.
In his upcoming solo exhibition at Mai 36 Galerie, Ruppersberg will present his most recent collage works.
April 7, 2021
From 8 April to 29 July 2021, the gallery will present Ways of Knowing, a thematic programme of art and ideas that explores alternative ways of thinking about the world. The live events series centres around the theme of Water/Fluidity, in reference to the subjects explored in the major exhibition Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy, and more conceptually to the fluid connections between art, theory, history and place.
At its core Ways of Knowing looks to peripheral knowledge systems – the indigenous, self-taught and the non-human – taking an expansive, non-linear approach to what we can know and how we can come to know it. The artist-focussed programme features lectures, film screenings and workshops with Astrida Neimanis, Zadie Xa (b. 1983, Canada), Umama Hamido (b. 1987, Lebanon), Joshua Bonnetta (b. 1979, Canada), Huw Wahl (b. 1985, UK), Cristina Iglesias (b. 1956, Spain) and more.
April 6, 2021
In line with the latest government guidelines, commercial galleries in London will be reopening from Monday 12 April, with museums and public institutions due to welcome back visitors from 17 May 2021. To find out what’s on, visit our London page, with new information added daily.
April 1, 2021
Launching online on 9 April for forty-eight hours only, the painting embodies Oehlen’s contrarian stance in its conscious rejection of compositional harmony and stable meaning. Oehlen’s improvisations on outwardly disparate methods and modes have made him a touchstone for a new generation of artists. Since his early espousal of self-consciously “bad” painting, he has continued to investigate the tensions between aesthetic order and chaos, deliberately sidestepping unified form in favor of a seemingly raw, yet highly considered painterly energy.
The gallery will present Tramonto Spaventoso, an exhibition of recent paintings by Oehlen, including four new paintings from an eight-part work of the same title, in Beverly Hills from 22 April to 5 June 2021. The first four paintings in the cycle were shown at the Serpentine Galleries, London, in 2019–20.
March 31, 2021
An extraordinary work executed in 1982, when the artist was just 22 years old, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Versus Medici will star in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on 12 May, where it will be offered with an estimate of $35–50 million. Versus Medici is among Basquiat’s most forceful visual challenges to the Western art establishment, in which the young artist boldly crowns himself successor to the artistic throne as established by the masters of the Italian Renaissance. The artwork has remained in the same distinguished private collection since 1990; it was previously in the collection of Stephane Janssen, an early champion of Basquiat who acquired it from Larry Gagosian on a visit to Basquiat’s studio in 1982.
Versus Medici is an early, prime masterwork from the artist. Basquiat completed the work in 1982, the same year as the record-breaking Untitled, which sold at Sotheby’s in 2018 for $110.5 million, and shortly after his breakthrough inclusions in the Times Square Show in 1980 and New York New Wave at PS1 in 1981.
March 30, 2021
Drawing loosely upon a tradition of contemporary mystical realism, Dominic Chambers creates paintings that immediately reference literary narratives cited in books, various mythologies and Black history, both in its oral tradition and written account. His current practice is invested in exploring Black introspection, the Black body, and the construction of lived Black experiences, as seen through moments of quiet contemplation and meditation, reading, leisure, and the camaraderie between friends. An avid reader since childhood, literature and the dialectics of language continue to play a major role in both his life and work.
In his psychological figurative paintings, Chambers builds a relationship between history, painting, and the imagination to center his respective ideas of where and how to find joy through respite, one that is both real and longed for.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1993, Dominic Chambers currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. A comprehensive survey with the artist is planned for 2022, and a catalogue will be published by Roberts Projects in conjunction with the exhibition. In association with Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy.
March 29, 2021
Through her acoustic and deliberately polyphonic installations, Anne Le Troter explores the mechanisms of language. Nurtured by everyday experiences, and poets such as Christophe Tarkos, Charles Pennequin and Nathalie Quintane, her praxis has developed out of the recording and editing of collected words. The orality and role-playing which she introduces become the vehicles for an observation of the world which is tending more and more to take the form of a total work conveying her fascination for theatrical representation. Somewhere between décor and set, she constructs territories for these bodyless voices which are developed in space.
The gallery will present her first solo exhibition in Fall 2021.
March 27, 2021
Chloe Waddington, who joined Timothy Taylor in 2019 as a director, has been made a partner in New York, the first in the gallery’s three decade history. In the past eighteen months, Waddington has played a pivotal role in the new representation of artists Honor Titus and Chris Martin, and will continue to develop the gallery’s expanding curatorial program and roster of artists and estates.
Waddington will oversee Hilary Pecis’s first solo exhibition in the U.K. at Timothy Taylor London in spring 2021, in addition to the upcoming group exhibition Reconfigured featuring ten early-career British artists, held at a temporary space at 518 West 19th Street, NY, across the street from Timothy Taylor’s Chelsea townhouse.
March 26, 2021
Born in New York City in 1964, Gary Simmons has achieved wide acclaim over the past three decades for a profound and energetic practice that explores notions of race, class, social stereotypes, and politics through painting, sculpture, sound, and architectural environments. Simmons’ work considers the influence of the past upon the present, grappling specifically with the unfixed nature of memory and the American penchant for revising or even replacing personal and collective experience. Best known for illustrative paintings in which white outlines of figures and words – 20th century cartoon characters steeped in the racist traditions of minstrelsy, disappeared architectural sites, vintage film title cards, evaporating clouds of smoke, twinkling stars – are painted on chalkboard-like surfaces, then blurred and smeared by hand. Through this signature ‘erasure’ technique, Simmons has uniquely captured the effect of history being altered while its energy continues to shape life in the present day.
March 25, 2021
Some of the earliest recognized works by Yayoi Kusama – which have never been exhibited in public – will be offered in a special single-owner collection sale at Bonhams New York on Wednesday 12 May. The auction, Kusama: The Collection of the late Dr Teruo Hirose, comprises three paintings and eight works on paper, gifted by Kusuma herself to Dr Hirose, her lifelong friend and doctor whom she consulted in her early years in New York in the 1960s, when she was a struggling young artist in need of medical aid.
The highlights of the sale include two of Kusama's River paintings – Mississippi River and Hudson River, both created in 1960 – featuring early examples of her iconic Infinity Net motif. These early works are exceptionally rare due to Kusama's use of the colour red - almost all her other works of this period are white. The third painting in the collection, Untitled, is a very early example of Kusama combining vibrant colours and the scale of the work lends an immersive quality, something that foreshadows the artist's later work such as her Infinity Rooms. The eight works on paper, executed by Kusama before she arrived in the United States in 1957, are corner stones of the artist's practice, laying the aesthetic groundwork for her career to follow. Painted when Kusama was in her twenties, the works show the genesis of her Infinity Nets, as well as elements such as polka dots and flower imagery for which she would become known.
March 24, 2021
Join the Serpentine on Wednesday 31 March at 7pm BST for Portraits for the Future, a unique virtual event celebrating visionary photographer James Barnor’s practice and his influence on generations of artists, looking forward to his major survey show at the gallery later this year. Hosted by Clara Amfo, the event features James Barnor in conversation with photographer Tyler Mitchell and Hans Ulrich Obrist; music by Ebo Taylor; poetry by Nii Ayikwei Parkes; a look through the archives with Black in the Day; contributions from Sir David Adjaye, Naomi Campbell and British Vogue Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful; plus instructions, reflections and tips from some of the most exciting photographers working today, including Liz Johnson Artur, Samuel Fosso, Eric Gyamfi, Zohra Opoku, Dayanita Singh, Ming Smith and Tourmaline.
Portraits for the Future brings together artists, photographers, musicians and leading cultural figures inspired by Barnor’s visionary work to explore how his vision is a crucial guide for the future. In conjunction with the event the Serpentine will launch a campaign on Kickstarter to build a community to realise a programme of activity to bring Barnor’s work to the widest possible audiences. Exclusive rewards such as special limited edition prints by James Barnor, curator tours and more launch on Wednesday 24 March.
March 23, 2021
Published by Hamiltons to accompany the gallery’s eponymous exhibition, the limited-edition book features 33 duotone plates and essays by Newton’s personal friend and renowned photography specialist Philippe Garner, and The Irving Penn Foundation’s Vasilios Zatse.
In celebration of what would have been Newton’s 100th birthday on 31 October 2020, Helmut Newton: High Gloss presents many of Newton’s most famous photographs and exceedingly rare ‘ferrotyped’ prints from the 1970s, including Elsa Peretti, Rue Aubriot and Woman Examining Man. The exhibition is on view at Hamiltons until Friday 28 May.
Taking place every Thursday from 25 March to 15 April 2021, the gallery will host one of the four artists presented in Curtain Twitching - Adam de Boer, Khaleb Brooks, Max Prus & Niyaz Najafov - with each one discussing the processes and motivations for their works.
On Thursday 25 March, Niyaz Najafov will present a workshop in his Paris studio. The following Thursday, 1 April, Adam de Boer will conduct a Batik workshop delving into his Eurasian ancestry and traditions from the region. On 8 April, Max Prus will screen an exclusive film with a backing track of self-made music where he returns to the seaside areas of Norfolk seen in his 2020-2021 works. Finally, on 15 April, Khaleb Brooks will perform a piece on identity at the Dover Street gallery where guests will be able watch from the outside in. Follow the gallery on Instagram to access the events.
March 22, 2021
Fascinated with the malleable nature of materials, and the architectural historical practice of spolia - the appropriation of materials into new forms - as a potent counter force to inherited personal and cultural determinism, Sarah Entwistle’s broader project is a continued dialogue and dismantling of the archive of her late grandfather and fellow architect, Clive Entwistle [1916-1976], whom she never met.
Entwistle trained as an architect, at The Bartlett, UCL and Architectural Association, London. In 2019 she received the main prize for Mostyn21, Mostyn Gallery and in 2017 was the recipient of the Artists’ International Development Fund, Arts Council England. In 2014 she received the Foundation Le Corbusier Grant for Visual Artists and in 2015 presented a solo exhibition, He was my father and I an atom, destined to grow into him, at the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris. The exhibition coincided with the publication of her experimental biography, Please send this book to my mother, Sternberg Press, 2015, published with the support of The Graham foundation for the advanced studies in fine art, Chicago.
In 2020 Sarah Entwistle presented a solo-show on the gallery’s online platform New Viewings curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, together with Paul Kumiet.
The artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, The Knots of Tender Love are Firmly Tied, is planned for June 2021, coinciding with the publication of her new monograph entitled Junk Own, published by Distanz, Berlin.
March 19, 2021
Born in 1954, the Brooklyn-based artist Chris Martin makes vibrant works animated by a spirit of radical experimentation, from glittering paintings to delicate watercolors and foil-encrusted collages in rainbows of psychedelic colour. Martin blends elements of Abstract Expressionism and geometric forms freely with references to music, pop culture, astrology, and Eastern and Western forms of spirituality and mysticism. This alchemic approach reflects the artist’s personal outlook on painting: that art can and should reflect the kaleidoscope nature of contemporary life today. As such, his paintings often seem keyed into the synapses of our shared imagination, intuitively reflecting the quirks, obsessions, and fascinations of our time.
In April 2020, Martin curated the online exhibition Painting the Essential: New York, 1980 – Present for Timothy Taylor, featuring works by Martin's friends and peers in the artistic community of downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn in the 1980s, united by their exuberant use of colour, focus on process and intuition, and inventive approach to different forms of media.
The artist’s inaugural exhibition of new paintings with the gallery will take place at Timothy Taylor, London in May 2022.
March 18, 2021
Naudline Pierre’s paintings draw from fantasy and iconography to conjure alternate worlds. Swirling with jewel-toned texture, her works center ecstasy, devotion, and tenderness in epic scenes that generate space for rescue and healing. Pierre’s winged figures are enveloped in vast, horizonless landscapes, where they come together in acts of intimacy and salvation: they reach longingly outward toward each other, congregate, and embrace, emoting protection and care.
Pierre’s work situates personal mythology and transcendent intimacy alongside canonical narratives of devotion. Her works continue the art-historical tradition of portraying encounters between the earthly and the otherworldly, extending this lineage of image-making by injecting the conventions of her discipline with ephemerality and ambiguity. Referencing the Renaissance format of the altar triptych, for example, or incorporating flattened space and forced perspective, she reconfigures formal systems from the past to generate new possible futures grounded in the here and now.
The gallery will present a solo exhibition of the Brooklyn-based artist’s work in April 2022.