There’s something truly intriguing about the intimacy of an artwork, as it reaches beyond the visual, and captivates us entirely. Luring us in with unique creative expressions – or even the recognition of ourselves in another’s oeuvres, we find ourselves personally connected with what the content evokes. Now with the summer giving way for many opportunities to discover and appreciate both contemporary and classic artists, NBGA have gathered a selection of exhibitions which will surely stir something in our creative conscience..
In offering a distinct artistic discourse where the personal becomes political, this is the first exhibition to explore the groundbreaking contributions to contemporary art of Latin American and Latina women artists during a period of extraordinary conceptual and aesthetic experimentation. Featuring 123 artists from 15 countries, Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 focuses on their use of the female body for political and social critique and artistic expression. By offering a work of art that is both visually stimulating, and intriguing to the mind, the artworks on view range from painting and sculpture to photography, video, performance, and other new mediums. Included are emblematic figures such as Lygia Pape, Ana Mendieta, and Marta Minujín, alongside lesser‐known names such as Cuban‐born abstract painter Zilia Sánchez; Colombian sculptor Feliza Bursztyn; Peruvian composer, choreographer, and activist Victoria Santa Cruz; and Argentine mixed‐media artist Margarita Paksa.
With her fierce intensity and deeply authentic oeuvres, it’s hard not to feel captivated by the poetic being of Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. So eternal is her creative legacy that it often transcends far beyond her canvases, and onto the catwalk itself. And now with the V&A bringing us many of her authentic belongings which have never before left Mexico, Kahlo’s relationship with fashion plays out alongside her political ideology during a time when the country was rediscovering its pre-Columbian roots. Her performative identity will also be considered as made all the more powerful when we consider her as a spirited, liberated woman, operating in a man’s world. It took four years for historians to catalogue the some 6,000 photographs, 12,000 documents and 300 items found. And now, many of these personal artefacts and clothes are housed in the V&A as part of its summer exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up.
The work of Njiideka Akunyili Crosby is renowned for poignantly merging collage, printmaking, drawing and painting in sumptuous and cinematic large-scale works. Fusing Nigerian and American source materials, histories and cultural references her works typically show members of Akunyili Crosby ‘s family in modern domestic interiors in a palette of subdued pastel hues, rife with printed fabrics and vibrant greenery. Born and raised in Nigeria and now living in Los Angeles, Akunyili Crosby constructs intricately layered scenes reflecting the rich complexity of contemporary lives shaped by postcolonial African cosmopolitanism and global, hybrid identities. Akunyili Crosby is the second artist to create an outdoor mural designed specifically to wrap the exterior of MOCA Grand Avenue, a new initiative that invites views both by pedestrians and through the windows of moving cars on Grand Avenue. Her work transforms the museum itself into a canvas for explorations of scale, texture, pattern, intimacy and a multiplicity of perspectives.
Via Art Fund
It’s now been 9 years since Michael has left us, and as some of us are still getting over his passing, London’s National Portrait Gallery are giving us a grand exhibition to celebrate his legacy as artist and influencer. His significance is widely acknowledged when it comes to music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion, but his considerable influence on contemporary art is an untold story. Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Jackson has become “the most depicted cultural figure in visual art by an extraordinary array of leading contemporary artists”. For the first time, Michael Jackson: On the Wall will bring together the works of over forty of these artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new works made especially for the exhibition.
With their bold, colourful qualities, untethered from recognizable references to the physical world, the paintings of Hilma af Klint have inspired the art world far more than they have been accredited. In creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, years before Kandinskey, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian and others would take similar strides to rid their own artwork of representational content, we find her unique touch and underrated influence to be a definite cause for celebration. And now, thanks to this show, she is coming to London’s Serpentine Gallery in an exhibition entitled Painting the Unseen . A thrilling selection from the Paintings for the Temple will include the most poignant of all her works: aligning pictures, oils and tempera on paper, along with more than 10 feet tall: free-wheeling, psychedelic, animated snail shells, and unspooling threads against orange, rose and dusky blue. Man’s evolution is their sober subject.
@ iIN PROGRESS GALLERY MILAN
Merging unconventional celebrity portraits with classical nudes, the photographs of Gorman will be on display for the first time in an Italian Gallery. Revealing their purest essence through a use of stark lighting, stripped back interiors and black and white colour palette, this artifice invites the subjects to express themselves entirely, as the exhibition tells the story of three decades of his career through forty artworks. From 6th June to 1st September 2018, 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery in Milan (via San Vittore 13) will host the exhibition BEYOND THE PORTRAIT. His are photographic works of great importance that represent the dominant characteristics of his entire work. He manages to create a complicity with the subject depicted, establishing a relationship of mutual trust that, especially in the case of Hollywood celebrities, exposes the actor, frees him from the cage of the character, from the duty of embodying another character. The subject is quite simply himself and, in this way, humanized.
Indulge yourself in an ambiance of ultimate glamour, celebrating one of our favourite Parisian couturiers. For almost 30 years, this was the couture house of Yves Saint Laurent, the charismatic prodigy who took Paris by storm in his teens and went on to redefine the way women dressed for decades to come. With the maison overlooking across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the museum has opened to the public as a testament to his artistry and career. In mannequins and montages, original notes and sketches, videos and voice-overs, the museum charts the Saint Laurent story – from his first groundbreaking show in 1962, through to his designs for ballet and theatre, his fantastical costume jewellery, and his most iconic works including that era-defining “smoking” tuxedo.