Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Art picks for May/June

Art picks and reviews for May/June 2014

May - July is a great time to catch degree art shows and to discover emerging artists. If you're outside London, try go to an event near where you live to see work by new local artists before they are tempted to move away to the big smoke. Or look for exhibitions by emerging artists at local contemporary art venues over the summer.

Fine art degree exhibition by Suzanna Raymond, 2013
Fine Art degree exhibition by Suzanna Raymond, 2013.

Degree show guides and showcases.

a-n Degree Show Guide - Flick through this free magazine online or download it
Tips for art buyers  - A page of advice from a-n for buying work by emerging artists 
Free Range -  A guide to a season of FREE graduate Art + Design shows at the The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, East London  (29th May - 14th July)  

Exhibitions May/June 2014

Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern
Blockbuster retrospective of 'one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century'.
Blurb: 'Tate Modern presents the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of Hamilton’s work, from his early exhibition designs of the 1950s to his final paintings of 2011. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well as his engagement and collaborations with other artists.'
Review: I enjoyed trip to this show but I should have left a bit longer for the installations, which beg for some camera phone 'selfies' (unfortunately photos are not allowed in the exhibition). The work invites you to feel that you are participating in completing it, a quality that I love in contemporary art.
Top tip: Think of something witty to say or sing when you get to room 4 (This is Tomorrow)
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG.  (0)20 7887 8888 Until 26 May.

Bailey's Stardust
More than 250 portraits from his entire career, from around the world, and views of East London from 1961-2.
Blurb: 'Featuring over 250 images, personally selected and printed by Bailey, the exhibition offers an unmissable opportunity to experience the work of one of the world’s greatest image-makers.'
National Portrait Gallery. (020 7312 2463) Until 1 June.

Women and The History of Art
A late addition on my part, as I've just seen this Guardian article. If you're fascinated by Amanda Vickery's BBC2 TV Series 'The Story of Women and Art' then you'll probably be interested in these contemporary portraits of female artists that have been airbrushed from conventional art history.
The Fine Art Society Contemporary, 148 New Bond Street, W1S 2JT. Until 6 June.

Vikings: life and legend
It's got Vikings - what more do we need to say and I love the British Museum but this is a popular exhibition and so it'll be very busy. However, if you don't like slow-moving crowds (see feedback from @speedina below) you may not be in a hurry to visit ...
Blurb: 'Discover the Viking world in this major exhibition – the first at the British Museum for over 30 years.'
Review: 'Vikings at the British Museum is hell. Terrible viewing conditions; like the slowest moving buffet queue in THE WORLD. Disappointed :( ' Emily Speed (@speedina) April 25, 2014
British Museum. Until 22 June 2014

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
One of the first pieces of modern art that I enjoyed as a child is The Snail (1953), which usually lives at Tate Britain. Look out for the mini-snail inching its way around one of the bold slabs of colour.
The blurb: 'Henri Matisse is a giant of modern art. This landmark show explores the final chapter in his career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ and his series of spectacular cut-outs was born.The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place and discover Matisse’s final artistic triumph.'
Top tip: Sunday evenings will be set aside for a quieter exhibition viewing experience, with visitor numbers restricted from 20.00–22.30.
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG.  (0)20 7887 8888, 17 April  – 7 Sept.

RA Summer Exhibition
A vast sprawling exhibition in the main galeries of the RA, the show annually shows a wide range of work, mostly for sale. The joys include seeing work by well-known contemporary artists, the lows include sore feet as you reach the end. Judging by the clips on the BBC, this year's best curated room will probably be that by Cornelia Parker, who has selected around a black and white theme.
Blurb:'The largest open submission exhibition in the world'; 'Held without interruption since 1769, the Summer Exhibition displays works in a variety of mediums and genres by emerging and established contemporary artists.'
Top tip: If you want to buy something to take home you might also like Not the Royal Academy (below)
RA Main Galleries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD / 020 7300 8000 / 9 June — 17 Aug.

Not the Royal Academy
A Salon des Refus├ęs for some of the artists who didn't make it into the RA Summer Exhibition but nevertheless have commerically viable work. Worth a look if you want to see more traditional work suited to a domestic setting.
LLEWELLYN ALEXANDER GALLERY, 124-126 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE 1 8LN UK (Opposite the Old Vic Theatre) / Tel: 020 7620 1322/1324 / 10th June - 16th Aug.

Outside London

Bristol - Jeremy Deller: English Magic
Jeremy Deller's English Magic tours to Bristol in April, for the second leg of its trip around England. This time the exhibition's local links will include include new installations and commissions made in direct response to the museum’s own collections; including paintings of the Bristol Riots of 1831 by William James Muller and a display of taxidermy, handpicked by Deller.
This was one exhibition I was very glad to visit at the William Morris Gallery, as I couldn't get to the Venice Biennale and I wanted to see English Magic in person. Jeremy Deller makes the kind of work I'd like to be making myself. I need to find my own way there, so I take work like his as an inspiration that the art world still supports artists making socially-inclusive artworks.
Top tip: See the events list.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road, BristolBS8 1RL. 12 April - 21 September

More useful links

The Guardian - Art and Design
The Telegraph's art exhibitions and reviews.