Secret Agents And Protests: February's Most Talked About Art Exhibitions

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 22 months ago
Secret Agents And Protests: February's Most Talked About Art Exhibitions

What's the verdict on these new exhibitions? We’ve picked a mixture of ones that are grabbing the headlines and others we think are worth a look. All but one is free to visit.

The American flag morphs into weapons of war. Courtesy Shapero Modern

America in Revolt: The Art of Protest at Shapero Modern
Some fantastic protest posters from the famous Berkeley demonstrations in the 1970s. The powerful imagery includes death wrapped in the US flag and co-opts Goya's Saturn devouring his son to symbolise America. Until 27 February, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

John Akomfrah at Lisson Gallery
Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea was our favourite work from last year's Venice Biennale. While that work is showing in Bristol, we get to see his latest work. These films are beautifully shot and tackle heavy topics such as religion and colonialism. However, they're far too ponderous to leave a lasting impression. Until 12 March, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Columbia Threadneedle Prize at Mall Galleries
We're big fans of this annual figurative art prize. This year features an impressive array of talented young artists, and with such a large amount of art on display there's bound to be something here for art fans. Until 20 February, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

A hooded figure cradles a baby in this massive sculpture inspired by war. Copyright Michael Sandle.

Michael Sandle at Flowers
These war-inspired sculptures are extremely powerful. A fighter pilot holds a collection of children's screaming heads. It's intense. Until 20 February, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Park Macarthur at Chisenhale Gallery
Containment is the theme, with an assorted collection of items including medical equipment, condoms and paper cups. It's an interesting idea to explore but it never feels complete enough to land a coherent message. Until 3 April, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Alex J Wood: Lift Off at New Art Projects
The first exhibition we've seen at this space features Alex Wood's sculptures based around flight. There's some fun and surreal works as a space shuttle is weighed down by a bronze parachute and a zeppelin hangs off Big Ben. Until 19 March, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★☆☆

Some of the objects that attempt to convey a narrative. Copyright The Museum of Innocence.

The Museum of Innocence at Somerset House
A clever idea to construct a narrative using only objects to re-tell a story about an ill-fated romance. However, it never quite comes together and feels like a chore to follow the narrative. Until 3 April, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic at ICA
These ceramic works are no doubt pleasant to look at. But ultimately that's all they are; there's very little beyond the contorted shapes and bright colours. Until 10 April, £1.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Mariele Neudecker: Plastic Vanitas @ The Nunnery, Bow Arts
Still life is recreated using plastic objects. The concept of decay and vulnerability is at the heart of vanitas paintings. Here the concept is flipped on its head with materials that don't naturally decay. A clever twist beautifully presented. Until 27 March, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Stan Douglas: Secret Agent @ Victoria Miro
A feature-length video projected across six screens re-tells a spy thriller, with terrible acting and little tension. Most visitors' attentions will be lost before any point can be made. Thankfully the hyper-realistic cityscapes downstairs are much more engaging.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Last Updated 13 February 2016