Torture Porn Puppetry And Virtual Reality: London's Most Talked About Exhibitions

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 23 months ago
Torture Porn Puppetry And Virtual Reality: London's Most Talked About Exhibitions
An image of Jamie Fiztpatrick's kinetic installation. Aristocrats head-butt and pigeons fly around in circles.

XL Catlin Art Prize at Londonewcastle Project Space
Every year we look to forward to this exhibition featuring the best in graduate artists. And it seems to be getting more ambitious each year. We have head-butting aristocrats and a work that can only be listened to when sat in the back of a car. The most powerful work is some truly brutal torture porn puppetry by Christopher Gray — it's not an easy watch but deserves to win this year's prize. Until 22 May, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Sarah Lucas: Power in Woman at Sir John Soanes Museum
Those who couldn't make it to the Venice Biennale last year can see some of the work Sarah Lucas showed in the British pavilion. Cigarettes pop out of an anus in works that now feel terribly dated and have lost the power to shock viewers. Until 21 May, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

Ben Tricklebank & Enter Through The Headset at Gazelli Art House
Two exhibitions in one includes a pool of milky water that reacts to your movements. But upstairs is the true treasure trove, where three works require visitors to don a virtual reality headset and experience other worlds including one truly brilliant interactive session where we cross the river Styx. We're adamant that virtual reality is the future of art and this show provides further proof. Until 25 June, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★★

Katrin Fridriks explosive paintings. Copyright the artists and Lazarides

Katrin Fridriks: Macrocosm at Lazarides
Bright abstract colours swirl and explode in these bright and beautiful works. It feels energetic yet somehow very controlled at the same time. Captivating. Until 9 June, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Angela de la Cruz at Peer
This gallery re-opens after a refurbishment with three works. Angela de la Cruz's installation feels like an oversized canvas has been squashed into the gallery space. There are also a set of birdhouses by London fieldworks and a special clock commission by Chris Ofili. A strong foundation to build their new programme upon. Until 21 May.

Londonist Rating:

★★★☆☆

Painting with Light at Tate Britain
How did early photography impact painters at the time? An interesting opening question devolves into yet another overly academic and dull exhibition. Two Rossetti paintings try to save this show but it's not nearly enough. It may not be as bad as the abhorrent Conceptual Art in Britain but it's still a poor showing. Until 25 September, £16.30 / £14.50

Londonist Rating:

★★☆☆☆

George Shaw paints on how we treat the natural world around us. Copyright and courtesy the artist and Wilkinson Gallery

George Shaw: My Back To Nature at The National Gallery
The latest artist in residence takes the classical paintings in the gallery and focusses on their debauchery. Applying this to the experiences of the children in his neighbourhood results in scenes of pornographic magazines and litter in forests. It's an original interpretation and a very different, yet worthy, successor to the brilliant kinetic sculptures by Michael Landy. Until 30 October, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Love to Death at Leontia Gallery
This gallery's new permanent space gets a fun exhibition to inaugurate it. We have the bright animals of Louise McNaught, the terrifically detailed portraits by Carne Griffiths and a series showing Barbie and Ken where Ken's sexuality is under question. Even if all the works weren't to our taste, it's an enjoyable show with engaging artworks. Until 29 May, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★☆☆

Chroma at St John on Bethnal Green
We've seen some fantastic exhibitions in the belfry of this church. This solo show for returning artist Renaud Haslan is just as atmospheric as previous iterations. Candles and music perfectly complement the prints and photographs. Until 26 May, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★★☆

Swept under the Carpet at Geffrye Museum
The household museum gets some interventions to show how household servants used to be treated in the past. It wasn't an easy life being up from 2am cleaning the sheets and having your luggage checked to ensure nothing has been stolen. Little changes to the rooms bring these narratives to life, in a subtle and interesting exhibition. Until 4 September, free.

Londonist Rating:

★★★☆☆

Make sure you check out our last edition of most talked about exhibitions as all are still open.

Last Updated 17 May 2016