The Biggest Exhibitions On Right Now: Reviewed

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 82 months ago

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The Biggest Exhibitions On Right Now: Reviewed

Which art exhibitions are unmissable right now?

A stunning installation at Tate Britain.

LIGHT UP TATE BRITAIN: The latest installation in the main hall (Duveen galleries) has neon doodles scrawled in mid-air. While we’re unconvinced by the ideas Cerith Wyn Evans is trying to convey, who cares when it looks this good. Cerith Wyn Evans: Forms in Space … by Light (in Time) at Tate Britain. Until 20 August, free. ★★★★☆

The proposed Shchusev State Museum of architecture is part of the original vision of Moscow.

A UTOPIAN MOSCOW: This exhibition is all about how Moscow was imagined in the 1920s and 1930s. We get architectural drawings, propaganda and artworks. However, it all feels a bit too similar to the recent Russian exhibition at Royal Academy of Art. More architectural models could have made this a more entertaining show, but as it stands it's not unique enough to keep us interested. Imagine Moscow at Design Museum. Until 4 June, £10. ★★☆☆☆

Roots grow in a cavernous claustrophobic space. Copyright IC-98.

A SOUL SUCKING CLOUD: Step into darkness for two supremely atmospheric films. Both are projected into cavernous spaces, one where you stand at the top of steps and watch souls get sucked into a giant cloud. In the other, a giant space feels claustrophobic as roots grow on screen and sound reverberates us — we felt like people could appear from the darkness. A fantastic first visit for us to this gallery in Vauxhall. IC98: Meditations on the Anthropocene at Beaconsfield, 22 Newport street, SE11 6AY. Until 23 April, free. ★★★★★ (Wednesday-Sunday)

Wearing (left) and Cahun (right) have surprising similarities in their works. Copyright: Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

BEHIND THE MASK: Two powerful female artists generations apart combine in this exhibition that's all about identity. Claude Cahun shaves her head to pose as a male dandy, while Gillian Wearing dances in a Peckham shopping centre to music that's all in her head, as passers by pretend not to notice. The show is a subtle exploration of two artists exploring similar themes, while providing a fascinating insight into both their art practices. Gillian Wearing & Claude Cahun: Behind the mask, another mask is on at National Portrait Gallery. Until 29 May, £10. ★★★★☆

The artist within her magical installation. Courtesy Now gallery

A MAGICAL FLORAL DISPLAY: Rebecca Louise Law has suspended 10,000 irises from the ceiling of the gallery. It's great to sit down and immerse yourself in this magical environment. We love her work, we've covered her hanging gardens in the City of London and she's planning a new installation for the Mayfair restaurant Sake No Hana. The Iris: Rebecca Louise Law at Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula. Until 7 May, free. ★★★★☆

Ships seem to emerge from the fog. Copyright Anderson & Low.

GHOSTLY SHIPS: The Science Museum's collection of model ships in storage has been photographed through their semi-transparent protective covers. Photographic duo Anderson & Low have given these ships a ghostly resurrection, and the fuzzy images capture a sense of the history these models represent. The way the exhibition is laid out with low lighting and spaced far apart only adds to the ethereal atmosphere. Voyages at Science Museum. Until 30 July, free. ★★★★☆

Arise Lord Vader, at the O2. © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd, LLC & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorisation

CREATE YOUR OWN STAR WARS CHARACTER: Stormtrooper outfits, models of the spacecraft from Star Wars, Yoda, Chewbacca and Darth Maul. This is a treasure trove of props from the films. The additional part of this show is the opportunity to create your own character by answering questions along the way — children will love it. Strangely enough this mix of Lucasfilm meets Myers-Briggs actually works out well for adults too, with us enjoying our final creation as a mix of Darth Maul and Boba Fett. Star Wars: Identities at The O2. Until 3 September, £20. ★★★★☆

These riots could be anywhere, thus making this exhibition even more relevant. Courtesy Lazarides Gallery.

BLURRED RIOTS: Jerome Lagarrigue has painted scenes from riots, both police and protesters. Each work is purposefully blurred to create the lack of clarity that comes with being part of an emotionally charged scene. It also makes the context and location unclear; this could be anywhere — particularly apt given the current global political climate. Jerome Lagarrigue: The Tipping Point at Lazarides, 11 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HR. Until 13 April, free. ★★★★☆ (Wednesday-Saturday)

An abstract portrait of the artist. Copyright: Howard Hodgkin

PORTRAITS GET ABSTRACT: Howard Hodgkin died just before this exhibition opened, so here's a fitting tribute to his varied career. Abstract portraiture seems like an oxymoron and many of these paintings are not obviously portraits. Bright bold colours leap off the canvas and often spread onto the frames. After a while the show does feel a little same-y but that doesn’t detract from the brilliance of many of Hodgkin's works. Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends at National Portrait Gallery. Until 18 June, £12. ★★★★☆

Sculptures that look too similar. All About Love “Breathe” 2016–17 Courtesy and © Marc Quinn Studio

EMBRACING BODIES: Marc Quinn is most famous for placing a statue of Alison Lapper on the Fourth Plinth and creating a self-portrait using 10 pints of his own blood. His addition to the John Soane Museum is tamer affair with casts of him and his muse in an intimate embrace. The statues are all over the museum so it's disappointing how they are practically all the same. We also aren't comfortable with the gender stereotyping; the female nude exposed while the male is just a pair of comforting arms. Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life at John Soane's Museum. Until 23 September, free. ★★☆☆☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

A dramatic scene as Samson is about to lose his hair and his power. © The National Gallery, London

RUBENS & REMBRANDT: The two names alone should get art fans excited. The National Gallery has put up a new display of these two Old Masters in (the often hard to find) gallery B. Rembrandt's self-portraits are brilliant, showing a young artist on the up, and a somewhat morose old man towards the end of his years. Couple these with the bold Biblical scenes of Rubens and you're onto a winner. Rubens and Rembrandt at The National Gallery, gallery B. Until 16 July, free. ★★★★☆

Last Updated 21 June 2017