London Art Calendar

The latest publication about the artworld

London Art Calendar

Delve into the enchanting world of the London Art Calendar for Winter 2023-2024, where the city comes alive with a myriad of exhibitions, performances, and installations that celebrate the intersection of tradition and contemporary creativity. From cozy gallery spaces to outdoor winter wonderlands, experience the captivating tapestry of artistic expression that defines London's cultural landscape during this season.

Antony Gormley. Body Politic
White Cube
22 November 2023 – 28 January 2024

Antony Gormley’s exhibition ‘Body Politic’ studies the relationship between humankind and its industrially made habitat. For the artist, this comes at an urgent moment in time, when our need for refuge is in dynamic tension with our need to roam: our fundamental migratory nature.

As Gormley has said, ‘The only place where we can find true freedom is within the infinite darkness of the body available to us once the body is still. These works both evoke and embody the space that we all enter the moment we close our eyes. I consider this the most pertinent and potent space of personal freedom and these works celebrate it.’

Phillips New Now London Auction 6 December 2023

Phillips, an auction house that dates back to the late 18th century and has editions across its salerooms in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Geneva. The history of Phillips can be traced back to 1796 when Harry Phillips, former senior clerk to James Christie, founded the auction house in Westminster, London.

In a few days, on December 6, London Auction House will have a major winter sale. Comprising 180 lots, this sale features a selection of 20th-century works alongside contemporary pieces. Led by Andy Warhol and Robert Colescott, the auction includes other blue-chip artists such as Ed Ruscha, George Condo, Peter Halley, and Banksy. The contemporary and emerging art section of the sale includes Xie Lei, Alfie Caine, Salvo, Louise Giovanelli, Emma Webster, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Jenna Gribbon, among others. Artworks by German-speaking artists feature in the sale, led by Günther Förg, with pieces by Martin Kippenberger and A.R. Penck also included.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Sprüth MagersNovember 22, 2023 – February 3, 2024
Peter Fischli and David Weiss have a unique whimsical perspective on the mundane material of everyday life. Since they began working together in 1979, the artistic duo set out to document and investigate their surroundings, juxtaposing the ordinary with the spectacular.
Revolving around the recurring figures of Rat and Bear, the show in Sprüth Magers traces the brown rat, deemed a pest and ugly, and the panda bear, considered endangered and adorable, throughout the artists’ three decades of collaboration. In such a manner, Fischli and Weiss playfully and humorously employ the animal costumes as vehicles for probing Western dualistic thought and its dependence on opposing principles.
In all works on view, Rat and Bear examine the facets of daily life, attempting to bring “light into the darkness” and to find logic in a chaotic world. Probing the framework of reality itself, the eccentric characters function as integral ciphers for the entirety of Fischli and Weiss’ collaborative projects.

Daniel Richter. StuporThaddaeus Ropac, London10 October – 7 December 2023
New paintings by Daniel Richter reassert the German artist’s ever-inventive approach to depicting the human body. For this exhibition, he presents works that capture biomorphic forms in twisting poses, vibrating with energy imparted through his bold palette and dynamic mark-making. Embodying his investigative approach to artmaking, these works are experiments in colour, line and technique as figurative studies, carving out a distinct place within the artist’s wider oeuvre.
The new works echo Richter’s observations of the world around him. ‘It’s based on random sketches and notes,’ he explains, ‘[an] old woman passing by, [a] child at the dentist, boys playing basketball, stuff like that.’

Marina Abramović
Royal Academy of Arts
Until January 01, 2024

Reviewed by the Guardian as ‘terrifying and vital’, Marina Abramović’s RA retrospective show documents the legacy of the artist who has turned her life into a relentless performance, investigating the spectrum of human experiences from trauma to transcendence. Over the decades the now 76-year-old ‘creator of performance art’ has seduced audiences and produced an art of genuine confrontation.

The retrospective spans pivotal works from her more than 50-year career, including video, sculpture, photography, restagings of her performance art with young creatives.
‘I think that performance never dies, because every time we go into economic [and other forms of] instability, performance goes up. Every time they start selling at high prices, performance goes up. Performance doesn’t cost money.’ [from an interview with British Vogue]

Christina Quarles. Tripping Over My Joy
Pilar Corrias
Until 16 December 2023

Featuring seven new paintings on canvas and nine works on paper, Quarles’ show inaugurates the Pilar Corrias Gallery’s new Mayfair flagship space. In the new body of work, Quarles continues to delve into notions of identity and representation, synthesising her study of drawing, experimental painting techniques and digital technology.

Painted during the summer months, the light and colours of the L.A. sky bleed through Quarles’ palette. The artist’s densely painted canvases develop and unfold over time, rendering movement within the static image. Here perception remains central to the language of Quarles’ art. As with her psychedelic patterns and open picture planes, her ambiguous forms act as rhetorical devices, a figurative expression of the complexities of identity.

Avery Singer. Free Fall
Hauser & Wirth, London
Until 22 December 2023

With ‘Free Fall’, American artist Avery Singer reflects upon her personal experience of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and explores the wider societal impact of collective trauma and proliferating image culture and media dissemination. Based entirely upon Singer’s childhood memories, the works and architectural intervention here are a testament to the power of memory, and a memorial to a moment of terror and survival. The large-scale paintings combine digital renderings with manual and digital airbrush techniques, liquid and solid masking, and complex layering processes.

Avery Singer about the exhibition: “Free Fall combines changes in my painting technique, to construct images using high-definition digital rendering and poor-quality machine airbrushing. This development also brought with it a shift in subject matter, to explore something autobiographical that took place in my life before I became an artist.”

Richard Prince. Early Photography, 1977–87
Gagosian, London
Until 22 December 2023

Taking the years 1977 – 1987 as a focus, more than 80 photographs unite work from Prince’s productive decade. Collecting, chronicling, and repurposing examples of discomfiting mainstream humour alongside images from a variety of mass media, Prince chronicles the intersection of America’s vernaculars and subcultures in the construction of its national identity. Capturing an eclectic range of subjects, from cowboys as a homogeneous idealisation of the Wild West to luxury accessories, Prince was interested in the sociological slant photography imbued on a subject.

In 1977, he began using a process of “rephotography” to appropriate shots from advertising and lifestyle press, redefining the concepts of authorship and originality – an approach he would later extend to include social media. A conscious elision of the aims and techniques of traditional picture-making, the technique allows Prince to redirect the authority of a visual referent.

Sense of Materiality. Sundaram Tagore Gallery
November 17, 2023 – January 27, 2024

Each of the artists in this exhibition takes a process-driven approach. Whether it’s yarn on canvas inspired by African culture or fibres teased from handmade Japanese paper forming dimensional lace-like constructions, the materiality of the work is immediately apparent.

Encountering such highly tactile pieces in person is impactful in this time of disembodiment – a digital era in which much of our experience and interaction with images takes place in a flat, virtual realm. Seen together the works by New York artist Miya Ando, Nigerian-American artist Osi Audu, Tokyo-based artist Hiroshi Senju, Detroit-based artist Neha Vedpathak, Hawaii-based artist Robert Yasuda and Beijing artist Zheng Lu offer a distinctly corporeal experience that not only engages the senses but also invites sustained contemplation and reflection.