National Portrait Gallery
Portraits, Man Ray; until 26 May
Lichenstein Retrospective; until 27 May
Victoria and Albert Museum
David Bowie is; until 28 July
White Cube, Bermondsey
Prints, Chuck Close; until 21 April
Jay Joplin has long been a supporter of Gilbert and George, well since their departure from Central St. Martins. ‘The London Pictures’ on display at his White Cube galleries is the most recent conquest within this relationship.
The works consist of a monumental body of 292 black and white images, overlaid in the artists’ trademark grid format (symbolic of 1980s works ‘The Pictures’). Within each grid-section is a different statement- a newspaper headline- shown in black lettering with a highlighted red buzzword within each. With the headlines stolen from London newspaper stands since 2006, the works are archetypal of the pair’s rebellious affinity.
The statements are grouped together in themes- death, banker, tube, sex to name a few- and the backing images consist of portrait images of the artists or those related to the specific themes. These become enormously sized works of art, pinned to Joplin’s walls. However, the lack of information within the gallery setting evokes how you are expected to know about this works- their background and the story of the artists- and they aren’t just something for the uninformed art appreciator to gaze at.
Is this a work of art, or a work of tabloids? Anyhow, they are a portrayal of 21st century British scandal, horror and corruption, explaining the realities of everyday life of modern society through media vocals.
Catch ‘London Pictures’ at White Cube London galleries: Bermondsey Street, SE1, Mason’s Yard, SW1 or Hoxton Square, N1. 9th March – 14th April, before venturing on a global tour.
Whilst London becomes the centre of the universe for the summer as a result of the Olympics, the London galleries have to do something to keep our visitors entertained.
The Royal Academy started the show with their much acclaimed David Hockney exhibition and the rest of the galleries will continue the show.
Tate Britain has Picasso and ‘Migrations: Journeys into British Art’, Tate Modern has a long awaited Damien Hirst retrospective where the leader of the YBAs is represented in all his glory with an outlining of his entire artistic career, Jay Joplin’s White Cube represents fellow London rebels Gilbert and George and the Victoria and Albert Museum has a look back at half a century of British design.
There is plenty to see, so don’t waste all your energy watching meaningless sports on the television, but take advantage of this sound representation of British artisitic culture.
Migrations- 31st January-12th August 2012
Picasso and Modern British Art- 15th February-15th July 2012
Damien Hirst- 4th April-9th September 2012
Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye- 28th June-14th October 2012
The Queens Gallery:
Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy- 4th May-7th October 2012
Victoria and Albert Museum:
British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age- 31st March-12th August
White Cube, Hoxton:
Gilbert and George- 9th March-12th May 2012
(gallery and exhibition reviews to come)