26 February 2023 Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his favourite top 5 Art Exhibitions to see in London ending This Week. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you.
Jenkin van Zyl: Surrender @ Edel Assanti
Entering an exhibition through the head of a giant inflatable rat is a new one from me – and it stays surreal throughout as I then sit on a bed to watch a lengthy video that’s a chaotic mix of role play and political commentary. It then ends in a silvery room with human/rat hybrid heads perched atop stacks of cans. It’s completely over the top and mad, and that’s why it’s great. Until 4 March.
Jenkin van Zyl: Surrender, installation view, Edel Assanti, London, 2023.
Mauro C. Martinez: RateMySetup @ Unit London
Artist Mauro Martinez has delved into the subreddit ‘rate my setup’ where people share their PC and laptop setups – from gamers with multiple screens at all angles around a comfy armchair, to rudimentary DIY approaches such as perching a monitor across boxes to hold it up. He has immortalised these setups in paintings and some of these setups have also been recreated in the downstairs space. Until 4 March.
Image as protest: Joy Gerrard & Paula Rego @ Cristea Roberts
Bringing together works by two artists who deal with the theme of protest, this exhibition combines the late great Paula Rego‘s prints dealing with the difficult but important subjects of abortion and female genital mutilation, alongside the large protesting crowds in the works of Joy Gerrard – including a colossal folding barrier screen that depicts the march against the police handling of the vigil for Sarah Everard. It makes for a punchy and thought-provoking duet. Until 4 March.
Richard Slee: “Sunlit Uplands” @ Hales Gallery
This vast array of small fantastical ceramic landscapes give off major Alice in Wonderland vibes as they fill the gallery space – scattered along an elliptical plinth. They are intricate beautiful pieces and there must be hundreds of them, each one worthy of detailed exploration. This is one rabbit hole I’m glad to have dived into. Until 4 March.
Transience @ James Freeman Gallery
All is not what it seems across the works of these three distinctive artists. Michael Boffey’s unique bronzes look like they could be made from ceramic, Richard Stone‘s wavy pieces appear to be fluid but are in fact solid, and Juliette Losq creates works based on layered maquettes of nature taking back manmade structures. What unites them is that they all convey a moment in time, captured in striking artworks. Until 4 March.