Damián Ortega: Traces of Gravity
Until 8 September 2012
Berlin-based, Mexican-born artist Damián Ortega has gained acclaim for sculptures and installations that rework found materials and objects in inventive and sometimes spectacular ways. The properties and associations of salt are central to his latest exhibition, on view at White Cube Mason’s Yard
in London’s West End.
Damián Ortega, 'Hollow/Stuffed: market law', 2012. Biodegradable plastic sacks, metal and salt.
77 15/16 x 34 1/4 x 344 1/8 in. (198 x 87 x 874 cm). © Damián Ortega. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography Courtesy White Cube.
The white material fills a nine-metre-long sculpture of a submarine, a reference to the way these vessels traffic cocaine up the South and Central American coast. Suspended in the air in a darkened lower gallery, the submarine very slowly leaks its cargo on to the floor out of a small hole. In Congo River (2012), installed upstairs, a long jumble of tyres is covered by single line a salt, symbolic of the thin waterway that flows through the jungle in Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’.
Mr Kitching’s London
Until 11 August 2012
Printmaker Alan Kitching has dedicated his life to letterpress, specifically the type of dynamic typographic works that, although produced by a traditional method, always appear fresh and contemporary. Advanced Graphics London’s
current exhibition of 25 of his works, ‘Mr Kitching’s London’, is a treat for anyone interested in graphic art.
Alan Kitching, 'Broadside 10: Dr Johnson’s London', 2009/10. Edition of 20 + 20. letter press. 61 x 84cm.
Highlights include a complete set of Kitching’s ‘Broadside’ series, which range from abstract arrangements of letters of the alphabet to an information graphic that shows historic centres for printing around the River Thames.
Sarah Lucas: Ordinary Things
Until 21 October 2012
A new exhibition at Leeds’ Henry Moore Institute
argues that the sculptures of Sarah Lucas deserve to be seen in relation to the greats of art history, from Bernini through to Barbara Hepworth, rather than in the context of the group of Young British Artists with whom she allied from the 1990s.
Sarah Lucas, ‘NUD 2’, 2009. Tights, fluff, wire. © the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Certainly the intelligence and visual wit of Lucas’s work has endured over the last two decades. This overview of her career includes recent works such as the series 'NUDS' (2009–10), stuffed tights, redolent of cellulite-covered legs, which are knotted in odd configurations like creatures coming into being. If you live in London and can’t make it to Leeds, visit ‘Situation’, an ongoing exhibition of her work in an upstairs space adjacent to Sadie Coles gallery off Regent’s Street.
The Mechanical Hand: 25 Years of Printmaking at Paupers Press
Until 24 August 2012
The print and publishing studio Paupers Press has enriched the art scene over the last quarter-century by collaborating with British artists from Damien Hirst, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Tracey Emin RA to Paula Rego and Christopher Le Brun PRA.
Tracey Emin RA, 'Laying with the Olive Trees', 2011. Lithograph, 55 x 72.5cm. © The Artist.
If you missed last month’s show celebrating the studio at London’s King’s Place Gallery, there is another chance too see it at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Northumbria University;
and find out more about the Hoxton-based printers by reading the recent interview in RA Magazine
Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910
Until 14 October 2012
As Edvard Munch draws the crowds at Tate Modern, an exhibition at Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery
puts the Norwegian artist in the context of the European-wide Symbolist movement that was influential from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
Wassily Kandinsky, 'Cossacks', 1910–11. Oil on canvas, 94.6 x 130.2 cm. Tate, London. Photography © Tate, London 2011.
The central focus is landscape painting and its potential to communicate the inner worlds of artists. The Russian-born Expressionist Wassily Kandinsky is included, rather stretching the category of Symbolism but showing how turn-of-the-century tendencies for emotional expression translated to ever-more abstract works.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine