Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain
Until 6 January 2013
Because of its encyclopedic array of objects from cultures across history and the globe, one often forgets that the British Museum has an absolutely world-class collection of art in the form of its prints and drawings collection.
Francisco Goya, 'Figures Dancing in a circle from Los Disparates', 1816-23. Print. 245 x 355 mm. © Trustees of the British Museum.
A free exhibition opening today
focuses on its works on paper from Spain, charting a course from the sixteenth century, when foreign artists like the Mannerist Italian painter Federigo Zuccaro and Flemish printmaker Pedro Perre were working in the country, through to the seventeenth-century Golden Age of Spanish art – Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Murillo, Francisco Zurbáran and Jusepe de Ribera – and then to Francisco de Goya, whose horrifying ‘Disasters of War’ series (1810–20) on show is one of the pre-eminent works of printmaking in the history of art.
David Roberts Art Foundation opens
21 September - 23 February 2013
The David Roberts Art Foundation inaugurates its new space in London’s Mornington Crescent
from tomorrow with a group show entitled ‘House of Leaves’, featuring pieces by over 30 important international artists, from sculptor Tony Cragg RA and Polish painter Wilhelm Sasnal to older figures including American-born Surrealist Man Ray and English conceptualist John Latham.
'A House of Leaves – Movement 1' Installation view. Courtesy David Roberts Art Foundation. Photo: Mark Blower.
The works are drawn from the Foundation’s superlative holdings of over 2000 works of modern and contemporary art. The Foundation hopes its new home will precipitate a new era of events, exhibitions and commissions as significant as its collection.
London Art Book Fair 2011. Installation Image. Photo: Dan Weill. The London Art Book Fair
21 – 23 September 2012
Anybody interested in art publishing should head down to the Whitechapel Gallery on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for the London Art Book Fair.
Exhibitors include publishers big and small, from Thames & Hudson through to Enitharmon Editions, a press who, alongside their standard poetry titles, produce beautiful, high production value artists’ books often made in collaboration with poets. The fair’s programme of events includes book launches, printmaking workshops and discussions with artists such as photocollagist Penelope Slinger and painter Dexter Dalwood.
Until 3 November 2012
Hauser & Wirth in Piccadilly has opened an exhibition
of recent paintings and works on paper by the highly talented Hungarian-American artist Rita Ackermann. The exhibition focuses on her series ‘Fire by Days’, which includes eight semi-abstract pieces on canvas formed of oil, acrylic and spray paints.
Installation View, Rita Ackermann, ‘Fire by Days’, Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly
© Rita Ackermann. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photos: Alex Delfanne.
A bright-red female-looking phantom-like figure dominates these works, melting into different positions in each piece as if caught aflame and losing form. These paintings are accompanied by pencil drawings of what looks like a woman’s face; in each piece the head is obscured in different ways by rough, gestural scrawls. The artist explains in her statement that she wanted to ‘duplicate the pure power of the accident’ while producing the works, arriving at ‘something that violently pushed itself between figuration and abstraction, pushing through to make itself completely free.’
Ruth Proctor, 'Weight of Air'. Photo: Jamie Woodley/National Trust. Garden of Reason
Last chance: until 23 September 2012
Sunday is the last day of ‘Garden of Reason’,
an exhibition of contemporary art at the seventeenth-century Ham House and Garden
in Richmond, a grand National Trust property alongside the River Thames.
An impressive place to visit in itself (you’ll see its interior splendor shown off in the new film Anna Karenina), Ham House has excelled itself by including mainly emerging artists in the show rather than the usual names known for their work in sculpture parks.
An example is British artist Ruth Proctor who, inspired by Galileo’s experiments, has floated a 3m-diameter helium balloon above the gardens, as well as inserting one in the colonnade of the house, where it looks like it is about to burst out of the arches.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine