The World in London
27 July - 12 August 2012
As athletes from 204 countries arrive in London for the Olympics, The Photographers’ Gallery has organised a major photographic project to celebrate the fact that their different nationalities can already be found among London's residents. The gallery has commissioned 204 photographers to take portraits of 204 different individuals or groups that represent each country: the project’s title, ‘The World in London’, sums up the city’s extraordinary diversity to which the photographs are testament.
Jim Goldberg, 'Eugenia Francis, Dominica'. © Jim Goldberg. Courtesy of The Photographers Gallery, London.
The images are on view in East London’s Victoria Park, Park House on Oxford Street and online via a dedicated website (the site presents insightful text, audio and video pieces where the subjects describe their relationship with London). The project is an aesthetic success due to the very high calibre of photographers, who range from last year’s Deutsche Börse Prize winner, Jim Goldberg, who characteristically asked his subject Eugenia Francis from Dominica to decorate and write on her portrait; artist and activist Zanele Muholi, who continues her focus on African LGBT individuals with an image of Zimbabwean immigrant Skye Chirape; and the former Turner Prize nominee Catherine Yass, who captures – in the intense, light-box-associated colours for which she acclaimed – a brand new Londoner, seven-month-old Kiara Zara Daroczi of Hungarian parents.
Mary Ramsden, 'Untitled (show of hands)', 2012. Oil on canvas, 150 x 130cm. Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias gallery Last chance: Mary Ramsden
Until 3 August
RA Schools student Mary Ramsden, about to start the third and final year of the Academy’s postgraduate course, has already achieved representation by a well-respected commercial gallery, Pilar Corrias in London’s Fitzrovia.
Next Friday sees the doors close on her first solo exhibition at the space, which presents a selection of her minimalist paintings. In many of the smaller works, one colour field dominates the rectangular surface; in others, different tones tentatively encroach at the corners and edges. In larger abstracts such as Untitled (show of hands) two different colour fields meet on a horizontal, a faint suggestion of landscape for the figuratively minded.
Thomas Houseago: Where the Wild Things Are
31 July 2012 – 27 January 2013
On Tuesday Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts opens a solo show of sculptor Thomas Houseago. The Leeds-born, Los Angeles-based artist makes messy, lumpen figures: heads, torsos and limbs are very roughly gouged into shape before being cast in bronze in works like Lying Figure (Mother Father). The result is a rogue’s gallery of often monstrous, occasionally mournful forms, always modelled to recall Primitivist sculpture from the twentieth century.
Thomas Houseago, 'Lying Figure (Mother Father)', 2011. Courtesy the artist, Michael Werner Gallery, New York and L&M Arts, Los Angeles. Photo: Alex Delfanne, courtesy Hauser & Wirth.
Last chance: Calder in India
Until 3 August
Next Friday also is the last chance to catch a very interesting show that focuses on the trip the American artist Alexander Calder made to Bombay and Ahmedabad in 1955. Calder – well-loved for his playful, Surrealism-influenced mobile works – created nine sculptures during his three-month stay in India, as well as some jewellery pieces.
Installation shot. Photographed by Mike Bruce. © 2012 Calder Foundation, New York/DACS, London 2012.
Ordovas gallery in Savile Row has brought together eight of the sculptures from their various owners, allowing a one-off opportunity to see a group of these characteristically colourful and expressive works: they have not been shown together since Calder’s trip.
Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege
In April an inflatable incarnation of Stonehenge by British artist Jeremy Deller was pumped up on Glasgow Green, as we reported earlier this year.
Jeremy Deller, 'Sacrilege', 2012. Commmisioned by the Mayor of London and Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts.
This fun and irreverent piece of public art – wittily entitled Sacrilege – has since been travelling the country, and currently it tours the parks of London to coincide with the Olympics: Saturday sees Maida Vale residents enjoy this unlikely bouncy castle on Paddington Recreation Ground.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine