The Art of Chess
Saatchi Gallery, 8 Sept - 3 October
Anyone with a passion for chess will enjoy the Saatchi Gallery’s next exhibition, a presentation of sixteen chess sets created by a wide range of contemporary artists. It is fascinating to see how practitioners as diverse as the American conceptualist Barbara Kruger and British sculptor Rachel Whiteread take on the conventions of pieces and board.
Yayoi Kusama, 'Pumpkin Chess' (detail), 2003. Porcelain, wood and leather. Case/board: 75 x 200 (diameter) cm. © Yayoi Kusama, 2003. Courtesy RS&A.
Most of the sets are miniature expressions of the characteristic interests of each artist: Damien Hirst casts medicine bottles in glass and silver to produce his pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, King and Queen; the eccentric Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama covers her set in her favourite poker-dot patterns; and the American Tom Friedman constructs his pieces to resemble household objects, an echo of the large-scale sculptures for which he is famed.
Michael Hoppen Gallery, 7 Sept - 20 October
Daido Moriyama, 'Tights', 2011. Silver gelatin print. © Daido Moriyama. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Contemporary, London / Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo.
Ahead of Tate Modern’s comparison of photographers William Klein and Daido Moriyama, which opens in October, Michael Hoppen Gallery shows two series of works by the latter, a figure widely acknowledged as one of the great Japanese modernists. ‘Tights’ and ‘Lips’ respectively focus close-up on female legs in fishnets and seductive lips.
Moriyama is known for gritty photographs of post-war Tokyo’s street life, notable for their unconventional vantage points and double exposures. This exhibition shows he was also adept at less improvised imagery. So tight are some of the crops of the meshes of flesh in ‘Tights’ that the photographs resemble Bridget
Annely Juda Fine Art, until 6 October
The late John Golding was primarily acclaimed as an art historian, and in particular respected for his influential work on Cubism and Picasso. As well teaching at the Courtauld, he was an Honorary Royal Academician – an obituary by one of his former pupils, Sarah Whitfield, was published in the summer issue of RA Magazine
. But Golding was also an artist himself and, after an initial period of figuration, he embraced colour-field abstraction from the 1960s.
John Golding, 'B VI', 1971. Acrylic on canvas. 213 x 457 cm.
Annely Juda Fine Art in London’s West End now displays five in a series of acrylics he showed together at Oxford’s Museum of Modern Art in 1971; the sixth and final work in the series has entered the Tate Collection. Also on view at Annely Juda are some evocative works on paper by sculptor David Nash RA, which incorporate mud alongside traditional materials such as pastel and charcoal.
20/21 British Art Fair
Royal College of Art, 12-16 September
The Royal College of Art hosts this year’s 20/21 British Art Fair from Wednesday, which is the 25th incarnation of this popular event.
Albert Irvin, ‘Fidelio’. Acrylic on canvas. 213 x 304 mm. From Gimpel Fils.
The fair is always particularly strong on post-war modern British art and one can expect to enjoy paintings, sculptures and works on paper from established names as diverse as L.S. Lowry, John Piper and Barbara Hepworth to current Academicians such as David Hockney and Albert Irvin.
Hales Gallery, 7 Sept – 6 October
Artist and illustrator Adam Dant – a regular exhibitor to the RA’s Summer Exhibition, as well as an occasional contributor to RA Magazine – is known for his idiosyncratic drawings that catalogue or map both places and areas of culture, always with an razor-sharp eye for satire.
Adam Dant, 'From the Library of Dr London', 2012. Ink on paper. 181 x 236 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, London.
Hales Gallery in Shoreditch now presents his latest body of work, ‘From the Library of Dr London’, which is perfect introduction to Dant’s polymathic but irreverent mindset. The work that gives the exhibition its name is a medical diagram-stroke-map of the digestive system, in which London landmarks form the organs, Whitechapel representing the rectum.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine