The Bruce Lacey Experience, Camden Arts Centre
7 July – 16 September 2012
Bruce Lacey (born 1927) is one of Britain’s great visionary artists. His lifetime pursuit of eccentric ‘making and doing’ has been a cathartic working-through of his experiences. This survey of a rich and diverse artistic production is a celebration of both his vibrant life (which includes working with Spike Milligan, The Beatles and Ken Russell) and his art which reveals telling links with the visual culture of the last 60 years. Co-curated by artist Jeremy Deller and art historian Professor David Alan Mellor, the exhibition charts Lacey’s artistic development in a career encompassing painting, sculpture, robotised assemblages, theatrical performances and installations, as well as community arts and ritual action performances.
Art of Change: New Directions from China, Hayward Gallery
7 September – 9 December 2012
This is the first major exhibition to focus on contemporary installation and performance art from China. It brings together the work of some of the most innovative artists from the 1980s to today. The exhibition traces their artistic development, showing outstanding early examples from each artist alongside recent works and new commissions. Change, and the acceptance that everything is subject to change, are deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy. The exhibition focuses on works that deal with transformation, instability and discontinuity, looking at how these themes are conveyed through action or materials
Artists in the exhibition include CHEN Zhen, Yingmei DUAN, GU Dexin, LIANG Shaoji, PENG Yu and SUN Yuan, WANG Jianwei, XU Zhen and MadeIn Company
The exhibition is curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery.
Bharti Kher, Parasol Unit
14 September – 11 November 2012
The exhibition is composed of a selection of works from the recent past, with an emphasis on the artist’s sculptural works. Known for her extensive use of everyday, found objects and imaginatively transforming their identity, Bharti Kher empowers her often otherworldly creations to present themselves unabashedly as if they were a natural part of our culture and environment. Kher’s work often explores the notion of the self as a multiple, open to interpretation and shape-shifting. Her art practice is intimately intertwined with her life, not only because she borrows motifs and artefacts for her work, but also because she has an inquisitive mind and a strong desire to understand sociological issues such characteristics endow Kher’s work with a narrative quality and fascinating interiority of things that frequently contradict her practice of addressing more global and collective concerns. This tension is precisely what leads us more deeply into Kher’s work and world and prompts us to reposition our own relationship to her individual pieces.
A House of Leaves, David Roberts Art Foundation,
21 September 2012 – 23 February 2013
Using as a starting point key pieces from the collection by Louise Bourgeois, Gerhard Richter and Pierre Huyghe, A House of Leaves is conceived as a symphony and structured in three movements and an epilogue. With Louise Bourgeois’s Echo VIII, 2007, the First Movement will explore hybrid forms, memory and fragmented figures. Inspired by Gerhard Richter’s Fuji, 1996, the Second Movement will enquire abstraction and minimalism. From Pierre Huyghe’s Silent Score, 1997, the Third Movement will explore conceptual art and performance. Lastly, the Epilogue will be a movement towards the void, emptying the exhibition space to explore the architecture and the volume, revealing semi-permanent works and interventions in the building by, among others, Jason Dodge, Marie Lund, Benoit Maire, Kris Martin, and Pietro Roccasalva. A House of Leaves is an exhibition imagined as an experience of time: the exhibition will change constantly, the experience will never be the same, with works being replaced by others to gradually alter the general context and naturally evolve from one movement to the next.
A House of Leaves is curated by Vincent Honoré.
Thomas Schütte, Serpentine Gallery
25 September – 18 November 2012
Artist Thomas Schütte showcases key sculptural, photographic and painted portraits at the Serpentine Gallery. Although the artist has returned to portraiture throughout his career, this is the first exhibition dedicated entirely to these pioneering works. Key pieces from the artist’s most famous series are presented together with new work made especially for the Serpentine.
Over the last two decades, Schütte has created watercolours and drawings of acquaintances and friends, as well as numerous self-portraits, including the Mirror Drawing works. His drawings are often created in series, approaching the same subject numerous times as a means of engaging with its true nature. Schütte’s drawings feed closely into his sculptural portraits, which are created in a similar spirit; the artist views working from observation as an opposition to a real, physical world that is constantly changing. Alongside his works on paper, Schütte will feature ceramic and bronze sculptures, including the impressive Vater Staat (Father State), a towering steel figure that paradoxically appears frail and isolated in spite of its scale.
Mark Wallinger, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead
22 June – 14 October 2012
Twice nominated for the Turner Prize, once in 1995 and again in 2007 when he won, Mark Wallinger is one of the best known figures in the British art world. In 1999 his Ecce Homo occupied Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth to great acclaim and in 2001 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. For SITE, the artist’s largest exhibition in the UK for over a decade, Wallinger will realise three major new commissions and give the UK premiere of his new film, Construction Site, 2011.
Wallinger turns everyday moments of life into transcendent possibilities. Attempting to systematise nature, the mundane and the abstract, 10000000000000000, 2012, catalogues and compares 65,536 stones, each occupying its own square on a gargantuan checkerboard — the simplest binary device for implying order. The Other Wall, in contrast, sees randomness contained in the form of a monumental brick wall. Each brick is numbered sequentially by hand prior to construction and then distributed with no order. On the side of BALTIC’s building, overlooking the River Tyne, Wallinger creates the simplest of self-portraits for a digital age.
Stanya Kahn: It’s Cool, I’m Good, Cornerhouse, Manchester
23 June – 16 September 2012
The first UK solo show of LA-based artist Stanya Kahn features recent video work, drawings and a brand new commission.
Absurd, poignant and darkly comic, Kahn’s videos create intimate portraits of compelling subjects as they struggle for articulation or mere survival despite setbacks, trauma and destabilised senses of self. The observations, mundane interactions and edgy jokes of Kahn’s characters suggest a deeper consciousness of social alienation, power and agency.
In some works Kahn plays the protagonist. In It’s Cool, I’m Good, the artist is a mysteriously injured “patient” who seduces, harasses and charms a slew of nurses into visiting, possibly for the last time, LA’s boulevards, beaches, and deserts. Personal distress gives rise to a gallows humor in which the body reflects the urban tension and precarious ecology of the landscapes. In Lookin’ Good, Feelin’ Good Kahn wears a giant foam penis out into the world, externalising stand-up comedy’s endless penis jokes with an embodiment that can ‘speak’ for itself.
Julian Stair: Quietus: The vessel, death and the human body, mima, Middlesbrough
13 July – 11 November 2012
This major solo exhibition by Julian Stair, one of the world’s most acclaimed ceramicists, explores the containment of the human body after death. It will feature a collection of Stair’s very beautiful funerary vessels, some of which are monumental in scale at almost 2 metres in height. Through his objects, Stair explores different rituals around death and burial across civilizations and ages and how this can be understood as a celebration of life. One of the artist’s works, Monumental Jar V, belongs to mima’s ceramics collection.
Anthea Hamilton: Sorry I’m Late, Firstsite, Colchester
8 September – 25 November 2012
Anthea Hamilton‘s energetic collages explore the surreal and seductive nature of images. Her sculptures, installations and videos make reference to the history of art, cinema and performance, playfully inserting the viewer into a three-dimensional composition.
Sorry I’m Late sees work installed across the building with firstsite’s galleries dramatically transformed into a series of environments – from a film studio to a restaurant kitchen. Soft sculptures, Perspex figures mounted on wheels, a giant zoetrope-inspired portrait of John Travolta and a medieval cocktail that is claimed to cure cataracts are amongst the works that comprise the exhibition.
Cally Spooner, International Project Space, Birmingham
26 September 2012 -27 October 2012
For her solo exhibition at International Project Space Cally Spooner will produce a new body of writing over a period of eight months. Beginning with a framework without content, Spooner plays with a form of performance as promise, whereby this promise, and the anxiety to produce, becomes a part of the performance itself. Examining the crisis of publicness, progress and the loss of private life, Cally Spooner’s writing will be published in eight parts and made public online as they are written, enacting the process of ‘thinking out loud’ integral to all of Spooner’s work. A series of programmed live events will act as footnotes to the evolving text, adding to the cast of borrowed voices and characters Spooner employs to shape and articulate her own thinking.
With outputs ranging from performance, film and broadcasting, Spooner writes in dialogue to script the anxieties and obstructions of turning theory into thought, thought into text and text into events (plays, projects and productions). Drawing on theatrical tropes and devices, she embodies this movement between states using historical thinkers as alibis to help her write, and casts of colleagues, friends and actors to help her perform. By fracturing her writing into parts for her cast to carry, she finds and occupies multiple positions through collisions of arguing characters, looping narratives and unrelenting disturbances from impossible stage directions, most often delivered by Spooner herself.