Highlights In The UK Art World
With the Chelsea Flower Show in London and blossoms everywhere in England, a new enthusiasm to buy art has arrived. I am happy to share the highlights of the UK and international art market from January to June 2019 with you.
Almine Rech has presented a solo exhibition by Tom Wesselmann that consisted of rarely shown works from his Sunset Nudes series and a monumental installation.
Tom Wesselmann was immensely influenced by Matisse and became one of the leading American Pop artists of the 1960s. He rejected Abstract Expressionism to concentrate on classical representations of the nude, landscape and still life.
I particularly like his use of different mediums and that all of his works contain movement. Looking at his works one feels they come alive, the observer becomes part of the work. Furthermore they are powerful in colour and brush stroke.
RAQS Media Collective
A very different kind of exhibition by RAQS Media Collective at Frith Street Gallery had a lasting effect on me. Raqs Media Collective are three Indian artists: Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi & Shuddhabrata Sengupta. They were invited to do a show in Colchester in 2018 for the centenary of WW1, the show was then exhibited at Frith Street Gallery.
Raqs Media Collective wanted to revisit our perception of WW1. The exhibition was about acknowledging the presence of Indian soldiers during WW1 as well as the trauma the war had left. It is an issue that was ignored until recently.
The artists recreated a mental health hospital room from WW1 (Glenside Hospital) with its padded cells. When one looked into the cell rooms through the windows one could watch videos that were created with images the artists found in the Imperial War Museum archives.
These videos showed the perspective of Indian soldiers in WW1. One of the videos, which was disturbing to me, showed happy looking soldiers whilst a chandelier was swaying frantically around the soldiers below.
Disappointments in the UK Art World
A big disappointment for me this year was Photo London. Usually a fair, that I am keen to go to.
All the most impressive booths of last year’s fair were absent this year. Hamilton Gallery with its always innovative booth and White Cube with the deeply impressive Darren Almond works were missing.
Such a shame.