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Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers @ Barbican / until 19th June 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors:
Sat–Wed: 10am–6pm
Thu–Fri: 10am–9pm

@ Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Tickets: £12 book online

www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery

Curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK.

From social documentary and portraiture to street and architectural photography, the exhibition celebrates the work of leading photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rineke Dijkstra, Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand. Bringing together compelling photographs and previously unseen bodies of work, Strange and Familiar presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain.

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue is now available along with a range of photography books, cameras, accessories and fun mementos of Britain’s heritage and food culture.

David Shrigley: Drawings and Paintings @ Stephen Friedman Gallery / until 20th April 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors:
10am – 6pm (Tuesday to Friday)
11am – 5pm Saturday

@ Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London W1S 3AN

Free entry

www.stephenfriedman.com/artists/david-shrigley

Eighth solo show by acclaimed British artist David Shrigley. Using acrylic paint and oil stick, he returns to his ubiquitous satirical combination of drawing and text with new large-scale works on paper. Working with oil stick for the first time, here Shrigley riffs on Op Art, with insertions of dry humour that cut to the point of human nature and everyday situations.

This exhibition runs concurrent with a major touring solo show organised by the British Council, enititled ‘Lose Your Mind’, which travels to Museo De Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile in May 2016. It also prefigures Shrigley’s ‘Really Good’ which will be unveiled in Trafalgar Square, for the Fourth Plinth Commission in September 2016.

For this show the artist turns his sharp art historical critique to optical art. This 1960s development in painting bewitches the eye, creating realistic movement or dimension where there is none. Through Shrigley’s lens and wiggly script the effect is totally undermined, ridiculing the smoothness of design particularly when paired with the mundane everyday subjects that Shrigley often engages with.

Using oil stick, Shrigley’s characteristic line is rendered as though he were drawing with a pencil, but is characterised here by the textured opacity of the material. The brightly-coloured paint, thicker and less controllable than pencil, brings Shrigley’s characteristic imaginings into a new dimension. These works undermine the distinction between painting and drawing, having the lightness of touch and deceptive simplicity of his drawing.

Shrigley’s practice is rich and varied, always underlined with an appreciation of the absurd, the overlooked and the necessity of humour. His subtle, darkly amusing work provides an antidote to everyday life. His skeptical project continues to delight, making us wonder where the never-ending stream of propositions, dilemmas and situations come from to fuel his imagination. Acerbic, weirdly profound and at the same time universal; his work does not require explanation. We are left to our own interpretations; it is whatever we take it to be. Displayed together in this way, the drawings in this exhibition form a fragmented dialogue. The viewer is bombarded with messages, in a way that it is pleasantly exciting. Rather than being confusing, the works create a warm buzz of humorous ambiguity.

The fundamental elements of Shrigley’s practice; the combination of pointedly witty text with immediately recognisable imagery, are maximised here. Having consistently experimented with work across different media, drawing remains the mainstay of Shrigley’s oeuvre. The use of coloured oil stick on primed paper is new to Shrigley’s practice, but relies on the same premise as the black and white drawings for which he is known.

Shrigley’s playful absurdity draws on references that we can all share and is amplified in this instance with colour and minimal text. Serious issues such as death, love, insecurity and in this case art history, are unapologetically tackled head on. Like all of his work, its strength lies in its deceptive simplicity and the power of engaging the viewer with laughter.

David Shrigley was born in 1968 in Macclesfield, UK. He is now based in Glasgow, Scotland. Best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. His quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Reoccurring themes and thoughts pervade his story telling capturing child-like views of the world, the perspective of aliens and monsters or the compulsive habits of an eavesdropper shouting out loud. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, the artist also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music. Shrigley consistently seeks to widen his public by operating frequently outside the gallery sphere such as in prolific artist publications and collaborative music projects. In 2012 he co-authored a ‘sort-of-opera’ titled ‘Pass the Spoon’, and more recently he transformed the Gallery at Sketch café in London as part of a long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants.

His digital animations such as ‘Headless Drummer’ and ‘The Artist’ demonstrate what Shrigley calls ‘the economy of telling stories’, delivering a deftly crafted mix of dark and light through the simplest of forms. In his sculptural works that explore materials such as bronze and ceramic, the artist makes physical some of his more curious and eccentric propositions by transforming found objects or by playing with their scale. Taking Lewis Carroll’s perspective of Wonderland, Shrigley enlarges objects and imbues them with curious proportions.

The Goat Race @ Spitalfields City Farm / Sunday 27th March 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: 1-6pm

@ Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, London E1 5AR

Tickets: £13 book online

www.thegoatrace.org
www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org/events

Coinciding with the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, two goats (one representing Oxford and one representing Cambridge) go head to head – just a stone’s throw from the Thames, at Spitalfields City Farm.

Cycle Revolution @ Design Museum / 30th June 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: 10am–5.45pm

@ Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD

Tickets: £13.65 (1 ticket for 3 exhibitions)

www.designmuseum.org/exhibitions/cycle-revolution

Cycle Revolution at London’s world leading Design Museum celebrates the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition and looks at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future.

Highlights include:

  • Sir Bradley Wiggins’s 2015 Hour Record bike and 2014 World Championship Time Trial bike
  • A number of Team Sky’s Pinarellos from the 2015 Tour de France, as well as kit and equipment from the team’s 2015 Tour de France win
  • Sir Chris Hoy’s Great Britain Cycling Team London 2012 Olympic Track bike
  • The Lotus Type 108 ridden by Chris Boardman at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games
  • Eddy Merckx’s 1972 Hour Record bike
  • Francesco Moser’s 1984 Hour Record bike, loaned for the exhibition from the personal collection of Sir Bradley Wiggins
  • The earliest prototype Brompton in existence
  • A 1978 Breezer Series 1
  • A 1969 Raleigh Chopper
  • Bike builder’s workshop – showing the tools, materials and skills that combine to create a bespoke machine. Six independent British bike builders are profiled – Donhou Bicycles, Toad Custom Cycles, Hartley Cycles, Robin Mather Cycles, Mercian Cycles and Shand Cycles.
  • High profile cyclists including Lord Norman Foster and Sir Paul Smith discuss their passion for cycling and hopes for its future in the closing film.

Hilma af Klint @ Serpentine Gallery / until 15th May 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors:
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm (including bank holidays)

@ Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA

Free entry

www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/hilma-af-klint-painting-unseen

Exhibition about the pioneer of abstract art. While her paintings were not seen publicly until 1986, her work from the early 20th century pre-dates the first purely abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich.

Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944, Stockholm) began training as an artist in Stockholm in the 1880s, studying at the Technical School before attending the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1882–7. Upon her death in 1944, she left her estate, comprising of over 1,000 works and 125 notebooks to her nephew, Erik af Klint, stipulating that the works could not be seen for at least 20 years. The first public exhibition of af Klint’s abstract works was in 1986 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which not only placed her within a modernist tradition, but revealed her to be one of the first abstract painters.

Allen Jones: Maitresse @ Michael Werner / until 29th April 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: 10am to 6pm

@ Michael Werner, 22 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7PZ

Free entry

www.michaelwerner.com

The exhibition brings together for the first time the paintings that form Jones’ Maîtresse cycle. Begun as a commissioned movie poster in 1975, Maîtresse developed into a discrete group of several major works by 2015.

The movie Maîtresse, directed by Barbet Schroeder, depicts the unfolding of an obsessive romance between a small-time crook and a professional dominatrix. Starring Gérard Depardieu and Bulle Ogier, and featuring the costume designs of Karl Lagerfeld, this sexually explicit film was controversial for its time. In 1975 the film’s American distributor asked Jones to design a poster for Maîtresse and invited the artist to view the film privately in Paris. Unable to identify with its explicit sadomasochistic themes – Jones recalls feeling “scared to death” but equally enthralled – Jones was nonetheless taken with the film’s powerfully stylised heroine, and he accepted the poster commission.

The painting he created depicted a high-heeled, leather-clad brunette standing before a parted curtain with a bullwhip in her hand. Letters spelling the film’s title appear as scattered blocks of text below her. Jones developed the image on a canvas larger than the required size so as to maintain the utmost detail in the final reproduction of the poster. Concerned that Jones’ image would be inappropriate in newspaper advertisements, the distributor asked Jones to drop the whip and change the brunette to a blonde; Jones obliged, replacing the whip with a ring of keys, and then quickly changed the work back to its original state once he’d been paid.

Jones kept the original Maîtresse painting for himself, excluding it from exhibitions. In recent years Jones began to reconsider the work, developing an increasing fascination with its subject and its latent potential. Of particular excitement for Jones was the possibility of using his poster illustration as a motif: beginning in 2008 and continuing for seven years, Jones created seven canvases around the motif of the original Maîtresse, using the dominatrix figure as the means to explore space, form and color. The works share the same deep, fiery palette and overarching symmetrical structure, yet are markedly different in their depiction of light and shadow and the treatment of a figure as both a plane and a volume.

Latitude Festival @ Henham Park / from 14th July – 17th July 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: all day until late

Tickets: £205 weekend camping, book online

www.latitudefestival.com

Latitude Festival announces the line up for their 11th Edition. The Maccabees return to Latitude to perform their first ever major festival headline show on Friday night in the Obelisk Arena. The south London five piece climb to the top of the bill to cap a remarkable twelve months that has seen them score their first number one album with the acclaimed ‘Marks To Prove It’ last July, and crowned as Best British Band at last month’s NME Awards.

Saturday welcomes one of Latitude’s most loved bands, The National, back to Henham Park as the first ever act to headline the festival for a second time. Their return to the Obelisk stage will be a UK festival exclusive this year; promising a stellar set drawn from their unparalleled six albums.

British all-time greats, New Order took the world by surprise with the release of ‘Music Complete’ last year; 10 years on from their previous studio offering. With 35 years of genre and era-defining classics to draw upon, New Order are set to provide a spectacular closing performance for Latitude 2016.

Performing: The Maccabees, The National, New Order, Beirut, CHVRCHES, M83, Father John Misty, John Grant, The Lumineers, Courtney Barnett, Daughter, Chet Faker, British Sea Power, Squeeze, Laura Mvula, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Michael Kiwanuka, Sturgill Simpson, Alif, Grimes, Of Monsters and Men, Miike Snow, Frightened Rabbit, Half Moon Run, MO, Christine and the Queens, Polica, Lapsley, Roots Manuva, Perfume Genius, Oh Wonder, Jamie Woon, Rat Boy, AURORA, Mura Masa, Lucius, Pantha du Prince, Black Mountain, Anna Meredith, Blanck Mass, Bob Moses, Cloves, Drones Club, Hayden James, Highasakite, Holly Macve, Kelly Lee Owens, Lambert, Little Green Cars, Marlon Williams, Money, ProtoMartyr, Suuns, Weaves, Jungle, David Rodigan, Mike Skinner, Murkage and Tonga.

Imran Qureshi: Where the Shadows are so Deep @ Barbican: The Curve / until 10th July 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors:
Sat–Wed 11am–8pm (bank holiday 12–8pm)
Thu–Fri 11am–9pm (bank holiday 12–9pm)

@ Barbican, The Curve, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Free entry

www.barbican.org.uk

Barbican has commissioned the award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi to create a new body of work for The Curve.

For his first major London commission, Qureshi presents Where the Shadows are so Deep, a series of exquisite miniature paintings, drawing upon The Curve as a motif in this tradition. Beginning with gentle scenes of nature, the sequence of works gradually introduces darker elements, subtly implying the uncertainty of what lies around the bend. Hung at varying heights along the dramatic 90-metre span of the space, these delicate, jewel-like paintings lure the visitor in, demanding an altogether different kind of looking.

J. G. Ballard Afternoon @ Rio Cinema / Sunday 13th March 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: various

@ Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB

Tickets: £11 (£9 concessions)

www.riocinema.org.uk

Celebrate J.G. Ballard’s cinematic classics with an afternoon of cinema. Discounts available for multiple films!

Part 1:

Thirteen to Centaurus at 12:00
Donald Houston, James Hunter, John Abineri, Noel Johnson, Robert James.
A television adaptation of one of the Ballard short stories in which he takes a psychological problem and explores the minds of the subjects who are part of the testing process. Among the crew of a space station hurtling through space towards Alpha Centauri is 16-year-old wunderkind, Abel, a boy given to questioning every facet of his existence. Abel is aware that there is something beyond the limits of his perception, some vital key of knowledge that will explode the received worldview controlling life on the station but like the rest of the crew he is subjected to ‘subsonic’ instruction – brainwashing – which keeps their minds preoccupied solely with day to day existence… But there’s a twist in the tale of this disquieting and prescient piece of science-fiction.

Empire of the Sun at 13.15
Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson.
A rare occurrence indeed, but J. G. Ballard welcomed Steven Spielberg’s visualisation of the author’s autobiographical novel which was based on his life as a boy in Shanghai during the Second World War, his internment by the Japanese and the search for his parents. He once described the director as ‘an intelligent and thoughtful man’ and the film as one that ‘seems more truthful as the years pass, while ‘brilliant child actor Chrisian Bale uncannily resembled my younger self’ Ballard wrote in 2006. Indeed EMPIRE OF THE SUN, with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard is no simple hijacking of childhood memories, but a deeply moving and compelling tale of hope and survival against all the odds.

Part 2:

Fleshed Out at 16.00
An intense combination of sound and images from Gazelle Twin – composer, producer and performance artist Elizabeth Bernholz – whose live performance personas and electronic musical work have continued to gather critical acclaim since her 2014 album Unflesh. She has also declared a lifelong fascination with the work of J.G. Ballard. In FLESHED OUT, a collaboration with film-maker Esther Springett, even the most familiar of views trigger a threatening unease.

B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) at 16.15
One of electro-pop’s original pioneers, provides most of the soundtrack for this cut-up movie by Foxx and artist/designer John Karborn featuring typography design & animation by Jon Barnbrook. Inspired by the themes, influence and text of writer J. G. Ballard, it is described as ‘a film and sound seance manifesting J. G. Ballard neurones. Mobilised by ultracolour and inframusic, anatomised hallucinogenetics and proximity psychopathagens.’ Look out for bits of VERTIGO and THE THIRD MAN.

Crash at 16.45
This controversial adaptation of a 1973 novel is the perfect synthesis of the clinical imagination and warped visions of director David Cronenberg and writer J. G. Ballard. After he is involved in a car crash, a movie producer becomes strangely sexually aroused by crashes and fellow victims and discovers an entire sub-culture built around his obsession. Seen as lurid and gratuitous rather than moving and involving by reviewers and the local authorities which banned it at the time of its first release, CRASH remains a daring, challenging and courageous depiction of a psycho-sexual journey into oblivion. Ballard wrote his book to illustrate the connections between sex and technology- the ultimate postmodern melding of flesh and machine – and in Cronenberg he certainly found the one director who could take his theme to the final frontier of sexual expression.

SkyLounge: Prosecco and fancy popcorn @ DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (Tower Hill) / until the end of March 2016

TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: 11:00am – 2:00am

@ DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London, Tower of London, 7 Pepys Street, London EC3N 4AF

Free entry, book a table

http://doubletree3.hilton.com

Unwind with a superb view of the city skyline. The hotel’s premium destination bar, SkyLounge, is located in the heart of London and serves innovative dishes and signature cocktails.

Guests and locals enjoy 360-degree views and fresh air from two terraces. Landmarks visible from SkyLounge include the Tower Bridge, The Shard, the Tower of London, River Thames, Gherkin and St. Paul’s Cathedral. A resident DJ sets the mood.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Skylounge is offering women a complimentary glass of Prosecco decorated with dainty, edible flowers and a box of strawberry cheesecake pop-corn throughout the whole of March, every evening from 5-8pm.

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