Tag: free shows (page 1 of 2)

The Female Gaze at Getty Images Gallery until 14 March 2018

2017 was the Year of Women: it began with massive women’s marches in the US and ended with a series of high-profile resignations by powerful men over sexual harassment scandals. 🙎 👀

This groundswell of feminism may have erupted in response to current events, but it has also been slowly and steadily growing for decades. Over the past five years, female photographers have actively sought to redefine the manner and styles in which women are visually represented across advertising, film, and other media.

In response to this change, Getty Images has recruited a new generation of image makers and partnered with a number of organizations such as LeanIn.org, Refinery 29, and Muslim Girl to expand and evolve the photographic landscape.


Getty Images Gallery, 46 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DX

Monday – Friday 10am – 5:30pm
Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm

Free entry

The Currency of Communism at British Museum until 18 March 2018

This display looks at the changing roles of currency and exchange in communist states in the century since the 1917 Russian Revolution. 🤑 🤑 🤑

Communism proposes that money has no role in a utopian society. To date though, no communist state has successfully removed money from its economy. In the last 100 years, communism has existed in various forms in dozens of states all around in the world. From eastern Europe to Southeast Asia, this display examines the role of money in communist states, as well as the iconography and imagery associated with it.

Within communist economies, concepts of value and wealth are eroded and distorted, and the national currency becomes just one of various means of exchange. The display features examples of how the value of money has been reduced by communist states. East German coins made from aluminium demonstrate how communist currency was deliberately made to feel light and cheap. Adverts for savings banks from the USSR show how consumer benefits were left out of advertising in favour of information explaining how savings benefit the state.

With the reduced role of currency, communist states introduced different reward systems, starting in Russia in the 1930s. Stalin said people were to be measured ‘by their heroic feats’. A worker who exceeded their factory quota may receive the Order of the Badge of Honour, and a mother who raised nine children would receive the Order of Maternal Glory, First Class. These awards came with monetary bonuses, and allowed recipients access to a better quality of life due to the perks that came with them.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to democracy in the early 1990s had a huge effect on former communist states. With borders and economies suddenly open after many years, new ideas and imagery soon began to circulate, along with new national currencies. Today there are only four states with planned economies – China, Laos, Cuba and Vietnam. Trading relations between them and capitalist countries have become normalised, but concepts of currency and political ideology continue to evolve.


British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

10am – 5:30pm (Friday until 8:30pm)

Free entry

Chroma at House of Vans from 29 November until 17 December 2017

In collaboration with award winning design and creative collective Studio PSK will be transforming the Tunnel One gallery space into an immersive light and play installation. 🔸🔻🔹▫️▪️

The entire exhibition – from the specially commissioned artworks, to the objects within it – use the same shade of red, green and blue. Lighting in the space is controlled by a bespoke musical score; when flooded with the changing red, green and blue light, an analogue ‘stop frame animation’ effect is created – making static images appear to move.


The Arches, 228-232 Station Approach Road, Lambeth, London SE1 8SW

Thu – Fri 4pm – 10pm
Sat 10am – 8pm
Sun 12pm – 6pm

Free entry

John Akomfrah Purple at Barbican Curve until 7 January 2018

British artist and filmmaker, John Akomfrah creates his most ambitious piece to date – an immersive six-channel video installation addressing climate change, human communities and the wilderness. 📹 📺

At a time when, according to the UN, greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are at their highest levels in history, with people experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, including shifting weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events, Akomfrah’s Purple brings a multitude of ideas into conversation. These include animal extinctions, the memory of ice, the plastic ocean and global warming. Akomfrah has combined hundreds of hours of archival footage with newly shot film and a hypnotic sound score to produce the video installation.


Sat – Wed 11am – 8pm
Thu and Fri 11am – 9pm

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS


Ashley Bickerton: Ornamental Hysteria @ Newport Street Gallery / until 20th August 2017


Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
Closed on Mondays

@ Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

Free entry


Spanning more than three decades of Bickerton’s career and features 51 works, including a significant display of new and previously unexhibited pieces. It is the artist’s first UK show since 2009 and runs throughout all six spaces at Newport Street Gallery.

Bickerton moved to New York in 1982 and after working as a painting assistant to Jack Goldstein, he emerged as a key figure on the newly exploding East Village art scene. Within the context of the culture of commodification sweeping America he rose to prominence as part of an amorphous movement that was branded ‘Neo-Geometric Conceptualism’. Alongside artists such as Haim Steinbach and Jeff Koons, Bickerton endeavoured to reframe the practice of art production in response to the new, seductive mechanisms of desire at work in society.

Bickerton abandoned New York in 1993, eventually settling in Bali, where he still lives and works. Whilst a number of his themes prevailed, the materiality of his work shifted dramatically after this self-imposed exile from the urban environment.

Both in materiality and content, Bickerton’s work resists categorisation. On the diversity of his mediums – photocollage, appropriated image, digital image, paint and sculpture – he states: “Painting is far too cartoony and lacks the backbone of factuality; photography is too clinical and incapable of loony launches into the ether; and sculpture can be just downright presumptuous. […] Only in their combination do I find comfort.”

Bickerton’s conceptual commitment to intersectionality extends to his subject matter; his audacious and technically complex assemblages are predicated on themes of opposition and duality, for example representation and reality, creativity and commodity, nature and artifice, idyll and apocalypse. This is evident in his earlier work on display in gallery 1, which offers a sardonic critique of contemporary consumer culture and the commodification of the ‘art object’ via steel and aluminium wall-mounted ‘Culturescapes’ from the ‘Logo’ and ‘Non-Word Word’ series. Galleries 3 and 4 are dominated by Bickerton’s ‘Sea’ and ‘Landscapes’ – overblown and incongruous, they contain ephemera from the anthroposphere in the simulated shells of transportation devices. In part, these “truly contemporary” landscapes might be read as a dystopian view of the devastating impact of man on the ecosphere.

Throughout his career, Bickerton has challenged the relevancy of traditional art-historical tropes. His ‘self-portraits’ similarly parody the mythological figure of ‘the artist’, who is represented in the guise of the brands he chooses to endorse in Tormented Self-Portrait: Susie at Arles (25 Years) (2014) and as a five-bodied, technicoloured serpent in the monumental 5 Snake Heads (2009), on display in Newport Street’s double-height gallery 2.

Bickerton’s practice evolved in the late 90s to incorporate digital image and photography. In portraits such as Smiling Woman (2009), models (often family members and friends) are heavily made-up and photographed, then distorted in Photoshop before the image is printed on canvas and re-painted. These paintings are amongst Bickerton’s most overtly satirical, presenting lurid, constructed visions of life on a generic Pacific / Caribbean island.

Game Changers: another way to play @ Somerset House / until 7th May 2017


Mon, Tue, Sat & Sun 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.00)
Wed–Fri 11.00-20.00 (last entry 19.00)

@ Somerset House,  Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Free entry!


Discover how traditional forms of chess, billiards and mazes continue to influence designers making exciting new games today.

A timeline tracing how traditional forms of chess, billiards and mazes have evolved with a selection of contemporary examples – both physical and digital – will be on show for visitors to try, including:

Four regional variations of Orthogonal/Diagonal, Nova Jiang’s modified chess sets which showed at Now Play This in 2016. Inspired by traditional Bauhaus chess sets, the pieces’ physical shape indicates how they should move.

A playable installation of Zach Gage’s Really Bad Chess, a digital game that recreates chess with a random selection of pieces for each player.

  • Home Turf, by Ed Saperia, a distorted billiards table that combines the normal challenges of billiards with a deliberately difficult shape
  • INKS by State of Play, an on-screen game within a physical pinball-style environment – derived from more traditional forms of billiards and bagatelle
  • Maze, a challenging, two-player table-top maze game by sculptor Alexander Berchert

Sonia Boyce: We move in her way @ ICA / until 16th April 2017


Doors: 11am–6pm (Thursday 9pm)

@ Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Tickets: free with £1 day entrance, book online


Exhibition involving the exploratory vocal and movement performances of Elaine Mitchener, Barbara Gamper and her dancers Eve Stainton, Ria Uttridge and Be van Vark, with an invited audience. A multi-media installation has been generated from the documentation of their open-ended live performance. The title of the work suggests two possible readings: that ‘she’ dictates our movements; or that we obstruct ‘hers’, with both interpretations suggesting power is at play.

Boyce has a participatory art practice where she invites others to engage performatively with improvisation. In this process, she encourages contributors to exercise their own responses to the situations she enables, where she steps back from any directorial position to observe the activities and dynamics of exchange as they unfold. Once the performance is played out and documented, Boyce reshapes the material generated, in what she calls “recouping the remains”, to create the artwork as a multi-media installation.

We move in her way was created in this way as a performative laboratory, in which the audience and performers negotiated the ICA Theatre space around sculptural objects and their own bodies. Play and playfulness unfolded during the open-ended live performance, sparking a breakdown of assumed order between performers and audience. The dynamics of power-play shifted between the masked audience, the performers and the sculptural objects created as a means to facilitate touch and being together, whilst remaining distinct.

Notions of difference and relatedness make reference to the enduring influence of Dada within We move in her. Processes of collaborative improvisation are exemplified in the piece, referencing the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark in the late 1960s and 70s. Some of the masks worn by the audience are a re-working of Sophie Tauber’s Dada Head (1920) – itself an appropriation of Oceanic sculpture. The final artwork takes another playful turn to create a multi-layered and multi-media installation.

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered @ V&A Museum of Childhood / until 23rd April 2017


Doors: 10.00-17.45

@ V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

Free entry


Are you a Scrabble Champion? A wannabee Chess grandmaster? Or a Monopoly megalomaniac?

Celebrating the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games. This exhibition includes some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games. Alongside current family favourites such as Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, and traditional games like chess, the exhibition will look at historical board games including The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla @ White Cube / until 12th February 2017 ⬜️


Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm

@ White Cube, Bermondsey, 144 – 152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ

Free entry


A new large-scale installation, sculpture and painting referring to the mythical place in Norse mythology, a paradise for those slain in battle, as well as to the Walhalla neo-classical monument, built by Ludwig I King of Bavaria in 1842 to honour heroic figures in German history.

Throughout his career, Kiefer has interwoven themes of history, politics and landscape into his work, revisiting imagery and symbolism through different forms and media. His work conflates and connects themes, resonating with the idea of history as one continuous cycle. In the past, for example, Kiefer has employed the symbolism of Norse mythology alongside the forms of National Socialist architecture, and for this exhibition he uses this as a basis for dramatic new paintings and sculpture that deal simultaneously with notions of creation and destruction, life and death.

The exhibition focuses on the major new installation Walhalla in the central corridor space, from which the other works thematically depart. Featuring a long, narrow room lined with oxidised lead, rows of fold-up steel beds are set close together and draped with dark grey crumpled lead sheets and covers. At the far end of the room, a black and white photograph mounted on lead depicts a lone figure walking away into a bleak, wintery landscape. The whole installation is dark, sombre and sparsely lit by a series of bare light bulbs, suggesting an institutional dormitory, military sleeping quarters or battlefield hospital. This sense of morbid claustrophobia is countered nonetheless by the offer of rest, of a break in the journey; a place perhaps of transformation.

In his new paintings, Kiefer employs a range of media – oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac and clay – to emphasise the space of painting as a threshold into a mythic, imaginative realm. Here, a series of high towers are set amid desolate landscapes, their stacked forms exploding and dissolving into clouds of deep black or caustic blue smoke. A familiar motif in the artist’s work, the towers are based on his own sculptures made from rough concrete casts of shipping containers, including the brutalist-style towers of Jericho made for the set of In the Beginning staged at Opéra Bastille in Paris in 2009. In one such painting, Kiefer depicts the towers up-close, as if the viewer has found themselves in the ruins of some ancient city. In another work, which consists of three panels, flights of steps leading up to each tower reference the neo-classical, imposing architecture of Walhalla. Here, however, rather than the symbolic bastion of power that Walhalla aims to evoke, they are flat and two-dimensional, overlaid and set at impossible angles under the expanse of a meridian blue sky. In other pictures, which echo the landscapes of Van Gogh, the paintings are divided by a rough track, receding as far as the eye can see and often encrusted with layers of paint and deposited with a bitumen-like matter.

Several new vitrines, in different scales, continue these themes, through assemblages of soiled bleached clothes, stones, stacks of institutional metal beds, bicycles or small trees set upon squared off, cut-out sections of earth. Sealed off and displayed, these objects appear like fossils or unearthed artefacts entombed in glass and lead cases.

In the ‘9 x 9 x 9’ gallery, a dramatic, rusted metal spiral staircase disappears into the ceiling. Along its handrails hang curling strips of film reel, mounted onto lead, and soiled, robe-like dresses on wire coat hangers. In Norse mythology, Valhalla is linked to the Valkyries; women who decided who would live and who would die in battle. After making this choice, the Valkyries accompanied the dead to Valhalla, the hall of the slain in the afterlife ruled over by the god Odin. Entitled Sursum corda, this sculpture relates to the moment when the Valkyries arrive at Valhalla, their robes periodically discarded along the climb, suggesting loss and the trace of bodies that are no longer there.

Keith Sonnier @ Whitechapel Gallery / until 11th September 2016


Monday closed
Tuesday 11am–6pm
Wednesday 11am–6pm
Thursday 11am–9pm
Fri, Sat, Sun 11am–6pm

@ Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

Free entry


Making three-dimensional drawings with neon, American artist Keith Sonnier (b.1941) bathes spaces and bodies in the radiance of coloured light. Coming of age with a group of artists that included Lynda Benglis, Mary Heilmann, Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra, he uses a post-minimalist language that is physically immediate yet associative.

Four major early works made between 1968 and 1970 transform the 19th-century architecture of the gallery, combining neon with other industrial materials like glass, foam rubber and wiring. Geometric form contrasts with dashes of colour and a luminous glow to suggest the syntax of poetry and a nod to Sonnier’s roots in the multi-lingual, Creole culture of Louisiana.

Older posts

© 2018 InFormed London

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑