Tag: London galleries

Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World at Whitechapel Gallery until 13 May 2018

Explorer, collector, activist and conjuror of theatrical environments American artist Mark Dion (b.1961) has travelled through rainforests and rubbish dumps to reveal the wonder and fragility of life on earth. Dion uses specimens – natural and manmade – to make uncanny representations of these environments. His drawings, sculptures and installations draw on the techniques of scientific enquiry and museum display; and on the telling of natural histories. 🌎

We embark on a journey through a sequence of installations created between 2000 and the present. The exhibition begins with The Library for the Birds of London (2018), a new commission continuing a series of aviaries Dion has created since 1993. The roomy sanctuary is a temporary home to 22 zebra finches, which are well-known for being social creatures. Visitors are invited into the aviary, which has an apple tree at its centre, referencing the tree of life. Over 600 books devoted to ornithology, environmentalism, literature and the natural sciences surround the birds. A scholar’s study invites us to unravel intricate drawings and models; while the Bureau for the Centre of the Study for Surrealism and its Legacy displays the strange magic of obsolete things. The muddy banks of the Thames have also yielded their treasures for poetic display in a gigantic cabinet; while The Wonder Workshop displays the ghosts of animals and instruments, many of them extinct and obsolescent. Each immersive environment is also a habitat, evoking the characters that observe, conserve or exploit the natural world.


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

Monday closed
Tuesday 11am-6pm
Wednesday 11am-6pm
Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday 11am-6pm
Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday 11am-6pm

£12.95 book online

Bojan Šarčević invagination @ Modern Art / until 14th January 2017


Doors: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

@ Modern Art, 4-8 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ

Free entry


Third solo exhibition with Modern Art. Šarčević’s work was the subject of survey exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2012).

Bojan Šarčević was born in Belgrade in 1974. He studied at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, graduating in 1997, and undertook postgraduate study at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 1999 to 2000. He lives and works in Berlin and Paris.

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.

Russian Avant-garde Theatre: War Revolution and Design @ V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) / until 25th January 2015


Open daily 10am – 5.45pm
Fri 10am – 10pm

@ V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum), Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Free entry


This display reveals twenty years of radical and revolutionary designs for performance against the backdrop of the First World War and the Russian Revolutions.

Around 150 set and costume designs demonstrate the creative, experimental and visionary performance designs of celebrated artists including Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexandra Exter, El Lissitsky, Liubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova.

With a large number of works exhibited in the UK for the first time, the display explores the unprecedented boom in Russian theatre culture during the first decades of the 20th century and the development of the avant-garde movement.

Curated in collaboration with the A.A.Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Moscow and supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture.

Romain Froquet – ‘Empreinte’ exhibition @ XOYO Gallery / Until 30th April 2012


Doors: 10am – 6pm on weekdays

@ XOYO Gallery
32-37 Cowper Street
London, EC2A 4AP
Tube: Old Street

Entry: £Free


The ‘Empreinte’ exhibition is a series of drawings recently created by Romain Froquet. After generating prints of his drawings in various formats he decides to re-edit them. That reproduction system offers a different interpretation and a certain uniqueness for each of his drawing.

‘Empreinte’ (meaning ‘footprint’), this is the name he chose for his exhibition. He aims to reflect through his drawings the projection of his inner self in constant evolution. It makes us feel a strong nostalgia from childhood expressed by the use of different mediums such as chalk, pastels or colored pencils. The presence of figurative elements are of the order of the naive and primitive, with a handprint or a drawing of a heart. Those simple and universal symbols illustrate vitality. Also appearing in his work are some typographic elements: representing his own language and allowing him to communicate with his own universe. Those elements are in contrast with clean lines and a structured background. In other words, it is the representation of the adult and the child both cohabiting, allowing the artist a pure expression.

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