A month that, even before it began, was overshadowed by the passing of one of the most prominent figures in the art world. A great supporter of the arts, a visionary collector, and a cherished friend of our platform.
This month's top 5 selections feature a diverse mix of exhibitions, ranging from budding youngsters taking their first steps in the art scene to visionaries, icons, and trailblazers who continuously, provoke and shape contemporary art leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
If you are currently in or planning to visit London and/or New York, be sure to explore the following.
In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox?
11 January 2024- 17 February 2024
Petzel, New York
520 W 25th Street, NY 10001
The Nuremberg-born, Berlin-based artist proceeds with her inaugural solo exhibition in the United States, unveiling her enigmatic artistic repertoire in a gallery that extends beyond aesthetic orthodoxies. Within the confines of the gallery, she unveils an enigmatic artistic repertoire that transcends conventional aesthetic boundaries. This marks a pivotal moment in Raphaela Vogel's career as she brings her unique vision to a new audience, showcasing a body of work that challenges and expands upon established artistic norms.
Traversing surreal and autobiographical landscapes, Vogel intricately weaves together elements of hallucinogenic video collages, monumental sculptural works, and ritualistic paintings. This immersive experience delves deep into the complexities of power dynamics, addressing nuances within gender intricacies. Through a skillful integration of phallic symbolism and ready-mades associated with the public sphere—such as steel girders, cars, urinals, and heraldic statues—her exhibition titled "The Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox?" engages with profound themes of intersubjectivity, technogenesis, and cultural remembrance.
Raphaela Vogel's artistic practice is rooted in installations, a dynamic fusion of sculpture, sound, and film. In her cinematic iterations, she often appears as herself, adding a personal dimension to her creations. Vogel's approach to media and materials is eclectic, generating energy and tension by harmonizing seemingly disparate source imagery. Through her works, she propels the viewer into disruptive and fantastical territories, inviting them to explore the boundaries of perception and experience within the realm of contemporary art.
Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys
10 February- 7 July 2024
Great Hall, 1st Floor
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gordon Parks, Lorna Simpson, these are just a few names within the expansive collection curated by the iconic Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys
In their inaugural major exhibition, Giants, the Brooklyn Museum collaborates with the Dean Collection to unveil a meticulously curated selection from their extraordinary holdings. This presentation places a spotlight on works by Black diasporic artists, contributing to an ongoing effort to broaden and enrich the art-historical narrative. The exhibition is not merely a display of artworks; it's a deliberate effort to extend the narrative, to weave new threads into the fabric of artistic discourse.
"Giants" encapsulates multiple layers of meaning within the Dean Collection. The towering reputation of legendary artists, the transformative influence of contemporary creators who challenge and expand the canon, and the sheer monumentality of works by visionaries like Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi.
A show that speaks to the robust relationships forged between the Deans and the artists they passionately support, highlighting the interconnectedness as well as creating a trailblazing network of collaboration and inspiration that goes beyond the confines of individual works.
The exhibition not only delves into these intricate links and enduring legacies but also invites viewers into "giant conversations" inspired by the exhibited works—discussions that delve into societal critique and celebrate the profound beauty of Blackness.
Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.
1 February - 17 March 2024
Serpentine South Gallery
Highly acclaimed American artist Barbara Kruger presents her first solo institutional show in London in over twenty years.
Featuring a distinctive array of installations, complemented by dynamic moving image works and immersive soundscapes, 'Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You' delves into the contemporary realms of content creation and consumption online. This captivating exhibition seamlessly melds various elements such as text, audio clips, and a captivating array of found images and memes, spanning from enigmatic blurred-out selfies to animated portrayals of feline antics.
Krueger's artistic prowess is rooted in her extensive career as a graphic designer for magazines, a background that has shaped her into a masterful creator of iconic visual language. Her works skilfully borrow from the techniques and aesthetics of advertising and other media, creating a dialogue that transcends traditional artistic boundaries.
Since the 1970s, Krueger has been a trailblazer, consistently using her artworks as a lens to scrutinise complex mechanisms of power, gender, class, consumerism, and capital. Her impactful fusion of images and words leaves an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene, challenging viewers to confront and question the socio-cultural forces at play in our interconnected digital age. 'Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You' stands not only as an exhibition but as a profound commentary on the ever-evolving dynamics of our modern existence.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries
19 January 2024 - 14 April 2024
Camden Art Centre, London
Arkwright Road, NW3 6DG
A steadfast advocate for emerging and early-career artists, New Contemporaries makes a triumphant return to Camden Art Center, showcasing 55 of the most exciting talents emerging from UK art schools and alternative peer-to-peer learning programs. This curated selection is the result of the discerning eye of internationally renowned artists Helen Cammock, Sunil Gupta, and Heather Phillipson.
Since its establishment in 1949, the organization has played a pivotal role in providing vital development opportunities to artists, aiding in their seamless transition from educational pursuits to more established and recognized pathways within the dynamic realm of the art world.
The exhibition features a vibrant mix of familiar names that have left an indelible mark on the pulsating emerging art scene, alongside fresh, innovative artists who are poised to shape the pulse of contemporary art. These artists collectively engage with urgent lived concerns driving the creative discourse in the UK today. The 2024 edition delves into the zeitgeist, exploring themes such as care, kinship, collectivity, climate justice, world-building, geographical borders, and identity politics. It is a compelling reflection of the multifaceted narratives that define the contemporary artistic landscape, capturing the essence of the diverse and dynamic creative forces at play in the UK.
The selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries are: Savanna Achampong, Bunmi Agusto, Ahaad Alamoudi, Adama Dercilia Bari, Alexandra Beteeva, Cai Arfon Bellis, Matthew Burdis, Thomas Cameron, Yingming Chen, Helen Clarke, Sarah Cleary, Alannah Cyan, Nina Davies, James Dearlove, Harriet Gillett, Haneen Hadiy, Joseph Ijoyemi, Jennifer Jones, Bessie Kirkham, Noa Klagsbald, Iga Koncka, Emily Kraus, Margaret (Weiyi) Liang, Harry Luxton, Ranny Macdonald, Jil Mandeng, Anne McCloy, Phyllis McGowan, SAM (Ayrton Mendes), Zayd Menk, Efrat Merin, Rhys Morgan, Joe Moss, Lili Murphy-Johnson, Elena Njoabuzia Onwochei-Garcia, Abi Palmer, Emerson Pullman, Harmeet Rahal, Daniel Rey, Alicja Rogalska, Luke Anthony Rooney, Jeremy Scott, Holly Sezer, Emma Sheehy, Charan Singh, Jame St Findlay, Korallia Stergides, Samuel Thompson-Plant, Jiayi Wang, Sidney Westenskow, Georg Wilson, Joshua Woolford, Hester Yang, Osman Yousefzada and Samuel Zhang
1 February 2024 - 09 March 2024
Private view: Thursday 1 February 2024, 6-8pm
8 Bury Street SW1Y
Returning to corporeal themes, Yu Ji unveils her second solo exhibition with Sadie Coles HQ, aptly titled "Protrude." The exhibition evokes a rich tapestry of associations related to presence and physicality, simultaneously eliciting sensations of action, growth, and movement.
Exploring the essence of the body and the delicate corporeality of the self in the world, Ji presents vast, sentinel-like sculptures crafted from concrete and soap. These stoic yet vulnerable forms stand as guardians, simultaneously keeping watch and monitoring their own health and stability. Reminiscent of the columns of ancient Greek or Roman structures, weathered and crooked with age, their crumbling surfaces bear witness to their own ancient history.
Originally conceived in conversation with plants for the High Line project in New York, Ji draws inspiration from the renowned gardens of the park (currently on display until March 2024). The exhibition intriguingly intertwines references to nature and architecture. While Ji acknowledges the built environment's grounding in the physics of the natural world, a pointed analogy emerges between the structure of buildings and the intricacies of the human body. Both possess a skin, a structural core, and an internal network of operations that sustain their functionality, yet each gains character and distinction through its unique journey.
Yu Ji's sculptures stand as a testament to a meticulous and prolonged process of research, collaboration, and processual fabrication. The incorporation of 3D scanning technology allows for the faithful recreation of specific plants, blending the natural world with the artist's intricate exploration of form, function, and the enduring dialogue between nature and built environments.