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5 Shows Not To Miss This April

April arrives with the melodious chirping of birds, stirring excitement for the summer holidays already planned, and Venice gearing up for its biennial extravaganza. Devoting just a monthly recommendation to this would be sacrilege. Instead, let's focus on a feast sweeping across Europe this month and lasting until September, offering a plethora of orgasmic exhibitions.

5 Shows Not To Miss This April
Irene Pouliassi

Irene Pouliassi

Apr 10, 2024

When Forms Come Alive

7 Feb 2024 –⁠ 6 May 2024

Hayward Gallery

Installation view of Lynda Benglis and Paloma Bosque I Photo: Jo Underhill. Courtesy of the Hayward Gallery

Stepping into the dynamic realm of sculptural innovation with the highly acclaimed group exhibition, "When Forms Come Alive." This collection showcases artists who defy the traditional constraints of materials, infusing their sculptures with a vibrant energy that captivates the viewer.

Featuring works by renowned artists like Ruth Asawa, Nairy Baghramian, and Phyllida Barlow, among others, this exhibition draws inspiration from a diverse array of sources. From the graceful movements of dancers to the raw power of breaking waves, these sculptures evoke fluid and ever-changing experiences.

With forms that undulate, droop, erupt, and cascade, these sculptures prompt tactile engagement, eliciting physical responses from viewers. In an era dominated by digital interactions, "When Forms Come Alive" offers a refreshing reminder of the pleasures found in physicality and the raw sensation of existence.

Anne Hardy: Survival Spell

6 Apr 2024 – 19 May 2024

Maureen Paley, London

Being (Interloper)artist’s clothes, tin cans crushed by trucks outside the studio, weldedsteel, cast pewter, cast jesmonite, jewellery, earth, wood.

Maureen Paley presents Anne Hardy's sixth solo exhibition, showcasing a new collection of floor and wall sculptures spanning both the gallery and Studio M. Titled "Survival Spell," this exhibition explores the intersection of mind and body through alchemical accumulations.

The works, born during Hardy's residency at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, evoke the earthy hues of desert landscapes and archaeological sites. Incorporating materials found in the streets of London and within urban interstices, the sculptures bear witness to a layered sense of time and process.

"Survival Spell" marks a departure towards figuration in Hardy's practice, imbuing her sculptures with a palpable sense of presence. Life casts, articles of clothing, and stones arranged in evocative shapes suggest living forms, rooted in their surroundings. Through pieces like "Being (Immaterial)" and "Energy Locator," Hardy explores the intersection of emotional states and meteorological data, forging personal connections to specific locations.

In Hardy's words, "Survival Spell" emerges from materials gathered in the overlooked margins of our environment, where potential and transformation thrive. It's an exhibition that invites viewers to contemplate the boundless possibilities found in the overlooked spaces of our world.

Berlinde De Bruyckere, “City of Refuge III”

Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

Apr. 20–Nov. 24 2024

Of course Venice this month is a chapter on its own; however I would like to spotlight Berlinde De Bruyckere's latest exhibition, "City of Refuge III,". With a title inspired by Nick Cave, a homage to those seeking protection and to all those who offer it, the artists invites viewers into a haunting exploration of the ephemeral nature of the human body. Known for her anatomically influenced work, the Belgian artist delves into macabre and eerie themes that resonate deeply with the transient essence of existence. Named after a Nick Cave song, this exhibition transforms the ancient spaces of a Venetian abbey into a profound meditation on sanctuary and rebirth, expressed through three distinct groups of works.

Ghostly sculptures emerging from clustered pedestals, ethereal forms, veiled and hybrid in nature, serve as a visual amalgamation of the earthly and the divine. Poignant reminders of the fragile balance between life and death, inviting contemplation on the cyclical nature of existence. Through the juxtaposition of organic forms against industrial materials, De Bruyckere invites reflection on the resilience of nature and the possibility of regeneration even in the face of destruction.

Confronting the transient nature of life and the eternal quest for sanctuary and renewal Berlinde De Bruyckere creates a space for introspection and contemplation, where the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical blur, and the journey of the soul unfolds amidst the echoes of history.

Jeff Koons: Paintings, 2001 - 2013

Skarstedt, London

1 Mar. - 25 May 2024

Copyright: Photograph by andrew smart, A.C.Cooper (colour) Ltd, London.

Skarstedt starts the spring season with a solo exhibition of the American artist Jeff Koons. Presenting five mural-sized paintings executed between 2001 – 2013, the exhibition features work from his Easyfun-Ethereal series first commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin in 2000, alongside artworks from the Popeye and Antiquity series.

Koons's exhibition showcases his transformative impact on the art world, democratizing its often rigid culture. His works blur distinctions between high and low art, embodying American democracy akin to predecessors like Warhol and Duchamp. The Easyfun-Ethereal series, born from the success of Balloon Flower (Blue), melds mass media iconography with childhood nostalgia, exuding joy and energy. The series' evolution, from its inception in 2000 to subsequent global acclaim, celebrates desire and consumerism through vibrant compositions. Contrasting with the innocence of Easyfun, Koons's Popeye series introduces a new narrative, merging surrealism with popular culture. Inflatable pool toys cast in aluminum form the basis, evoking shared childhood experiences. Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, Koons's Antiquity series delves into themes of beauty and desire. These works reflect his belief in art's aspirational values, emphasizing the role of beauty in society. Across his four-decade career, Koons's focus on visual pleasure remains central. His exhibition explores this, weaving together elements of art history, personal narrative, and shared experiences across five monumental canvases.

Lauren Halsey

Gagosian, rue de Ponthieu, Paris

21 Mar - 25 May 2024

While we will see her again at Stranieri Ovunque—Foreigners Everywhere and at Serpentine, London for her upcoming solo we wtill want to highlight her ' Curent Funk' at Gasosian Pasis .

Halsey's groundbreaking exhibition in Paris unveils a visionary exploration of art and architecture deeply rooted in the vibrant spirit of South Central Los Angeles. With two interconnected series, foil works (2011–) and protruded engravings (2022–), Halsey channels the essence of her community, celebrating its vitality, resilience, and cultural significance.

The towering eight-foot foil works, intricately assembled on foil-insulated foam, reflect Halsey's fascination with architectural materials. Through a collage of found objects and images, she constructs dynamic compositions bursting with the energy of her surroundings. Embedded within these dense creations are symbols, slogans, and imagery emblematic of South Central LA's vernacular culture, including nods to local businesses, activism, and beloved icons like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Halsey's art serves as a collective voice against gentrification and disenfranchisement, advocating for the preservation of community identity.

In her protruded engravings, Halsey employs a durable gypsum medium to carve reliefs adorned with symbols and words inspired by South Central's visual culture, intertwined with echoes of ancient Egyptian iconography and Afrofuturist ideals. These pieces, like "eastside of south central los angeles hieroglyph prototype architecture (I)" (2023), reflect Halsey's optimistic vision of communal identity and utopian aspirations.

Excitingly, Halsey's work will be showcased on a global stage, with upcoming participation in the 60th Biennale di Venezia and a solo exhibition at Serpentine, London. As she continues to push boundaries and redefine artistic expression, Halsey's contributions resonate far beyond the borders of her community, offering a powerful testament to the transformative potential of art in shaping narratives of pride, resilience, and belonging.

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5 Shows Not To Miss This April

April arrives with the melodious chirping of birds, stirring excitement for the summer holidays already planned, and Venice gearing up for its biennial extravaganza. Devoting just a monthly recommendation to this would be sacrilege. Instead, let's focus on a feast sweeping across Europe this month and lasting until September, offering a plethora of orgasmic exhibitions.


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