John Baldessari: Miro and Life in General
Showing that being slightly longer in the tooth need not stop those creative juices, 85 year old Californian artist John Baldessari brings his latest conceptual creations to Marian Goodman. Creating stuff since the 60s, the prolific artist is known for making work that explores the relationship between photographs, text and painting in a witty and ironic way, and that's what you'll get at this one. In each of these works, Baldessari has paired a detail from one particular painting from the Spanish surrealist painter Joan Miro with a seemingly random Hollywood film still, which has been partially painted. The result is conceptual art that serves as a kind of humorous musing on art, and life itself.
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Young Gods: 2017
Now in its 10th year, Young Gods is a curated show by Zavier Ellis that presents the works of some of the up and comers in art. All the artists on show are either graduates or postgraduates from London's art schools, and there are a lot of schools so those selected must really have something going for them — or know something incriminating about Zavier Ellis. So what to expect: painting, installation, sculpture, video and works on paper. It's a real mixed bag of stuff that includes female figures integrated into domestic interiors; bricolage animal sculptures that investigate the hierarchy of objects; and constructed objects that represent working machines such as boats or trains. Always a good insight into what this generation of artists is up to, so pop on by why don't you?
History can be an elusive and difficult beast to get to grips with, which is more or less the theme of this group exhibition, where 8 contemporary African artists carry out a deep examination of the mechanics of history. Here each artist looks at the past, or their own past, to engage in the act of storytelling, or to put it another way, historytelling. Through sculpture, drawing, photography, artefacts and video, this is an exploration of retrospective and the idea of the historical narrative, mainly based on the continent of Africa.
Santiago Montoya: Surfin' USA
After years of field research, we've realised that there are all kinds of things you can do with money. One thing, shown by the Colombian artist Santiago Montoya, is to create socio-politically motivated works of art that explore the culture, currency and political issues of the USA. Well, we've spent it on worse things. He cuts, alters and stretches the bills to explore the meaning beyond their surface, creating a unique visual language by reinterpreting paper currency as both a canvas and raw material. The aim is to explore complex subject matters with a little bit of humour: combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol with the aesthetics of popular culture — icons like Mickey Mouse and The Velvet Underground are used to draw attention to the social and financial crises that have affected 2016.
You Were High When I Was Doomed
IMT kick their 2017 programme off with this opaquely titled group show. Alright, we're into it, opaque is fine with us, we like working things out for ourselves. The common thread running through the works is that they're to do with the past, and what remains of the artefacts of contemporary modernity. It's about endings and afterendings. A mashed up canvas of what we've just seen, creating something new. Might be one you need to go and look at to really get to the bottom of, we suspect.