Arts Radar: April 27th
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It's not exactly an April showering of shows but our art spot has still been hit by a few things this week. That includes the world's largest photography show rolling into town and pitching up at Somerset House; the University of Arts London's annual exhibit showcasing the household names of tomorrow; and some tranquil kinetic sculptures which make us feel all calm and docile. Read on, we dare you.
It's easy to get slightly anaesthetised to incredible photography in this day and age. That said, this annual photography road show is quite simply the world's largest — and best — photography exhibition. Divided into 10 categories that cover everything from fine art landscape shots to hard hitting journalism, roll to this and prepare to rub your eyes, rub your eyes some more and whisper to your pal that you cannot believe this shit.
Having come up in New York's hip East Village in the 1980s, Ashley Bickerton has been on the move pretty much ever since, letting a myriad of cultures seep into his art. The result: odd, erotic, exotic and sometimes nightmarish works that unnerve and unsettle. And we know you like it like that. He likes to satirise consumerist culture and the differences in representation between Western and non-Western cultures, and who are we to stop him?
You've got to keep an eye on what the youth are doing — they're the future, after all, and who knows what they've got planned. The Grayson Perry-curated exhibition Xhibit showcases the work of 32 excellent artists from the University of Arts London's colleges. Expect work here that explores the topical topics dominating the collective conscious: from a mixed media installation exploring the lack of individualism across social media to photography questioning ethical eating. It's screaming THIS IS RELEVANT.
Dreamy paintings "made up of figures floating within a luminous sea of oil paint" is how British Chinese artist Faye Wei Wei describes her works and this is her debut show. Enjoy a sensual exploration of myth, love and memory with works brimming full of all kinds of symbols: snakes, suns, mirrors, boxers and lions to name but a few. It's a surreal and poetic mixture, and given the hype surrounding her it seems she may well be destined for big things. So catch her now before she goes all Damien Hirst and stars putting dead animals in formaldehyde.
Whilst working as an engineer in the Army Air Corps during WWII, George Rickey (1907-2002) began experimenting with different materials and their relationship with air currents. He had a knack for it, and began creating kinetic sculptures, some of which you've almost certainly come across at some point or other. This exhibition shows 16 of his rare sculptures that are wonderfully satisfying to watch. There's something about their smooth rhythm and dependable repetitiveness that just makes us feel all at ease and we don't care who knows it.