Top Art Shows in London This Week: John Chamberlain to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Top Art Shows in London This Week: John Chamberlain to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

MURMUR, 2002 John Chamberlain Painted and chrome-plated steel 16 × 26 × 19 inches (40.6 × 66 × 48.3 cm)
(© 2018 Fairweather & Fairweather LTD / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo by Rob McKeever)

London plays host to new exhibition and art shows this week. They include John Chamberlain’s show at the Gagosian to an exhibition that looks at the relationship between nature and fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Blouin Artinfo curates a list of such must-see exhibitions for its readers:


“MERCURY CITY” by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe at Marlborough Contemporary

April 17 through May 16, 2018

The exhibition is centered around a cinema playing a trilogy of videos, “The Floating Chain,” “Scenario in the Shade,” and “Mercury City.” The installation features a set of adjacent rooms that begins with an antechamber/ waiting room and ends with a straight commercial gallery space designed by the artists. Within these spaces the viewer comes across the artists’ signature cactus/ crystal sculptures and ink on mirror-polished stainless-steel abstractions. Along with these, new wall-mounted ceramic and silkscreen hybrids are also on view. These objects serve a dual function where they are used as props in a constructed environment sort of like a set which the viewer occupies. Each component having a specific function and location that is placed just outside our realm of lived experience and expectation.

John Chamberlain’s “ENTIRELYFEARLESS” at Gagosian

April 17 through May 26, 2018

This exhibition of metal sculpture by artist John Chamberlain is the first in London since “New Sculpture” at Gagosian Britannia Street in 2011. The artist’s sculptures are distinctive and often created by out of crushed and torqued automobile steel. The material used and Chamberlain’s methods that goes into making these sculptures reveal both the grace and the expressive plasticity of industrial materials. The works explore the interplay of color, sheen, weight, and balance. The artist taps into the dynamic energy of Abstract Expressionism, the elements of Pop and Minimalism, and that of high baroque. For this show, large-scale floor sculptures and wall-mounted works made over the course of four decades are on view.

“Rio Azul” by Beatriz Milhazes at White Cube

April 18 through July 1, 2018

The large-scale exhibition of works by Beatriz Milhazes showcases the artist’s exploration of a variety of media. These include painting, installation, sculpture, and collage and her first-ever tapestry. This has been created especially for the show. The centerpiece of the exhibition is “Rio Azul” (2016−18). It is a large-scale tapestry that has been inspired by the work of Brazilian modernist artist and landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. This expansive installation is made up of wave-like, linear forms, geometric blocks, circles, leaves, and flowers. These create a kinetic landscape and the artwork has been created over a period of two years.

“The Alphabet of Creation (for now)” by Joel Mesler at Simon Lee Gallery

 April 20 through May 26, 2018

This exhibition of new works by New York-based artist and art dealer Joel Mesler is his first solo presentation in the UK. The display includes new paintings from his body of work based on the alphabet. Each of the painting is devoted to a single letter. These draw from the artist’s childhood memories and his hometown of Los Angeles. Mesler’s work is autobiographical in nature and evokes illustrations from a children’s alphabet book. Yet, his distinctive style, imbibes them with a dark wit that reveals significant periods from his life.

“Fashioned from Nature” at the Victoria and Albert Museum

April 21, 2018 through January 27, 2019

The show explores the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600. The display indicates how fashionable dresses and accessories often draw inspiration from nature. The installation includes garments and accessories from Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy. It looks at how fashion’s processes and constant demand for raw materials damage the environment. Campaigners such as protest groups are also featured in the show such as Fashion Revolution and Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition looks at the function of design that creates a better, more sustainable fashion industry.


“Pedro Reyes: Glyptotek” at Lisson Gallery

Running through April 21, 2018

This exhibition is the first in London for the artist since the acclaimed “Disarm” in 2013. The installation consists of a fictional, panhistorical museum of sculpture, or a glyptotek. The term has been borrowed from the ancient Greek that means a cache of classic statuary. These works by Reyes explore both figurative and abstract approaches to sculpture. This the artist carries out through the use of materials including volcanic stone, marble, bronze, and steel and his series such as “The Protester.”

Manuel Espinosa at Stephen Friedman Gallery

Running through April 21, 2018

This is artist Manuel Espinosa’s second exhibition in London and his first survey in Europe. The artist was considered to be one of Argentina’s most important post-war abstract painters. On display are paintings and works on paper dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. Espinosa’s work was deeply impacted by music and literature. The titles to his artworks were often borrowed from books, especially James Joyce novels. The influence of music can be observed in his work “AYAT” from 1979.

Matthew Day Jackson’s “Still Life and the Reclining Nude” at Hauser & Wirth

Running through April 28, 2018

Matthew Day Jackson explores the different aspects of human experience and draws from sources that reveal both our inventiveness and its counter-point, our capacity for destruction. On display are a new series of still life paintings and bronze sculpture. As the artist puts it, “‘I am interested in exploring how certain ideas, forms, images, narrative structures and traditions are manifest in the present. The process by which they are severed and dismembered from the past is how they are enlivened.” Jackson critiques these traditions through the conventions of still life and the reclining nude figure. These he combines with the use of material and form.


Yuko Shiraishi’s “Floworld” at Annely Juda Fine Art

Running through May 2, 2018

The exhibition explores three elements, a series of new paintings and two installations; “pass age” (sic) and “Paralleling.” Shiraishi is known for her minimal, abstract canvases and use of color. The new paintings on view look at the artist’s long-standing interest in dreams. This fascination spans the scientific and the poetic. How neuroscience shows that the brain is very active throughout the time we spend sleeping. Shiraishi cites Jorge Luis Borges an Argentinian writer as a major influence.

“Murillo: The Self Portraits” at the National Gallery London

Running through May 21, 2018

The exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682). It reunites the artist’s only two known self-portraits in more than 300 years. Portraits by the artist are relatively rare with only 16 been identified so far. This includes the two self-portraits made at various points in his lifetime.

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibitions.

Founder: Louise Blouin