Art to See by Alex Fynn O'Neill

21 Dec 2016

by Alex Fynn O’Neil

This autumn we have presented art from around the globe at the Whitechapel Gallery. South African draughtsman William Kentridge’s installations; a project by American feminist activists Guerrilla Girls; works from the Barjeel Art Foundation in the UAE; and artists’ films from Russia and Argentina, to name a few.

In the final weeks of 2016, and as the holiday season nears, here are my five recommendations of shows to see at the Gallery and beyond.

Alicja Kwade at Whitechapel Gallery 

In Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade’s installation, dozens of electronic star charts rotate on a giant mechanised mobile. They each display an app which uses GPS to pinpoint our position in the universe, while a computerised female voice on each device recites passages from the Book of Genesis. Dimly lit alien forms cast in bronze loom nearby. A dark, contemplative work, the installation is housed in one of the most peaceful spaces in the Whitechapel Gallery. Formerly the reading room in the Whitechapel Public Library built in 1892, the space was converted into our dedicated space for new artist commissions in 2009.

Malick Sidibé at Somerset House 

An exhibition of the Malian photographer’s black-and-white portraits capture the energy of Africa post-independence. There are three rooms in this compact show, which is his first solo presentation in the UK. They provide a balance between his famous and lesser known works taken in Mali in the 60s and 70s, including his distinctive images of well-dressed men and women posing in his studio, and a series of pictures showing youths larking around on the River Niger.

Design Museum Collections 

This week I’m looking forward to visiting the latest big cultural addition to London, the brand new Design Museum in Kensington. Today I’ve been playing with the new app they have developed to accompany their collection of iconic objects designed over the last century.

Love Life: Act 1 at Peer

At Peer Gallery, Max Mara Art Prize-winner Emma Hart presents new work in collaboration with artist Jonathan Baldock. Supersizing Punch & Judy’s living quarters into a dystopian stage-set, Love Life: Act 1 features an array of Hart’s ceramic sculptures, including pots and pans anthropomorphised with tongues and faces. As winner of the current edition of the Max Mara Art Prize, Hart will have major solo exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti in Italy in 2017.

Alex Fynn O’Neill is Digital Content Editor at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

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About Art to See 

Art to See is ArtRabbit’s new series of editor’s picks. We’ve invited leading artists, curators and writers to share with us exhibitions and art events that left an impression on them.

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