Must-See London Exhibitions This May

Posted in Inside Scoop by Hector Campbell on 30th April 2019

Our Curator at Large, Hector Campbell, has been scouring every corner of London to find the best up-and-coming artistic talent. Discover Hector's highlights below and if you're in London over the next few weeks, pop by to see these exciting shows in person.

 

1. EMMA FINEMAN, MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE?, BEERS LONDON

Hot on the heels of her successful solo exhibition ‘Realms of the (Un)Real’ at Public Gallery a few months, Emma Fineman brings a thematic show of harlequins, clowns and circus tents to Beers London gallery in East London. Recent Royal College of Art MA Painting graduate Fineman puts a satirical twist on self-portraiture as she depicts herself as the 19th-century pantomime entertainer Joseph Grimaldi, famed with popularising the use of whiteface makeup within the clowning community. Fineman inhabits the mythologised persona of The Fool, allowing her to cunningly question contemporary society and the current state of political unrest rife in both her native America and her adopted home of the United Kingdom. Her co-option of the clown character is also used to critique the proliferation of social media, and the concept of a performed personality; as evermore, we share the most intimate details of our lives in the most public of forums. ‘May I Have Your Attention Please?’ runs until May 11th.

 

Emma Fineman, (L) ‘Dreamer’, Oil And Charcoal On Canvas, 2019 (R) ‘Liberty Lead By The Fool’, Oil And Charcoal On Canvas, 2019. Installation view at Beers London. Image courtesy of Beers London and Emma Fineman.

 

2. CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER, STORYBOOK LIFE & DANIEL BLUMBERG, UN-ERASE-ABLE, UNION GALLERY

For Union Gallery’s latest duo presentation, curated by William Gustafsson, Caroline Wells Chandler takes over the street level space with a host of colourful crocheted characters, while Daniel Blumberg occupies the basement with his autobiographical silverpoint drawings. Chandler continues his exploration into queer identity and gender ambiguity, creating a crochet community of bike riders, spaceships, human-horse hybrid and even his artistic heroes David Hockney and Rose Wylie. The show's centerpiece, ‘School Bois’, immortalises when British boys wore skirts to school for the day in protest again stringent and antiquated uniform rules, an important cultural event that highlighted social issues such as gender fluidity.

 

Downstairs Blumberg employs the often neglected medieval medium of silverpoint to create drawings on paper chronicling his life as a touring musician, songwriter and artist, it’s permanence and portability an important factor for the man on the move. His prolific output of micrograms, as described by celebrated curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist, not only gives us a glimpse into the exciting life of an avant-garde artist but also highlights the unavoidable mundanity of everyday existence. ‘Storybook Life’ & ‘UN-ERASE-ABLE’ run until May 11th.

 

(L) Caroline Wells Chandler ‘School Bois’, Hand crocheted assorted fibers, 2019 (R) Daniel Blumberg, ‘μg, fishing’, Silver on paper, 2019. Image courtesy of Union Gallery.

 

3. CHLOE WISE, NOT THAT WE DON’T, ALMINE RECH

For New York-based Chloe Wise’s first London solo exhibition she presents a new series of painted portraits, depicting her attractive and aspirational inner social circle in a number of staged scenes that recall both a social media influencers feed and a forced family photo opportunity. However, behind the vibrant, Instagram-filtered surface and the emotionless stares of the sitters, uncleanliness and sordidness is suggested by the inclusion of tissues, hand sanitiser and cling film into Wise’s carefully constructed cliques. This implied impurity is further emphasised by the sculptural works that inhabit the gallery, which act as both functional benches and tissue dispensers for visitors. ‘Not That We Don’t’ runs until May 18th.

 

 Chloe Wise, (L) ‘Tormentedly Untainted’, Oil on linen, 2019 (R) ‘You definitely lied to the right person’, Oil on linen, 2019. Installation view at Almine Rech. Image courtesy of Almine Rech and Chloe Wise.

 

4. HAPPY HOUR, KRISTIN HJELLEGJERDE

For the second show at their new London Bridge project space, Kristin Hjellegjerde presents ‘Happy Hour’ a group exhibition, curated by EKCO London/Roberto Ekholm, celebrating the communal, the collective and the blurring boundaries between business and pleasure, vocation and domesticity. Highlights include the first exhibition outing for Richie Culver’s sculptural series of ‘Roadman Artifacts’, Remi Rough’s site-specific wall mural painted in his signature style of geometric abstraction meets graffiti and the downstairs bookcase, transformed into a Cabinet Curiosity of Melior Place by the curators request that each artist create a small work for the collection. ‘Happy Hour’ runs, by appointment, until May 25th.

 

Remi Rough, ‘No Consequence’, Graphite, acrylic and spray paint on ply, 2019.

(Image courtesy of Kristin Hjellegjerde and Remi Rough)

 

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