Six to Watch: March & April

Francesca Gavin
Mar 22, 2014 1:45AM

The Exhibition: Miroslaw Balka

Miroslaw Balka is hitting London with a double whammy this month. “DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 75,32m AMSL” opens at the Freud Museum, the former home of Dr. Sigmund, on March 19, and “DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL” opens two days later at White Cube Mason’s Yard. The Polish artist’s site-specific projects refer to collective memory and the horrors of World War II as much as cultural heritage in its widest sense. Cue nods to Latin etymology, Richard Wagner, Albrecht Dürer, and the theme tune for The Great Escape. This is the first time Balka, who has exhibited at the Venice Biennale three times, has shown in London since 2009. Art that deserves to be taken seriously.


The Prize: Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards

The big buzz about this year’s Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards was that the four individuals shortlisted were all women: Lucy Clout, Kate Cooper, Anne Haaning, and Marianna Simnett. These moving-image artists have been brought together for an exhibition titled “What Will They See of Me?” The result is a group of moving image works about gender politics, digital space, andthe performative.It is only the second year of this £20,000 commissioning award, but it has gained serious momentum and the short list is also getting a viewing at Glasgow’s CCA during the International in April.


The Artist: Phyllida Barlow

Major success came late to Phyllida Barlow, but those decades of engagement in exhibiting and producing work has resulted in one of the most exciting sculptural practices of the decade. Her objects and installations explore everyday materials from cardboard to cement to ribbons and have been exhibited at Carnegie International, New Museum and Hauser & Wirth. For many years, Barlow was best known as a highly influential teacher, with past students at the Slade School of Fine Art in London including Rachel Whiteread and Angela de la Cruz. This month she unveils a highly ambitious installation work for the Tate Britain Commission 2014, on view March 31st through October 19th. 


The Event: Pleasure Principles

Paris’ new Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette and its curator François Quintin invited London-based artists Raphael Hefti and Paul Kneale to expand on their project space Library+ for this pop-up residency and exhibition. “Pleasure Principles” is an experiment in group living and concentrated critical dialogue, where nightly dinners and conversations at the foundation’s headquarters in February were used as the basis for an exhibition, talks, screening, music, and performance program between March 27th and 29th from artists including Megan Rooney, Jesse Wine, Sam Porritt, and Harry Burke. Continued proof of the new relevance of the French capital.


The Curator: Hamza Walker

Writer, curator, educator, broadcaster—Hamza Walker is one of the art world’s most engaging polymaths. Alongside contributions to Artforum and Parkett, Walker is the Associate Curator and Director of Education at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, won the 2010 Ordway Prize for contributions to contemporary art, and was nominated for the Absolut Art Award in 2013. Walker’s current exhibition “Teen Paranormal Romance,” examines the relationship between adolescent sexual drives, fantasy teen narratives and “Libertarian fever-dream apocalypticism,” through the work of artists including Ed Atkins, Jack Lavender, Roe Ethridge, and Guyton Walker. On view March 9th through April 13th.


The Space: Studiolo

Part of the pleasure of art is pilgrimage. Studiolo is a Zurich-based exhibition and production space in a former studio of the sculptor Marianne Olsen. In addition to its exciting exhibition, it is without a doubt worth getting a train 45 minutes out of Zurich for the show the Studiolo curators, Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen, have created with Bob Nickas. ‘69/96’ at Gebert Stiftung für Kultur Pavillon brings together work from 1969 chosen by Nickas and work from 1996 chosen by Studiolo. Here printed materials and documentation from artists such as Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Sylvie Fleury, Karlheinz Weinberger, and Lynda Benglis aim to emphasize the democratic nature of art. On view through March 30th.

Image Credits:

Marianna Simnett, still from The Udder, 2014. Produced as part of the Jerwood Film and Video Umbrella Awards; Kate Cooper production still from What Will They See of Me, as part of the Jerwood Film and Video Umbrella Awards; Production still courtesy of Kate Cooper; Hamza Walker, Photo: Dawoud Bey; Jack Lavender, Hannah, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and The approach Gallery, London. Collection of Dr. Michael I. Jacobs; Roe Ethridge, Louise with Red Bag, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery; Install shots courtesy Studiolo.

Francesca Gavin