Wednesday, 20 December 2017

TOP CHOICES 2017




Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock: still from Love Life, 2017



Sticking to Britain and excluding, in case of list-clogging bias, the ten shows* in which I was closely involved, here are a few things which stick in the mind:



Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth at the RA was mostly resembling brilliant.


Melancholia. A Sebald Variation at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House was the top group show, just ahead of Transient Space at Parafin.


Mark Leckey: the simultaneous chance to see both Dream English Kid at Tate Britain and the development from it, Affect Bridge Age Regression at Cubitt Gallery, was not to be missed…  

No matter Mum made it big in Venice and brother Eddie is on a roll, Florence Peake came forward with the Peake / Barlow clan’s best London shows at Bosse & Baum and Studio Leigh.


Love Life: Act 1, PEER. London


Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock had an excellent year: their Love Life collaboration entertained in London, Blackpool and Bexhill; his retrospective took over CGP in Bermondsey; she had her Max Mara prize show at the Whitechapel and perhaps the most-noticed stand at Frieze with ceramic satellite dishes for Sunday Painter.



Sarah RobertsTorremolinos-Tableaux-Tongue-Twister (After Sun) at Brixton’s Block 336 was my favourite immersive installation.


The Barbican’s Curve Gallery had a good year, mainly through film - Richard Mosse: Incoming and John Akomfrah: Purple.




Philip Guston: Laughter in the Dark, Drawings from 1971&1975 at Hauser & Wirth was the high point of a trend towards the Frieze Masters era of art in major commercial galleries, together with two eccentrically wonderful de Chirico shows at Namhad Projects and Tornabuoni.


Love Life: Act 2, Grundy, Blackpool



Was Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979 – 2017 at the Whitechapel the best photo show, or was it –  contrastingly – Gregory Crewdson at the Photographer’s Gallery, Wolfgang Tillmans at the Tate or Torbjørn Rødland at the Serpentine? I reckon Ruff. 


Thaddaeus Ropac was the most significant gallery to open in a year of several regrettable closures, and Robert Longo’s first London solo show Let the Frame of Things Disjoint was quite a tour de force there.


The various Tates encompassed at least four top retrospectives: Rachel Whiteread, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
, Robert Rauschenberg and Otto Dix - not to mention the well-received Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.

Maybe the best of the many futuristically-inclined shows was Lucy Raven: Edge of Tomorrow at the Serpentine, but the leading gallery for a sequence of such fare was Annka Kultys.

L
Love Life: Act 3, de la Warr, Bexhill
 



* Those were: 


Alice Anderson: Post-Digital, Union Gallery, London

Ears For The Eyes, Transition Gallery, London

Tony Charles: Unpainting, Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough:

Show Us Your Process, House Of St Barnabas, London

The Other Side, House of St Barnabas, London

The High Low Show, Laure Genillard Gallery, London

Joe Madeira: Setting the Scene, Online Exhibition

Make a Mark, Arthouse1, London

Drift, JGM Gallery, London

Collateral Drawing, Strange Cargo, Folkestone

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About Me

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Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09) and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.

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