SHOWS TO SEE: Up Now in London
William Cobbing: Haptic Loop at Cooke Latham Gallery, Battersea to 21 June
'Long Distance', 2018 extends William Cobbing's well known 'The Kiss' 2004 to show a couple connected yet struggling to get close. Part of an excellent solo survey in a notably tall new warehouse space with three films, many ceramic books and several haptic loop sculptures.
Massimo Vitali: Short Stories at Mazzoleni Art to 24 May
'Short Stories' shows why Vitali should be considered the finest street photographer never to actually shoot in the street. It's easy to assume that his many beach scenes - typically taken from a tripod in the water - are much the same, but Vitali's own picture by picture commentary on 12 huge prints proves that isn't so. In 'Catania Under the Volcano' 2007 people are grouped geometrically by the artificial beach set on scaffolding necessitated by the volcanic landscape, the submerged lava from which gives the sea its particular darkness.
Peter Halley and Ugo Rondinone: Still at Modern Art Vyner St to 15 June
Ugo Rondinone and Peter Halley form a rather perfect pairing with what Modern Art term their works’ ‘containment and hostility, as well as a contrary spirituality’. On the ground floor giant door sculptures, forbidding yet cartoonish, meet prison paintings which repeat cellular structures as if presenting a diagram of a social system.
Mike Nelson: The Asset Strippers at Tate Britain to 6 Oct
'The Asset Strippers' 2019 fills the Duveen Halls with online auction sourced industrial, agricultural and bureaucratic detritus from our analogue past, repurposing it as sculpture and memorial while echoing many modern art tropes. The best use of this space since Phyllida Barlow in 2014...
Alexis Harding at Watson Farley and Williams LLP , 15 Appold Street, near Liverpool St to June 31
The most surprising inclusion in Alexis Harding's show is a set of 12 boulder-like forms of oil and gloss paint such as 'June' 2019 above (no prizes for guessing the other 11 titles). But there are also 50 paintings in a comprehensive and powerful solo survey in the offices of Watson Farley Williams - best visiting time is Friday, when the lawyers tend to work from home.
Julian Stańczak : Don't Talk, Just Look at the Mayor Gallery to 31 May
It was Julian Stańczak (b. 1928 Borownica, Poland – d. 2017 Ohio, United States) whose paintings led to the coinage ‘Op Art’ in 1964, and this show suggests he should be ranked with Riley, Vasarely and Cruz-Diez. One strand is his ‘see throughs’, which lead in 'Assemble', 1973-74, to the teasing illusion of box form which doesn’t quite make sense. Stańczak said the series had a self-analytical aspect, referring to how ‘sometimes there is an invisible wall between me and out there. That wall is in every human being. There is the complexity of oneself and the outside, and how I view myself and how the outside views me, and the person I really am is still another third person'.
It's easy to see that Tate Modern (Bonnard + Tanning + West) has three interesting shows, but the British Museum can claim similarly. Franz Stuck's 'Die Sinnlichkeit (Sensuality)' 1889-91 sees a snake entangled with Eve, part of a display of Symbolist prints, and one of the movement's defining images of women as darkly enticing femme fatales. Add the surveys of Munch and Rembrandt and The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard - artists' postcards from 1960 to now and you have a feast quite apart from 'the usual stuff'...
Some of the Chicago Imagists are well known – Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum, Christina Ramberg , Gladys Nilsson – but there are 14 at Goldsmiths. Among the others employing the typical flattened forms, repeated patterns, disparate sources and a humorous outlook which extended to them showing collectively as The Hairy Who is Roger Brown. Here is his ‘Misty Morning’ 1975, in which a lorry interrupts a rather original depiction of a rural idyll.
David Salle: Musicality and Humour at Skarstedt Gallery to 25 May
Tribute to Mona-Ha at Cardi Gallery to July 26
This encounter between cotton and stone is one of 18 installation-scaled works across four Mayfair floors which make up the most impressive Mono-ha (Japanese 'School of Things') show London has seen. It's typical of Lee Ufan in showing the unaltered material properties of things, and resisting any hierarchy between them: Koji Enokura, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Susumu Koshimizu, Katsuhiko Narita, Nobuo Sekine, Kishio Suga, Jiro Takamatsu, Noboru Takayama and Katsuro Yoshida are also represented by work produced between 1968 and 1986.