• Mark Wallinger, Prometheus, 1999.

    Mark Wallinger, Prometheus, 1999.

    Mark Wallinger

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    November 16, 2001–January 13, 2002

    Like Gary Hume before him, Mark Wallinger follows up his appearance at the British pavilion with a much expanded exhibition back home at Whitechapel. Two public projects have recently made headlines: Ecco Homo, a thorn-crowned Jesus whose life-size scale refused to be dwarfed by its Trafalgar Square surroundings; and, at Oxford’s Museum of Natural History, two full-scale models of the Tardis, the time-traveling spaceship used by Dr. Who, erstwhile sci-fi hero of children’s TV in the UK. Work connected to both projects is on view at Whitechapel, along with pieces from Venice and others made especially for this show.

  • Erik Parker, Boogie Down—“This I Know Now,” 2001.

    Erik Parker, Boogie Down—“This I Know Now,” 2001.

    The Americans: New Art

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    October 25–December 23, 2001

    According to the exhibition organizers, American art underwent a crisis at the end of the ’80s, but a younger generation, drawn to narrative, fiction, and fantasy, has risen out of the ashes. The Barbican’s largest gathering of contemporary art to date, this show, curated by the institution’s Mark Sladen, brings together some thirty New York and Los Angeles phoenixes, including Erik Parker, Sarah Sze, and Jeff Burton. If it’s true, as the Barbican aims to demonstrate, that this group has carved out a distinct generational identity while avoiding the superficial posturing of the YBAs, well then, that’s an achievement.

  • Katharina Fritsch, Elefant, 1987.

    Katharina Fritsch, Elefant, 1987.

    Katharina Fritsch

    K20 Grabbeplatz
    Grabbeplatz 5
    April 20–September 8, 2002

    Tate Modern
    September 7–December 9, 2001

    The Tate press packet calls Katharina Fritsch “one of the most important artists to have emerged from Europe in the last twenty years”; still, she remains something of a critical enigma. Her familiar forms, derived as much from Disney gift shop as medieval reliquary, exert broad appeal, but the purported accessibility can be deceptive. Shifts in scale and hue, single motifs such as the ubiquitous Madonna proliferated into mountains of replicas—these are her means of reenchanting the generic object. Or is it the other way around? Interpretations are split, which might be the point since value and faith are here intimately bound up. Organized by Iwona Blazwick and Susanne Bieber, this show comprises nineteen works realized since 1979.

  • Julian Opie, Landscape ? 3, 1998.

    Julian Opie, Landscape ? 3, 1998.

    Julian Opie

    Ikon Gallery
    1 Oozells Square Brindleyplace
    September 14–November 4, 2001

    Julian Opie is known for his multimedia installations, all realized in his computer-generated, linear signature style, with effects ranging from wry humor to disaffected urban melancholy. His theme for Ikon Gallery, the foremost showcase for new art in the Midlands, is landscape, both rural and urban. Video, sound tracks, sculpture, and paintings are brought together in an inclusive meditation on nature and artifice, sign and reality. A striking feature here is the setting of a variety of works against a continuous view of a motorway painted around the gallery walls. Elsewhere you’ll see blinking lights on a runway and soaring skyscrapers, hear waves on a beach, glimpse grazing sheep outside the gallery. New pieces and old conspire to make this a crucial show of the artist’s work.