previews

  • Damien Hirst

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    April 4–September 9, 2012

    Curated by Ann Gallagher

    With the recent death of Lucian Freud, some might argue that Hirst is now the greatest living British artist. And indeed—having given us such sensational icons as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (aka the Shark), 1991, and various farm animals, some bisected, vitrinized, and suspended in formaldehyde—there’s no question that he caters amply to the British appetite for showmanship. These works may sound ghoulish, but Hirst’s oeuvre is, of course, also splendidly carnivalesque: One could cite the spot and spin paintings, canvases faced with butterfly wings and real diamond dust, and other examples of his perversely cheerful aesthetic. As Tate Modern presents Hirst’s (believe it or not) first-ever UK survey, some seventy works from the past three decades will go on view, including numerous paintings, major installations (In and Out of Love, 1991, and Pharmacy, 1992), and, yes, the infamous Shark. Should be a helluva lot of fun.

  • Jeremy Deller, The History of the World, 1997, wall painting, dimensions variable.

    Jeremy Deller

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    February 12–May 13, 2012

    Curated by Ralph Rugoff

    Assigned the deadpan title “Joy in People,” Jeremy Deller’s first midcareer survey foregrounds the Turner Prize–winning artist’s collaborative tendencies (as artist, publisher, filmmaker, archivist, and even parade organizer for Manifesta 5) as much as it does the wrenching social critique for which his work is known. In this comprehensive show, the breadth of Deller’s still-developing career will be relayed via some fifty projects—from his first exhibition (Open Bedroom), staged in his parents’ house in 1993, to his famed An Injury to One Is an Injury to All, 2001, a reenactment of the Battle of Orgreave (a confrontation between police and workers during the 1984 UK miners’ strike), to the culinary replica–cum–video installation Valerie’s Snack Bar, 2009, and multiple projects that will debut here. The catalogue offers an interview with the artist by Matthew Higgs, essays by Rugoff, Rob Young, and Stuart Hall, and even a text by the artist’s mother.

  • Hans-Peter Feldmann

    Serpentine Galleries
    Kensington Gardens
    April 11–June 3, 2012

    Curated by Helena Tatay with Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Kathryn Rattee

    In 1972, as Hans-Peter Feldmann’s work first garnered international attention at Documenta 5, Avalanche asked the German artist a series of questions.
    In response, the magazine received nothing but photographs. For example, in reply to “What do you consider one of the most important aspects of your work?” they received a picture of a weary, dreary ’50s crowd passing a billboard beauty. The interview was never published in Avalanche, but such refusal of the verbal evidences the uncompromising commitment to the visual that, since the 1960s, Feldmann has consistently applied to his collections-cum-artworks. His resulting signature elusiveness—motifs suspended between monotonous, irrelevant banality and scientifically insightful taxonomy—will be fully aired in this show. Expect a wide range of photos, sculptures, and installations dating from the late 1960s to the present.

  • Zarina Bhimji, Your Sadness is Drunk, 2001-2006, color photograph, 50 x 63”.

    Zarina Bhimji

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    January 19–March 9, 2011

    Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume

    Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007, filmmaker, photographer, and installation artist Zarina Bhimji nevertheless remains a hazily contoured creative presence. That’s perhaps due to the delicacy of her work, which dusts for traces of human occupation in landscape and architecture: Her film of a verdant Ugandan vista, Out of the Blue, 2002, for example, countersigns its imagery with the nondiegetic sounds of voices and crackling fire, hitching together the story of Idi Amin’s 1972 expulsion of his country’s Asian citizens—the artist among them—and the tradition of British landscape painting. Bhimji’s first, overdue UK survey show spans the continuum from 1980s installations, large-scale Polaroids, and light boxes to her new, India-based film Yellow Patch, 2011. The catalogue features an interview with Bhimji by Borchardt-Hume and an essay by T. J. Demos.

  • David Hockney, Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006, six parts, oil on canvas, 5' 11 5/8 x 12' 1/8".

    “David Hockney Ra: A Bigger Picture”

    Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens
    6 Burlington Gardens
    July 24, 2013–April 9, 2012

    Curated by Marco Livingstone and Edith Devaney

    Barely out of the Royal College of Art some half a century ago, David Hockney quickly earned an uncontested place in the annals of Pop art with his angelic ingriste graphic gift. Derived from close attention to Picasso, this early body of work largely focused on eroticized portraiture. Over the years, however, Hockney has pursued other genres, in particular landscape—a direction about which there is far less unanimity—and in doing so, turned away from Picasso, favoring instead the palette of Matisse, not to say van Gogh. Now a survey of nearly two hundered works is poised to challenge the long-standing critical indifference to Hockney’s vistas. It should also make clear his transformation from inspired graphic classicist to national painter (now that he is once more home in England), maintaining solidarity with the formidable English landscape tradition that runs from, say, John Constable’s rural countryside to the angst-filled world channeled by Paul Nash.