previews

  • Richard Tuttle

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    October 14–December 14, 2014

    Curated by Magnus af Petersens/Achim Borchardt-Hume

    What happens when you commission Richard Tuttle—a sculptor and poet whose famously understated work welcomes pensive admiration for loose string and lightly wrinkled cloth—to fill one of the most spectacular spaces for contemporary art on Earth? See for yourself this fall, when Tuttle’s enormous I Don’t Know, or The Weave of Textile Language takes pride of place in the Tate’s Turbine Hall. Meanwhile, the Whitechapel’s full-career retrospective of the American artist’s work, which emphasizes the function of textiles in his five-decade oeuvre, is well positioned to tie in with his Tate project. Expect some forty pieces, the majority fiber-based, all set to be installed by the artist himself, as he weaves new relationships among recent creations and key older works. An accompanying catalogue showcases Tuttle’s formidable textile collection, evidencing not just the references that inspire his practice but also his deeply informed appreciation for the materials that constitute his work.

  • Allen Jones, Curious Woman, 1965, oil, plaster, and epoxy resin on wood, approx. 48 × 40 × 7 7/8".

    Allen Jones, Curious Woman, 1965, oil, plaster, and epoxy resin on wood, approx. 48 × 40 × 7 7/8".

    Allen Jones

    Royal Academy of Arts | Piccadilly
    Burlington House, Piccadilly
    November 13, 2014–January 25, 2015

    Curated by Edith Devaney

    Some may feel that Allen Jones’s iconic 1969 sculptures of white women in black bondage gear, assigned such baldly objectifying titles as Hat Stand, Table, and Chair, should have met their end years ago. Yet this fall, London’s Royal Academy gives their maker a rare full-dress retrospective, contextualizing these works alongside the English artist’s paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs. Having emerged in the 1960s with the second wave of British Pop (think Blake, Boshier, Boty, Hockney), Jones quickly claimed the sexualized female figure as his rubric, often pairing it with elements of domesticity and design—prints, for example, featuring high-heeled legs atop patterned grounds—to point to the fetishistic qualities inherent in consumer forms. Indeed, Jones’s work is too creepy (almost Bellmerian) to be simply written off as complicit. If anything, viewers of this show will be compelled to rethink exactly how the social continues to inscribe bodies today.