previews

  • Cameron Rowland

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
    The Mall
    January 29–April 12, 2020

    Curated by Richard Birkett

    Cameron Rowland turns a materialist and gimlet eye on racism’s bottom line, focusing on the quotidian economics that turn people into speculative financial instruments. For his still-under-wraps first institutional solo exhibition in the UK, Rowland will employ all of the ICA’s galleries to develop his specific approach, one that adapts the circumspect aesthetics of Conceptualism into a systemic examination of anti-black violence as literally “part of the furniture” of American life. His ready-made objects, commodities manufactured by prisoners or seized by the police, lay bare systems, but they also congeal value in motion—except here, value in motion is both a picture of negation (for instance, of dignity and humanity) and a negation of the structures that enshrine these works as salable goods.

  • Sanya Kantarovsky, Feeder, 2016, oil and oil pastel on canvas, 75 1⁄8 × 55 1⁄8". From “Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium.”

    Sanya Kantarovsky, Feeder, 2016, oil and oil pastel on canvas, 75 1⁄8 × 55 1⁄8". From “Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium.”

    “Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium”

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    February 6–May 10, 2020

    Curated by Lydia Yee

    While visiting the Katja Seib exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ last year with my students, I asked them what they thought about the resurgence of figurative painting. The unworried looks I received confirmed that debates about painting the human after abstraction are now consigned to twentieth-century art history. And while the stakes around identity and representation have perhaps never been more contested, current discussions are conducted along lines quite distinct from those of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s–’70s, for example. In presenting work by artists including Michael Armitage, Christina Quarles, and Dana Schutz, this survey of recent figural work should provide us with the means to explore, once again, the distinct meanings of the word radical when it is used to describe art as compared to when it is used to describe politics.

  • Cao Fei, Asia One, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 62 minutes 30 seconds.

    Cao Fei, Asia One, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 62 minutes 30 seconds.

    “Cao Fei: Blueprints”

    Serpentine Galleries
    Kensington Gardens
    March 4–May 17, 2020

    Curated by Joseph Constable

    Plenty of artists have drawn inspiration from their studios. But Cao Fei’s atelier will become uniquely fascinating fodder for two new installations appearing in her first major solo exhibition in the UK. One will draw on her work space in a former Soviet-era Beijing cinema—its decor and multifaceted functionality alike embodying the zeitgeist of a rapidly urbanizing China in the 1950s and ’60s. In the other, her studio kitchen will serve as the model for a self-contained room that will allow visitors to encounter real objects while also interfacing with augmented and virtual realities. These works will appear alongside other videos from the past sixteen years, which have cemented Cao’s reputation for idiosyncratically portraying the ways in which people are alternately buoyed or broken down by an increasingly urban, digital, and automated world.