• Cerith Wyn Evans


    PEOPLE UNACQUAINTED with the London art world are probably unaware of how central a presence Cerith Wyn Evans is here. Admittedly, to a certain extent this quasi-institutional status derives from his flamboyant party persona—he is a stately figure in Dior suits, dispensing Wildean pronouncements with a strict Welsh lilt. But his standing owes even more to his austere, heavily encrypted, crisply poetic tableaux, in which chandeliers, fireworks, and other objects are charged with literary, cinematic, and countercultural references. This elegant body of work has had formative impact on a younger

    Read more
  • Pierre Klossowski/Hans Bellmer

    Whitechapel Gallery

    While presented as separate exhibitions, these timely surveys of two of the most interesting artists in the orbit of Surrealism (though Pierre Klossowski, unlike Hans Bellmer, was never an official member of the group) complemented each other perfectly. Although the work of both artists is unmistakably specific to the century into which they were born and (differing in this regard from that of Klossowski’s brother, Balthus) absolutely without nostalgia for the art of the old masters, Bellmer and Klossowski were unconcerned with any notion of pictorial modernism.

    This is not so much because of

    Read more
  • Stephen Willats

    Victoria Miro Gallery | 16 Wharf Road

    Since the ’60s, London-based conceptual artist Stephen Willats has focused on concerns that are now ubiquitous in contemporary art: communication, social engagement, active spectatorship, and self-organization. Willats considered his work social research and used models from disciplines such as cybernetics and systems theory to describe and study social interaction and communication. These methods were used, for example, in postwar technocratic urban planning as a form of social control. Willats repurposed these models for opposite ends—to research life on the receiving end of such state-planned

    Read more
  • Declan Clarke

    Tate Britain

    In a series of short films made over the past few years, Declan Clarke has cast a humorous and critical eye on the ways in which the history of ideas can be discerned in present-day social structures and interpersonal relationships. These works have hitherto frequently concerned themselves with major characters from British history, such as Wellington, Nelson, and Byron. The London-based artist’s Dublin roots invariably reveal themselves in juxtaposition to the Britishness of his subject matter, lending mordancy to his combinations of word and image. For his most recent work, Mine Are of Trouble

    Read more