Exhibitions Fairs United Kingdom

My London top five: Ralph Rugoff

Art world figures share their "don't miss" picks for shows going on during Frieze Week

Ralph Rugoff

Ralph Rugoff is the director of the Hayward Gallery. Since his appointment in 2006, he has ­organised a number of acclaimed exhibitions, ­including “The Painting of Modern Life”, “Jeremy Deller: Joy in People” and this

summer’s “Alternative Guide to the Universe”.

1) Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, until March 2014

Hahn/Cock, 2013, by Katharina Fritsch is a brilliant wake-up call for the city and a witty send-up of Trafalgar Square’s phallic monuments. Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock is an extraordinary and exemplary public sculpture.

2) Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP

William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, 1733, is a precursor to graphic novels. The wickedly satirical series of eight paintings, depicting the gradual downfall of an heir who squanders his money while living large, seems as relevant today as when he made it in 1732.

3) “Michael Landy: Saints Alive”, National Gallery, until 24 November

Mind-boggling, haunting and outrageous slapstick sculptures, reimagining the iconography of Christian saints with a nod to Jean Tinguely and a house of horrors.

4) “Tacita Dean”, Frith Street Gallery, until 26 October

Tacita Dean’s JG, 2013, is a 35mm film installation using voiceover texts from stories and correspondence with J.G. Ballard that ruminate on motifs of entropy and time while also reflecting on Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, 1970. This densely layered conceptual and visual collage shows an artist brilliantly expanding the language of film.  

5) Highgate Cemetery, Swain’s Lane, N6 6PJ, Monday-friday 10am-5pm, ­weekend 11am-5pm

The best possible antidote to the frenzy of contemporaneity at Frieze, this eerily beautiful cemetery includes the graves of Karl Marx, 1818-83 (which has endured two bombing attempts), as well as those of more recent London luminaries, such as Patrick Caulfield and Malcolm McLaren.


Katharina Fritsch's Hanh/Cock in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Gautier Deblonde
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