Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy of Arts (24 September-2 January 2017) is stupendous. David Anfam, the world’s expert on the subject, and co-curator Edith Devaney have thoughtfully chosen and arranged 150 paintings, with some works in other media. They has allotted, very appropriately, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still entire galleries to themselves, with thematic groupings, sculpture and works on paper interspersed. The hang satisfies the need for the undivided meditative and ocular attention that these paintings call for if they are fully to be experienced. A slow and prolonged visit is recommended. Like any classical work, no matter how familiar the Abstract Expressionism may seem, the works repay repeated close viewing.
Any show that gets Britain’s most serious art critics to pontificate about the rapper Kendrick Lamar is a winner in our books. The Infinite Mix (until 4 December), an off-site exhibition organised by the Hayward Gallery and The Vinyl Factory, brings together ten video works by artists including Cyprien Gaillard, Rachel Rose, Martin Creed and Kahlil Joseph (who teamed up with Lamar for his two-screen installation). Located in The Store a disused office block on the Strand, each piece gets its own chamber, thereby avoiding any sound leakage that you often find in other video art exhibitions. Boasting holograms and 3D projections, this is probably the funnest show in town.
To mark the Freud Museum’s 30th anniversary and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud, the Turner prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger has created the ultimate representation of the ego: a mirror installed across the entire ceiling of the psychoanalyst’s study. Mark Wallinger: Self Reflection (until 25 September) includes, Self (shaped as the letter “I”), which has been permanently installed in the garden, visible from Freud’s desk. Meanwhile a selection of self-portraits makes this show, which closes this weekend, an unmissable exhibition about me, myself and I.