Choosing between the myriad exhibitions that spring up across London around Frieze week can be a daunting task. To help you navigate what's on offer, we've selected eight of the best shows taking place outside the fair tent at Regent's Park.
Until 9 January 2022, Barbican Art Gallery, Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS
This exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the life of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi using his rich and varied body of work—sculpture, furniture, theatre sets, maquettes for monuments, children’s playgrounds, commercial objects—and influential working relationships with people like the sculptor Constantin Brancusi and the architect and theorist R. Buckminster Fuller. Noguchi is little-known as an artist by the wider public. “Most people think of Noguchi as the designer of the [eponymous] coffee table or the Akari light sculptures,” Ostende says. “Somehow, he’s always been lost in limbo between the Modernist canon of sculptors and the commercial designer.” Ostende hopes the exhibition “will allow people to have a larger understanding of what the definition of art or true art can be”. Equal weight is given to Noguchi’s sculptures, like his sensuous brass pieces from the late 1920s—clearly influenced by Brancusi, for whom he worked—and commercial objects such as the baby monitor Radio Nurse (1937). JS
Estorick Collection Uncut
Until 19 December, The Estorick Collection, 39A Canonbury Square, N1 2AN
The Estorick Collection holds one of the world’s finest collections of early 20th-century Italian art outside of Italy. With a focus on Futurism and metaphysical art, the collection includes works by great Modernists such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi and Gino Severini. The collection was formed in the immediate post-war period and its 120 works have rarely been displayed together. The exhibition also includes several journals, editions and copies of various manifestos from the period. Uncut is also accompanied by a smaller display of contemporary work by the British artist Paul Coldwell, made in response to a set of Morandi etchings and drawings. SS
Hyundai Commission: Anicka Yi: In Love with the World
Until 16 January 2022, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG
Two species of intelligent robots have moved into some prime, Thames-side real estate: Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Collectively named aerobes, the floating orbs that the New York-based artist Anicka Yi has created to inhabit the cavernous space are inspired by ocean life forms and mushrooms, the helium-filled shapes move around using rotors and a small battery pack. Together, they create an “ecosystem” within the museum, Yi says, interacting with their environment and visitors, and displaying individual and group behaviours.
Behind the scenes, a team of specialists has developed these aerial vehicles using software that gives each a unique flight path, therefore simulating the somewhat unpredictable processes of natural life. “Like a bee’s dance or an ant’s scent trail, the aerobes communicate with each other in ways we cannot understand,” a Tate Modern statement says. AD
Until 2 January 2022, Studio Voltaire, 1A Nelsons Row, SW4 7JR
Continuing in its tradition of giving artists often long-overdue exposure, Studio Voltaire reopens with the first solo exhibition of the American artist William Scott outside the US. It is also the first retrospective of Scott’s 30-year career and includes paintings, drawings and sculptures that are both deeply rooted in Scott’s personal history and also address wider questions of citizenship, community and cultural memory. These range from portraits of predominantly Black figures such as Prince, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Kamala Harris to self-portraits and portrayals of family members, neighbours and fellow churchgoers. LB
Mixing It Up: Painting Today
Until 12 December, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
Mixing It Up presents recent work from 31 intergenerational UK-based painters, with a focus on providing a survey of painting in the country today. The artists range from greats such as Rosie Wylie and Peter Doig and mid-career stars like Oscar Murillo and Alvaro Barrington to recently emerging artists including Rachel Jones and Kudzanai-Violet Hwami. The show is not united by an overarching theme and, despite a level of unevenness, the diversity of subject, process and style could be seen as the show’s greatest strength. Each of these artists has previously held substantial commercial and institutional solo shows, and any visitor will be sure to find delight in the talent presented and, indeed, get a strong sense of where painting is today. SS
Poussin and the Dance
Until 2 January 2022, National Gallery, London; 15 February-8 May 2022, Getty Center, Los Angeles
London’s National Gallery is providing an unexpected and unlikely offering. It is hosting its first ever exhibition devoted to Nicolas Poussin, the 17th-century master of French Baroque and Neoclassicism for which it has the second greatest holdings after the Louvre. And in a possibly counter-intuitive move, given the artist’s reputation as the purveyor of all things solemn and austere—the show will focus on Poussin’s slim but significant tranche of paintings depicting dance and bacchanals: These include paintings the museum holds already, such as The Adoration of the Golden Calf (1633-34), alongside loans such as A Dance to the Music of Time (around 1634-36) from the Wallace Collection and Bacchus and Ariadne (1636-38) from the Museo del Prado. “Just what we need after the pandemic,” says the exhibition’s curator Francesca Whitlum-Cooper. AP
The Factory Project
Until 22 October, Thameside Industrial Estate, Factory Road,
Conceived by the curators Eric Thorp and Nicholas Stavri, The Factory Project has invited ten London-based curatorial partners to stage their own exhibitions. Each show has had complete curatorial independence and will display the work of 110 primarily UK-based emerging artists. There is a particular focus on installation, painting and sculpture, but several exhibitions also include video, audio-visual and textiles. The 67,000 sq. ft venue is located in Silvertown in London’s Docklands, a ten-minute walk from London City Airport DLR station. Supported by Arts Council England, tickets are free—a small charitable donation is suggested—and a time slot must be booked in advance. SS
Leon Kossoff: A Life in Painting
Until 4 December, Annely Juda, 23 Derring St, W1S 1AW
This is the first major posthumous exhibition on Leon Kossoff (1926-2019) and the largest ever staged in a commercial gallery. Comprising 58 works, the show has a museum retrospective quality and breadth, and, true to the show’s title, is drawn from across Kossoff’s near 60-year career. A student of David Bomberg in the 1950s, and a member of the School of London that included Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, Kossoff’s work always remained representational and never moved into abstraction. Principally considered a figurative painter, Kossoff, a life-long London resident, also consistently painted scenes from the city, charting its evolution from the post-war period to the present. As a touring retrospective, the show will go on to New York and Los Angeles in early 2022. S.S.