Check out The Art Newspaper's guide to London Gallery Weekend 2022 for recommendations on the best exhibitions to see during the three-day event, top trends and commentary
Despite rocketing property prices and the gentrification of many of its former industrial spaces, London’s East End continues to be a dynamic centre for artists of all generations. Long-established, renowned spaces such as Maureen Paley, Kate MacGarry and the Approach—the latter still operating out of a room above a working East End pub—continue to be joined by newcomers such as Doyle Wham, making its LGW debut this year.
Until 5 June, Maureen Paley, 60 Three Colts Lane, Bethnal Green, E2 6GQ; Studio M, Rochelle School, 7 Playground Gardens, Shoreditch E2 7FA
The artist sister-duo’s first exhibition across the gallery’s two spaces is a timely revisiting of their 2012 film The Toxic Camera. The title refers to the 16mm Russian Konvas Avtomat film camera used by the Ukrainian filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko to document the clean-up operation in the aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear meltdown in 1986, which became contaminated with radioactive particles which then killed Shevchenko. Especially poignant and chilling in the face of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine, the film, which uses the camera as an ominous metaphor for the vulnerability of both the landscape and the human body, is here accompanied by a cast bronze replica of Schevchenko’s camera itself along with a series of collages based on images of Chornobyl’s once-thriving community.
12 May-11 June, Kate MacGarry, 27 Old Nichol St, Shoreditch, E2 7HR
A new installation featuring a series of sculptures of sea and land creatures, including crabs, eels, dinosaurs and mice, which coexist in an unspecified landscape. Cast in bronze or made from balata, a natural wild rubber which can be manipulated into shape whilst being submerged in water, these anomalous fauna display subtly human qualities, and reflect Upritchard’s interest in mixing up classical references with prehistory, myth and futurism to conjure up a parallel universe where all manner of contradictions are able to sit together.
Until 15 May, The Approach, 47 Approach Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9LY
This show of Evelyn’s new paintings and works on paper takes its title from the predominantly clay foundation that underpins large parts of London, and there is much of the geological in the way that these vivid, densely textured, atmospheric works have been built up, piece by piece, in thick strata-like layers. The volatile, unpredictable nature of clay also feeds into a more generally elemental reading of images of figures and natural forms that seem to melt into as well as emerge out of rich surfaces that variously resemble expanses of earth, fire and water.
13 May-2 July, mother's tankstation, 58-64 Three Colts Lane, Bethnal Green, E2 6GP
Never one to shy away from grappling with big issues, Yuri Pattison’s new work uses video, sculpture, installation and online platforms to navigate and connect the territory between the virtual and the physical to explore how new technologies have shifted and impacted our perceptions of time, space and nature. He describes this new body of work as expressing “the fractured temporalities in the present moment, the circulation of images and the murmur of realities created.” Prepare to be discombobulated.
Until 15 May, Carlos/Ishikawa, Unit 4, 88 Mile End Road, Whitechapel, E1 4UN
A large-scale video installation and two-artist collaboration which explores the universal contradictions inherent in fire and heat identified by Gaston Bachelard in The Psychoanalysis of Fire as the “ultra-living element” and agent of nurture and destruction, good and evil. This richly referential work also offers excerpts from writers and poets including Simone Weil, Edouard Glissant and Czesław Miłosz, all of whom managed to survive oppressive regimes through the strength and provocation of their art.
13 May-2 July, Doyle Wham, 91a Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY
The UK’s only gallery to focus on Africa's contemporary photography scene launches its first permanent home in Shoreditch with the first solo exhibition outside South Africa of the artist, photographer and stylist Trevor Stuurman. Although his subjects and collaborators have ranged from Naomi Campbell to Barak Obama and Beyonce, here Stuurman has made a new series of self-portraits which, in their use of props and vibrant backdrops, pay homage to the rich traditions of African studio portraiture, while also being accompanied by audio recordings. Another new body of work extends Stuurman’s interest in African hair cultures.
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