Judy Chicago



79 Beak Street, W1F 9SU

+44 7439 0000

till end of of January

photos: nathalie hambro

Birth Hood, Flight Hood and Bigamy Hood – are depictions of male and female genitalia sprayed in automotive lacquer onto a car hood. Judy Chicago made her Car Hood series using techniques that she had learned at auto-body school in Los Angeles: she sprayed the hood of a Chevrolet Corvair in glossy automotive lacquer. The spray technique, the bold colors, and the pinstriping align the work with the custom-car culture popular in Southern California. According to Chicago, the imagery in Car Hood also refers to male and female forms, a reflection of the challenges that she faced as a woman in the macho environments of both the car shop and the L.A. art world at the time.

Judy Chicago is an artist, writer and activist whose work set the agenda for women’s art over the past five decades. A pioneering force who came to prominence in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, she helped re-shape the male-dominated art landscape by creating innovative work from a woman’s perspective – reacting to social and political injustice during revolutionary times.

Her art and her ideas continue to exert a palpable influence on generations of women artists who came after. In 2011 her contribution was recognised and in some ways rediscovered during Pacific Standard Time, the California-wide celebration of the history of the L.A. Art Scene which saw sixty cultural institutions collaborate in one six-month long initiative (https://www.pacificstandardtime.org/) and featured work across various media by Judy Chicago. The artist is widely represented in museums and public collections worldwide.

The end of 2012 saw Chicago exhibiting in London for the first time since 1985. The exhibition shows paintings and sculpture from as early as 1963, a decade before the artist co-founded the influential feminist art programmes at California State University, Fresno, and CalArts which led to Womanhouse, the world’s first large-scale public feminist art installation.

The exhibition also includes a rarely seen test plate and runner drawing for The Dinner Party (1974-79), a symbolic history of women in western civilisation, which has now been seen by over one million visitors. The Dinner Party is on permanent display at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, Simultaneously, Judy Chicago’s first UK museum show opens at Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art. Surveying a range of themes from the feminist era onwards, it features more recent, intimate and autobiographical works on paper, including Autobiography of a Year (1993-94), a visual diary series of 140 drawings, along with Retrospective in a Box, a recently completed suite of prints surveying the artist’s career to date.

* Book: The Dining Party: from Creation to Preservation, Merrell Publishing


Judy Chicago and Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Tracey Emin: A Transatlantic Dialogue

Ben Uri Gallery, (The London Jewish Museum)
108A Boundary Road, NW8 0RH
+44 7604 3991






New Dream Machine Project

Shezad Dawood

Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art

14 Wharf Road, N1 7RW

till February 17 2013

photo and video: nathalie hambro



The New Dream Machine Project is part of an evolving body of work that explores the relationship between Beat culture and Middle-Eastern artistic traditions, and their legacy today. Dawood’s New Dream Machine Project, a 3-metre-tall spinning steel sculpture, is a reworking of the original ‘Dream Machine’ created in 1959 by artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville. Best experienced close-up with eyes closed, participants feel an increasingly bright and complex pattern of colour as the pierced steel cylinder spins around tubes of variously coloured light. As the swirling pattern of shapes speeds up, the viewer feels surrounded by colour. The revolutions emit light at a frequency that corresponds to the alpha waves and electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain in a relaxed state, causing visual stimuli that can become a hypnotic experience. Dawood’s ‘New Dream Machine Project’, an interactive piece with an imposing physical presence, draws attention to how science, art and mysticism have come together, and the surprising technological innovations that can result.


Shezad Dawood, born 1974 in London, United Kingdom, trained at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. One of the winners of the 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dawood’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in Altermodern, 2009, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, at Tate Britain, the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009, and the Busan Biennale, 2010. Recent projects include a solo touring exhibition that opened at Modern Art Oxford in April 2012. Shezad has been nominated for the Jarman Award 2012. He currently lives and works in London, where he is Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster.


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Jannis Kounellis

Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art

14 Wharf Road, N1 7RW

till February 17 2013

photos: nathalie hambro

Considered a protagonist of Arte Povera, an art movement that emerged in Italy during the 1960s, Kounellis embarked on his artistic career by creating some of the most radical art works of the time. Often combining the inanimate and animate, he boldly incorporated things such as propane torches, plants and animals as integral if not vital parts of his works. He also introduced the notion of performance within works of art, something that to this day continues to inspire artists around the world. In all these works Kounellis drew from his deep knowledge of and sensitivity to cultures of the past and his own heritage, in itself a spirited discussion between collective and personal experiences.

The exhibition aims to consider Kounellis’s early works from the 1960s, 70s and 80s and his own response to them from today’s standpoint, which often culminates in a more recent and spontaneous work. This juxtaposition of works of art from the different decades should thus engender an arena for discussion. Works, such as Untitled (Carboniera), 1967; Untitled (steel plate and braid),1969, are on loan from Centre George Pompidou; Metamorphosis, 1984, and Untitled, 1977, an electric train moving on steel plates installed around one of the pillars of the ground floor space.


























November 24, 2012



@ Paradise Row Gallery
74a Newman Street
London, W1T 3DB
+44 (0)207 6369355

Erratum is a new collection of dysfunctional luxuries. Each object has been made with an error that removes its original function.

According to Erratum: “True luxury has no function. It is not something to be used or understood. It is a feeling: beyond sense, beyond logic, beyond utility. It is an ethic of perfect dysfunctionality.”
Selecting factories across China, India, Turkey and Pakistan, Erratum invited workers to insert an error in the items they typically produced. Each object is therefore the product of an individual worker’s design.



Swirl Platter, design 1984
Hand-painted maiolica, 31cm
Stamped signature




Wonderwood, eau de parfum
Limited edition

Hand-painted bottle by artist Sandra Korn, her work, involving the diversion of objects, collages and various graphic works, advocates giving a true sense to the word ‘ecology’
(Madagascar Pepper, Bergamot, Somalian Incese, Nutmeg, Cristalon, Cashmeran, Gaiacwood, Cedarwood, Carvi graines, Javanol, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oud (Agarwood)

Dover Street Market


David Roberts Art Foundation (new location)

Symes Mews
London NW1 7JE
44 (0)20 7383 3004

A House of Leaves references US writer Mark Z. Danielewski’s novel, in which a house is impossible to measure as its interior dimensions become larger than its exterior. A House of Leaves tells multiple narratives and asks its viewer to become co-author in order to present a collective effort to define an art form – in this instance the contemporary art museum, from its collection, displays, special commissions and loans, to its educational and interpretation system.

The exhibition includes works and special interventions by Sara Barker, Phyllida Barlow, Nina Beier, Karla Black, Bram Bogart, Carol Bove, Ben Cain, Varda Caivano, Luis Camnitzer, Marieta Chirulescu, Keith Coventry, Tony Cragg, Jason Dodge, Alex Dordoy, Nikolas Gambaroff, Gary Hume, Ian Law, George Henry Longly, Marie Lund, Benoît Maire, Victor Man, Kris Martin, Katy Moran, Anselm Reyle, Manuela Ribadeneira, Gerhard Richter, Pietro Roccasalva, David Schutter, Adam Thompson, Lesley Vance, Gary Webb, Lawrence Weiner, and Alison Wilding.
Thursday – Saturday 12-6pm
till 17 January 2013


2012 Open West award winners
Garden Gallery




Works 1986 -1996
Maureen Paley Gallery
21 Herald Street, E2 6JT
+44 (0)20 7729 4112
till January 27, 2013

To highlight Arnatt’s conceptual approach, this survey combines texts, sculptural installation and photographically realised works as well as photographs. Early pieces from the 1960s in the form of artist’s prints are set alongside text pieces and a floor-based sculpture created in accordance with Arnatt’s instruction. The work ‘KEITH ARNATT IS AN ARTIST’ questions the role of the artist as a whole. Arnatt was also interested in expanding the meaning and function of an artwork in terms of its relationship to the discrete acts of bringing a work into being.









The Vivisector

Cindy Sherman (group show)

Curated by Todd Levin

Sprueth-Magers Gallery

7 Grafton Street, W1S 4EJ

till January 26 2013


photos:nathalie hambro


The Vivisector, investigates two bodies of work by Cindy Sherman: the photographic series ‘Sex Pictures’ (1989-1992) in which the artist examined the body through mannequins and prosthetics, and a subsequent series of black and white images entitled ‘Broken Dolls’ (1999), depicting dismembered and reconstructed figurines. The exhibition will contextualise and re-evaluate the importance of these specific series in Sherman’s oeuvre. While Sherman’s compositions are the cynosure of this exhibition, work by artists including Morton Bartlett, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, Bruce Nauman and Frederick Sommer also be on display, illustrating a collective interest in the transgressive figurative form. In addition, “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” (also known as “The Doll Song”) from Jacques Offenbach’s opera ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ provides a musical backdrop to the exhibition, recounting the story of a poet who is deceived into falling in love with a mechanical doll.

The title of the exhibition refers to the act of cutting open a living organism for physiological or pathological investigation. The idea of opening up and exposing a living body is central to Sherman’s practice, particularly evident in the base materialism of these unflinching effigies. In the ‘Sex Pictures’ Sherman, for the first time, delegates her role in her imagery to dolls and dummies, masked and manipulated to resemble living beings. The colour images focus in on the incomplete object, whether it be genitalia or scattered limbs, and alternate between obscene visions of the body and straightforward illustrations of specific practices, crippling the drive of sexual desire in the process.

The latter series ‘Broken Dolls’ created in 1999 marked the artist’s first return to black and white photography since the Untitled Film Stills of 1978-1980. The low contrast matte grey and washed out refracted light of the photographs imbue the works with a soft romantic appearance, juxtaposing the harsh sexual imagery. Through melting and cutting, Sherman dismembers and reconstructs the mutilated dolls in violent and sexually explicit poses; the doll depicted in ‘Untitled #347’ distorts in the grip of pain or pleasure, while in ‘Untitled #335’ the figure offers itself to the viewer in an obscene stance, implying an autonomous participation in the scenes depicted.

A posthumously discovered body of work by professional commercial photographer Morton Bartlett (1909-1992) draws parallels with Sherman’s images of prosthetic figures. Bartlett created his dolls from scratch; half life-size and anatomically accurate, they are technically sophisticated and often dressed in meticulously hand sewn clothes. Like Sherman, Bartlett photographed his creations in staged scenarios, alternating between expressions of childlike innocence and the portrayal of seductive poses, implicating the dolls in the role of fetishes or substitutes for unknowable desires.

The images of dolls on display in the exhibition underline the Surrealist fascination with automata, due in particular to the uncanny dread produced by their dubious animate/inanimate status. While Bartlett’s ‘Untitled (Standing Girl)’, c.1950-60, is representative of a real child, ‘We Follow Her with Slow Steps’ (1937) by the surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer again depicts a manipulated female figure deprived of limbs, consisting of a head and shoulders with a mask-like face and numerous breasts. An ideal Surrealist object because of its conjunction of desire and revolt, the image coincides with the Surrealist idealization of the femme-enfant, a muse whose association with dual realms of alterity, femininity and childhood, inspired male artists in a revolt against the rational.

The Surrealists also accorded great importance to tribal art such as African sculpture and masks, recognizing in them a highly sophisticated abstraction and distortion which confirmed their own ideas about form and structure. The exhibition includes a tribal sculpture from Cameroon; a standing figure, arms bound, with a ferocious shell encrusted mask. In Frederick Sommer’s ‘Valise d’Adam’ (1949), the configuration of incongruous items such as a doll and shells suggests a dramatic, totemic figure from a lost civilization. The work reveals the photographer’s belief that things which at first might not appear to have anything in common can unite and create an unexpected relatedness we both recognize and question. By positioning the camera directly above these precisely observed and arranged found objects, Sommer transformed their everyday quality into pictorial elements of drama and power.

The Surrealist fascination with tribal culture is evident in the secret society and periodical entitled “Acéphale”, established by George Bataille in 1936. On display are vintage issues of the periodical that feature an illustration by André Masson of a beheaded man, referencing the title which derives from the Greek terminology for ‘headless’. Notions of disembodiment are explored further in Bruce Nauman’s ‘Double Poke in the Eye II’ (1985), a sequentially timed, multi-coloured, neon wall sculpture featuring two disconnected human heads poking each other in the eye. The work belongs to a series of large format neons centered on themes of sex and violence, which Nauman developed in 1985. It has a comical element, with the pair taking it in turns to poke at each other as the neon light alternates, caught in an endless back-and-forth of mindless aggression.




















Vikenti Nilin, From the Neighbours Series, 1993

The stars of Vikenti Nilin’s ‘Neighbours’ series probably come from all walks of life but they have one thing in common: they are staring into their own abyss, conveniently found in the familiar surroundings of the commonplace Soviet tower block. Yet they don’t seem in the least bit worried. Deadpan doesn’t begin to sum up the mood hanging around Nilin’s black and white portraits. The expressions on his subjects, as they perch on the edge of windowsills and balconies, are phlegmatic, unimpressed, relaxed and almost bored.

Vikenti Nilin’s photographs and installations are glacially sardonic, direct and to the point, but their oblique meaning can end up provoking nervous laughter. His images suggest a state of incarnate passivity, suspension and permanent transition, perhaps morosely alluding to the state of politics in his home country.


Saatchi Gallery

Duke of York’s HQ
King’s Road, SW3 4RY

photos: nathalie hambro

Most of the artists in the exhibition, which takes its title from a speech delivered by Joseph Stalin in 1935, are young and emerging, and have rarely shown their work internationally; the exhibition will also present Boris Mikhailov’s highly acclaimed photographic project, Case History, which documents his hometown of Kharkov following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Witnesses to the break-up of the Soviet Union and the perestroika years, the artists in this exhibition have absorbed the complexities of life in Russia and created a wide variety of works in response. Some of them play on Russia’s long and rich tradition of jokes and a distinctive sense of humour which also find its way into political satire. Others draw on the influential wave of modernist art in Russia, particularly Malevich and Rodchenko, as well as important contemporary Russian artists such as Ilya Kabakov. As Dimitri Ozerkov, director of the Contemporary Art Department of The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, says about the artists in his introduction to the exhibition catalogue: “Their art is multifocal and transcendent, poetic and hypocritical, politicized and romantic. It is probably the most global art in the world but still very much related to its origins.”




Sergei Vasiliev, Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Print No.19, 2010




Sergei Vasiliev, Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Print No.17



Vikenti Nilin, From the Neighbours Series, 1993



Boris Mikhalov, Case History series

Case History documents Mikhailov’s perception of social disintegration ensuing from the break-up of the Soviet Union – both in terms of social structures and the resulting human condition. Case History documents the social oppression, the devastating poverty, the harshness and helplessness of everyday life for the homeless.

“First, these were the people who had recently lost their homes. According to their position they were already the bomzhes (“bomzh” = the homeless without any social support), according to outlook they were simply the people who got into trouble.”











Gosha Ostretsov, Criminal Government, 2006











Death, A Self-Portrait

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE

till February 24, 2013

Photos: nathalie hambro


Some 300 works are gathered from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world. Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Inca skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death.






































SPOT ON….. James Rosenquist


eighteen karat gold with black patina
4 in x 3 in

James Rosenquist (born 1933) created this series of gold trash cans after learning that Metropolitan Museum of Art had deacquisitioned significant twentieth-century works of art from its permanent collection in order to purchase the Sarpedon Krater, an ancient Greek calyx krater by the famed painter Euphronios for the then record price of one million dollars. Rosenquist’s message on the absurdity of the action was eightened when the vase was returned to the Italien government in 2008 after it was discovered that it had been looted from a necropolis near Rome. Rosenquist explained:


“The ridiculousness of the idea of selling a Modigliani and a Soutine weighted on my mind, and while I was brooding about it, my friend Ronnie Westerfield took some peyote and had a dream about Greek drawings on a garbage can. I thought, I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to make miniature Calyx Kraters as garbage cans and make them out of solid gold.”

After beginning with sheet gold cup up into the shapes of small garbage cans, Rosenquist turned to Donald Saff of the University of South Florida’s Graphicstudio, with whom he had first collaborated on a print series, Cold Light Suite,  to etch the gold using aqua regia. The sides of the cans were etched with the calyx crater’s famous scenes from the Trojan Wars, and striations in the metal were added so that the cans would resemble actual carbage cans. After the cans were patinated to look dirty and old, they were fitted with small gold chains connecting the cans to the lid.

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