Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.
'October is when the international art world descends on London for Frieze and Regent’s Park is transformed into an art playground, and this year also welcomes the new Fourth Plinth project.
The Fourth Plinth is without a doubt one of the most significant public art projects in London. ‘Really Good’ by the quick-witted David Shrigley has just been unveiled so a trip to Trafalgar Square to see it is a must. A giant sized thumbs up gesture reflecting the ‘all good’ nature of London - I say we could all benefit from the positivity. In place for the next four years it will be interesting to see how London continues to evolve over that period from our (not so) new Mayor’s effort to ensure London is seen to be open to all with the brilliant #LondonIsOpen campaign, to the continuous gentrification of our multicultural city.
A bit further north, Frieze London will be taking over Regent’s Park, featuring more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries. Now in its 13th year Frieze is very popular, with the contemporary art fair losing none of its pizazz, and with the addition of the Masters show in the last few years acting as a calm counterpoint to the main show you can spend two whole days getting lost in it all. One of my personal favourites is the Frieze Sculpture Park, brilliantly curated by Clare Lilley of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, who has managed to secure a three-month tenure allowing it to stay beyond Frieze.
I am particularly excited by two shows in town this month, with a third one opening later this year, with work by artists we are currently showing in Sculpture in the City.
Head to Marian Goodman in Soho to see Giuseppe Penone’s: Ebbi, Avrò, Non Ho (I was, I will be, I am not) which showcases works produced within the last decade and Penone’s familiar preoccupation with natural, organic forms prevails. Towering tree trunks rise up like totem poles and spindly branches hold improbable loads of piled up roof tiles. We are currently showing Penone’s Idee di Pietra; 1372kg di Luce, and I’m forever having to tell people that it really is a bronze tree trunk as it is so realistic
Head to the Whitechapel Gallery to see William Kentridge: Thick Time. In this major exhibition of six large-scale installations by the artist, music and drama are ruptured by revolution, exile and scientific advancement. Just up the road on the corner of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street we are showing the artist’s collaboration with Gerhard Marx Firewalker.
Coming up in November, Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery will be showing Gavin Turk’s first major solo exhibition ‘Who What When Where How and Why’. A trip to the gallery is a must as it’s a prime example of Caruso St John’s gallery architecture and currently shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. As for Gavin’s work, it focuses on the anti-hero, the recycling of art history, waste and refuse, the signature and the painted bronze. We are currently showing Gavin’s Ajar which is a prime example of his painted bronze work.
And finally, for some contemporary art in one of London’s historic architectural treasures head to St Paul’s to see Bill Viola’s Mary, the second permanent commission following on from ‘Martyrs’.