(Lizzy pictured above)
Lizzy Vartanian-Collier is an outspoken fashion model, activist, history of art scholar and a keen blogger in the subject to boot. Always hungry to gain fresh pickings from the current art world, Tarred & Feathered asked Lizzy to contribute her list of upcoming, innovative exhibition recommendations showing in London right now.
Check it out below:
My parents met at an exhibition opening in the 1980’s, so it should come as no surprise to anybody that I am absolutely infatuated with art. The first two exhibitions on my ‘must-see’ list this spring have been chosen partially because of them.
My father grew up in Bradford, while my mother was born in Beirut. It is really rather special then, that two exhibitions by artists from both these places have retrospective shows running concurrently in London. While I have yet not seen the survey of Yorkshireman David Hockey at Tate Britain, I am simply dying to. He is somewhat of a legend in British art and has had one of the most impressive careers of any living artist. His work addresses homosexuality, the Hollywood Hills and his native Yorkshire across brightly coloured paintings, bursting full of colour and humor.
Many thousands of miles away from Northern England, Alfred Basbous made his silky smooth sculptures in Beirut, Lebanon. Currently on display at Sophia Contemporary, his forms may be compared to Henry Moore’s work, however, his elongated Phoenician figures are distinctively Lebanese and this artist definitely deserves significantly more praise and attention.
Just around the corner from Sophia Contemporary, lies Blain Southern gallery, which is now showing Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s ’Sticks with Dicks and Slits.’ This tongue in cheek exhibition provides a lighter display in what can often be a very stuffy London art scene. The duo present us with twisted, cowering sculptures crafted out of twisted bronze. The nude self-portraits appear to be somewhat comical and the pair can even be seen urinating and lactating. The figures are completely stripped bare and exposed and it this rawness that makes the work so interesting.
Victoria Miro’s Wharf Road gallery has also been showing some stunning exhibitions. On display at the moment is Do Ho Suh’s Passage/s, which is a beautiful display of fabric buildings in both three and two-dimensional forms. The gallery is set to hold exhibitions of Spanish artist Secundino Hernandez’s work at both it’s Mayfair and it’s East London galleries. The artist will display large, multicolored abstract works on a huge scale that have been created especially for these London exhibitions.
Finally, the show that I believe everyone must see is Radical Love at the Crypt Gallery. The show was inspired by love and lust poems written by women in the Ancient Arab World, which have only just recently been discovered by accident. The poetry, which is self-assured and assertive, freeing Arab women of any stigma of the repressed woman, is displayed alongside the artwork of 48 female artists from all over the world. The combination of artwork and poetry unites women of all culture, religion and circumstance to challenge any ideas of the woman being repressed. Staged underground, the Crypt Gallery is the perfect venue to explore these hidden treasures with poetry displayed alongside drawings, embroidery, paintings and sculptures.
Radical Love is on display at Crypt Gallery until 5th March
Do Ho Suh: Passage/s is on display at Victoria Miro until 18th March
Tim Noble and Sue Webster: Sticks with Dicks and Slits is on display at Blain Southern until 25th March
Secundino Hernandez: Paso is on display at Victoria Miro from 1st April to 6th May
David Hockney is on display at Tate Britain until 29th May
Follow Lizzy’s blog: Gallery Girl