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Victoria Miro

Bill Viola, Tracey Emin, Walter de Maria, and More Must See London Shows

This week, our eyes have been on London for Fashion Week. Between the shows, we suggest setting aside time for these not-to-miss exhibitions at some of London’s top museums and galleries.

Walter de Maria: Idea to Action to Object
Gagosian Gallery
Now—March 9
“Idea to Action to Object” is a presentation of works by the late Walter de Maria featuring more than 40 drawings on paper and a selection of related sculptures. Displayed to the public for the first time, the sketches reveal ideas for unrealized projects and philosophical ponderings, while sharing a tenderly human side of de Maria. Included in the exhibition are preparatory drawings for projects like Olympic Mountain Project, with plans to drill a 400-foot shaft through a mountain of rubble from World War II for the 1972 Olympic games.

Tracey Emin: A Fortnight of Tears
White Cube Bermondsey
Now—April 7
A major exhibition filling the entirety of White Cube’s space, Tracey Emin’s “A Fortnight of Tears” deals with the artist’s memories and emotions arising from loss, anger, love, and pathos. A series of 50 oversized photographs greet the viewer, narrating periods of insomnia in an uneasy, intimate display of self-portraiture. In addition to photography, the exhibition features a large selection of sculpture, neon, paintings, film, and drawings, including works like bronze sculpted The Mother and It was all too Mucht—a gestural drawing dripping and bleeding in pink and red tones.

Geta Brătescu: The Power of the Line
Hauser & Wirth
Now—April 27
Known for narrating spatial postures of her subject, opposed to drawing the object itself, Geta Brătescu’s exhibition “The Power of the Line” highlights an important series of works from the last decade, which focuses primarily on the line as a principle of structure. Conceived by the artist in collaboration with Ivan Gallery’s Marian Ivan and Diana Ursan, the exhibition features two film works that offer insight to the artist’s creative process, alongside a carefully selected body of works, which engage the primitive unit of the line in a variety of compositions. Included in the show are pieces like Jocul Formelor (Game of Forms), Linia (The Line), and Untitled (Fara titlu), a collage work using paper and cardboard.

John Kørner: Life in a Box
Victoria Miro
Now—March 23
“Life in a Box” is an exhibition of John Kørner’s new and recent paintings and sculptural elements that work together. Kørner’s fifth solo presentation with Victoria Miro, the exhibition deals with themes of freedom and control in life, referencing the rules by which we navigate the world and the relationships that are created as a result. Highlights include a climbing frame construction that functions as a bar and a new iteration of Stadium Cycle, which propels seated viewers along a track as they view a panoramic landscape painting.

“Bill Viola / Michelangelo”
Royal Academy of Arts
Now—March 31
Although they lived five centuries apart, Bill Viola and Michelangelo’s practices both share a deep preoccupation with the nature of human experience and existence. In “Bill Viola / Michelangelo,” the Royal Academy of Arts has created an artistic exchange between the artists, providing visitors a chance to see the conversation created when displaying major works from Viola’s career alongside a selection Michelangelo’s most noteworthy drawings. Featuring 12 of Viola’s video installations, “Bill Viola / Michelangelo” is the Royal Academy’s first exhibition largely dedicated to video art.

“Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams”
Victoria and Albert Museum
Now—July 14
Beginning in the year 1947 spanning up through the present day, “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” serves as an overview of Christian Dior’s prestigious career, the ways the house of Dior influenced the fashion world, and the designer’s relationship with Britain. Visitors will find more than 200 haute couture garments (both from the house’s archives from Victoria and Albert Museum’s couture collections) arranged in a number of dreamy scenarios and installations, highlighting the magic of Dior’s designs. Also featured is a wide selection of fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, accessories, original makeup, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s own personal possessions.

Lydia Okumura: Volume ‘84
Thaddaeus Ropac
Now—March 23
Lydia Okumura’s solo show “Volume ‘84” fills the Ely Room of Thaddaeus Ropac with five groundbreaking site-specific installations, which were originally created for a solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderna in São Paulo in 1984. Included are key sculptures from a crucial point in Okumura’s career, employing materials like acrylic paint, cotton string, fabric, wire, and painted aluminum sheets to create optical interplay between two- and three-dimensional forms. Known for breaking artistic barriers in the 1970s with her unorthodox practices, the Brazilian-Japanese artist expands on the traditions of Brazilian geometric avant-garde, minimalism, and conceptualism, to create multi-dimensional abstract environments.

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