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Harmony Hammond, Mary Quant, Alvaro Barrington, and More Must See London Shows

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In London for fashion week? Be sure to visit some of these top exhibitions around the city, by artists like Harmony Hammond, Mary Quant, and Alvaro Barrington.

Mark Leckey: O’ Magic Power of Bleakness
Tate Britain
September 24, 2019—January 5, 2020
Mark Leckey’s “O’ Magic Power of Bleakness” is an ambitious large-scale exhibition centered around a life-size replica of a motorway bridge where the artist grew up. In a theatrical environment of spectral sounds and visions, the exhibition includes a series of new and existing works, featuring elements of moving image (seen in videos like Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore and Dream English Kid 1964–1999 AD) and an audio play set at Leckey’s bridge, which is inspired by folklore from the artist’s childhood. One of the U.K.’s most influential artists of today, Leckey is known best for addressing personal history and the nature of memory, as well as the relationship between technology and popular culture.

Alvaro Barrington
Hibiscus Fruit-Red Yellow (two males uprising) with Anansi Spider
mixed media on burlap
84 x 66 x 1 ½ in
© Alvaro Barrington
Photo by Robert Glowacki
Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London.

Harmony Hammond
White Cube
September 12—November 3
The artist, curator, author, and activist Harmony Hammond is recognized as a pivotal figure in New York’s 1970s feminist art movement. Hammond’s work often lies in the unique space between painting and sculpture, and treats the canvas as a metaphorical body where surface and skin meet, aiming to bring sociopolitical ideas into the world of abstraction. The works on view (dating from 1971 to 2019) include pieces like Bandaged Quilt #1, a near-monochrome which leaves one blood-red slit of canvas exposed, and Bag VI, in which Hammond used recycled material to form the shape of a handbag, referencing the gendered body and women’s traditional textile arts.

Dora Maurer
White Cube
September 12—November 3
Coinciding with an exhibition at the Tate Modern, Dóra Maurer’s presentation at White Cube features works created between 1999 and the present day, focusing on the artist’s “Overlappings,” “IXEK,” and “Quod Libet” series. Maurer’s practice incorporates painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and filmmaking, highlighting the grammar of the geometric by way of mathematical methodologies, influenced by her training as a graphic artist in the late 1950s. Her work explores geometry and perspective, as well as diagrammatic creations focusing
on more linear forms and color.

The Way Things Aren’t
Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates
© John Squire
Courtesy of the artist and Newport Street Gallery.

John Squire: Disinformation
Newport Street Gallery
September 11—November 10
John Squire’s “Disinformation” is an exhibition of new large-scale oil paintings, presented within two of Newport Street Gallery’s six spaces. To create the works on view, the British artist first began with a photograph, which he altered using editing software. Purposefully inserting visual glitches, Squire then enlarged the images before rendering them in oil paint—a technique that resulted in blurred, disfigured versions of the original photographs. An artist and musician, Squire is also known for his role in defining the iconic visual aesthetic of the band Stone Roses, of which he was a founding member.

Alvaro Barrington’s “Garvey: Sex Love Nurturing Famalay”
Sadie Coles
September 6—October 26
Alvaro Barrington’s “GARVEY: SEX LOVE NURTURING FAMALAY” is that artist’s first solo show in London, featuring an ambitious new group of paintings, and forms the first ‘chapter’ in a larger series of planned exhibitions tracing the life of the radical black activist Marcus Garvey and his relationships to London, New York, and the Caribbean. The first in the series, the exhibition begins with themes of birth, sex, nurturing, and family. Faced with the challenge of reaching people of color with a gallery exhibition, Barrington chose to expand the show in a collaborative manor, extending the concept to include a concert (held at the East London club Troxy) and a carnival float featuring Caribbean musicians like Patrice Roberts and Mr. Killa.

Dóra Maurer
Quod Libet 46
Acrylic on canvas and wood
22 13/16 x 47 5/8 in.
© the artist
Photo © White Cube (Theo Christelis)
Courtesy of White Cube.

Mary Quant
Victoria & Albert Museum
April 6, 2019—February 16, 2020
Looking at the years between 1955 and 1975, a retrospective of the iconic fashion designer Mary Quant brings miniskirts, new age feminism, and the youthful spirit of the sixties to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A). On view is the largest public collection of Quant’s designs in the world (most of which have never been displayed), bringing together more than 120 garments, accessories, cosmetics, photographs, and sketches, beginning with a display that begins in postwar London. The museum also launched a public call, asking for rare Quant garments—from which they selected 35 objects to feature, including personal stories and photographs from the women who provided them.

“FOOD: Bigger than the Plate”
Victoria & Albert Museum
May 18—October 20
“FOOD: Bigger than the Plate” is a major exhibition offering information on world’s current food situation and encouraging audience members to make more sustainable day-to-day choices when it comes to what they’re eating—and where the leftovers go after the meal. Through a sensory journey in four sections (Compost, Farming, Eating, and Trading), guests learn about products like Daily Dump’s home composting system and experience up close a working version of MIT’s Food Computer, as well as other projects like Selfmade (culturing cheese from human bacteria), Banana Story, and more.

Mark Leckey
Dream English Kid 1964 – 1999 AD (still)
Courtesy of the Tate Britain.



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Go inside the worlds
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