Artist and poet Eliza Kentridge works with collage, using paper and textiles, drawing, embroidery and stitching to create delicate artworks that look to the everyday, to the domestic life, to motherhood. Kentridge investigates old and found materials and symbols, mixing ideas from the real world and the imagination. “This is how I work: I draw, sew on paper and fabric, collage stolen bits and pieces, make sculpture and write poems,” she says.
Tasting Menu brings Kentridge’s latest works to London, exhibited alongside a selection of earlier pieces in the intimate setting of her older brother the artist William Kentridge’s London pad. The centerpiece is a collage of teabags that takes up an entire wall. It’s a quirky artwork that is playful but also rich with storytelling.
Carrie Mae Weems, Reflections for Now, Installation view, Barbican Art Gallery, 2023 (c) Jemma Yong
From Steve McQueen’s compelling note on social injustice, Carrie Mae Weems and Isaac Julien’s unpacking of race, color and gender, Shirin Neshat’s politically charged film and stills, and Tomás Saraceno’s note to a planet in deep crisis, there was no shortage of hard-hitting art in 2023. And there was so much beauty too, namely Mark Rothko’s utterly gorgeous, unmissable show in Paris.
I came across Ghada Amer’s powerful work a while ago and was honoured to meet her in person a few weeks ago at Goodman Gallery in London where her solo ‘QR Code Revisited’ is on show until 22 December, 2023.
In her very unique way Amer abstracts language and unpacks definitions. She lingers on words, translations and mistranslations and their wider impact on how we view others. The maze-like quality of ‘QR Code Revisited’ invites us to adventure into places unseen, explore other narratives. Ultimately the artist finds in words the force to capture shared identities, commonalities across cultures, humanity without borders.
Occasionally you meet an artist who surprises you. Marseille based Sara Sadik is one. Informed by video games, anime, science fiction and French rap, her artwork and visual storytelling examines loneliness and anxiety among young men, specifically marginalised French youth.
‘As sensitive human beings, when we walk through landscapes, it is a procession that is always moving and changing. I love this question of mutation of the view,’ says the artist Eva Nielsen as she guides me through her gorgeous, textural, otherworldly installation Insolare. Created alongside the curator and her longtime collaborator Marianne Derrien, the artwork on exhibit at Grand Palais Éphémère for Paris Photo 2023 explores the impact of human activity on nature. It’s also a very physical installation, performative in that the viewer is tasked to immerse themselves within these collection of artworks, walk between them, observe the various layers, and absorb the less visible marks—the unseen. ‘There is something ephemeral when you walk through these pieces,’ she Nielsen as we peek through one of the semi-transparent artworks. ‘Each layer and each structure are in discussion with the other.’