‘Lost Girls’ at Flowers Gallery looks to the world of girls and women affected by war

An exhibition opening this October at Flowers Gallery in London looks at the profound challenges facing girls and women affected by war. Organised by War Child UK and curated by intersectional feminist art collective InFems to coincide with the UN International Day of the Girl Child, the ‘Lost Girls’ message is about empowering women in war by focusing on survival rather than victimhood. It marks 30 years since War Child and Flowers Gallery showed their celebrated charity exhibition ‘Little Pieces from Big Stars’.

All the artists represented in the show have put women and girls at the centre of their practice. They include artists and activists Ai Weiwei, Owanto, Tewodros Hagos and Tracey Moffatt, radical British-born American feminist Penelope Slinger, the art-punk pioneer Linder, and Caroline Coon, a counterculture hero since the 1960s.

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Recalling some of the highlights of the summer’s exhibition

“O que é um museu?” (What is a Museum?), Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement (2019) © Isaac Julien, Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro. Photo Angus Milll/Tate

From Isaac Julien’s political, poetic and utterly gorgeous show at Tate Britain to the equally powerful Carrie Mae Weems survey at the Barbican, Tomás Saraceno spiders and other species awakening us to our connection to nature at the Serpentine Galleries in conversation with Lina Ghotmeh’s delicate timber Serpentine Pavilion, and Leonardo Drew’s explosive installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park Chapel, there’s been no shortage of excellent art and design in London and beyond this summer season.

Read the full article here

Insight: Hauser & Wirth partner and global creative director on experiential gallery spaces

Camille Henrot “Inside Job” 2019 at Hauser and Wirth Minorca, summer 2022

What happens to art and the artist when their work is exhibited outside a traditional gallery space? And do unusual venues and experimental curations set culture free to be explored and experienced in new and exciting ways, and by a public way beyond the original borders? What are the limits and the possibilities?

I put this to Neil Wenman, partner and global creative director at Hauser & Wirth, the leading commercial gallery which has been exploring unusual spaces to present art since opening the Somerset gallery on an old farm in 2014.

Read the interview here

Dip into the layered world created by Tomás Saraceno in ‘Web[s] of Life’ at Serpentine Gallery

Multidisciplinary artist Tomás Saraceno observe how different life forms, technologies and energy systems are connected in the climate emergency at Serpentine Galleries.
Details of “Web.Life 202.3.” courtesy the spider/webs

At the entrance to “Tomás Saraceno in Collaboration: Web[s] of Life,” we are politely asked to surrender our phones. There is no apparent judgment; instead, the act is more performative as our gadgets are safely slotted in what appears like an old wooden shelving unit and exchanged with an oracle card, “Arachnomancy Card,” with a personalized message (mine read: “planetary drift”). We are free, of course, to choose not to give away our phones. Yet it seems a missed opportunity: to truly immerse in the lively and layered world created by Tomás Saraceno for London’s Serpentine Galleries requires this small sacrifice.

Later, I reflect on what a relief it was not to reach out for my iPhone at every photo opportunity (and there are plenty), to be in the moment and absorb the chapters that unfold in each room and onto the surrounding Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. As Saraceno’s first major exhibition in the UK, “Web[s] of Life” takes on a lot. Ultimately it aims to observe how different life forms, technologies and energy systems are connected in the climate emergency. Art, for Saraceno, has active agency.

Read my full review here

“Tomás Saraceno in Collaboration: Web[s] of Life,” at the Serpentine Galleries South

Artist Cao Fei leads the conversation on navigating our future at Gallery Weekend Berlin

Cao Fei “Duotopia” at Sprüth Magers
Cao Fei “Duotopia” at Sprüth Magers. Photo © Design Talks

Artists have long turned to science fiction, to worlds of the imagination, to understand what it is to be human. This general concept forms the overarching theme at the 2023 Gallery Weekend Berlin— the annual event which sees independent galleries around the city open their doors to all — with mixed results.

“Human Is”, a group exhibition at Schinkel Pavillon, for instance, proposes a series of alternative futures, questioning the reality of being human, its weaknesses, fears and limitations. It asks if the distinctions between dystopia and reality are collapsing due to technological and ecological upheavals.

Working on a similar theme is Cao Fei’s “Duotopia” at Sprüth Magers. For over two decades, the Chinese multimedia artist has been investigating what it means to be human within our rapidly changing twenty-first-century landscape. Visiting the artist at her studio in Beijing a few years ago, I was struck by her work’s originality and how alive it is, constantly moving and evolving to be in conversation with our time.

In this significant exhibition, she has transformed this lovely Berlin gallery space into a visually cinematic, performative and highly engaging series of multi-media exhibits that take the viewer on a journey into multiple worlds here on earth and in the multiverse.

Read my full review from Berlin here