Contemporary Art

Beyond Frieze: West London Guide

While there are plenty of wonderful exhibitions within walking distance of Frieze, this is the
time of year that London can be most rewarding for art-lovers. Here is a walking tour that takes in
some of the highlights further afield.

WEST LONDON

Rachel Whiteread, Line Up (2007-2008). Private Collection, New York. Photo courtesy of the artist and Mike Bruce.

Tate Britain – Rachel Whiteread

In a dramatic and yet somehow calming move, Whiteread has chosen to use Tate Britain’s
north-east gallery undivided as a single open space, exposing Richard Llewelyn-Davies’s
original architecture from 1979. Over three decades Whiteread’s sculpture, all of it cast from
existing objects, has undergone a series of subtle evolutions. Early engagements with
architecture and furniture reflect the artist’s interest in the built environment, and the
aesthetic milieu of her London childhood. A series exploring boxes and packaging material
recall the weighty ephemera of life that comes alongside bereavement. Lined up in a long
vitrine, hot water bottles cast in materials ranging from dental plaster to beeswax reveal the
artist’s sheer delight in the innate qualities of materials.

Tate Britain, Millbank, nearest tube Pimlico

Coffee:
Tate have their own coffee roastery based in a Nissen hut in the museum grounds (and a fair
trade and gender equality scheme alongside to boot) so the coffee in house is good, but if you
prefer to go off site, stop off for Italian coffee at the Gastronomica Pimlico deli. 45 Tachbrook Street, London.

Seth Price, Stills from Digital Video Effect: Chords (2007). Courtesy of the ICA, London.

ICA – Seth Price Circa 1981

The first major exhibition under the direction of Stefan Kalmár and chief curator Richard
Birkett, Seth Price’s film and video works from the last two decades are shown throughout the
ICA building. Over two decades, Price’s shifting practice has dallied with sculpture,
installation, film, photography, the written word, painting and even clothing and sound. His
engagement with new technologies builds up a layered portrait of our highly mediated
contemporary life.

ICA, The Mall, nearest tube Charing Cross

Lunch:
A first off-site venue for the East London foodie and art world’s favourite Rochelle Canteen
opens this month at the ICA. Known for seasonal British produce, honestly treated.

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (1434). National Gallery, London. © The National Gallery, London.

National Gallery – Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

Purchased by the National Gallery in 1842, Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait had a particular
influence on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and their
contemporaries who were exploring how paintings could carry symbolic imagery. Dipping
into the Gallery’s own history, the exhibition examines the way the Pre-Raphaelites drew on
Van Eyck’s work in their use of colour and draftsmanship as well as the development of a new
pictorial language.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, nearest tube Charing Cross

Afternoon tea:
Drop in for tea and inventive cakes at the Rose Bakery at the top of Dover Street Market.
Third Floor, Dover Street Market, 18-22 Haymarket, London.

Or take a slightly longer walk through St James’s for tea at The Wolseley.

Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls (1960). Collection of the artist. Photo: Jamie Stukenberg, The Wildenstein Plattnr Institute, 2017. © Jasper Johns / VAGA, New York / DACS, London 2017.

Royal Academy – Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth

This thematic survey of Johns’s work explores the artist’s career-long engagement with
familiar motifs – flags, maps, numbers, targets – as well as his investigation into the limits of
painting. In re-presenting and re-visiting familiar forms, Johns questions how meaning is
generated in perception – how a group of abstract forms coalesce into a field of
representation. “Every time you look at something, you bring meaning to it,” says co-curator
Edith Devaney, recalling Johns’s axiom: “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else
to it. Do something else to it.” These formal investigations are seeded with humour and
humanity – Merce Cunningham’s footprint is visible in his 2007 aluminium revisitation of
Numbers (1964), and with its divided canvas and collage elements Painting with Two Balls
(1960) smuggles a smutty joke into an exercise in painting as sculptural object.

Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, nearest tube Piccadilly Circus

Cocktails:
Designed as the private residence of a Victorian explorer, Mr Fogg’s balances eccentric décor
with serious cocktails. 15 Bruton Lane.

Similar Content