London’s art world springs into action over the next few weeks, with the Frieze art fair taking place in Regent’s Park and a host of exhibitions opening across the capital. We’ve sifted through the invitations to pick out some craft-related highlights.
The fair itself
The art world continues its embrace of craft disciplines with the launch at Frieze of a new section, Woven, dedicated to the work of textile artists from regions including Brazil, the Philippines, China, India and Madagascar. All the artists use their work to engage with a plurality of historic and contemporary traditions, as well as confronting history and the continuing legacy of colonialism. Elsewhere at the fair, Corvi-Mora gallery will show new works by Julian Stair, while Stephen Friedman will display a solo show by Brazil-born Tonico Lemos Auad, a series of geometric textiles that disrupt traditional modes of weaving.
Ron Nagle: Midnight Stroll
For the first solo exhibition at its exhibition space, The Perimeter will present 24 sculptures and 10 drawings by American artist Ron Nagle, known for his tiny, detailed, colourful and humorous ceramic works. With inspirations ranging from paintings, drawings and mid 20th century West Coast American culture, he employs an eclectic range of materials, including ceramics, epoxy resin, catalysed polyurethane, bronze and high-gloss automotive paint.
Ai Weiwei: Roots
A series of iron sculptures, cast from the giant roots of rare trees in Brazil, are among the works at this major exhibition at the Lisson Gallery. Conceived during a research trip at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed OCA Pavilion in São Paulo, the works were produced in collaboration with local artisans and communities across Brazil. This theme of ‘uprootedness’ is a comment on the artist’s own nomadic existence, the lives of refugees he has been documenting and the indigenous populations that rely on these trees.
PAD brings together 68 galleries from 14 countries, displaying art, photography, design and decorative arts. South African gallery Southern Guild will make its debut this year, bringing dramatic artworks made of toothpicks by Chris Soal (featured in our September/October 2019 issue) and pieces made by master ceramicist Andile Dyalvane during a residency at Leach Pottery in St Ives. Meanwhile, Paris-based Galerie BSL will present the new table in Patagonian quartzite by Chinese-French Studio MVW.
Rick Owens and The Corner Shop at Selfridges
At its London gallery, Carpenters Workshop is showing new limited-edition pieces by fashion and furniture designer Rick Owens. The exhibition, Glade, takes the form of a large-scale couch, composed of individual units made of plywood covered in woollen French army blankets, his signature materials. Off-site, the gallery has taken over The Corner Shop at Selfridges, to sell objects, jewellery, artworks and furniture by the likes of the Studio Job, the Campana brothers, Hermien Cassier, Kayo Saito, and Mathieu Lehanneur.
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary
Raw clay, woodcuts, needlework and raku-fired ceramics are just a few of the mediums pioneering Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino has explored across her six decades of making. For her first UK retrospective, the Whitechapel Gallery is showing 150 pieces created since the 1960s, when Maiolino began creating woodcut prints protesting the increasingly authoritarian dictatorship. Making Love Revolutionary follows her creative journey up to the present day: it begins with a large installation of unfired clay created in situ ahead of the exhibition, destined to dry, crack and eventually crumble in a meditation on fragility and transience.
Until 12 January, Whitechapel Gallery, E1
Josh Faught: Mr. Kramer’s Dream House
Loewe’s London flagship store will host an exhibition of works by American fibre artist Josh Faught, who uses traditional techniques such as weaving and crocheting and combines them with everyday objects to create sculptures and installations that explore queer history, domesticity, memory and politics. At Casa Loewe he has reproduced the interior of the Connecticut home of Aids activist Larry Kramer, as photographed in 1995, placing within it three hand-made textile works.
Grayson Perry: Super Rich Interior Decoration
For his first solo exhibition at Victoria Miro since 2012, the artist is showing pots, sculpture, large-scale prints, a tapestry and a carpet, working for the first time with photographers Richard Young, Martin Parr and Eleni Parousi. His focus is the collision of art, money and power and what our choices reveal about our identities, both intentionally and not. In satirising contemporary art buyers, Perry appears to have the words of artist Nam June Paik in mind: ‘The artist should always bite the hand that feeds him – but not too hard.’
1-54: Contemporary African Art Fair
1-54 returns to London with several artists working with craft techniques among its ranks. East African artist and jewellery designer Sanaa Gateja uses recycled man-made waste materials such as barkcloth, paper, raffia, beads, wood and banana fibre to construct large, abstract works that respond to the subject of nature, while Namibia’s Tuli Mekondjo, works with layered, textured mixed media – embroidery, collage, paint, resin and mahangu millet grain – to explore histories of change, loss and submission, particularly of women.
South Korean artist Kyungah Ham’s works are products of an extraordinary collaborative feat. In Seoul, she produces digital images that she sends to North Korea through Russian and Chinese intermediaries. There, artisans she has never met embroider silk on to cotton canvas, translating her sketches into pieces that are then smuggled back across the border to be sold and displayed at shows around the world – including this month at the Korean Cultural Centre, as part of an exhibition about the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea.
At design fair Decorex’s platform for contemporary craft (curated by Crafts contributor Corinne Julius), several makers are working on a large, almost architectural, scale – including silversmith and jeweller Hazel Thorn, whose colourful, patterned objects take inspiration from the Scottish Highlands; jeweller and silversmith Anna Lorenz, who will present a metal screen and wall panels; ceramist Alice Walton, who is producing 3d wall panels for the first time; jewellery designer Lynne MacLachlan, who is making her first 3d-printed screen; and recent RCA graduate Shiqi Li, who will be creating jewellery for interiors, shown on her specially made wallpaper. Metalwork is also evident: Studio Furthermore is creating aluminium lights for its Moon Rock series; Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa are also producing lights and an installation in aluminium and neoprene; and Gavin Keightley is making Jesmonite furniture with door handles cast in pewter.
Yo Akiyama & Genta Ishizuka
Erskine, Hall & Coe has worked with Artcourt Gallery in Osaka, to put together a joint exhibition by two acclaimed Japanese artists: ceramist Yo Akiyama and this year’s Loewe Prize winner Genta Ishizuka, who works with lacquer. Ishizuka is showing his gleaming, bulbous sculptures for the second time at the London gallery, where he held his first European solo exhibition, Membrane, last year. Akiyama, who has recently installed a major new work at the QM Gallery Katara in Qatar, is exhibiting at the gallery for the first time.