The London Open 2022
Who are the artists making London’s art scene so vibrant and diverse today? Running from 1932, The London Open is a triennial exhibition offering a free, lively space to discover new work and how the next generation of London-based artists are responding to recent times. This year, the exhibition brings together a selection of the most dynamic and critical contemporary art made since 2018. Featuring 46 artists aged from 27 to 67, topics range from the personal to the collective, the cathartic to the poetic, and the political to the environmental. New perspectives in painting, sculpture, moving image, installation, and performance are offered.
Discover the full list of artists here.
Emma Talbot: The Age/L’Età
Emma Talbot’s (b. 1969, UK) winning proposal for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women questions deeply rooted positions of power, governance, attitudes to nature and representations of women through an acutely personal lens. It takes as a starting point Gustav Klimt’s painting The Three Ages of Woman (1905), which features a naked elderly woman standing in apparent shame.
Following a bespoke six-month Italian residency organised by The Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Talbot animates the figure of the older woman as someone with agency who overcomes a series of trials similar to The Twelve Labors of Hercules. Through her modern-day trials, Talbot invests the woman with the potential to reconstruct contemporary society, tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time including climate disaster and feminism. The commission features two 11-metre-long free-hanging silk paintings alongside a life-sized sculptural figure, drawings and a new animation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full colour publication with newly commissioned essays and photography.
Christen Sveaas Art Foundation: The Unseen, Selected by Hurvin Anderson
Painter Hurvin Anderson (b. 1965, UK) reflects on depictions of black figures and experience in The Unseen, an artist-curated selection of 26 works from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation. Drawing on the introduction to Ralph Ellison’s influential and epoch-defining novel, The Invisible Man (1952), and upon the artist’s own Jamaican heritage, Anderson joins lesser-known artists with modern and contemporary icons, each of which explore aspects of ‘the unseen’ or invisible through paint, collage, fabric and found objects. The display spans painting, sculpture and collage from artists Simphiwe Ndzube (b.1990, South Africa), Per Krohg (b.1889-1965), Robert Rauschenberg (b.1925-2008), Ibrahim Mahama (b.1987, Ghana), Howard Hodgkin (b.1932-2017) and more.
We Get to Choose Our Families
We Get to Choose Our Families celebrates the notion of ‘chosen families’ in response to the oppression faced by LGBTQAI+ communities. It features a series of works drawn from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation alongside contributions by contemporary queer artists, resources, archival materials from the Museum of Transology, and a welcoming space for visitors to sit, reflect and engage with artist-led activities. Developed by trans and non-binary curators, the exhibition will be accompanied by programmed events for families and audiences of all ages, including workshops, a Thursday evening queer takeover, and storytelling sessions.
Marija Bozinovska Jones, Beginningless Mind (Rivers, Rhythms, Rituals), 2021, 12:19 mins. Courtesy the artist © Frangipanni Beatt.
Baff Akoto, LEAVE THE EDGES, (2020), Single channel HD video, 39 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Emma Talbot, portrait in the artist’s studio, pictured with When Screens Break, (2020). Photo by Thierry Bal.
Tewodros Hagos, Journey (32), 2021. Courtesy the artist and Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery.
Polaroids of Protesters and their Ban Trans Conversion Therapy Placards. Courtesy of Museum of Transology.