In this blog post I share my recommendations for 5 art spaces worth visiting this Spring, starting with a double dose of Gilbert and George at their newly-opened Centre in the East End of London, and over on the other side of the city, at White Cube Gallery in Mayfair.
The Gilbert and George Centre:
The Paradisical Pictures, ongoing
The Gilbert and George Centre opened its doors to be public on April Fool’s day and its first exhibition is ‘The Paradisical Pictures’, a riot of colour and in my view a much stronger exhibtion than the White Cube show reviewed below.
The new centre is converted from an old brewery in the middle of Spitalfields, the area where the pair have lived since 1968, long before it became fashionable. The conversion has been beautifully done, in a perfect combination of the conservative with the contemporary.
Gilbert and George have always strived to bring their art to the people, and admission to this wonderful little museum of their work is FREE.
Don’t miss the projection room on the way out: the interview with the pair is priceless (and very funny).
White Cube Mason’s Yard: The Corpsing Pictures, until 20 May
Over at White Cube in Mayfair, The Corpsing Pictures by Gilbert & George show the duo in the company of bones, string knotted or cut into lengths, and decayed plant stems, stalks and leaves. All these pictures are in a very limited palette of red, black, white and gold which gives the exhibition a rather repetitive feel.
The ‘Corpsing’ of the title has a double meaning: the obvious one of dead bodies, and also the theatrical slang for an actor who suddenly steps out of character during a performance, by either forgetting their lines or laughing.
I think it’s well worth seeing both exhibitions, even if this second one is, in my opinion, the weaker of the two.
Just five minutes from Mason’s Yard you’ll find David Gill’s Gallery, which I enjoy wandering into as their weird and wonderful furniture, interiors accessories and decorative art never disappoint.
My favourite this time was the hard-yet-soft ‘Species’ sofa by artistic duo Fredrikson Stallard but there’s plenty more eye candy there. Interestingly, nothing is ever priced either at the gallery or on the website…
Flowers Cork Street:
Sebastião Salgado ‘Magnum Opus’, until 15 April
‘A photograph is taken in a fraction of a second, but you need a whole life in order to create it’ – Sebastião Salgado
‘Magnum Opus’ is a solo exhibition of Salgado’s major works from his almost five decades of photographic expeditions around the world.
The selection of photographs reflects his sustained investigation of some of the most remote areas of the planet, as well as his concern for the preservation of the natural world.
This new series of Salgado’s striking images has been printed using platinum-palladium, an archival method of printing with an expansive tonal range and characteristically luminous quality
Victoria Cantons ‘Nothing is Absolute’, from 21 April to 20 May
I’m very much looking forward to visiting ‘Nothing is absolute’, an exhibition of paintings by Victoria Cantons. There isn’t any information on the Flowers site at the time of writing this but you can listen to Cantons talking about her work and also see a selection of paintings from a previous exhibition here.
Messums Cork Street:
John Walker ‘The Blue Series’, until 21 April
Apparently, blue is most people’s favourite colour, and there’s definitely a lot of it at Messums Cork Street! I had never seen John Walker’s work prior to visiting this show of magnificent abstract paintings, and was very pleased to have discovered it at Messum’s. A stunning selection of pared down yet energetic paintings focusing on nature, emotion, and place.
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to subscribe to my newsletter, where I share snippets of inspiration and upcoming creative opportunities. I also often publish my gallery visits and city wanderings via instagram stories and reels.