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Events in Art and Archaeology

15th Serpentine Pavilion.
LONDON  •  Serpentine Gallery  •  25 June - 18 October 2015
Spanish architects selgascano designed the 15th Serpentine Pavilion. The award-winning studio, headed by José Selgas and Lucía Cano, is the first Spanish architecture practice to be asked to design the temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine’s lawn in London’s Kensington Gardens. In keeping with the criteria of the scheme, this is the studio’s first new structure in the UK. The Pavilion is an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) woven through and wrapped like webbing. Visitors can enter and exit the Pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a ‘secret corridor’ between the outer and inner layer of the structure and into the Pavilion’s brilliant, stained glass-effect interior.

15th Serpentine Pavilion  in London

The architects’ inspiration not only came from the site itself, but from the ways in which people move through London, notably the Underground with its many-layered, chaotic yet structured flow. selgascano’s design follows Smiljan Radić’s Pavilion in 2014, which was likened by many to a spaceship resting on Neolithic stones. Previous architects include Sou Fujimoto, 2013; Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, 2012; Frank Gehry, 2008; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001; and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural Pavilion in 2000.

Serpentine Galleries Website

Detailed schedule information:
Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm

Contact: Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
W2 3XA

Leonardo da Vinci: <EM>A Bust of a Warrior</EM>, c. 1475/1480<BR>Silverpoint on prepared paper<BR>On loan from The British Museum, London <BR>© The Trustees of The British Museum, London<
Leonardo da Vinci: <EM>A Bust of a Warrior</EM>, c. 1475/1480<BR>Silverpoint on prepared paper<BR>On loan from The British Museum, London <BR>© The Trustees of The British Museum, London<
Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns
LONDON  •  British Museum  •  10 September - 6 December 2015

Since the Middle Ages, artists have used metalpoint to create some of the most beautiful and technically accomplished drawings ever made. Interest in the medium peaked during the Renaissance when it was embraced by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Albrecht Dürer. Revived in the nineteenth century, metalpoint continues to be practiced today.

An artist working in metalpoint uses a sharp, pointed 
instrument (a stylus) with a metal tip to draw on paper, 
parchment, or wood that has been specially coated. As 
the stylus travels across this slightly abrasive ground, a 
small amount of metal is scraped off and remains behind,
 creating a line. Almost any metal can be used, though only lead, which is softer than others, can be used without a ground. When first drawn, all metalpoint lines, including those made by gold, appear gray, an optical effect that stems in part from the breaking down of the metal into tiny particles. Some metals oxidize, or tarnish, to different colors over time: silver, for example, generally turns golden brown. Others, such as gold, never tarnish and remain gray. Goldpoint appeals to some artists for this reason, although it was rarely used before the nineteenth century. Most of the drawings in this exhibition are silverpoints, by far the most common form of metalpoint through history.

Silverpoint is often considered a challenging medium. The lines can be difficult or even impossible to erase depending on such factors as the type of ground. Unlike pen or chalk, which can produce strokes of varying thickness or darkness depending on how hard artists bear down on the instrument, silver leaves a nearly uniform line. Nonetheless, the medium offers practical and aesthetic advantages: Its portability and convenience make it particularly suited for use in sketchbooks, as artists do not have to carry an inkwell or wait for ink to dry. Silverpoint is especially resistant to smearing and therefore has the added benefit of durability. Also, the precision and subtlety of its delicate lines render it ideal for capturing fine detail. Above all, it is the shimmering beauty of silverpoint that has attracted artists across the centuries

British Museum Website


British Museum
Great Russell Street

Tel: 44 (0)20 7323 8299

Glenn Ligon, Malcolm X (small version 1) #1, 2001
Glenn Ligon, Malcolm X (small version 1) #1, 2001
Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions
LIVERPOOL  •  Tate Liverpool  •  30 June - 18 October 2015
Glenn Ligon (born 1960) is one of the most significant American artists of his generation. Much of his work relates to abstract expressionism and minimalist painting, remixing formal characteristics to highlight the cultural and social histories of the time, such as the civil rights movement.

This exhibition brings together artworks and other material he references in his own work and writings, or work with which he shares certain affinities. His practice, especially his painting, is deeply involved in the legacy of Post-War American art, which he enriches through references to American history, especially African-American experience. This exhibition features many major figures such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns alongside Ligon’s near contemporaries including Chris Ofili, Lorna Simpson and Felix Gonzales-Torres. Wider cultural phenomena such as the photojournalism of the Civil Rights struggle and Sun Ra’s seminal film Space is the Place also feature alongside the work of the artist.

Tate Liverpool Website

Contact: Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool Waterfront
L3 4BB
United Kingdom
Tel: 44 (0)151 702 74 00

Kara Walker: Go to Hell or Atlanta, Whichever Comes First
LONDON  •  Victoria Miro  •  1 October - 7 November 2015
Victoria Miro presents the first of two exhibitions at the gallery this autumn by the celebrated American artist Kara Walker. Often provocative and humorous, Kara Walker's work explores the tensions and power plays of racial and gender relations. Walker's work engages with historical narratives, particularly the experience of African Americans in the antebellum American south, and the ways in which these stories have been suppressed, distorted and falsified. Drawing from art historical and literary sources, she creates and deconstructs scenarios that expose biases and prejudices, exploring the power struggles underlying personal and political relationships.

Victoria Miro Website

Contact: Victoria Miro
16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
Tel: 44 (0)20 7336 8109

Gold medal. Obverse: portrait of Louis XIV facing right. Reverse: Louis XIV as the sun warming the earth. Made by Jean Warin, 1672.
Gold medal. Obverse: portrait of Louis XIV facing right.
Reverse: Louis XIV as the sun warming the earth.
Made by Jean Warin, 1672.
Triumph and disaster: medals of the Sun King
LONDON  •  British Museum  •  4 June - 15 November 2015
This display examines the greatest medallic project ever undertaken – a self-portrait of the reign of Louis XIV of France.

Louis XIV – known as the Sun King – was King of France for over 70 years, reigning from 1643 to 1715. In 1662 his Minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, put forward the idea of creating a series of medals commemorating the triumphs of Louis’ reign – a medallic history. This was to form an extraordinary work of collaborative art that resulted in a unique and fascinating self-portrait of the regime that dominated Europe for nearly 60 years.

The display explores the background to the medallic history’s production, introducing some of the key people involved in its design and execution, including Colbert, artist and sculptor Jean Warin and authors Charles Perrault (best known today for his collection of fairy tales) and Jean Racine. The display uses a selection of the British Museum’s outstanding collection of medals produced during this period to tell this fascinating story – from the setting up of a ‘Little Academy’ (a committee established in 1663 to advise Louis on commemorating his reign) to the process of creation and production, and how Louis was represented.

The show also includes a 1702 folio edition of the medallic history (Médailles sur les principaux événements du règne de Louis le Grand – essentially a catalogue of the medals that were produced) from the Department of Coins and Medals’ library collection.

British Museum Website

Contact: British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom
Tel: 44 20 7323 8299

William Kentridge: More Sweetly Play the Dance
LONDON  •  Marian Goodman Gallery  •  11 September - 24 October 2015
Marian Goodman presents a major exhibition of new works by William Kentridge at 5-8 Lower John Street. This is Kentridge’s first substantial solo presentation in London for 15 years and includes two immersive multiscreen film installations, monumental ink-on-paper paintings, sculptures and drawings.

The upper gallery is dedicated to More Sweetly Play the Dance, an eight-screen processionary danse macabre. But, beyond the medieval notion of dancing as a means of staving off death, as this 40 metre, life-sized, circular caravan traverses around us, one senses that it’s as much a cortege of those who have been deprived of a fully realised life – yet another procession of refugees fleeing a skirmish or warlord. ‘My concern has been both with the existential solitude of the walker, and with social solitude – lines of people walking in single file from one country to another, from one life to an unknown future’. William Kentridge, A Dream of Love Reciprocated, 2014

Most of the itinerants are filmed holding up silhouettes transcribed from enlarged Kentridge drawings as they march: a group of priests sway past bearing a forest of lilies; patients cling to drips with sketched saline solutions barely keeping them alive; robed shadow-figures who recall pre-Quattrocento frescos hold giant classical busts, propagandist portraits, bird cages and miners’ heads (many of which are shown in the adjacent upstairs gallery); and a trio of skeletons dance on a platform dragged across the artist’s barren, charcoal-drawn landscape. An entire brass band leads the procession, and its wailing but vital, defiant anthem, while Kentridge’s long-time collaborator Dada Masilo brings up the rear, dancing en pointe with a rifle to the last strains of their canticle, as if singlehandedly “hold[ing] the hope and disillusion together”. William Kentridge, Peripheral Thinking, 2014-15

Downstairs, Kentridge presents Notes Towards a Model Opera, a three-screen film installation that grew from his research for a recent exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. He found himself repeatedly drawn to Madame Mao’s Eight Model Revolutionary Operas, which conflated vainglorious folklore, jingoistic re-presentations of military victories, martial arts and ballet, including, as Kentridge notes, the peculiar skills of “…learning to throw a hand grenade en pointe [and] charging through the enemy machine guns en pointe…” Peripheral Thinking, 2014-15. The soundtrack for the piece, arranged by the composer Philip Miller, is based on various elaborations of the communist anthem The Internationale ranging in style from period 1950s colonial dance bands to South African toyi-toyi chanting protest marches. Masilo is here again, dancing in a cultural revolutionary uniform while wielding guns as if limbs and switching seamlessly between contemporary South African choreography and classical ballet. Her fellow cadres wave scarlet flags while torn maps, calligraphy and pages from the notebook that gave this work its title, project a constant flux of stage settings.

In one scene, Masilo wears a dunce’s hat and billboards covered in slogans, re-enacting the self-denunciatory public rituals that many Chinese academics were forced to endure under Mao. But even here – in contrast to the original model operas’ certainties – Kentridge’s typically implicit approach is to elucidate through peripheral associations: this humiliated professor is part Goya etching, part Dadaist performance, part contemporary African reeling from the sudden wave of Chinese economic re-colonisation of her continent. Or, as Andrew Solomon puts it in the Ullens catalogue, ‘[Kentridge]…the patron saint of ambiguity’ has again eschewed straightforward cogent storytelling for ‘seducing us with scraps of lucidity’. This love of obfuscation connects his practice directly with those of imperial-era Chinese artists, as does his blurring of language and image to Chinese literati culture as a whole. All three originated within authoritarian societies in which ambiguity and an adept use of metaphor often prove pragmatic.

The main gallery downstairs is dominated by a new series of paintings in which generations of Chinese cultural artifacts, such as parables, Tang dynasty poetry and adapted Cultural Revolution slogans – ‘Long, Long, Long Live The Mother(Land)’, ‘Eat Bitterness’, ‘Sharpen Your Philosophy’ and ‘Defend the Rich (Harvest)’ – are interwoven throughout vast ink-on-found-text images of flowers. Beyond Mao’s now infamous ‘Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend’ dictum, these are premised on links between the Cultural Revolution, the events of May 1968 and the Paris Commune of 1871.

A large diptych pairs the silhouette of a single iris with a transcribed page of propaganda from the Paris Commune, which attempted to place the Communards’ daily struggles within a victorious international meta-narrative. In contrast, the leaders of the Cultural Revolution would later malign them as an ‘Imminent Probable Failure’ as they increasingly disassociated themselves from the contemporary student-led protests in Paris. Here Kentridge’s research into their delusional use, and misuse, of language abuts his abiding interest into Manet’s late paintings, and why the man who created such fervently moving political works as The Execution of Emperor Maximilian (1868–69) would devote his last years to painting solitary vases of flowers.

Smaller works on paper spread across two walls in the main space, including a sequence of doves flying across a sky of Chinese calligraphy and small studies of Eurasian Tree Sparrows. The latter are reminders of Mao’s ill-fated insistence that peasants should kill all sparrows, leading to the worst famine in history that followed a plague of locusts whose larvae were left uneaten – creating yet more lines of starving, subjugated people marching across barren landscapes. Suspended in a banner above them, on Masilo’s billboards, and in some ways echoing throughout this exhibition, is Kentridge’s parodied Maoist slogan, ‘Use The Wind To Rescue Speech’.

An adjacent room is bisected by two groups of painted bronze heads that originated through research for Kentridge’s production of Alban Berg’s opera ‘Lulu’. He placed cardboard cylinders over the actors’ heads, painting them with rudimentary features and creating simple masks that served as devices halfway between them and the drawings projected around them. What began as a formal investigation into how little is needed to recognise a head became adroitly bricolaged sets of five ‘Polychrome Heads’ and three ‘Roman Heads’. In addition to referring to the practice of painting over portrait sculptures in classical antiquity, each bronze head betrays Kentridge’s love of trompe l’oeil, with the materials used to construct the original – pine, fragments of Chinese maps, scraps torn from a 1906 miners cashbook, even corrugated cardboard – meticulously rendered in painted bronze. And they too point to yet another arresting Kentridge project: 'Triumphs & Laments', a 500-metre frieze on the walls of Rome’s River Tiber next year.

William Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, where he lives and works. His work is currently a major retrospective at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, the Istanbul Biennial and Fortuna, a touring solo show in Museo Amparo, Puebla.

Marian Goodman Gallery Website


Marian Goodman Gallery
5-8 Lower John Street



Tel: (44) 20 7099 0088

<P><EM>Pareja en Cinzano Bar</EM>, Valparaiso, Chile© Leonora Vicuña</P>

Pareja en Cinzano Bar, Valparaiso, Chile
© Leonora Vicuña

Voces: Latin American Photography 1980 - 2015
LONDON  •  Michael Hoppen Contemporary  •  10 October 2015 - 10 January 2016
The exhibition includes some of the most influential and recognised Latin American photographers as well as emerging artists who use the photographic medium as a form of individual expression. The show features works by artists from Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. The dialogue that emerges revolves around important themes of memory and identity within a socio-political context.

Artists: Marcelo Brodsky, Andrés Durán, Nicolas Franco, Anna Bella Geiger, Jonathan Hernandez, Rosângela Rennó, Leonora Vicuna

Michael Hoppen Contemporary Website


Michael Hoppen Contemporary
3 Jubilee Place
London, SW3 3TD

Tel: 44 (0)20 7352 3649

Events in Classical Music

Thomas Hampson baritone; Wolfram Rieger piano
LONDON  •  Wigmore Hall  •  19 October 2015

Opera composers in song

Thomas Hampson baritone
Wolfram Rieger piano

Wigmore Hall Website

Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact: Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Trevor Pinnock & Friends
LONDON:  •  Wigmore Hall  •  13 October 2015

Purcell: Theatre Music and Dido and Aeneas

Trevor Pinnock & Friends

Wigmore Hall Website

Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact: Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Jan Lisiecki, piano
LONDON  •  Wigmore Hall  •  30 October 2015

Mozart, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Chopin

Jan Lisiecki, piano



Wigmore Hall Website

Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact: Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
Tel: (44) 20 7935 2141

Events in Dance

Hofesh Shechter Company: Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut
LONDON  •  O2 Academy Brixton  •  7 - 8 October 2015

Hofesh Shechter Company

Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut


Sadler's Wells Theatre Website

Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm

Contact: O2 Academy Brixton
Tel: 844 412 43 22

Events in Pop Culture and Cinema

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain
LONDON  •  Victorial and Albert Museum  •  13 June 2015 - 31 January 2016
This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers. It considers the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes and examines the latest developments in footwear technology creating the possibility of ever higher heels and dramatic shapes.

Victorial and Albert Museum Website

Contact: V&A South Kensington
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
United Kingdom
Tel: 44 (0)20 7942 2000

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