Tabish’s Top 10 Commercial Art Exhibitions in London 2014

I’ve already put together a top 10 for the year for Londonist, but that was all major blockbuster exhibitions. So what about commercial exhibitions? Here is my countdown of the top 10:

Installation image
Installation image

1. Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg @ Lisson Gallery

This trippy surreal installation featuring bright coloured video works on tables and inside vases was mesmerising. Mixed with the music by Berg this was an inspiring and fantastical exhibition.

Copyright Rob and Nick Carter
Copyright Rob and Nick Carter

2. What did Marcel Duchamp teach me? @ Fine Art Society
50 artists across 5 floors in a spectacular group show during Frieze week. There were kinetic sculptures, humour, sculpture and a fantastic sound art piece to top it all off. It was the kind of show you’d expect to find in a museum.

Copyright Thomas Schutte
Copyright Thomas Schutte

3. The Bad Shepherd @ Christie’s, Mayfair
Since taking over the Haunch of Venison space, Christie’s has not set a foot wrong with a string of excellently curated auction exhibitions. It juxtaposes works by Bruegel with contemporary artists such as Sarah Lucas, Thomas Schutte and Jeff Koons, with poignant connections between the works.

Installation image. Copyright Rashid Alakbarov
Installation image. Copyright Rashid Alakbarov

4. Here Today … @ The Old Sorting Office, New Oxford street
A fantastic auction celebrating 50 years of the IUCN’s ‘red list’ of endangered species. A mixture of established and emerging artists from around the world, with some artists from the Azerbaijan pavilion (one of my favourites) from the Venice Biennale.

Copyright Andreas Gursky
Copyright Andreas Gursky

5. Andreas Gursky @ Sprüth Magers
A small exhibition showing us why he’s the world’s most expensive photographer ever. The stand out piece is of black coated individuals on a ship heading into the Niagara falls – it has such an ominous feel to it. These works were much stronger than his latest works at White Cube Bermondsey, which were awful.

Copyright Boomoon
Copyright Boomoon

6. Boomoon @ Flowers
It may only have been 14 photographs in total but a fantastic show and my first encounter with this artist. The snowfall on a beach felt unreal while the photograph from the edge of space is breathtaking.

Copyright Kathryn Fleming
Copyright Kathryn Fleming

7. Best Brave New World @ Arebyte
An impressive diversity in medium and approach from five Royal College of Art graduates on what the future may look like from renaming cities to quirky genetically engineered animals.

roys people
Copyright Roy Tyson

8. Roy’s People @ Curious Duke
The fantastic miniature artist combines humorous social commentary with delicate craftsmanship. He was also one of the highlights at The Other Art Fair. So good, I now own two of his works.

Copyright Alex Maclean
Copyright Alex Maclean

9. Alex Maclean @ Beetles + Huxley
There are several aerial photographers but this exhibition higlighted that Maclean’s can use this medium on varied settings, from a golf course in the desert to shipping containers. His ability to turn the familiar to the surreal made for an eye catching show. This gallery also had great shows on Sebastiao Salgado and Steve McCurry.

Copyright Andrea Francolini
Copyright Andrea Francolini

10. Andrea Francolini @ Kristin Hjellegjerde
A fantastic and consistently strong second year for this gallery featuring the marble works of Richard Stone, the anatomical photographs by Daniel Malva and the surrealism of Chris Agnew. However, my favourite was the broken concrete shopping mall plans by Fancolini, an excellent commentary on the conflict between nature and the manmade.

About Tabish Khan

Art Critic for both FAD and Londonist. See as many exhibitions as possible and write reviews, opinion pieces and a weekly top 5 for FAD.