Art critic Tabish Khan brings you the top art exhibitions to visit this week. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. This week it’s been expanded to nine as so many great shows are closing soon.
Nicola Hicks: Wabbling Back to the Fire @ Flowers East
A dark figures towers over us. One of its arms is missing from the elbow down and the other holds an intimidating sickle. This isn’t a scene from a horror movie, but one of the rather disturbing sculptures of Nicola Hicks. I’ve always been a massive fan of Nicola Hicks’ sculptures and this show delivers once again. Until 11 November.
Jane Hayes Greenwood: Lead me not into Temptation @ Block 336
An eight foot tall love heart sits at the middle of a garden and a two way mirror allows us to become the voyeur. This surreal exhibition explores femininity, sexuality and food through a selection of paintings and an installation centrepiece. It’s her most ambitious and impressive work to date. Until 10 November.
Robert Longo and Ilya & Emilia Kabakov @ Galerie Thaddeus Ropac
This mega Mayfair gallery has two shows – one powerful and one fun. Robert Longo creates massive charcoals of drone explosions, riot police and the x-rays of masterpieces by Manet and Turner. The Kabakovs on the other hand is a less sombre affair with a broken chandelier looking like it’s fallen from a ceiling and a toilet made to look nasty – all with little birds suspended and on the walls. Two great shows inside a building with fantastic architecture. Until 11 November.
The Body Issue: Human Stories @ Now Gallery
This group show looks at how we view body image today in our self-obsessed world. Frank Nitty creates short videos where faces come apart, multiply and in one case stretch out to eat emojis, Alma Haser switches pieces between two jigsaws of identical twins and Charlotte Colbert creates poignant black and white portraits. It’s an important issue being explored by a group of artists who give it a playful twist as well. Until 12 November.
Josh Kline: Civil War @ Modern Art
Laptops and blenders are asymmetrically held together with stars and stripes tape. A Wendy house and piles of teddy bears cast in concrete look apocalyptic. Upstairs flips this negative to a positive with a film of a multi racial Utopian barbecue where a Confederate flag gets buried. A politically relevant show, with playful elements. Until 11 November.
Leonardo Ulian: Real Reality @ Beers London
Resistors, capacitors and wires combine with concrete and sand to create these electrifying sculptures. The finite world of computing meets the unlimited imagination of the artist in these works. Until 11 November.
!Mediengruppe Bitnik @ Annka Kultys
A subversive installation takes on the fembots from the affairs website Ashley Madison that were used to keep the largely male users ‘entertained’. The bots each inhabit a screen and seem to talk to users or even themselves in an unnerving way that makes us want to distrust any online conversation in case it’s with a bot. Until 11 November.
James Alec Hardy @ Kristin Hjellegjerde
Doorways are created by video screens all pulsing with amorphous colourful patterns with a touch of psychedelia to them. However, we can’t pass through these portals thus keeping us engaged and contained within the artist’s world. A separate room offers a feeling of white noise meditation that feels like the opposite to the colour assault in the main space. Until 11 November.
Whist @ Watermans Art Centre
Put on a virtual reality helmet to find objects in a physical space — once you get close you’ll be transported into various theatrical scenarios. This immersive exploration of the psyche is gripping and each visitor’s experience will differ. 11 & 12 November.
All images copyright the artist and courtesy the gallery. Whist photo Paul Plews.