Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his top exhibitions to see right now, this time the focus is on painting. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. Those looking for more exhibitions should check out his Mayfair exhibitions, where all are still open to visit.
Richard Estes: Voyages @ Newport Street Gallery
Beautiful landscapes featuring mountains and busy city streets in Manhattan reflected in glass facades. It’s shocking to realise that these aren’t photographs but photorealist paintings that are so detailed it’s breath-taking. Richard Estes is an artist from who rose to prominence in the 1960s yet I hadn’t heard of him before so it’s great to see a collection of his works with fresh eyes. Until 12 December.
Christen Sveaas Art Foundation: This Is The Night Mail @ Whitechapel Gallery
I’ve always loved the Whitechapel Gallery’s programme of having a free exhibition displaying works from an impressive private collection. So it is with this busy salon hang, all selected from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation selected by Ida Ekblad around the theme of the night mail – a poem by WH Auden. It’s a reason to bring the starry landscape by Harald Sohlberg to hang alongside an early anguished portrait by Munch, among dozens of other artists and their diverse works. Until 2 January.
Rabia Farooqui: Two Adults and an Attachment @ Kristin Hjellegjerde, Wandsworth
There’s a narrative in these beautiful figurative paintings that always hovers just out of reach. What is the relationship between the humans and the animals, why do the figures have no faces and is each painting multiple scenes? It’s up to us to weave our own stories out of these paintings. Until 9 October.
Daniel Crews-Chubb: Consequences of Play @ Wellington Arch
Not many people know you can go inside Wellington Arch, let alone find contemporary art on display inside it. Six large scale figurative paintings by Daniel Crews-Chubb are based on Rubens’ Consequences of War series – particularly apt given the arch itself is a monument to military victory. These thickly layered paintings may offer a stark contrast to the architecture of the arch itself but it’s the perfect place to house them, in a collaboration between English Heritage and Vigo Gallery. Until March 2022.
Fran Giffard: A Valediction @ Northcote Gallery
Bright tropical birds are painted across the diary pages of Fran Giffard so we get to see her art, blend with her personal thoughts. The text can range from something as day to day as a cooking recipe or a to do list, to a personal diary entry about a recent holiday. It’s a window into her life and of course her love of beautiful birds. Until 3 October.
Whitechapel Gallery image courtesy of the Christen Sveaas Art Collection. All other images copyright artist and courtesy gallery.