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 top painting exhibitions, where all but one still open to visit.
Ibrahim Mahama: Lazarus @ White Cube, Bermondsey
A hundred rusted sewing machines create a deafening rattle as they turn on and off with nobody seated at them, a memory of past labourers who toiled away at them as one activates and then another. Elsewhere bat like works hang from the ceiling referencing the bats and the history of the building that houses his studio. It’s a haunting show that covers both the artist’s personal history and that of his native Ghana’s. Until 7 November.
Do Ho Suh @ Bloomberg Space: London Mithraeum
A colourful covering over pillars of glass are an approximation of a Korean temple whose history remains largely unknown. It’s similar to the London MIthraeum housed underneath it, whose own origins remain largely speculative. It’s a stunning installation and a fitting juxtaposition of ancient history with contemporary art. Until 22 January.
Heather Phillipson: Rupture No 1 – Blowtorching the Bitten Peach @ Tate Britain
Big metal creatures appear to drink from a pool of fuel, animal eyes gaze out from screens and a giant being looms over us. Welcome to Heather Phillipson’s intense. overwhelming and dramatically lit installation at Tate Britain that is one of the most memorable installations in the central galleries. Until 23 January.
Tania Kovats: Oceanic @ Parafin
Concrete sculptures appear like flailing legs up in the air, but they’re based on the semi-flaccid shapes wetsuits take when removed – holding on to a semblance of our bodily shape, much like our impact on the oceans. Keeping with the ocean theme vitrines downstairs show a bleached sea bed accompanied by her oceanic drawings across both floors. Until 20 November.
Abbas Akhavan: curtain call, variations on a folly @ Chisenhale Gallery
A historic ruin from Palmyra in Syria, that was destroyed by ISIS, has been recreated within this East London space using the sustainable building material of cob. With a green screen background it feels like an opportunity for an historical, architectural and cultural reset – something that feels particularly appealing given recent global events.
Until 17 October.
Helen Marten: Sparrows on the Stone @ Sadie Coles, Kingly Street
Abstract paintings and sculpture are all interconnected by rails and lines as if they could suddenly move and re-arrange themselves around the viewer. It means we have to clamber around the works so we bend to Helen marten’s creation and interact with the exhibition as a voyage of discovery. Until 30 October.
All images copyright artist and courtesy gallery. Do Ho Suh photo: Marcus Leith. Chisenhale photo: Tabish Khan.