The Wick - Marina Abramović, Presence and Absence, 2022

Discover Marina Abramović, Presence and Absence, 2022

Marina Abramović puts her audience centre stage. Over the past 50 years, she has tested the limits of her own physical and mental endurance in her work — and pushed audiences to question their own responses and emotions. Gates and Portals, her new site-specific performance-based exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, is no exception. Rather than just viewing artworks in front of you, you will be invited to respond to the artist’s structures, objects and instructions. For Abramović, this participation will prompt visitors to experience heightened bodily awareness and transitional states of being. ‘Their experience with the object is the artwork itself, without that experience the objects are empty,’ she says. In true Abramović style, it offers an intense, physical encounter that will stay with you long after you’ve left the building.
The Wick - Es Devlin, Come Home Again, 2022

Dream Es Devlin, Come Home Again, 2022

In a career than spans more than 25 years, Es Devlin has made her name creating immersive artworks and dazzling stage sets for the likes of Kanye West, Adele and Beyoncé. Her latest large-scale public artwork, described as an illuminated choral sculpture, is about London’s endangered species. Commissioned by Cartier, it takes the form of a sliced dome and is covered in Devlin’s intricate drawings of each of London’s 243 priority species, including moths, birds, beetles and wildflowers.

On select evenings at sunset, London-based choral groups of the diaspora will perform choral evensong from within the illuminated sculpture. It also features a recording of the animals’ names and QR codes within each of the choral tiers that provide more information about the priority species, choral music and London Wildlife Trust. ‘Dome originally meant a home,’ says Devlin. ‘The works invites us to see, hear and feel our home, our city as an interconnected web of species and cultures, to learn and remember the names and sing those under threat into continued existence.’ Come Home Again will be on display from 21 September to 1 October 2022 in the garden at Tate Modern.
The Wick - David Downtown, Dior Couture, 2015

Dream David Downtown, Dior Couture, 2015

In the world of fashion illustration, few people are as revered as David Downtown. Over the course of his dazzling career, he has captured such famous names as Paloma Picasso, Catherine Deneuve and Cate Blanchett, as well as couture looks for Chanel, Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. This eye-catching illustration depicts Look 44 from the Dior Spring 2015 Couture show at Paris Fashion Week. In this collection, Raf Simons, Dior’s then creative director, paid his respects to David Bowie. ‘He’s a chameleon, able to reinvent himself,’ Simons enthused. Featuring graphic silhouettes, pops of vibrant colour and unlikely materials such as plastic, this landmark collection revealed Simons to be just as adaptable as his hero.
The Wick - Winslow Homer, Flower Garden and Bungalow, Bermuda, 1899

Dream Winslow Homer, Flower Garden and Bungalow, Bermuda, 1899

Although little known in Britain, Winslow Homer is one of America’s most celebrated and admired painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Charged with emotional and historical significance, his art tackles the complex social and geopolitical issues of his era, notably race, slavery, class and conflict, as well as broader environmental concerns such as our relationship with nature and the fragility of human life.

Between 1884 and 1909, Homer travelled to the Bahamas, Cuba and Bermuda, where he created a number of dazzling watercolours of island life. Among them is Flower Garden and Bungalow from 1899, featuring still turquoise waters, tropical sunlight and lush vegetation. Seemingly innocent at first glance, a closer look reveals a lone figure in frantic motion, surely symbolic of human isolation in remote nature.
The Wick - André Derain, Mountains at Collioure, 1905

Discover André Derain, Mountains at Collioure, 1905

Languish in the last of the summer sun with this jubilant landscape by André Derain. Painted in 1905 when the artist was in the South of France with Henri Matisse, it is typical of Derain’s Fauvist style, with its vertical brushstrokes, simplified forms and rich palette of vibrant colours. Like Matisse, Derain played with perspective through flattened forms and separated colour from its representational purpose, using it instead to express emotion and create pictoral structure. In Mountains at Collioure, the trees are painted with long dashes of aquamarine, while the mountains are formed from planes of bright orange and blue. A riot of jewel-toned hues, pattern and texture, it sends your eyes dancing in delight across the canvas.
The Wick - Charlie Gillett, Part of the street parade, 1972

Discover Charlie Gillett, Part of the street parade, 1972

Since its first outdoor festival in 1966 — which was established by community activist Rhaune Laslett to ease inter-cultural tensions in the area — the Notting Hill carnival has expanded into a dazzling showcase of music, dance and Caribbean culture. Think of the carnival today and you’ll likely conjure scenes of bold, brilliant colour, whirling movement and thumping beats. Or maybe past performances by Beyoncé, Stormzy or Lil’Kim? Which is exactly why we love Charlie Gillett’s black-and-white image from 1972. Despite its monochrome palette, it vibrantly captures the fun, energy and community spirit at the heart of the carnival celebrations — a testament to the power of documentary photography.
The Wick - Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918

Dream Georgia O’Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918

Georgia O’Keeffe believed that art, like music, could express emotional states and sensations independent of representational subject matter. ‘I found that I could say things with colour and shapes,’ she once wrote, ‘that I couldn’t say in other way — things I had no words for.’ In her early abstract works, O’Keeffe experimented with close crops, smooth surfaces, swelling forms and gradual colour transitions to evoke the experience of sound and the rhythms she perceived in nature. Characterised by its undulating forms and vibrant palette of colours, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2 (1918) is one such brilliant example.
The Wick - Tracey Emin, I Lay Here For You, 2022

Discover Tracey Emin, I Lay Here For You, 2022

Currently installed in an old-growth beech grove in Jupiter Artland’s informal woodland is Tracey Emin’s I Lay Here For You (2022). The six-metre bronze depicts a nude woman, face burrowed into the ground, posterior raised. She avoids eye contact and is wholly content in her own company. This monumental celebration of sexual intimacy is part of an exhibition of new works made in the wake of Emin’s recovery from bladder cancer that reflect on the possibility of love after hardship. As with much of the artist’s work, it explores the tension between fragility, hope, sexuality and vulnerability, prompting the viewer to reconsider woman’s place in nature.
The Wick - Gustav Klimt, The Virgin, 1913

Dream Gustav Klimt, The Virgin, 1913

The femme fatale dominates the art of Gustav Klimt, the fin-de-siècle Viennese painter also known for his use of gold, brilliant colour and decorative patterns. This painting, however, depicts a young virgin sleeping peacefully under a blanket with pretty flowers and spirals. At first glance, it’s a picture of innocence. But a closer look will reveal Klimt’s frank eroticism: the girl is in fact dreaming about her sexual awakening, which involves six naked women. Executed in 1913, at the height of Klimt’s fame, it celebrates female sexuality, desire and pleasure in a bold embrace of la vie moderne.