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Viewing Yinka Shonibare’s dazzling “Suspended States” take over Serpentine South

It’s hard to believe Yinka Shonibare hasn’t had a solo exhibition at a British institution for more than twenty years – but his hotly anticipated takeover of the Serpentine South will be well worth the wait. In recent years, Shonibare has been celebrated as a curator (including a touring exhibition with the Arts Council Collection, and a survey of contemporary African art held at Stephen Friedman Gallery in 2022). The Nigerian-born artist is also the founder of Guest Projects, an experimental arts space in Hackney active since 2006, and the Guest Artist Space (G.A.S.) Foundation residency spaces he launched in two locations in Nigeria in 2019.

Ahead of his inclusion in the Nigerian Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale (opening next week) this exhibition recentres Shonibare’s highly influential, innovative and original artistic practice. Intertwining Shonibare’s signature visual style (such as his use of Dutch wax print) with the urgency of his social, humanitarian enterprise, the exhibition moves from his recognisable sculptural and textile works, and promises two new large-scale installations: Sanctuary City, a series of miniature models of buildings that are or have been used as places of refuge for the persecuted, each painted black and illuminated from within; and War Library, featuring 5,000 books bound in Dutch wax print with gold lettering, referring to conflicts and peace treaties with imperialist connections. Shonibare’s welcome return proves he’s just as bold and ambitious as ever.

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Viewing Georg Baselitz confronts his past at White Cube

At 86, Georg Baselitz has learned a thing or two about life – and has lost none of his passion for painting. The artist’s latest exhibition reveals a vast cache of works created in his studio over the last year: paintings and works on paper that reflect on six and a half decades of his practice, revisiting sketches made in his youth and lauding favoured references.

“I exclusively deal with my own past, always,” Baselitz says, but “it was a different painter who did those earlier works. It was me, to be sure, but in a different spirit with a different intention.”

Cheekily titled “A Confession of My Sins”, this is a fascinating appraisal of a remarkable artist through his own eyes, with the contemplative and often humorous perspective of age.

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10 April 2024 — 16 June 2024
Studio Lenca is the artist name of Salvadoran painter Jose Campos, who fled La Paz in the late 1980s during the violent civil war. He was raised by his mother in San Francisco as an illegal immigrant, without papers, and under the scrutiny of a conservative administration. As a young adult, Studio Lenca came to the UK, where he attended Goldsmith’s.

“Leave to Remain” refers to the Home Office’s official term for those who are allowed to stay in the UK with restrictions and without permanent legal status. In this vibrant body of paintings in oil and acrylic, Studio Lenca pays homage to his journey and the people and places he has left behind, in loose, spontaneous brush strokes conveying a freedom perhaps not always felt in his day-to-day life. As well as presenting this new body of work at Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, where the artist now lives, he will also turn the gallery into a working studio, collaborating with KRAN (Kent Refugee Action Network) to invite young refugees and asylum seekers to work alongside him to create new sculptures, based on the volcanoes of El Salvador – bringing the epic landscapes of Central America to the British seaside.

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14 April 2024 — 16 June 2024