Our top picks of exhibitions together with cultural spaces and places, both online and in the real world.

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Viewing Christopher Hartmann: In and Out of Touch, Hannah Barry Gallery

Few people have shaken up London’s contemporary art scene like Hannah Barry. In 2007, she founded Bold Tendencies, a not-for-profit that champions emerging talent and produces a hugely popular summer programme of music, dance and opera on the rooftop of Peckham’s multi-storey car park. A year later, she opened her eponymous gallery in Peckham’s Holly Grove.

Celebrated for challenging the establishment, Barry’s gallery now represents a roster of rising stars, among them Rosie Grace Ward, Shaun McDowell, Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq and Christopher Hartmann, who is currently the subject of a new solo show.

Hartmann tends to focus on the ‘complex relationships shaped by alienation, intimacy and emotional attachment or detachment,’ he says. His figures are painted in a hyper saturated palette and have what he describes as ‘an artificial, digital character that makes reference to digital imagery.’

They are mostly slightly bigger than life size, boast smooth, unblemished skin — which make them ‘generic and repetitive, similar to social media filters’ — and seem to exist outside of specific time and place. They are often alone, evade eye contact or gaze past one another. A sense of isolation pervades each canvas.

In this age of social distancing, there’s something eerily relatable about Hartmann’s work. Just looking at will make you crave human touch — and a great, big hug. Which, thankfully, is back on the cards!

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Dates
03 June 2021 — 31 July 2021
Further information

Viewing Present The Future, the world’s first NFT focused art residency, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

NFTs are fast changing the art world. In March, New York’s Superchief gallery opened the world’s first NFT gallery space and the digital artist Beeple set a world auction record when his monumental collage, Everydays: The First 5,000 Days, sold for $69 million. In June the world’s first NFT focused art residency will launch in the glorious gardens of the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera.

According to curator, collector and VOLTA Art Fairs director Kamiar Maleki, the goal is to present ‘the world’s first hybrid digital and physical NFT production and minting experience, combining the work of two immensely important artistic visionaries in collaboration with an equal master in his craft, digital artist Vector Meldrew.’

The visionaries in question are the British singer and composer Tinie Tempah and the French-Iranian artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar, who is best known for his abstracted oils and floral compositions created in his signature style of peinture raclée, a technique involving the scraping, layering and spreading of paint.

‘Art inspires music and vice versa,’ says Tinie, ‘and I am excited to present works and ideas Sassan and I have spent a year working on both in physical and digital form.’

This ground-breaking event offers a unique visual and audio experience and aims to inspire new levels of conviviality and creativity across mediums.

Six NFTs (one unique and five open editions) together with the NFT minted on site will be dropped on 13 June.

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Dates
07 June 2021 — 13 June 2021
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Viewing Es Devlin’s Forest For Change — The Global Goals Pavilion, London Design Biennale, Somerset House

Taking over Somerset House this June is the London Design Biennale, a celebration of the world’s most innovative designers, curators and design institutes.

The centrepiece is Forest for Change—The Global Goals Pavilion, an immersive installation featuring 400 trees conceived by artistic director Es Devlin in partnership with Project Everyone.

Filling the historic courtyard, it aims to spark debate on ‘the pathway of action to a better and fairer future’ and drive awareness to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals can be explored at the centre of the clearing, where they are succinctly explained on colourful mirrored pillars.

‘It’s my hope that when you get to the centre, you’re able to approach these really complex global problems without feeling so daunted or overwhelmed,’ says Devlin.

There’s already much hype around Devlin’s pop-up wood, so check it out and join the conversation.

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Dates
01 June 2021 — 27 June 2021
Further information
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