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Viewing Peter Kennard, On Hannah Arendt: ‘The Concept of History’ at Richard Saltoun

London’s art world is abuzz with talk of Hannah Arendt, the German-born, Jewish American philosopher celebrated for her writings on power and evil, as well as politics, direct democracy, authority and totalitarianism. Why? Because London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery has dedicated its entire 2021 exhibition programme to the revered theorist, and March sees the opening of the second exhibition in its eight-part series.

The Concept of History is a solo exhibition of works by Peter Kennard, arguably Britain’s most important political artist. He is perhaps best known today for Photo-Op, the iconic image of a grinning Tony Blair taking a ‘selfie’ in Iraq in front of an arid landscape engulfed in flames.

This exhibition takes its title from the second essay in Arendt’s 1968 publication, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, and features three bodies of work, including Kennard’s little-known, little-seen monochromatic STOP paintings made between 1968 and 1976.

You can also view a video introduction online to The Concept of History by Roger Berkowitz, Founder and Director of the Hannah Arendt Center, and an interview with Peter Kennard on Hannah Arendt. For more on Arendt, look to the touring exhibition centred on her work due to open at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn this spring.

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Dates
08 March 2021 — 10 April 2021
Location
Richard Saltoun London
On 20 January Joe Biden was sworn in with an appeal for unity that has never felt so important. ‘With unity we can do great things, important things,’ he said. But it was America’s 22-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, who stole the show, inspiring viewers around the world with her self-penned poem, The Hill We Climb. ‘I really wanted to use my words to be a point of unity and collaboration and togetherness,’ she told the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme.

In celebration of Biden’s inauguration, Zuleika Gallery in Oxfordshire is staging an IRL exhibition of work by Nicola Green, artist, social historian and co-founder of The Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme. The program, which aims to address the lack of diversity in the UK arts sector, made headlines last July as a community partner of new public art project Breath is Invisible in Notting Hill. Comprising three site-specific exhibitions, Breath is Invisible launched with a brilliant installation of works by Khadija Saye, the 24-year-old artist who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

In this exhibition, which is also being presented virtually, Green’s silkscreen prints are staged alongside two brand new works, Unity I and II, both of which were created in response to the 2020 presidential election.

Reproduced in red, white and blue, the design in these artworks comprises seven hands, enacting different gestures, united in a circle of light. For Green, it is a powerful example of how non-verbal gestures can embody and communicate messages. Of her two new works Green said on Instagram, ‘They’re a celebration of the democratic process, a commemoration of change, and a symbol of hope.’

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Dates
16 January 2021 — 25 April 2021
Location
Zuleika Gallery

Viewing The Turn of The Screw, Marquee TV

With the world in and out of lockdown, it’s been a turbulent time for the arts. The good news is that Marquee TV, the global streaming platform described by the Financial Times as ‘the new Netflix for the arts’, has been doing its bit to bring the world’s greatest dance, ballet, opera and theatre to our homes.

Now it’s the turn of Benjamin Britten’s spine-chilling chamber opera, The Turn of the Screw. Based on Henry James’ Gothic novella, it tells the story of a young governess, desperate to protect her two orphan charges, Miles and Flora, from mysterious, ghostly happenings at a remote country estate.

The opera, presented and produced by OperaGlass Works, was filmed at Wilton’s Music Hall, the historic London venue where it was set to premiere in March 2020. Conducted by John Wilson and played by the Sinfonia of London, which recorded at Cadogan Hall, this daring production combines qualities of opera, theatre and film to dazzling effect.

‘The most important thing for us was to film the singers live as they performed in the theatre,’ said Eliza Thompson, Director and Co-Founder of OperaGlass Works. ‘The pianist played the accompaniment through an earpiece as they sang. John kept the beat in their ear, creating what we call a live click track, conducting them remotely. We were adapting and learning on our feet.’

OperaGlass Works’ version of The Turn of the Screw is a compelling new addition to the platform’s rich online offering — and is now available to stream on demand. Grab the popcorn, it’s time to get comfy.

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