Five alternative art exhibitions for Christmas 2020
2020 has been quite a year, one that has had a monumental effect on each of us, on everyday life and on the arts. We all love the incredible masterpieces on display at our most renowned museums, but perhaps during this extraordinary time we might also expand our minds with some intriguing, innovative and exciting art world alternatives.
Merry-Go-Round group exhibition at JGM Gallery
Bright, colourful, cheerful and whimsical, Merry-Go-Round presents a fun, uplifting respite at the end of a difficult year. The show is eclectic and refreshingly inventive, featuring British and international painting, sculpture and ceramics by 26 artists. Included among others are abstract paintings with splashes of buoyant baubles or magical, moody surreal landscapes, charmingly evocative childlike illustrations in oil, brilliantly gorgeous spray-painted squares or dots on canvas, prismatic humanoid ceramic cat figures, and captivating exotic sculptures with dried flowers and twine.
Merry-Go-Round is on at JGM Gallery from 12th November 2020 until 23rd January 2021. For further information or to view online visit here.
Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me? at Whitechapel Gallery
In her first UK commission, world-renowned Indian multimedia artist and social activist Nalini Malani addresses the dangers of fascism, racism, totalitarianism, human rights abuses, nationalism and violence against women (notably atrocities committed against those in her country) in a poly-dimensional installation comprised of 88 animations, hand-drawn images, soundtracks and quoted text by numerous major writers such as James Baldwin, Bertolt Brecht and George Orwell. Like stepping into the artist’s fascinating mind, the piece is a riveting sensory experience.
Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me? is on at Whitechapel Gallery from 23rd September 2020 until May 2021. For further information visit here.
Philip Colbert: Lobsteropolis at Saatchi Gallery
Andre Leon Talley has described artist Philip Colbert as “The godson of Andy Warhol,” and legends like David Hockney have hailed him as a contemporary pop genius. Colbert’s new exhibit Lobsteropolis is a witty response to the pandemic. Calling the lobster his “materialistic alter-ego”, he describes the work as a futuristic simulation in which – during lockdowns – we are able to explore the world as robots. The collection is composed of gorgeous and incredibly fun comic book lobster-like sculptures and paintings with cartoonish sound effects, merging symbols of our tech-dominated contemporary culture with classical art motifs in cutting-edge, thought-provoking and humourous ways. The most unique feature of the show is that those who choose not to attend in person can stay home and visit remotely by booking one of the many stick robots on wheels!
Philip Colbert: Lobsteropolis is on at Saatchi Gallery from 9th December 2020 until 17th January 2021. For further information or to view online visit here.
On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 at the V&A
For ballet and dance enthusiasts, the Victoria and Albert museum explores 100 years of history of the Royal Academy of Dance via costumes, designs, photographs, letters, programmes, audio-visual materials and posters. Included are original costumes worn by RAD founders. The Academy has given access to its archives, one of the largest dance collections in Europe, on a historically unprecedented scale. Among the highlights are Rudolf Nureyev’s 1963 costume for Swan Lake, Dame Darcey Bussell’s tutu from Prince of the Pagodas and Alfred Gilbert’s dazzling Harlequin sculpture. As the V&A’s Theatre and Performance gallery’s first show since its reopening four months ago, the collection provides an enlightening and inspiring overview of a century of British ballet.
On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 is on at the V&A until 19th September 2021, for further information visit here.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum
Climate change, the danger of species extinction and the protection of animals are such crucial topics now that a showcase of the beauty of our invaluable wildlife is of particular interest. The 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition presents some of the world’s top work on the subject, carefully chosen by a panel of experts. Displaying the exquisite diversity of nature through amazing landscapes and fascinating, sometimes astonishing animal behaviour, this stunning compilation reminds us of how extraordinary, precious and vital our environment and all its living creatures are.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is on at the Natural History Museum from 16th October 2020 until 6th June 2021. For further information visit here.