Top Art Shows in London This Week: Paul Cézanne to Jan van Eyck

From celebrating the birth centenary of Australian artist Sidney Nolan, to hosting emerging artist Marguerite Humeau’s Egyptian god-inspired installations at Tate Britain – London is all set for the festivities with art shows and events taking place in the city. Blouin ArtInfo chalks out a list of these must-visit art shows for its readers:“Small is Beautiful” at Flowers GalleryRunning through January 6, 2018Since 1974, the exhibition series “Small is Beautiful” has been inviting selected contemporary artists working in diverse mediums to showcase their fixed-scale works at Flowers Gallery, with each work measuring no more than 7 x 9 inches. This year, marking its 35th edition, the show includes works by more than 100 artists from 12 countries – including paintings by Korean artist Kwon Kisoo; hand-embroidered photographs by Dutch artist Scarlett Hooft Graafland; and a set of two Special Issue Trump Stamps by LA-based British pop art pioneer Derek Boshier- offering a rare opportunity to procure smaller pieces by a host of internationally recognized names, while also discovering creations by new talents across a range of media.“From Life” at Royal Academy of ArtsRunning through March 11, 2018The exhibition will bring together a host of works dating back in the 18th century to the present day, drawn from the RA Collection, to investigate the meaning of making art from life, and the future of this form along the evolution of technology offering new ways of making and seeing. From setting up a room dedicated to Jeremy Deller’s “Iggy Pop Life Class,” to showcasing contemporary work in diverse media by various artists including Lucian Freud and his studio assistant David Dawson, Jonathan Yeo, and various other Royal Academicians – the show looks at the practice of working from life. Also on view are new interactive works by artists Yinka Shonibare MBE, Humphrey Ocean, and architect Farshid Moussavi, which demonstrate the possibilities held by the applications of virtual reality in the making of art in future.“Sidney Nolan Centenary: Back of Beyond” at the British MuseumRunning through January 11, 2018A selection of drawings from Australian artist Sidney Nolan’s (1917–1992) 1954 series “Back of Beyond” is on display at the British Museum’s room 90a, to mark the centenary of the artist’s birth. The series was inspired from the artist’s journey into the desert interior of a 300-mile mail run along the old overland stock route from Marree in South Australia to Birdsville in Queensland, which he ventured during the making of the 1952 documentary-drama film “The Back of Beyond.” The swiftly-drawn drawings with fiber-tipped pen on white coated papers depict the vastness of the stark outback and the rough life on the Birdsville Track. Nolan began the series in early 1954 shortly after his arrival in London from Australia, and was first shown during the Venice Film festival in the summer of 1954.“Marguerite Humeau: Echoes” at Tate BritainRunning through April 15, 2018London-based French artist Marguerite Humeau’s installation turns Tate Britain’s gallery space into a part temple/part laboratory for the industrial production of the potion for eternal life. The artist is known for her large scale installations which involve sound and sculpture to confront the vital issues of current time with narratives that consider references from the past and present. The show – a part of free exhibition series “Art Now” – is centered on Humeau’s two semi-abstracted white polystyrene sculptures based on Ancient Egyptian gods-Wadjet (King Cobra) and Taweret – which juxtapose the organic nature of the human body with biological engineering.“Cézanne Portraits” at National Portrait GalleryRunning through February 11, 2018The exhibition will bring together more than 50 portraits by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) from across the world, which includes many works that have never been in the UK before. One of the most influential artists of the 19th century, one whose creative approach has influenced a host of Cubists, Fauvists, and other avant-garde artists, Cézanne’s oeuvre includes almost 1,000 paintings, of which about 160 are portraits. The show will focus on this central aspect of his work, by highlighting the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of these portraits, including the creation of complementary pairs and multiple takes on the same subject, considering the vital roles that a few particular sitters played.“Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites” at the National GalleryRunning through April 2, 2018Showcasing the ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ by Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck (1390-1441), alongside a host of paintings from the Tate collection and loans from other museums, the show examines the influence of this Renaissance-period painting on the practice of artists from subsequent generations such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), Sir John Everett Millais (1829–1896) and William Holman Hunt (1827–1910), and many others. Acquired by the National Gallery in 1842, the work by Van Eyck forged the Pre-Raphaelites’ radical new style of painting that involved a belief in empirical observation, also informing their ideas about draughtsmanship, color and technique, and the ways in which objects in a picture could carry symbolic meaning. Steinbach’s “jaws” at White CubeRunning through January 20, 2018The show features a new series of works by Haim Steinbach (b. 1944), as well his major installation “Display #15 Design for a Yogurt Bar,” created in 1981 and reconfigured exclusively for the gallery space. The artist draws on ideas of leisure and health from 1970s and 1980s cultural models. The selection of works on display in “jaws” examines ways to approach these ideas through their“Gino de Dominicis: Works from the collection of Guntis Brands” at Luxembourg & DayanRunning through January 19, 2018Dedicated to the pictorial legacy of Gino de Dominicis, the exhibition focuses on paintings produced in the last two decades of his life. This will be the first public display of works from the Guntis Brands collection in the UK and will include some of De Dominicis’s best known paintings alongside important works rarely seen before.www.luxembourgdayan.comRoy Colmer at Lisson GalleryRunning through January 13, 2018The exhibition presents a selection of works by London-born painter, photographer, graphic designer and film artist Roy Colmer (1935–2014), marking his debut solo in London. With a career spanning five decades, Colmer’s works are deemed as important assets in the narrative of contemporary art, which carries substantial influences of works by the likes of Arshile Gorky, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik and Jackson Pollock. The show includes Colmer’s eight paintings from the early 1970s, reflecting his intellectual engagement with the contemporary changes of science and technology of that time, along with a film and documentation of his work in this medium.“Kehinde Wiley: In Search Of The Miraculous” at Stephen Friedman GalleryRunning through January 27, 2018Marking American artist Kehinde Wiley’s second solo show with the gallery, the exhibition presents a new body of works by this New York-based portrait painter, whose practice is characterized by his highly naturalistic paintings of males in heroic poses. Featuring nine new paintings and the first three-channel artist film by Wiley, the show marks a crucial moment in his career as he departs from the singular portrait style, which won him many accolades, to take on both classical romanticism and epic maritime allegorical painting. Through these works, the artist also embarks into social territory, interweaving the canon of art history with contemporary political atmosphere, exploring major issues like migration and isolation in contemporary America.

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