Five Shows to See in the UK this Winter

From an exhibition of Zineb Sedira’s maritime works at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, to Anne Imhof’s labyrinthine locker room at Sprüth Magers, London

BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews , UK Reviews | 25 NOV 22

Zineb Sedira

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

24 September 2022 – 08 January 2023

Zineb Sedira
Zineb Sedira, ‘Can’t You See the Sea Changing?’, 2022, installation view. Courtesy: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea; photograph: Thierry Bal

The first piece on show in ‘Can’t You See the Sea Changing?’ – a retrospective of Zineb Sedira’s ocean-oriented work – is Registre de phare (Lighthouse Register, 2011), a display of logbook entries for a lighthouse in Cap Caxine, Algeria. Initially, bar the charm of old-fashioned cursive, the pages of the logbook appear unremarkable: a record of visitors received and duties performed. However, on closer inspection, the entries produce a minor portrait of decolonization. Following the Algerian War (1954–62), which led to the nation’s eventual independence from France, the names of visitors change from French to Algerian. – Rosanna McLaughlin

Claye Bowler

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

07 October 2022 – 15 January 2023

Claye Bowler frieze
'Claye Bowler: Top', 2022, installation view. Courtesy: Henry Moore Institute; photograph: Min Young Lim

Documenting a personal and collective history of trans experience, Claye Bowler’s solo show ‘Top’ comprises an installation of drawings, sculptures and video produced since the artist had top surgery – a procedure to remove breast tissue – in 2016. Bowler presents objects in various materials, including latex and plaster, on shelving racks redolent of a museum archive that, in being made accessible to the public, upends trans visibility in society. – Ania Kaczynska

Anne Imhof

Sprüth Magers, London

23 September – 23 December 

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof, ‘Avatar II’, 2022, installation view. Courtesy: the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Buchholz; photograph: Ben Westoby

From the entrance on Grafton Street, Anne Imhof’s solo exhibition ‘Avatar II’ looks like a changing room in a gym. There are rows of lockers and a board that you might expect to be used to display information, but is, in fact, the back of Pacific (all works 2022), one of Imhof’s ‘scratch’ paintings on aluminium panels, which punctuate the space. Some of the lockers, left open, contain concrete blocks; a few have posters of 1990s film stars lending just a little humanity to a space that feels, on first glance, incredibly sterile. – Juliet Jacques 

Veronica Ryan

Alison Jacques 

29 September – 21 December 

Veronica Ryan
Veronica Ryan, Movement of Light Extinguished II, 2022, broken lightbulb, plaster and wool elastic, 10 × 209 × 12 cm. Courtesy: © Alison Jacques, London; photograph: Michael Brzezinski

After an object is thrown up into the air, there is a moment of complete stillness which bridges the peak of its ascent and the beginning of its fall back to earth. This brief pause, one of the few things I remember from high school physics, resurfaced in my mind during my visit to Veronica Ryan’s first solo show at Alison Jacques. The exhibition contains more than 50 works that are – in the truest sense – spread across the space: mounted on walls, suspended from the ceiling, stacked in corners and laid out across the floor. – Salena Barry 

Forrest Bess

Camden Art Centre 

30 September 2022 – 15 January 2023

Forrest Bess installation view
Forrest Bess, 'Out of the Blue', 2022, installation view. Courtesy: Camden Art Centre; photograph: Luke Walker

Framed in beaten, weathered driftwood, Forrest Bess’s paintings might almost have been found washed up on the shore one bleak morning after a storm. This weather-beaten aesthetic pervades ‘Out of the Blue’, Camden Art Centre’s retrospective of more than 40 works by Bess produced between the 1940s and ‘70s, thanks to the artist’s ability to play with texture, cracking and scratching abstract shapes. Thick drops of acrylic make you want to reach out and run your fingers over their surfaces to discern Bess’s visions through touch, not just sight. – Vaishna Surjid 

Main image: Veronica Ryan, 2022, exhibition view. Courtesy: © Alison Jacques, London; photograph: Eva Herzog

Contemporary Art and Culture