BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews | 21 SEP 21
Featured in
Issue 222

Painting Exhibitions to Look Forward to this Autumn and Winter

From Cynthia Daignault’s new body of work at Kasmin Gallery, New York, to Monika Baer’s first Swiss institutional show in 30 years at Kunsthalle Bern, these are must-see painting shows this season

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BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews | 21 SEP 21

 

Rachel Jones lick your teeth, they so clutch , 2021 Oil pastel, oil stick on canvas 260 x 160 cm
Rachel Jones, lick your teeth, they so clutch, 2021, oil pastel, oil stick on canvas, 260 × 160 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Thaddaeus Ropac, London

Rachel Jones
Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK

Jones has been painting mouths and teeth since 2019, developing the motif during a residency at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, which she attended while completing her MA at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The artist’s most recent series, ‘lick your teeth, they so clutch’ (2020–21), on show at Thaddaeus Ropac this November and in Hayward Gallery’s ‘Mixing It Up: Painting Today’ until December, sees her continuing to explore the mouth as a space for Black interiority, while wielding her brush more audaciously. The meanings behind Jones’s images lie latent, inducing a kind of hypnagogic half-recognition in the viewer. By continuing to explore the mouth, and veering away from figurative representation, Jones deepens her focus on Black subjectivity.

Rachel Jones’s exhibition will be on view in November.

Sutapa Biswas, Housewives with Steak-knives, 1983–85, oil, acrylic, pastel, pencil, white tape, collage on paper mounted onto stretched canvas, 245 x 222 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge; photography: Andy Keate
Sutapa Biswas, Housewives with Steak-knives, 1983–85, oil, acrylic, pastel, pencil, white tape, collage on paper mounted onto stretched canvas, 245 × 222 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; photography: Andy Keate

Sutapa Biswas
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK

Housewives with Steak-Knives (1984–85) by Sutapa Biswas depicts the demonic goddess Kali brandishing – you’ve guessed it – a humongous steak knife. Pinned to her dress are the faces of tyrannical dictators and, in one of her four arms, she carries a dead man’s head. Biswas set about challenging and decolonizing British art from the moment she set foot in the University of Leeds as a student in 1981 – and she hasn’t stopped since. A forthcoming exhibition titled ‘Lumen’ at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, will bring together works in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and video from across the artist’s career. The exhibition is a companion to Biswas’s current show at BALTIC, Gateshead, which closes in March 2022, and foregrounds her contribution to the Black Arts Movement in Britain. 

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen’ will be on view 16 October 2021 – 30 January 2022.

at Lyons Seams of the Interior , 2021 Oil on canvas 182.9 x 116.8 cm 72 x 46 in Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, Londo
Kat Lyons, Seams of the Interior, 2021, oil on canvas 183 × 117 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Pilar Corrias, London

Kat Lyons
Pilar Corrias, London, UK

A bull’s head emerges from the base of the canvas; its squiggly, red brain is visible between two enormous horns, which reach up towards a floating, exploded and stripped bovine carcass. This is Seams of the Interior (2021), a new work by the US artist Kat Lyons. The painting is emblematic of Lyons’s fantastical and gory images – often depicting insects and animals in a state of bizarre transcendence or brutal anatomization. Her forthcoming exhibition at Pilar Corrias in London – her first since joining the gallery earlier in the year – will focus on her experiences of living on a small livestock farm. Lyons’s project is the relationship between animals and humans, the limitations of categorization and the industrialization of meat production. Painting, she says, is her way to think through these relationships and how we are conditioned to relate to non-human forms through the lens of our narrow experience.

‘Kat Lyons: Early Paradise’ will be on view 8 December 2021 – 15 January 2022.

 

Monika Baer Bay view , 2009 Watercolor and acrylic on canvas, seam 83.5 x 71 cm Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin
Monika Baer, Bay View, 2009, watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 83.5 × 71 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

Monika Baer
Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland

From spiderwebs to tree trunks, bottles of spirits to sausages, since the late 1980s Monika Baer has been using ‘very common symbols’, as she told Artforum in 2013, ‘[to] vulgarize the notion of the high-artness of painting’. For her first Swiss institutional show in 30 years, the German artist is showing new paintings and drawings that continue her penchant for combining hyper-realistic figurative elements and found objects – in this case matchsticks and loose change – with pastel-hued backdrops. These pieces are presented in dialogue with works from Baer’s older series, including her so-called ‘Busenbilder’ (Breast Pictures, 2008–09), which depict cartoon-like, melon-shaped breasts emerging from seams running through the centre of the canvas.

‘Monika Baer: Am Rhein’ will be on view 16 October – 12 December 2021.

Gali, Wer das Gelbe nicht ehrt, 1981–87, acrylic, chalk and tempera on nettle, 120 x 100 cm.
Gali, Wer das Gelbe nicht ehrt, 1981–87, acrylic, chalk and tempera on nettle, 120 × 100 cm. Courtesy: the artist and brunand brunand, Berlin 

Galli
brunand brunand, Berlin, Germany

One of the few female painters associated with the Neu Wilde (new fauves) movement, Galli’s bright, bombastic paintings of contorted bodies were ubiquitous in the 1980s and early ’90s but fell out of favour in subsequent decades. Following on from her inclusion in last year’s Berlin Biennale, the Berlin-based gallery brunand brunand are staging the first solo exhibition dedicated to the German artist’s work in more than 30 years. Alongside a selection of historical canvases made during a 1990s residency in Florence, Galli – who gave up painting in the early 2000s due to her declining health – is presenting drawings from her ongoing ‘index card’ series for the first time. Each dated with the day, year and month, these diminutive pen and watercolour sketches brilliantly capture the brutality and violence – but also the humour – of everyday life.

Galli’s exhibition will be on view 11 November 2021 – 8 January 2022.

Emily Mae Smith The S tudio (Speculative Objects) , 2021 Oil on linen 214 x 170 cm | 84 x 67 inch ©Courtesy of the Artis
Emily Mae Smith, The Studio (Speculative Objects), 2021, oil on linen 214 × 170 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Perrotin, Paris 

Emily Mae Smith
Perrotin, Paris, France

‘First and foremost, I’m a painter, an artist, an image-maker. I’m trying to make things I haven’t seen or that I want to see,’ Emily Mae Smith told Elephant in 2018. Part of a new generation of feminist-minded figurative painters working in the surrealist tradition, the New York-based artist is best known for her series of playful works – such as The Studio (Speculative Objects) (2021) – in which broomsticks replace people in recreations of famous paintings from the art-historical cannon. For her first solo exhibition at Paris-based Perrotin, Smith has produced 12 new paintings that continue to situate her broom in a series of different poses and environments, some of which were inspired by historical French figurative painters.

Emily Mae Smith: Harvesters’ will be on view 16 October – 18 December.

Mary Weatherford, Blue Cut Fire, 2017
Mary Weatherford, Blue Cut Fire, 2017, Flashe and neon on linen, 300 × 260 cm. Courtesy: the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, New York

Mary Weatherford
David Kordansky, Los Angeles, USA

Mary Weatherford’s paintings are bewildering and seductive: combines of sponge-painted canvases with vibrant neon tubes screwed directly onto the stretcher, accenting the large expanses of her sweeping abstractions. The Californian artist started incorporating neon rods into her tableaux in her 2012 series ‘Bakersfield Project’ and ‘Coney Island’, after becoming enamoured with old neon signs from restaurants and factories across the US. Her more recent work, slated to adorn the walls at David Kordansky this autumn, continues in this tradition: large-scale works layered with expressive washes of colour, illuminated by an array of sinuous, gaseous tubes.

‘Mary Weatherford: New Paintings’ will be on view 13 November 2021 – 8 January 2022.

Cynthia Daignault, Light Atlas (detail), 2014–17,
Cynthia Daignault, Light Atlas (detail), 2014–17, 360 parts, oil on linen, 20 × 25 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Kasmin Gallery, New York

Cynthia Daignault
Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA

For Cynthia Daignault’s first solo exhibition at Kasmin Gallery, the artist takes as her subject the Gettysburg National Military Park, presenting a series of small paintings that reflect on the site’s history and place in the ethos of American culture. Portraying different landscapes of the battlefield, the soldiers that fought on them, and President Abraham Lincoln’s famed 1863 Gettysburg Address, which was given on the site in November 1863, the new body of work attempts to use the medium of painting as a way to convey the trauma and complexity of the country’s troubled past. Building on her earlier series ‘Light Atlas’ (2014) – a suite of 360 paintings based on her yearlong road trip across the US – Daignault continues her exhaustive and indexical approach to painting the disparate views of Americana.

‘Cynthia Daignault’ will be on view 18 November 2021 – 8 January 2022.

Robin F. Williams, A Sound Around No One, 2021
Robin F. Williams, A Sound Around No One, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 170 × 140 cm. Courtesy: the artist and P.P.O.W., New York

Robin F. Williams
P.P.O.W., New York, USA

Williams’s first solo outing with the gallery in four years, ‘Out Lookers’ will present new paintings that continue the artist’s investigation into the gendered performance of femineity. Her female figures – kooky and imposing – have varied in style and presence, from her cubist femme fatales (Vaping in the Rain, 2019) to her blasé, sunglasses-clad heroines (Spa Night, 2016). Here, the painter will take on women in pop culture, fangirls and demons. In conjunction with Williams’s ‘Out Lookers’, Pace Prints will present ‘Final Resting Face’, the artist’s first exhibition of fine art prints, on view 22 October – 27 November. An exhibition catalogue will also be published in collaboration with Pace Prints, featuring an essay by Carmen Maria Machado.

Robin F. Williams: Out Lookers’ will be on view 15 October – 13 November.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 222 under the headline ‘Previews’, as part of a special series titled ‘Painting Now’.

Main image: Robin F. Williams, Water Witches (detail), 2021, acrylic on canvas, 208 × 304 cm. Courtesy: the artist and P.P.O.W., New York

Contemporary Art and Culture

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