The Top 5 Shows to See in the UK

From Elizabeth Price’s exploration of Glaswegian carpets at the Hunterian Art Gallery to Ayo Akingbade’s solo show at Chisenhale Gallery, London

BY frieze in Critic's Guides , UK Reviews | 27 JAN 23

Ayo Akingbade

Chisenhale Gallery, London

10 November 2022 – 5 February 2023

Ayo Akingbade
Ayo Akingbade, Faluyi, 2022, installation view. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: Andy Keate

The Fist and Faluyi relate to Akingbade’s Nigerian heritage, and both films explore ritual: one daily and monotonous, the other transitional and transcendent. Faluyi exemplifies Akingbade’s growing confidence in short, scripted dramas. In style and content, the film is reminiscent of Jitterbug (2022), a drama short commissioned by Artangel, chronicling a day in the life of an 18-year-old student in Hackney, east London. Both are shot on 16mm and follow the emotional passage of teenage girls into adulthood. – Finn Blythe 

Matthew Arthur Williams

Dundee Contemporary Arts

10 December 2022 – 26 March 2023


Matthew Arthur Williams
Matthew Arthur Williams, Soon Come, production still. Courtesy: the artist and Dundee Contemporary Arts

Comprised of the two-channel film and sound installation Soon Come (all works 2022), as well as a number of photographs displayed formally on the walls, in glowing vitrines and on the gallery floor, Williams draws on archive material both public and private: interviews with family members, documentary footage and personal memorabilia, including a Road Operators Safety Council badge proclaiming ‘5 Years Safe driving’ that belonged to his grandfather. – Helen Charman 

Jala Wahid

Baltic, Gateshead

22 October 2022 – 30 April 2023 

Jala Wahid
Jala Wahid, ‘Conflagration’, 2022, installation view. Courtesy: the artist and BALTIC, Gateshead

Wahid’s deeply moving lament denounces man-made ruin when performed in the name of nationhood and political posturing, spotlighting a landscape that can no longer endure. Her craft is seamless, and this theatrical installation’s elemental nature belies the complexity of the history it ragingly tells. – Rosalie Doubal 


Michael Werner Gallery, London

10 November 2022 – 03 February 2023 

Florian Krewer
Florian Krewer, Untitled, 2022, oil on canvas, 66 × 45 cm. Courtesy © the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London; photograph: Mark Woods.

The amalgamation of bodies is a thread running throughout ‘Interior’. Upstairs, Jake Grewal’s One and One (2020) depicts two young male figures blended at the hip; next to this, Félix Vallotton’s Quatre Torses (1918) shows four sturdy female bodies merging. Vallotton’s nudes hint at the despair of World War I: all four have the tops of their heads cut off by the crop of the canvas, their faces largely hidden by their long, dark hair. In wartime, the artist implies bodies become viewed as disposable, detached from the significance of the life within. – Emily Steer 

Elizabeth Price

Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow 

11 November 2022 – 16 April 2023 

Elizabeth Price
Elizabeth Price, UNDERFOOT, 2022, two-channel video projection. Courtesy: © the artist 

Elizabeth Price’s first solo exhibition in Scotland, ‘UNDERFOOT’, is something of an institutional event: a collaboration between Price, Dovecot Studios, the Hunterian Art Gallery, Fiona Jardine of the Glasgow School of Art and curatorial arts organisation Panel. It is comprised of a two-screen video work – the eponymous UNDERFOOT (all works 2022) – and SAD CARREL, a tufted rug designed by Price, which re-creates the kind of booth in which you might listen to a record in a public place. – Helen Charman 

Main image: Elizabeth Price, UNDERFOOT (detail), 2022, two-channel video projection. Courtesy: © the artist

Contemporary Art and Culture