BY frieze in EU Reviews | 10 SEP 21

What to See in the EU this September

From Mark Bradford's inauguration of Hauser & Wirth’s Menorca outpost to the first major retrospective dedicated to Pia Arke in Denmark, here are a selection of European shows not to miss this September

BY frieze in EU Reviews | 10 SEP 21

Pia Arke, Legend I–V (detail), 1999, collage. Courtesy: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, © Pia Arke Estate; Photography: Poul Buchard / Brøndum & Co

Pia Arke

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Copenhagen

15 July 2021 – 2 January 2022

‘My images are about the silence that envelopes the ties between Greenland and Denmark. I was born into that silence myself’, the late artist Pia Arke told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in a 1995 interview. Accessible only by passing through Arthur Jafa’s lively concurrent exhibition, ‘Magnumb’, Arke’s first major museum retrospective, ‘Dream and Repression’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, is indeed quiet in comparison. Spread across four low-ceilinged rooms and awash with arctic colours, remote groupings of photographs, collages, vitrines and video works resonate like small islands of activity – sitting somewhere between an icy archipelago and a forensic lab. – Sofie Krogh Christensen

Mark Bradford, Spatial Equity, 2021 mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist and Hauser & Wirth; photo: Stefan Altenburger

Mark Bradford

Hauser & Wirth Menorca, Spain

19 July – 31 October

Titled ‘Masses and Movements’, Mark Bradford’s exhibition inaugurates Hauser & Wirth’s latest addition to its globe-spanning gallery empire, in the outbuildings of a former 18th-century hospital on Illa del Rei, an islet in the port of Maó, the diminutive capital of the island of Menorca. Yet, the new outpost’s somewhat unlikely remote location belies the dynamics of power, conquest and influence that have flowed for centuries around Menorca’s strategically advantageous pin on the Mediterranean’s naval map. Consisting of 16 intricately textured works on canvas, an installation of globes and a two-part mural, Bradford fittingly deals both literally and metaphorically with expansion into uncharted waters. – Max Andrews

Lap-See Lam, Phantom Banquet Ghost, 2019, installation view. Courtesy: Trondheim kunstmuseum; photograph: Susann Jamtøy

Lap-See Lam

Trodheim Kunstmuseum, Norway

19 June – 26 September

Until a few years ago, Lap-See Lam’s grandmother and parents owned a Chinese restaurant in Stockholm called Bamboo Garden. After they sold it, Lam – perhaps a little nostalgic for such venues, once the most visible presence of the diaspora community, now beginning to disappear as increasingly globally fluent metropolitan palettes seek out more ‘authentic’ East Asian cuisines – 3D-scanned the interior of Bamboo Garden and a number of similar establishments. At Trondheim, warped fragments of furnishings and phantom figures re-created from the scans suggest the Chinese restaurant as a kind of glitch space in which different temporalities and locations – imperial China, 21st-century Sweden – distort and collide, becoming something singular and distinct. – Amy Sherlock

Lungiswa Gqunta, 2021, installation view, Zollamt MMK Frankfurt, Germany. Courtesy: the artist and Zollamt MMK; photograph: Diana Pfammatter

Lungiswa Gqunta

Zollamt MMK Frankfurt, Germany

21 August – 14 November

In ‘Tending to the Harvest of Dreams’, Lungiswa Gqunta’s solo exhibition at Frankfurt’s MMK Zollamt, the air is saturated with the sweet, obtrusive smell of burnt imphepho – a mixture of young, dried Helichrysum leaves commonly used for divination in South Africa, the artist's home country. The scent mingles with Gqunta’s voice, which softly chirrups vowels and consonants in IsiXhosa and English from invisible speakers within the space, drowsily narrating a previous night’s dream from the interstices of twilight. Despite this warm and welcoming first impression, however, the taut air is indicative of the exhibition’s guiding impulse, whereby nothing is quite as it seems. – Eric Otieno Sumba

Head image: Mark Bradford, Untitled (detail), 2021 mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist and Hauser & Wirth; photograph: Stefan Altenburger

Contemporary Art and Culture