Andrew Lanyon – Beaux Arts London

Andrew Lanyon is a polymath. He was a photographer who worked with Eve Arnold. He studied film technique, made several short prize-winning films and helped Stanley Kubrick in the early ‘70s as an assistant editor of Ambit Magazine. He has penned dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction. He can conjure, he sculpts, he publishes, he writes poetry and songs and he paints. He probably dances and plays the bagpipes too though I never asked him about that. I met him at his latest solo art exhibition comprising some 40 small-scale oil paintings produced over the last decade.

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Leo Villareal – Pace Gallery

A silver sun sends out waves in pulses that suddenly dissolve into a swirling mass of tadpole-like shapes. A molten core waxes and wanes while shooting stars erupt around it in seemingly endless and varied sequences. These white light installations, one nearly 40 foot wide, some as individual pieces, others as triptychs, are by American artist Leo Villareal in his first solo exhibition at London’s Pace Gallery.

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Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan – Kettle’s Yard

Fierce nationalism and inter-religious tension in South Asia have been a constant feature of the region’s modern history, a legacy of Partition in 1947 and the struggle for independence for Bangladesh in 1971. Millions of people were displaced and millions were killed either directly or through famine. The resultant instability of concepts like home and nationality is explored  by 11 acclaimed artists in a new and stimulating exhibition at Cambridge’s Kettle’s Yard, curated by Dr Devika Singh, Curator of International Art at Tate Modern.

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WK Lyhne – Three

In her new solo exhibition, Three, British artist WK Lyhne (a Danish surname pronounced Luna) presents three paintings, each of a nude figure captured at a moment of unguarded intimacy, lying in bed among rumpled sheets and blankets.

These oil paintings, done from life, mark a significant departure from the artist’s previous works. These would often comprise provocative images of slaughtered animals dripping blood or large-scale defiant figures in sexually charged explicit poses. They might not have appealed to the prudish or those with a weak stomach, but they took a hefty swipe at female objectification. 

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Naomi Frears – Beaux Arts

Last summer, as a result of the UK’s prolonged heatwave, ancient archaeological features began mysteriously appearing in our countryside visible from the air, only to vanish again when the rains came. For a short time, you could detect the outlines of ancient farms, burial mounds and neolithic settlements. I was reminded of this when viewing Naomi Frears work in her new exhibition at London’s Beaux Arts Gallery.

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Tai Shan Schierenberg – Men Without Women

Many will know Tai Shan Schierenberg as one of the judges in the Sky Arts series Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. He specialises in both art forms and is a former winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s John Player Portrait Award. Lesser known is his love of football. Last year, he travelled up from his London home to the West Midlands every weekend to follow the fortunes of West Bromwich Albion Football Club for a Channel 4 Artist in Residence series. 

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Robyn Denny – Works on Paper

Robyn Denny was one of the UK’s most influential painters of the post-war era. He was a leading name in the so-called New Generation of artists who graduated from the Royal College of Art in the 1950s and helped bring British art into the mainstream. With his friend Richard Smith, he was an instigator of the groundbreaking ‘Situation’ exhibition at the RBA Galleries in 1960, a landmark for British abstract art. He represented Britain at the 1966 Venice Biennale and became the youngest artist ever (at the time) to be awarded a retrospective at the Tate in 1973.

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Derek Boshier – Might and Snow/Fragments: Contemporary Still Life

In his last email to Derek Boshier before he died, David Bowie complimented the artist saying that his work “cascades down the decades”. Boshier had drawn the covers for Bowie’s Lodger and Let’s Dance covers. For Boshier’s career began as a pioneer of British pop art back in the 1960s. Now 82, he’s as active as ever, as his new show Night and Snow/Fragments: Contemporary Still Life amply demonstrates.

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