Celebrate International Art

Art museums and galleries across the globe are showcasing works by prominent artists. These are a few that you shouldn’t miss

Published: 06 October 2017

Toyin Ojih Odutola presents her first solo exhibition in New York City at the Whitney Museum. To Wander Determined, opening on 20 October, comprises a series of drawings based on two fictional aristocratic Nigerian families. Using charcoal, pencils and pastels, Odutola carefully depicts these people, the nuances of class and culture drawn into the objects that surround them and the setting of the portraits. The families from To Wander Determined upend preconceived conceptions about race and class, suggesting that a person’s identity is inherently fluid.

At the core of Berlin-based artist Sofia Hultén’s mixed media artwork is the belief that “everything is in flux and that change is always possible”. For her exhibition Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question at the Ikon gallery in Birmingham, England until 26 November, Hultén explores the very nature of materials and how our interpretation of them changes over time. Some of the sculptures and installations on display are constructed from repurposed items, such as bicycle parts and locks, and seek to challenge the onlooker’s initial perception of the materials used in their building.

ManilArt, the largest and longest-running visual art fair in the Philippines, celebrates its 9th year with another dazzling showcase of work from talented artists across the country and farther afield. Featuring works from well-known Filipino masters alongside budding artists, ManilArt is sure to give equal exposure to all exhibitors. This year, the event takes place on 12-15 October at the SMX Convention Centre in Taguig City. Visitors can also enjoy a range of engaging activities, such as mosaic making, printmaking and digital background painting.

This month ARTSPACE Dubai relaunches as Tabari Artspace and celebrates with a solo exhibition by renowned Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla. The show, The Silk Road, comprises a selection of the artist’s more abstract paintings and collages. Narratives play a central role: Abla has created a new series of paintings entitled The Silk Road that explore folk tales from across North Africa, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. The tales he has selected are symbolic of political, social and economic issues that rose in Egypt following the 2011 revolution; elsewhere in the show, he explores tales from farther afield. The Silk Road will be on display from 10 October until 24 November.

Berlin is ever a hub for breath-taking and thought-provoking large-scale installations, and the Radiator in a Roofless Church by Danish-German duo Anna Borgman and Candy Lenk is no exception. The steel sculpture stands in the ruins of the monastery church in Berlin Mitte, alongside the building’s missing southern wall. The electric blue radiator stands as a three-metre-tall symbol of failed attempts to rebuild the sacred space using modern methods. The juxtaposition of the radiator and the archaic walls is visually highly contrasting, but in the hollowness of the steel pipes and the dilapidated partitions, the two structures have a sense of emptiness in common.

The NGV Australia in Federation Square, Melbourne celebrates the Australian way of life with a fully functioning swimming pool installation. “Whether natural or manmade, inland or coastal, pools are undeniably linked to the Australian lifestyle and our national psyche,” explains Tony Ellwood, Director of NGV. “We encourage visitors to dangle their feet in the water or relax poolside as they reflect on the idea of the pool as a place of cultural exchange, socialising, competition and reminiscence.” This is the Australian premiere of the installation created by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet. Visitors can take a dip at the NGV until 18 February 2018.

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