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    Grace Jones maternity dress. Jean-Paul Goude, 1979. © Jean-Paul Goude

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    Power, Corruption, and Lies New Order album cover © Peter Saville

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    WET magazine © April Greiman and Jayme Odgers

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    Sister Arrow

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    Sister Arrow

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    Sister Arrow

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    Sister Arrow

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    Sister Arrow

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    Francis Upritchard: Echo

  • Fu1

    Francis Upritchard: Echo

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    Francis Upritchard: Echo

Exhibition

What's On: London

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Each week we have selected three top exhibitions going on in London and featured them on our dedicated What’s On listings site – see – and we thought we’d start sharing them with the wider world right here on the blog. So to kick it off we would like to recommend all those faffing about in the capital this week to go and see Postmodernism at The V&A, or Peace Prong at Beach London, or Echo by Francis Upritchard at the Kate MacGarry Gallery. Or maybe all of them. Go crazy.

Postmodernism V&A

There has been much anticipation surrounding the V&A’s in depth survey of cultural collateral from one of the most “controversial phenomena in recent art and design history” – that is to say, Postmodernism. More pertinent now then ever, the consumerist excess that defined some of the more gauche and confident trademarks of the movement is one that affected a lot of popular culture – fashion, music and film – and was shockingly at odds with the contemporary economic climate. A difference that can easily be recognised as a freedom, a parody and an attitude that traversed its label as a mere “style.”
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/postmodernism

Sister Arrow: Peace Prong Beach London

The sci-fact, sci-fiction stylings of Sister Arrow (also answers to George Mellor) and her “imaginary pygmy cultivar super-race called Sumo Babies” are the focus of Beach London’s latest exhibition. Peace Prong. Her debut solo show, promises a variety of prints (to buy), paintings and drawings along the visual themes of everything from ethnobotany to the quantum world. That is to say, abstract botanical microcosms and the halcyon people that populate them and a lovely looking array of colourful riso-photo studies. Show runs until October 9.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/peace-prong

Francis Uprtichard: Echo Kate MacGarry Gallery

Francis Upritchard has marshalled a cast of outsider characters to perform a sort of psychedelic play – “The Misanthrope, the vilified and cruel beast, Mervyn the fool, John the knowing jester.” Each player is mid-convulsive movement, painted with a recurring, vaguely 1960s colour palate and surrounded in the exhibition by their seeming detritus, utensils and artefacts. Some found, some made – these pieces are a curious collection that make use of many crafts, the process infused with both new meaning and old folklore: “Echoes reverberate between the present and past in an attempt to identify a semblance of shared experience, and make sense of modern life.” Show running until October 15.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/echo

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Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

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    The South London Gallery describes Lawrence Weiner, whose new exhibition All in Due Course opened there last Friday, as a “reluctant pioneer of conceptual art,” which must be one of the coolest epithets going. The American artist has been creating his typographic wall sculptures since the 1970s when he first pioneered his unique medium which he maintains is not conceptualism but a kind of sculpture made using “language + the materials referred to.”

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    Once upon a time, the church spires of New York offered an unrivalled view of the city. But in photographer Berenice Abbott’s Manhattan of the 1930s, skyscrapers shot up on every side and suddenly there were windows and back streets, balconies, construction sites and advertising billboards all crying out for a camera to capture their unique perspective of the metropolis. Changing New York is Abbott’s anatomy of the town, dissecting it, discovering its dramatic angles, dappled shadows and dilapidated dwellings. Her work is a fitting opening for the Barbican Art Gallery’s Constructing Worlds exhibition, exploring architecture and its relationship to the world through more than 250 images from 18 artists.

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    Even if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have heard of it, because Gone With The Wind is still, 75 years after its release, the most successful blockbuster of all time. David O. Selznick’s multi-Oscar winning film has weevilled its way deep into the American – and the world’s – subconscious, creating so vivid a cultural memory we’re almost tricked into believing we lived through it all too. Even a lass like me, “southern” only in the east London sense of the word.

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    Edwin Smith’s England is a faraway place, and yet a familiar one. It’s a land inhabited by long-skirted ladies with perms, where brass cash registers are used on high streets fronted by butchers and bakers and grocers. No surprise then that the people’s poet Sir John Betjeman dubbed Smith a “genius at photography” because he has, in his vast collection of photographs of city and countryside, inside and outside, captured the essence of the now-distant England portrayed in the writer’s verse.

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    Imagine for a moment that the shoebox under your bed was filled not with photos of your Great Aunt June snoozing on the sofa last Christmas, but with photographs taken in space by astronauts on Apollo 14. For a lucky few at NASA this is (almost) true, and fortunately they’re more than happy to share their treasures with us proles in the form of a new exhibition at London’s BREESE Little Gallery.

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    20 years ago in 1994, little known designer Eike König set up his “graphic design playground” Hort, creating a community in the centre of Berlin where creatives could collaborate on ideas and client briefs side by side. Nowadays, the playground is slightly bigger, undertaking work for Nike, The New York Times and Walt Disney among others, but the underlying emphasis on collaboration and experimentation remains exactly the same.

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    “Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.

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    If, while walking down the street, flicking through a magazine or sitting on a bus recently you’ve found yourself looking at a movie poster, you’re probably in some way come into contact with the influence of Hans Hillmann. When the German graphic artist began producing film posters in 1953 at the height of the Modernist era, few realised he’d have such a profound effect on the industry, but his bold, Minimalist-inspired creations set a new standard for .

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    I’ll be honest and say that usually when I see the words “exquisite corps” in relation to a creative project, I immediately lose interest. So often this collaborative idea – used by the surrealists as a liberating drawing exercise – is used without imagination or flair. But a current exhibition at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam looks like a fantastic exception to my rule.

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    Dutch illustrator Stefan Glerum is one of the most accomplished image-makers working today. His latest show at London’s Kemistry Gallery is a whirlwind of references; from Art Deco to Bauhaus, Italian Futurism to Russian Constructivism; criss-crossing time and space with enviable style. Called simply Five Years of Work By Stefan Glerum, the exhibition features work with which even casual observers may be familiar, but that doesn’t in any way lessen its impact. In fact it’s exhilarating to go back to, say, the Bayern State Opera posters he made with Mirko Borsche and consider them anew in the wider context of his portfolio. Quite simply see this show if at all possible.

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    It’s not a flawless guide, but you can often tell how significant the subject of an exhibition is based on who writes the foreword in the show’s catalogue. That Milton Glaser contributed an essay for Ivan Chermayeff: Cut and Paste at The De La Warr Pavilion is a good guide that if you’re interested in graphic design, he’s a name with which you should be familiar.

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    It’s so great to see the Nous Vous lads continuing with their quest to bring a gentle spark of inspiration to the general public. Their latest venture is an exhibition in the enormous old factory-turned-cultural centre, The Tetley in Leeds. A Watery Line will exhibit “drawings, prints, paintings and objects, producing new artwork in on-site open studios and working with a selection of other artists to deliver a programme of performances and workshops.” Ahead of the opening of this exciting, friendly show, we asked Nicolas Burrows to tell us a little more about the planning of the exhibition and what they hope the public gets out of it.

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    Bold printing, toying with scale, subverting nature and confounding the senses seem to be the defining elements of Richard Woods’ work. The artist and designer made a name for himself mimicking wooden patterns in bright colours on the surface of furniture, but his skills extend beyond simple tables and chairs. In his latest show at Albion Barn he’s been given free reign to customise every inch of his exhibition space; the walls, floors and furnishings of an area in which he’s exhibiting a selection of original prints. It’s a pretty bold move to allow an artist to reinvent the entire gallery, but Richard has undertaken the task with characteristic flair, turning the whole environment into a vibrant, cartoonish set in which his work seems entirely at home.