All three of the shows highlighted in this edition of What’s On London open today. I’d recommend anyone intrepid enough to visit the British Museum or the Tate Modern, arm yourselves with a panic whistle and hip-flask and stay stong – Gerhard Richter and Grayson Perry’s shows will undoubtedly be worth the elbow bruises. Alternatively, the new Walter Hugo exhibition at the Cob Gallery is a perfect compliment to such a lovely day if you’re in north-west London…
Gerhard Richter Tate Modern
Given the lasting success of Gerhard Richter’s career it is perhaps unsurprising that his work has adopted many guises over the years. His practice spans the length and breadth of painting, from clinical photorealism to vibrant abstraction, and it is this diversity that Panorama seeks to explore, grouping together “significant moments in his remarkable career.” As an archivist of momentous historical events – most recently his exploration of the World Trade Centre attacks – Richter’s work is relevant as much for its contemporaneity as its persistent experimentation. Runs until January 8, 2011.
Walter Hugo: Developing Shadows The Cob Gallery
Ever since Reflecting the Bright Lights, we’ve been utterly fascinated by the work of Walter Hugo. Fascinatingly, artistically spanning the boundaries of science and photography, Hugo’s photographs are nothing short of alchemy. By reviving old developing techniques, and applying them to contemporary photography, the artist creates both unpredictably romantic and almost sinister shadows of moments. From an exploration between artist and studio, these documents of a very specific place and person are rendered all the more significant as the encroaching housing developments of London’s east end gobbles up these places of work and art. Now showing at The Cob Gallery, Developing Shadows is on until October 29.
Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman The British Musuem
No small task for Grayson Perry to select from two million years worth of culture and civilisation for his latest exhibition at the British Museum. He’s spent two years behind the scenes of the big BM carefully admiring and selecting from his forebears’ incredible and artistic functional ingenuity. Also interspersed within this fascinating taxonomy of craft are his own wonderfully considered pottery, tapestries and a coffin-ship centrepiece of iron. This is a tribute to all of the anonymous craftsmen before him, their skill is what makes up our society and the objects, “chosen like art,” promises “a reality that is old and new, poetic and factual, and funny as well as grim.” Runs until February 19.