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May 2024: 5 Exhibitions to See

By 30th April 2024No Comments

Jenny Matthews: Sewing Conflict: Photography, War and Embroidery

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, 10th February 2024 – 12th May 2024

Since 2020, Jenny Matthews has been making a series of photo quilts comprising edited photos from her archive; twenty-three of these hangings are included in the exhibition at Street Level Photoworks. Each photograph has been printed onto cotton linen, stitched together, and embellished with embroidery on material most often sourced from the countries in which the original images were made.

Alongside these works, the exhibition also features the series Facial De-recognition (2021), which is composed of thirty-five portraits of Afghan women with embroidery completely obscuring their features. This series explores how the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan in August 2021 had negative consequences for Afghan women and girls, who subsequently suffered the loss of their freedom, rights, and identity. 

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Yan Wang Preston: Three Easier Pieces

Messums, London, 24th April 2024 – 24th May 2024

In her second solo exhibition at Messums London, Yan Wang Preston presents new works that explore the complexities of cultural migration by restaging iconic artworks in different geopolitical and cultural contexts. The series includes the photographic and performative restaging of artworks such as ‘To Add a Metre to an Anonymous Mountain, 1995’, ‘Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1817’, and ‘Olympia,1863’, the latter featuring the first decolonial study of the botanical details in Manet’s painting. 

Already three years in the making, Three Easier Pieces is the debut appearance of the works. The exhibition will feature a selection of large, collectable prints as well as a ‘Making Room’ sharing behind the scenes materials such as letters for volunteers, snapshots, and films.

Elina Brotherus: In The Architect’s House

KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces, Denmark, 1st March 2024 – 2nd June 2024

In her three new photographic series, exhibited here for the first time in Denmark, visual artist Elina Brotherus takes us deep into the heart of Alvar Aalto’s architecture. The work captures three key Aalto buildings in Finland: Aalto’s home in Helsinki, his summer cottage also known as the ‘Experimental House,’ and the modernist masterpiece Paimio Sanatorium.

In 2019, the Aalto Foundation granted Elina exclusive access to photograph in Alvar and Aino Aalto’s home in Helsinki and Alvar’s and his second wife Elissa’s private summer villa, the Experimental House in Muuratsalo. Her masterfully composed photographs imbue her surroundings with a new vitality and presence.

Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask

Lakeland Arts, Kendal, 23rd March 2024 – 3rd August 2024

Largely unknown during Claude Cahun‘s lifetime, Claude’s work has since received fame and has influenced the performative work of contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman and Trish Morrissey. In this exhibition, the complexities of gender and identity are investigated via Claude’s multiple characters. Blurring and distorting Claude’s age, identity, gender and surroundings, the photographs can be read as anti-portraiture: while portraiture sets out to capture and commemorate an individual, Claude’s photographs disrupt the idea of a single ‘self’.

Group Show: Passengers In Transit

193 Gallery, Venice, 20th April 2024 – 24th November 2024

Scheduled as a Collateral Event of the Biennale Arte 2024, Venice – “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere” – this showcase, hosted and supported by 193 Gallery, brings together five Afro-descent women artists from Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA: April Bey, Christa David, Euridice Zaituna Kala, Joana Choumali, and Thandiwe Muriu. 

These artists explore the intricacies of foreignness, identity, and belonging in our global society and employ interdisciplinary practices to navigate the convergence between identity, gender, memory, and place. Their works engage with history and fiction, prompting a thoughtful reflection on the representation of Black bodies within the contemporary world and speculating on possible futures.