​10 exhibitions to see this spring

Spring has sprung, the sun is out, so get out the house and into the galleries and check out all the best exhibitions coming soon to London and beyond.

by Felix Petty
06 April 2016, 11:40am

Glasgow International
Now in its seventh year, Glasgow International will turn Scotland's Second City into a hive of contemporary art for the month of April. Long a breeding ground for ground breaking artists being home to one of the country's best art schools (which gave us Jonathan Saunders, Jenny Saville and Franz Ferdinand), Glasgow International is cementing the city's reputation. As well as hosting the city's best, as its name suggests, the festival is totally international, featuring 78 exhibitions, 50 events, and 220 artists from 33 countries. Amongst it all some of the country's brightest young talents who are well worth getting to grips with; Lawrence Lek, Aaron Angel, Leslie Kulesh, DKUK, Alice Brooke, New Noveta, and many, many, many more.


Ways of Living at DRAF
Part of DRAF's Curators' Series, Ways of Living, curated by Peckham gallery Arcadia Missa, will present a group show of artists who are interested in occupying and transforming space, taking in a wonderfully diverse selection of artists from 50s post-minimalist Eva Hesse, to iconic feminist Jenny Holzer, alongside contemporary artists like Jesse Darling, Juliana Huxtable, and Beatrice Loft Schulz.


Richard Hamilton at David Zwirner
Richard Hamilton is one of the most influential and iconic artists of the 20th century, the man who pushed pop in Britain and turned it towards a totally British sensibility. David Zwirner are showcasing the series of works the artist made in Cadaques, Spain. Hamilton was first invited there in 1963 by Marcel Duchamp before eventually settling in the town. The exhibition at Zwirner will bring together the works the artist made in the town. Ranging from classic pop works that appropriate the logo of the aperitif Ricard, though subverting it to read "Richard", in pure pop art fashion, turning it into an advertisement for himself, to a more atypical series, based on landscapes culled from postcards. 


Martine Syms at the ICA
LA-based artist Martine Syms comes to the ICA for an exhibition of new photography, video and sculptural work, which is her first in the UK. Derived from her video series, Lessons, a series of 30-second-long video clips made up of found and original footage, the exhibition Fact & Trouble, continues the artist's interest in the historiography of pop culture.


Hilma Af Klint at The Serpentine
Heralded as the most exciting exhibition of the year by many, these paintings, made in the early 1900s, remained unseen until 1986. Hilma's paintings are as striking as her story; she received a "commission" from an alien entity during a seance to create a series of paintings, which became her largest body of work, a series of almost 200 abstract paintings made in isolation from the broader European avant-garde, they are nevertheless striking premonitions of modernism, minimalism, and surrealism. Fearing the public reaction, she stipulated the works couldn't be seen until 20 years after her death.


Emotional Supply Chains at The Zabludowicz Collection
Want to catch up on the most avant-garde developments in avant-garde digital art to have happened in the last 15 years? Feel you've missed out on post-internet, digitial art, the rise of the network? Head to the Zabludowicz Collection for Emotional Supply Chains, an exhibition charting the rise and rise of the scene and its formal development, as well as new commissions that are charting its future.


Photography Tom Carter

Jesse Darling at The Arcadia Missa
The incredibly talented Jesse Darling presents her first exhibition of new work in London in two years. A new series of sculptures, paintings, and wall based works that reference fairy tales, Batman, the home, neo-liberal violence and precarity. A description that hardly does the tender, frightening beauty of the works justice.


Scratch Video at Art Sheffield
As part of Sheffield's biennial, curated by Martin Clark, formerly of Tate St Ives and currently of Kunsthalle Bergen, an exhibition is coming to the town that will take you on a tour through the Steel City's underground. Martin studied in Sheffield in the 90s, where he used to DJ and run club nights, and has curated an exhibition of "scratch videos" a short-lived phenomenon pioneered by George Barber, Jeffrey Hinton, Kim Flitcroft, Sandra Goldbacher and Nick Cope amongst others, as a form of visuals during club nights and music performances. Using new technology, and tapping into Cold War paranoia and post-industrial decline, Scratch Videos created an new visual language that would later be adopted by the mainstream. Presented with LUX and The BFI as part of This Is Now.


Conceptual Art In Britain at Tate Britain
Tracing the development in conceptual art in Britain, between 64 and 79, or roughly, The Beatles and Margaret Thatcher, the exhibition promises to explore how a new generation of artists exploded the possibilities and forms art could take. From experiments in audience participation, found objects, humourous gesture, and, of course, plenty of controversy of the is it even art and my child could do that variety.


Prem Sahib at Grand Union
Following on from a stellar show at the ICA last year, Prem Sahib brings his aesthetic appreciation and investigation of saunas, clubs and cruising spots to Birmingham's Grand Union gallery. Continuing his exploration of the materiality of gay culture and desire, Prem's decided to name the exhibition after the gallery, Grand Union, suggesting a sexual coming together, and a way of uniting concept and object in his work.


Strange and Familiar at The Barbican
Iconic documentarian of British life, Martin Parr, lends his curatorial eye to a new project at The Barbican, Strange and Familiar, which revels in the various ways international photographers have captured the life of the UK. From Henri Cartier-Bresson to Rineke Dijkstra and Robert Frank, Strange and Familiar presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain. 



Text Felix Petty

David Zwirner
Tate Britain
Martine Syms
contemporary art
martin parr
Strange and Familiar
jesse darling
Richard Hamilton
arcadia missa
prem sahib
ways of living
art sheffield
scratch video
glasgow international
conceptual art in britain
emotional supply chains
grand union
hilma af klint
the zabludowicz collection