London Art Exhibitions to See
Advisory Perspective

London Art Exhibitions to See

London, 23 May 2022

London Gallery Weekend saw some exceptional shows open across the city. Presentations by art stars such as Manuel Mathieu and Robert Nava made for exciting encounters, alongside some new discoveries. Among these, Olivia Jia's small-scale paintings of imagery she has collected over time, rendered in dusky shades of blue were a delight at WORKPLACE, as were Jem Perucchini's luminescent paintings at Corvi-Mora blending visual archetypes from different cultures. Below is a recap of some of our favourites.


Tom Anholt, Passing Through (2022) (detail). Oil on linen. 130 x 150 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Tom Anholt, Passing Through (2022) (detail). Oil on linen. 130 x 150 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Tom Anholt at Josh Lilley

Tom Anholt's solo show New Lands at Josh Lilley, just off Goodge Street in Fitzrovia, was a favourite from the weekend's antics.

These layered compositions contain unique colours and textures that inspire a sense of wonder. Wading through waters, commandeering high seas, and trudging through snowy forests, Anholt's protagonists are enduring physical challenges, yet there is a sense of tranquility in each composition.

Based in Berlin, the British artist is a graduate of the Chelsea College of Art and has had solo exhibitions at galleries including Galerie Eigen + Art, Hakgojae Gallery, and François Ghebaly.


Exhibition view: Manuel Mathieu, Keeping Things Whole, Pilar Corrias, London (28 April–28 May 2022). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Exhibition view: Manuel Mathieu, Keeping Things Whole, Pilar Corrias, London (28 April–28 May 2022). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Manuel Mathieu at Pilar Corrias

Manuel Mathieu brings together large-scale paintings and ceramics for his first solo exhibition with Pilar Corrias, having joined the gallery in March. Keeping Things Whole spans the gallery's two floors, and continues his quest in abstraction.

The artist has risen to stardom over the last few years, with major solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions including Longlati Foundation in Shanghai, Kavi Gupta in Chicago, and HdM Gallery in Beijing.

A painting by the artist was also included in Social Works II, Gagosian's 2021 group exhibition in London curated by Antwaun Sargent alongside artists including Isaac Julien, David Adjaye, Lubaina Himid, and Rick Lowe.


Olivia Jia, Untitled (moonlight lilies) (2022). Oil on panel. 35.6 x 27.9 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Olivia Jia, Untitled (moonlight lilies) (2022). Oil on panel. 35.6 x 27.9 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Olivia Jia at WORKPLACE

A new discovery for us, Olivia Jia's exquisitely detailed, almost archival paintings were a major highlight.

Showing at WORKPLACE's Margaret Street location, the meticulously curated exhibition encourages viewers to slow down and submerge themselves in the detail of Jia's paintings, rendered in dusky blue hues.

Their tight compositions contain manuscripts, photographs, and pages from books, stemming from a fascination with historical and personal narratives.

Based in Philadelphia, Jia received her BFA from the University of the Arts in 2017.


Robert Nava, Love Bunny Dragon (2022) (detail). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Robert Nava, Love Bunny Dragon (2022) (detail). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Robert Nava at Pace Gallery

Robert Nava's much-anticipated solo show Thunderbolt Disco at Pace Gallery—his first since joining the gallery in November 2020—is explosive.

The gallery's impressive space on Hanover Square provided ample space for Nava's immense canvases brandished with distinctive fantastical characters. Sharks, dragons, rabbits and often a mix of all three, present themselves through a combination of acrylic, grease pencil, crayon alongside sources drawn from prehistoric cave paintings and ancient art.

Leaning into a naïve style, Nava's paintings are chaotic yet harmonious and totally unique. The artist graduated from an MFA at Yale University in 2011, and has had solo exhibitions in recent years at galleries including Night Gallery in Los Angeles, Vito Schnabel Gallery in New York, and Sorry We're Closed in Brussels.


Peter Stichbury, Artemis (2022). Oil on linen.95 x 120 x 4 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Peter Stichbury, Artemis (2022). Oil on linen.95 x 120 x 4 cm. Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Group Exhibition at Gallery Baton

Seoul's Gallery Baton held a group exhibition at No.9 Cork Street titled Indexing the Nature: From Near and Far Away, drawn together on the occasion of London Gallery Weekend.

Among works by 12 artists on view was a painting and a whimsical floor sculpture of flowers in a large pot by Yuichi Hirako, an artist who caught our attention last year after his solo show with the gallery, alongside beautifully eerie paintings by Peter Stichbury of Greek nature goddess Artemis and Actaeon, who was turned into a stag by Artemis after he happened upon her bathing on Mount Cithaeron.

Other artists in the presentation were Koh San Keum and Choi Soo Jung, who will be included in the gallery's booth at Art Basel Hong Kong.


Caroline Walker, Spritz for Bitz (2022). Exhibition view: Lisa, Stephen Friedman, London (29 April–28 May 2022). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Caroline Walker, Spritz for Bitz (2022). Exhibition view: Lisa, Stephen Friedman, London (29 April–28 May 2022). Photo: Ocula Advisory.

Caroline Walker at Stephen Friedman

As you walk into Stephen Friedman's two gallery spaces on Old Burlington Street, the glow from beautifully rendered light in immense paintings such as Roundmoor Drive and Spritz for Bitz (both 2022) is all-encompassing.

Measuring three-by-two metres, Roundmoor Drive positions the viewer as a voyeur standing outside a home at what appears to be dawn or dusk, as a woman cradles her baby inside.

The woman in question is Walker's sister-in-law Lisa, who is presented in both large-scale oil paintings and preparatory sketches across the two spaces, going about her routines as a new mother. It is a moving presentation, with seemingly ordinary domestic scenes possessing an intimate psychological charge.


Francis Upritchard, Crab (2021–2022). Bronze. 12 x 32 x 32 cm.

Francis Upritchard, Crab (2021–2022). Bronze. 12 x 32 x 32 cm. Courtesy the artist and Kate MacGarry, London.

Francis Upritchard at Kate MacGarry

Featuring sea and land creatures, Francis Upritchard's installation is a fantastical takeover of Kate MacGarry's Shoreditch exhibition space.

Two large planks cross over one another between three walls, providing a unique terrain for the sculptures. Their formation bring to mind the story of Noah's Ark, while the sculptures themselves draw on aspects from antiquity and prehistoric myths.

Bringing a refreshing change from a painting-heavy weekend, Upritchard's small, exquisitely crafted creatures encourage close-up inspection.


Exhibition view: Jem Perucchini, Corvi-Mora, London (28 April–4 June 2022).

Exhibition view: Jem Perucchini, Corvi-Mora, London (28 April–4 June 2022). Courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora, London. Photo: Marcus Leith.

Jem Perucchini at Corvi-Mora

Jem Perucchini's large figurative oil on linen paintings glow against black walls at Corvi-Mora, with gold specs imbuing his portraits with a mosaic-like finish.

Spotlighing Jem Perucchini at miart 2022, Ocula Magazine explained, 'A graduate of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan with an interest in common archetypes, this young Ethiopian-Italian painter's portraits invoke the soft textures of a da Vinci capture, with fleshy edges modulated by pointillist marks that illuminate the background as patterned clothing electrifies the foreground'.

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