Must-see shows for early December offer all-encompassing experiences. Light installations look towards perception and wellbeing, whilst iconic photography explores life in the 20th century.
James Turrell (b. 1943) is renowned for immersive installations that push the boundaries of human perception. Vast rooms are filled with colour, inviting viewers to step out of the everyday and into new and expansive realms. The pieces use light as a medium, transforming it into a tangible entity. The works are meditations on time and space, encouraging audiences to reflect upon their place in the wider world. Until 29 March.
Bastiaan Woudt’s (b. 1987) black and white works draw on the history of art – translating both Surrealist and classical tropes into the contemporary sphere. Faces are hidden, hands and bodies abstracted. Each portrait hints at the uncanny – pointing towards wider, unconscious narratives. A sense of anonymity runs through the collection, which pairs sharpness and detail with ambiguous storytelling. Dutch painting meets fashion and documentary photography.
Aesthetica Art Prize alumni Squidsoup illuminate Eccleston Yards with a multi-sensory light installation. Titled Wave, the piece comprises 500 brightly coloured orbs, each with a unique voice. It offers an all-encompassing experience, seeking to improve audiences’ wellbeing. It responds to today’s fast pace of life: the piece is designed to energise the body, stimulate happiness and calm the heart rate. Until 11 January.
LIFE was the first American all-photographic magazine. It documented key events in 20th century history – including memorable figures, places and events. This show presents images by icons of photojournalism, including Andreas Feininger, Joe Rosenthal, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, John Dominis, John Loengard, Nina Leen and J.R. Eyerman. Monumental and intimate moments are shown side-by-side, offering a snapshot of an era. Until 1 February.
Red and blue florescent beams cut diagonally across the gallery, bathing the room in an otherworldly glow. This is a “barrier” by Dan Flavin (1928-1944) – a pioneer of minimal and conceptual art movements in the 1960s and 1970s. The artist used chromatic light to create linear “situations” that altered spatial experiences. David Zwirner presents key works, demonstrating the breadth of what can be achieved with the medium. From 30 November.
Lead image: From the series Curved Elliptical Glass, 2019. / Foto: Museo Jumex, 2019. © James Turrell Photographer: Florian Holzherr
Hidden images © Bastiaan Woudt
1. Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT 1936.
2. Andreas Feininger, The Photojournalist, 1951.