White Cube, Mason's Yard

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Raqib Shaw at White Cube

by James Cahill
Titled Paradise Lost, Raqib Shaw’s exhibition of new sculptures and paintings of preternatural landscapes ostensibly has little to do with the Fall of Man. Shaw’s works firmly inhabit the realms of animal-populated fantasy; in the upstairs gallery, two polychrome dioramas face one another, each depicting an oversize swan perching on top of a circular well of gleaming oil strewn with gaudy lotuses and lilies. Each swan is tugging a grisly ribbon of flesh from the chest of a lolling figure caught between its wings. At first glance this seems to be a man, but its head resembles that of a bat or mous... [more]
Posted by James Cahill on 10/3/11

Between Eagles and Pioneers

by James Cahill
Georg Baselitz’s first exhibition at White Cube in 2009 featured a series of expressionistic paintings of Lenin and Stalin, summoning up the political history of his native East Germany in the Soviet era. In his second show at the gallery, Between Eagles and Pioneers, history again filters into his paintings albeit through more ambiguous motifs – anonymous double portraits, dogs, and eagles. Painted characteristically upside down, the works present a mundus inversus in which our eye gravitates as much towards Baselitz’s dripped, acid-washed and stippled application of paint as towards... [more]
Posted by James Cahill on 5/29/11

James Cahill's 4 Art Highlights of 2011

by James Cahill
The mistletoe may still be up and the mulled wine chilling in the pot, however the holidays are not over since the new year is just around the corner. What may be more fitting then: a recap of the year with James Cahill's pick of London's 4 Art Highlights of 2011. 1. Gilbert and George: Urethra Postcard Art at White Cube The Urethra Postcard Art of Gilbert & George was a hilarious and duly provocative reprisal of the duo’s ‘postcard art’. In 155 framed collages, multiple copies of a postcard were arranged in the same rectangular scheme with a single card in the middle. This diagrammatic ‘urethra’ symbol was used as a k... [more]
Posted by James Cahill on 12/25/11

Super Freak

by Benjamin Ferguson
  Humour is one theme of Gilbert & George's show, Jack Freak Pictures, but beneath this jovial veneer is a seriousness that refers to society on a very local level. The giant Union Jacks don't discomfort me as much as the nationalistic displays outside that NF-style pub on Valette Street in Hackney; however, they act as a reminder of what the flag means to those who cling to it as the rest of society blows away in the wind. In this sense, by mimicking the utilisation of the flag during times of unity (such as the World Cup or the Olympics even), G&G have created a contemporary cultural criti... [more]
Posted by Benjamin Ferguson on 7/17/09