The 5 best art exhibitions to see in London in December

Art critic Tabish Khan brings you “The best art exhibitions to see in London”. Each comes with a concise review to help you decide if it’s for you. Most of the top 5 from last week are still open to visitors:

Marcin Dudek: Akumulator @ Edel Assanti
A makeshift gym was assembled from parts found with weights made from radiator segments – the door from the artist’s childhood home. It is reminiscent of his youth in Poland where squatters created gymnasiums in town halls with all the materials they could find. There is a raw masculinity in this exhibit that reminded me of how gyms are used to channel the energy of prisoners because they have very little to do. Until December 20.

Doug Aitken: Back to Real @ Victoria Miro, Wharf Road
A translucent woman vibrates with light, a shopping bag at her feet and a phone out of reach. On either side of her is an airplane wing and a swimming pool at night. Nothing feels real, like a simulation created in a digital world where the lines between reality and fiction are crumbling. It’s a very timely show in today’s digital age, and it’s getting weirder upstairs with spinning wind chimes and a woman split in half. Until December 20.

Ten Thousand Thoughts: Esther Rolinson @ Anise Gallery
Enter this network of aluminum tubes and be enchanted by the pulsating changing lights. It’s a meditative installation that I could easily spend hours mesmerizing by the rhythmic changes in color and light as the installation plays tricks on my eyes. Until December 21.

Matrescence @ Richard Saltoun
What defines motherhood and what are all the different aspects of it like? That is the question in this show where there are moms dressed as superheroes, a bloody Barbie who appears to be just born and rather ominously a mother wielding a knife as she kisses her naked son. Until December 21

Magdalena Abakanowicz: bodily materiality @ Marlborough
Rows of legs stand guard like the terracotta warriors found in the tombs of Chinese emperors. Unlike these large sculptures, these are rougher and made from humble materials such as burlap. These materials were often all she had available in Soviet-controlled Poland and it gives these sculptures a raw look, depicting ordinary people rather than a monument to a grown-up. Until December 21

All images are copyrighted by the artist and gallery, unless otherwise noted. Image copyright Matrescence Elzbieta Jablonska.


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Tabish khan

Art critic for FAD and Londonist. See as many exhibits as possible and write reviews, opinion pieces and a weekly top 5 for FAD.

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