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Sinister statues and shadowy portraits

1 October 2017

With hundreds of exhibitions and events vying for your attention in London during Frieze week, Apollo’s editors pick out the shows they don’t want to miss.

‘Nicola Hicks: Wabbling Back to the Fire’ at Flowers Gallery (until 11 November)

Hicks is probably best known for her sculptures made of plaster and straw, several of which are on display in this show of works from 1999 to the present day. Her often beautiful and frequently sinister animals and fabulous creatures, seem to move between realism and fantasy, while resisting literal interpretations.

Murder of Crows, (1999), Nicola Hicks, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York; © Nicola Hicks

Murder of Crows (1999), Nicola Hicks. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York; © Nicola Hicks

‘Catherine Opie: Portraits and Landscapes’ at Thomas Dane Gallery (3 Oct–18 Nov 2017)

The American photographer’s recent portraits of artists, fashion designers, and writers she knows are inspired by Old Master paintings in their compositions and dramatic lighting. At first glance they may seem a world away from the queer communities and Californian subcultures she is famous for documenting, but the formality of Opie’s portraits seem almost designed to make us look beyond the surface.

David, (2017), Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Thomas Dane Gallery, London; © Catherine Opie

David (2017), Catherine Opie. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Thomas Dane Gallery, London; © Catherine Opie

‘Brice Marden’ at Gagosian Gallery (4 October–16 December)
In his first solo exhibition in London since 2000, Brice Marden continues to explore the possibilities of terre verte, an iron-silicate pigment with clay often used for underpainting flesh tones, in a series of 10 new paintings. Also on display is Eastern Moss (2012–15) in which nine monochromatic panels, each in a different shade of terre verte demonstrate Marden’s precise and painstaking interest in the properties of paint and the effects of colour.

Brice Marden's studio, Tivoli, NY, June 2017

Brice Marden’s studio, Tivoli, NY, June 2017

‘Gianfranco Baruchello: Incidents of Lesser Account’ at Raven Row (29 September to 3 December 2017)

Raven Row’s quest to bring avant-garde figures into the spotlight continues with this exhibition of the works of Gianfranco Baruchello (b. 1924). The first survey in London of the Italian-born artist (a friend and protégé of Duchamp’s) presents some of his paintings on Plexiglas, but also addresses his activity in a dizzying number of fields, from film-making to psychogeography.

Impudique Venus, (1979), Gianfranco Baruchello, Courtesy Fondazione Baruchello, Rome

Impudique Venus (1979), Gianfranco Baruchello. Courtesy Fondazione Baruchello, Rome