London Gallery Weekend came to life as a way to celebrate and recharge the UK capital’s contemporary art scene after the long pandemic lockdowns. But a glance at the roster of 150-odd gallery shows planned for the event’s second edition also reveals how elastic “contemporary” can be. Alongside the up-and-coming young talents and more established international names are the artists from decades past who are still ripe for rediscovery. Here’s our pick of five art-historical rediscoveries not to miss, from a subversive take on New York Minimalism to the dark affinities between Japanese teaware and Kasimir Malevich.
The underrated New York artist Rosemarie Castoro “subverted or overrode Minimalism on its own turf”, according to the critic Lucy Lippard. She invested her abstract works with a gestural, bodily quality that set her apart from male peers such as Carl Andre (her husband from 1964 to 1970), Lawrence Weiner and Sol LeWitt. She called herself a “paintersculptor” and brought a background in dance to her studio practice, wielding a broom and a saw to create her giant brushstroke wall pieces in gesso. They are the centrepiece of Thaddaeus Ropac’s show, swooping across the walls of the main gallery as if they had a life of their own. The metal works, too, are imbued with dynamism and delicacy. Shadow Flasher (1979) is a curved and crumpled steel sheet, covered in gesso and graphite scribbles like a blown-up piece of paper. Upstairs, freestanding welded sculptures with silvery folds evoke a group of figures in motion.