In “The best exhibitions to see in 2022 from Stonehenge to Surrealism,” Ben Luke (Evening Standard) announces “In the Black Fantastic,” to take place at the Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre) from June 28 to September 18, 2022. He underlines Hew Locke’s work in this exhibition and also for the Tate Britain’s Duveens Commission (Mar 22 to Oct 23), stating that “his long track record of dramatic installations and sardonic yet glittering takes on the history of imperial statuary make him the ideal artist for this space right now.” Luke writes:
You know it’s going to be a good year for art when choosing even your top 12 shows is agonising. We are in for a huge art treat in 2022, and a pleasingly diverse one, too. So while there are plenty of timeless crowd pleasers like Van Gogh and Raphael, we’ll also be introduced to new faces and less few related exhibitions snuck in), but there are glories beyond.
Take one cluster of related shows: Francis Bacon’s obsession with animals is revealed in Man and Beast at the Royal Academy in January, while yet another exhibition of Bacon’s old mucker Lucian Freud opens in October, this time at the National Gallery. [. . .]
When I spoke to Sarah McCrory, the director of Goldsmiths CCA, in October, she told me excitedly about this show, which reflects a hugely topical subject: as McCrory puts it: “It’s considering, after the Black Lives Matter protests, after a pandemic, after Brexit, with a climate crisis, how can we look at monuments? How do we rethink history?” Among the artists are Alvaro Barrington, Phyllida Barlow, Jeremy Deller and Oscar Murillo.
Expect everything from sardonic reflections on the government’s “retain and explain” policy on statues of slavers and imperialists to fantastical futuristic constructions. I can’t wait.
Goldsmiths CCA, January 21 to April 3, goldsmithscca.art [. . .]
In the Black Fantastic
Curated by Ekow Eshun, this mouthwatering exhibition looks at how contemporary artists across the African diaspora are creating a new form of Afrofuturism. Drawing on elements of myth, spiritual tradition, speculative fiction, carnival and folklore, they address the histories of slavery and colonialism and contemporary inequities and build what Eshun has described as “new narratives of Black possibility”.
The list of 12 artists immediately suggests that it will be spectacular: Ellen Gallagher, Hew Locke, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili and Kara Walker, to name a few, are making some of the most visually and conceptually rich art of our time. Earlier in the year, Locke will take on Tate Britain’s Duveens Commission (Mar 22 to Oct 23) – his long track record of dramatic installations and sardonic yet glittering takes on the history of imperial statuary make him the ideal artist for this space right now. [. . .]
Hayward Gallery, June 28 to Sep 18, southbankcentre.co.uk
[Shown above: “Ambassador 3,” 2021 by Hew Locke. Photo: Anna Arca.]