Whether you're looking for new ideas or just need a break from catwalk ennui – cleanse your palate with some of the city’s best current visual culture
Fashion people like art. It’s obvious. You can go through the past ten years of collections and see a direct symmetry and echoed relationship with artists. This list of ten exhibitions in London is ideal inspiration intended for people in town looking to beat catwalk ennui by cleansing their palate with some visual culture. Or for designers, bloggers, stylists and cultural commentators looking for new ideas. Or for party people looking for somewhere to drink. Or for art fans, who couldn't give a toss about fashion and just want to avoid the tsunami of models invading the city.
8 x 8 AT HOXTON GALLERY
This pop-up show in Hoxton Square is brought to you by the Impossible Project – the reinvented Polaroid company who makes addictive object-based photographic images. Here, eight creatives – including The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and celeb relations Scout Willis and Chuck Grant – are each showing eight instant photos. Think Instagram in IRL with accidental real time filters.
Runs February 20–22
PATRICK STAFF AT THE CHISENHALE
The always brilliant Chisenhale Gallery in Mile End is debuting Patrick Staff’s new film shot in a constructed set and at the Tom of Finland Foundation in LA. The late Tom was the king of the graphic erection and created a unique, unforgettable approach to the homoerotic. Staff’s focus is on the Foundation interior space, choreographed body and public image. Should be a good one.
Runs Feb 20–April 12
FOLLEREE & FOLLEROO AT ARCADE FINE ARTS
This hilarious title comes from a sci-fi novel by Russell Hoban about a post-apocalyptic, language-less future. It contains some great work – most notably from Caroline Achaintre, whose incredible practice ranges from delicate rainbow ink-splot drawings to ceramics and hairy tufted wall rugs.
Runs until March 21
MARLIE MUL AT VILMA GOLD
A Dutch artist based in Berlin, Mul has often used textiles in her work (sometimes printed with graphic images of smoking cigarette butts), but her latest show at Vilma Gold shows her oeuvre also encompasses a strong interest in sculpture, history, architecture and paleolithic man. Everybody say ‘Bam Bam’.
Runs until March 21
MARLENE DUMAS / JUAN MUNOZ AT FRITH STREET GALLERY
The queues for Dumas’ retrospective at the Tate are bound to be big (and when you’ve only got 20 minutes between shows you need to be fast). This little exhibition on Frith Street in Soho is stunning. The main draws are the small watercolour drawings by Dumas of people kissing and embracing. The results are genuinely sexy and innately human.
Runs until April 17
VIVIANE SASSEN AT THE ICA
Sassen is one of those artists who manages to straddle the boundaries of art and fashion photography. The longtime Dazed contributor’s current solo show Pikin Slee is on at the ICA. The show of images taken with an analogue camera documents her time in the Surinamese rainforest. The results are otherworldy and very beautiful.
Runs until April 12
MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS AT THE BARBICAN
If you only see one show this month, see this. It’s like entering the best junk shop ever, with the private collection of artists including Hirst’s stuffed animals, Sugimoto’s strange medical history objects, Pae White’s collection of 1960s scarves and Jim Shaw’s thrift-store paintings. One to be experienced.
Runs until May 21
AYAN FARAH, MAX LAMB & CHRIS SUCCO AT ALMINE RECH GALLERY
This trio show at Almine Rech closes on Sunday and is a perfect example of the contemporary wave of (often process-led) abstract painting that is still hot as potatoes at the moment. Expect textured paintings from Succo, rugged bronze furniture replicas from Lamb and patchwork canvases imbued with ideas around landscape from Farah.
Runs until February 21
OPEN 2015 – SELECTED BY CORY ARCANGEL AND HANNE MUGAAS AT STUDIO VOLTAIRE
Kunsthall Stavanger director Hanne Mugaas and artist Cory Arcangel are this year’s guest judges for Studio Voltaire’s open exhibition at their space in Clapham. Twelve artists – which range from the tech-infused work of Hayley Silverman and Evan Ifekoya to the more outsidery drawings of Nigel Kingsbury – make an interesting bite-sized selection of emerging approaches.
Runs until March 15
ANDREA BÜTTNER/BRIT MEYER AT PIPER KEYS
Everyone loves a bit of East-End grit, and Whitechapel project space Piper Keys is quickly becoming one of the most interesting spaces to pop up in a warehouse for a long time. This month they are bringing together Andrea Büttner and Brit Meyer for duet of work which includes painting the gallery brown, fabric uniform canvases, pencil drawings and lumps of clay.
Runs February 21–March 22