Make a new year's resolution to exercise your mind and indulge your eyes: here are four exhibitions not to be missed this January in London.
Flaming June: The Making of an Icon
4 November 2016 - 2 April 2017, Leighton House
Leighton House in Kensington is one of the most beautiful, and most often overlooked galleries in the city. A nineteenth century studio-house, purpose built for Baron Frederic Leighton to paint in and display his work, it later grew into an embellished ‘private palace of art’. Leighton's most iconic painting Flaming June, has been returned from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico for the first time since 1963. Four others in private and foreign collections; ‘Twixt Hope and Fear’, ‘Candida’, 'Lachrymae' and ‘The Maid with the Golden Hair’, are also on display.
The exhibition explores the extraordinary story of Flaming June, from its creation in Leighton’s studio, its first critical reception at the Royal Academy, through its ‘disappearance’ in the middle of the twentieth century, and its acquisition by Luis A. Ferré, Governor of Puerto Rico in 1963 when it was quite unfashionably Victorian - legend has it that a young Andrew Lloyd Webber attempted to buy the painting in an antique shop in the early 1960s for just £50, but his grandmother thought it so ugly she refused to lend him the money.
Ken Price: A Survey of Sculptures and Drawings, 1959-2006
9 Dec 2016 – 4 Feb 2017, Hauser & Wirth London
Working amongst a group of innovative artists who emerged from the creative landscape of 1960s Los Angeles, Ken Price found inspiration in everything from the Bauhaus, Japanese ceramics, classic Southwestern pottery, jazz music to counter cultures of California. His works explore psychedelic colour, bubbling, molten forms and trippy erotic shapes.
Playful sculptures and joyful sketches embody the 60s Santa Monica that we all dream about, American signage and surf culture - but seeing that world embodied in sculpture and ceramics gives it new and unexpected texture.
John Baldessari: Miró and Life in General
January 10 - February 25 2016, Marian Goodman Gallery
Few artists could carry off the act of snatching pieces from a painter as iconic as Joan Miró, cropping into them at will rearranging them without title nor date. John Baldessari doesn't even blink as he splices paintings with film stills, collaging and daubing colour over the pairings as he goes. The California artist has been pairing photographs and paint in his works since the 1960s, a combination we always love here at So It Goes, and he certainly does it with flair.
This is a short but impactful exhibition of his series Miró and Life in General, you could fit it in on your lunch break but we think you might just want to linger a while.
Josef Albers: Sunny Side Up
January 13 - March 10, 2017, David Zwirner Gallery
For a much-needed boost of sunshine, Sunny Side Up draws from over five decades of Josef Albers' archive to create an homage to the colour yellow. As a young artist, Albers was inspired by the German Romantic poet, Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Theory of Colour (1810), in which the poet wrote “… a strong yellow on lustrous silk … has a magnificent and noble effect. We also experience a very warm and cozy impression with yellow. Thus, in painting, too, it belongs among the luminous and active colours. … The eye is gladdened, the heart expands, the feelings are cheered, an immediate warmth seems to waft toward us.”
Alongside shades of gold, saffron and mustard in Albers' Homage to the Square series, the exhibition provides a look at his abstract works created in Mexico on sabbatical from 1947 onward, and a rich selection of Albers’s rarely exhibited colour studies. For those interested in colour theory and abstract art, this is a must.