london has a cure for rainy weather: art galleries!

5. the wellcome collection has a series of current shows open to the public free of charge (just like most galleries). i like their tag line: a free destination for the incurable curious.

i saw medicine man and brains: the mind as matter, both very interesting.

i’m not particularly squeamish but be warned! the exhibition includes hard to swallow items such as a picture of the late corinne day getting a shot in her forehead preparing her for brain surgery or a written explanation of how doctors used to use sharp seashells to cut into babies’ skulls, etc. fortunately, the hard exhibits are flagged.

but still: this is your chance of seeing albert einstein’s brain!

4. i have recently written about gillian wearing’s new undertaking: her show at white chapel gallery. it’s an interesting study of identity and personas. confess all on video. don’t worry, you will be in disguise. intrigued? call gillian… depicts a series of people, unrecognizable beneath a mask and a voice distorter, who confess to some disturbing things. take your time with the exhibits, i believe it’s worth it. also, there’s a series of pictures where the artist poses in very elaborate disguise as each member of her family as well as younger versions of herself (i’d already seen this one in guggenheim bilbao). for a break, try the in-house cafe or restaurant.

3. serpentine gallerysomeone please explain: i saw l’origine du monde in the serpentine only to see it again in musee d’orsay a few days later…how can that be?

i liked the ongoing hans-peter feldmann show. the upcoming show is yoko ono’s to the light (19.06 – 9.09).

outside, the pavilion/collaboration between starchitects herzog and de meuron and power house artist ai wei wei  was just a mud bath but, come june the 1st, i’m sure it’ll look exactly like the cgi rendering.

2. saatchi gallery. nice satisfying selection, cool clean space. out of focus is a photography show exhibiting many very varied photographers. a series of pictures taken by the google photography prize winners are exhibited too (watch out for the work of claudia alexandra manta, a romanian living in budapest).

and the cherry on top was the jaw-dropping site-specific installation by richard wilson: you walk into this room and you don’t see much  more than a very symmetrical layout and then, the smell that had already hit you even before entering, tells you that the apparent shiny floor is actually a room filled with a large amount of used oil so its perfect surface looks like linoleum.

1. ron mueck is one of my favourite contemporary artists. he’s into superrealism. i went to his ongoing show on saville row, at hauser+wirth, south gallery. do not miss the twin north gallery, right next door.

my first run into mueck was on february the 14th 2007 (yeah, i remember it cause beside st. valentine’s day it’s also my parents anniversary) when i was in aarhus, denmark on business and after work i visited the city. the cool aros museum was open late that evening and i saw mueck’s boy and spent some time trying to find a detail to tell me that’s not real: imagine insane details such as weaving real hairs on the body of the pieces and making the nails imperfect, just as they are when we cut  them. unbelievable!

although the london show is very small (just 4 pieces), it’s more than enough to appreciate mueck’s skill and art. four very different pieces, all of them under- or over-sized, as he prefers it. all of them freakishly detailed and moving.

i also have a few special mentions:

* other criteria. selling damien hirst as well as other established british artists.

* blain southern. currently showing michael joo exit from the house of being.

* to keep up to date with art galleries all over the world, try artupdate.

photo credits: google search