Three exhibitions to kick-start summer
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WhatsApp and Mous Lamrabat: There’s No One Like Us at The Tab Centre, London
Photographer Mous Lamrabat was born in Morocco and moved to Belgium as a child. His images, featured on magazine covers including HTSI, Vogue Arabia and GQ Middle East, address this duality, depicting surreal scenes where western branding meets north African terrain. In an exhibition opening at The Tab Centre in London, Lamrabat turns his lens to diasporic communities around the world. The series explores ideas of cross-cultural connectivity, and features portraits and interviews with people from more than 25 different cultures across Morocco, Mexico, Brazil and India, all of whom “left a place for another place,” Lamrabat says.
In one, a woman, Rania, displays palms decorated with henna WhatsApp logos; in another, the same logo is fashioned from bright yellow flowers, suspended above a woman standing in a sparse landscape. “It’s beautiful to see how old traditions work so well within the modern world,” says Lamrabat. “I always look for things that usually don’t belong together and I try to build a bridge to connect them.” Marion Willingham
There’s No One Like Us is on display at The Tab Centre in London from 12-14 May
Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith at Robert Klein Gallery, Boston
As the neglected child of a faux-fur tycoon, the late American photographer Rodney Smith initially rejected the fashion world in favour of documentary and landscape photography. But his whimsical style caught the attention of editors and fashion houses regardless. By the ’90s, his photographs graced the pages of Vanity Fair and appeared in campaigns for Ralph Lauren. Following a bequest of 10 of his pieces by his widow to LA’s J Paul Getty Museum, the full breadth of his oeuvre will be explored in a new book and exhibition.
The photographs revel in the grandeur and ridiculousness of American high society: from a suited and gowned couple running through a garden of manicured hedges to a man in a boater hat sitting by a sailboat playing a trumpet, his world recalls the novels of Donna Tartt or Philip Roth. They reveal his desire, his widow Leslie Smolan writes, to make the world “more romantic, more witty, more human, more interesting – more lasting”. Baya Simons
Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith is on show at Robert Klein Gallery in Boston now, then at Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum/Sun Valley on 13 June. Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith is published by the J Paul Getty Museum at £55
Eye of the Collector at Two Temple Place, London
This May sees the return of upscale art fair, Eye of the Collector. Founder and CEO Nazy Vassegh has curated an event where more than 20 participating galleries show together in one space. The idea, she says, is to encourage “cross-collecting”, an idea dating back to ancient Rome, which sees collectors buy across genres and periods. Housed inside London’s Two Temple Place, a neo-Gothic mansion built for hotel tycoon William Waldorf Astor, the effect is of “walking into an imaginary collector’s home, full of art and design to discover”, says Vassegh.
For its third edition, 60 new works have been created specially for the fair. Vassegh is particularly excited about a tapestry by Teresa Hastings, whose sustainable textile practice is inspired by visits to the Indian Himalayas. Collectors can also look forward to artwork and photographs by Barbara Hepworth, Frank Auerbach and Lillian Bassman, as well as midcentury Brazilian furniture presented by Ana Escárzaga Gallery. MW
Eye of the Collector is showing at Two Temple Place in London from 17-20 May