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Three to see: London

From Cerith Wyn Evans’s 2km of neon suspended from Tate Britain’s ceiling to Howard Hodgkin’s final work at the National Portrait Gallery

by Javier Pes, Louisa Buck, José da Silva  |  31 March 2017
Three to see: London
Cerith Wyn Evans's Duveens Commission at Tate Britain (© Tate 2017)
Cerith Wyn Evans has risen to the challenge of creating a new, site-specific light sculpture with heavy-weight references that transforms Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries (until 20 August). The three-part hanging installation made of 2km of white neon light bathes the grandiose space in artificial daylight—stopping anyone in their tracks as they enter the long, high enfilade space. The UK artist’s Forms in Space... by Light (in Time), a commission sponsored by Sotheby’s, is a visual tour de force. It is also an impressive feat of curatorial and structural engineering skill. No fixings were drilled into the ceiling of the galleries during the 21-long-day installation, instead state-of-the art adhesives, anchoring more than 1,000 fixings, keep the sculptural work aloft.  

The British artist Howard Hodgkin died shortly before the opening of his retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, lending a sense of poignancy to the exhibition titled Absent Friends (until 18 June). Hodgkin had described his abstract works as “representational pictures of emotional situations”, and his paintings expand the gallery’s definition of what portraiture can be. The exhibition spans the artist’s career, from his earliest figurative painting made as a 17-year-old to his final work, Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music (2017), which he completed only a few months before his death, reportedly being held up by assistants in order to paint it.

Don’t miss Philippe Parreno’s Anywhen (until 2 April 2017) installation in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, which closes this weekend. The multi-sensory experience is ever changing, with screens ascending and descending to create an impromptu cinema space. While the fish balloons look a little deflated, the nature of the work means that even if you have been before, it will be a different experience the second time around. You might be soaked by the sound of rain, confronted by a giant cuttlefish or experience images of bacteria with a narration by the British ventriloquist Nina Conti.  

• Click here for a complete list of previously recommended London shows

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