A pioneer of British conceptual art and Pink Floyd colleague from Regent Street Polytechnic, John Latham, received a broad showcase of his work at Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens this spring. A World View: John Latham is now open to the public alongside Speak, a showcase of work inspired by his legacy.
The exhibition that opened at the beginning of March takes a close look at the variety of Latham’s works: from painting, sculpture, installation, and engineering to film, performance, and theoretical writing.
The artist spent his life developing a framework for a shift from the time-based cosmology of events towards space-based one. He believed that flat time expanded across different disciplines, and it’s a role of an artist to reflect on the society they live in. In his opinion, the artistic individual could influence the deep change in the current reality. He first started exhibiting in the 1940s, and associated himself with the first phase of conceptual art in the 1960s, becoming its British pioneer.
The exhibition includes his spray and roller paintings which came to be the most representative of his style, one-second drawings, or his monumental work Five Sisters which he created during the Scottish Office placement with APG. During the exhibition, his studio – Flat Time House in Peckham that’s been declared a living sculpture by the artist in 2003, and utilised as a contemporary art gallery since 2008 – will be hosting a range of workshops and events. All of these will try to present how these concepts of time and society are relevant today.
As Latham collaborated with many greats of his time and inspired a generation that came after him, the exhibition will also showcase the likes of Rita Donagh, Anish Kapoor, Liam Gillick, Richard Hamilton, Yoko Ono, Pedro Reyes and Barbara Steveni. What’s more, Speak display at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery features four artists whose work resonates with the conceptual pioneer’s outlook.
United in the hopes of continuing the legacy of Latham, Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost and Cally Spooner will present an installation made of a variety of media, including sound, drawings, light and video. Together, they’ll pose a question how their inspiration still resonates with the world, tackling the role of an artist in inducing change, the relationship between time and language, and unconventional ways of learning and changing what we already know.
The exhibitions will be open until the 21st of May 2017.