Top 10 exhibitions

Marina Abramovic 512 hours at Serpentine Gallery 2014

I was observing one of Abramovic’s assistants walking around in a circle like a Zen Buddhist doing a moving meditation when the artist came over to me and said: can I explain to you the concept of the exhibition? our minds are like Ferraris, always racing at 100 miles per hour. this show is a chance for you to relax and just be. feel free to lie on one of the beds or do one of the meditations that my assistant is facilitating.

I nodded and thanked her. phones placed in lockers before you enter the show, a chance to really go with the flow of life

Cody Choi & Lee Wan Korean Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017

Red lights, bordellos, Rancho Notorious, photos of stripper dwarves pole dancing making up one half. the other Mr K and the Collection of Korean History a photo essay depicting someone’s images from the time South and North Korea were united to post-partition. as moving and as gripping as a rocket flying inexorably toward you

Damien Hirst Treasures from The Wreck of the Unbelievable. Palazzo Grassi & Punta Della Dogana Venice, 2017

Playfulness, persistence ambition, dedication to a concept. sculptures so large, so epic the scale often jaw-dropping in palatial surroundings by a Venetian canal. a highlight of my trip to Venice that year

Damien Hirst mid-career show at Tate Modern 2012

The pills, Mother and Child, The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, the circle of life depicted in graphic detail: larvae turning into butterflies and being zapped to death as soon as they landed on a device made for electrocution. titles alluding in poetic ways to all kinds of scientific or art historical precedents. he floats like his butterflies and  stings like …

The Chapman Brothers The Disasters of Everyday Life at Blaine Southern London 2017

The gleeful gay abandon with which they intervened in Goya’s prints, the suicide vests, the collages. a tiny explosion in Mayfair, a surreal detonation in my heart

Juno Calypso A Thousand Years at TJ Boulting 2018

Atmospheric, 50s music piping through the speakers, glamour, insanity, cryonics. a haunting exhibition, real life weirder than fiction

Tim Walker Wonderful Things at the Victoria and Albert Museum 2019 to 2020

The Pink Room, curation as smooth and slick as a seal’s skin, an entrancing body of work that sashayed down the line between fashion photography and arty images, blurring those boundaries, collapsing the divisions

Sensation at the Royal Academy 1997

The frisson of the crowds about to get  in, the lifesize, compelling Ron Mueck sculpture on the gallery floor; the captivating image made with the cast of a child’s hand children’s hand prints by of the repellant child murderer Myra Hindley; the elephant dung in Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary; Emin’s Everyone I have ever slept with 1963 to 1995. the show that catalysed my journey in art, the start the lodestar.

Olafur Eliasson In Real Life 2019 at Tate Modern

Beauty: the magic of a mist produced by the manipulation of light producing a rainbow merging and disappearing depending on the viewer’s movement.

Blind Passenger: fog in narrow corridor, barely visible room, relying on my friend to help me get through to the other end.

Works that elevate by tangling with us, gently assaulting the senses

France-Lise McGurn Percussia at Simon Lee Gallery 2020

Dancing, prancing, lithe and lissom figures spilling out across canvas onto the gallery walls and ceilings. she sure evokes memories of seeing great contemporary dancers owning the stage in a joyous, athletic celebration of life.

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