East London art exhibitions open this winter

We take a look at the East End’s finest and lesser-known exhibitions for those seeking a quiet moment of reflection.

From emerging artistic talent at Brick Lane Gallery to the experimental styles at Cell Project Space, the East End has it all. With choreographed dance, sculpture and etchings on show you can be sure to find a display that matches your palette.

London boasts many places to visit but typical tourist attractions can often be an ordeal. So why not stray off the beaten path to spend your precious time exploring some of our local gems?

Karate performer at the Moving Bodies, Moving Images exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery.
Image credit: Whitechapel Gallery

Moving Bodies, Moving Images brings together a selection of short films made in the last decade by contemporary artists exploring the intersection of dance, choreography and moving image. You can see this across a range of projections and screens dispersed in various galleries.

The exhibition focuses on performing bodies where you can see individual works of art, but also collective storytelling that explores timely topics. This includes gender politics and desire, bodily memory and collective identities.

You will also be able to see fascinating materials related to the making of the films, including production stills, reference texts and scores for those gripped by filmmaking techniques.

Moving Bodies, Moving Images can be seen at Whitechapel Gallery at 7-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX from 12 October 2022 – 8 January 2023. Tickets are free.

Artistic copper etching by artists Agnė Jokšė and Anastasia Sosunova depicting human eyes and blended facial expressions.
Image credit: Agnė Jokšė & Anastasia Sosunova

Dance As You Wrestle is the first major presentation of works by artists Agnė Jokšė and Anastasia Sosunova in the UK.

In the exhibition, dancing while wrestling acts as a counter-weight to the ‘apocalypse’ of the present day. You can expect to see newly commissioned site specific installations, including etchings and sculptures by Sosunova that incorporate copper and polluted water.

Jokšė, in parallel, presents new and modified moving images and incorporates feature footage of her family. She does so to depict Lithuanian diaspora settled in the UK. Through a queer perspective, both artists consider intergenerational emotional bonds that reflect on socio-political changes following the Soviet Union’s dissolution.

See Dance As You Wrestle at Cell Project Space on 258 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9DA from Wednesday 7th December 2022 till 26th February 2023. It is free to enter.

Painting by artist Behrang Karimi depicting a fire between two blocks with a blue background.
Image credit: Maureen Paley

Maureen Paley is pleased to present a solo exhibition at the gallery’s Studio M by Behrang Karimi who lives and works in Köln, Germany.

Music is a central part of this exhibition and has inspired Karimi to portray powerful and energetic moods. You can expect to see paintings connected to the emotional process of listening to music and its effect on the body.

Karimi works in a controlled and conscious manner, using music to get into the rhythm of painting. Take a step away from the outside world to immerse yourself in Dinge Weltweit, an exhibition focusing on the link between music, the body and our transient moods.

Behrang Karimi Dinge Weltweit can be seen at Maureen Paley on 60 Three Colts Lane, E2 0EL from 8 December 2022 till 26 February 2023.

Intersections by Richard Smith at Flowers Gallery

Painting by Richard Smith depicting bold colours and intersecting shapes. Black and white landscape panels are crossed over by horizontal blue fangs with red slanted lines.
Image credit: Antonio Parente

Flowers Gallery presents an exhibition by British artist Richard Smith CBE, who is recognised as one of the most influential painters of his generation. His work spans five decades and evades precise categorisation. Smith has a distinctive expansive abstract style that you can interpret in Intersections.

Also featured are a selection of Smith’s works on paper which provide other insights into the paintings around them. The artist uses bold colour to delineate forms and employs sculptural strategies such as cuts and folds to create a striking sense of depth and structure in their two-dimensional surfaces.

Look out for an exciting array of artworks that depict horizontal and vertical tapes at play with the surface of the canvas.

Intersections can be seen at Flowers Gallery on 82 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DP from 16 November 2022 till 18 February 2023.

Abstract painting showing a green figure covered by a yellow crystalline object. In the background sits white, grey and yellow shaded shapes resembling rocks.
Image credit: Alina Szapoczinikow

In this exhibition, explore how painting and sculpture converge to depict the poetics of form and the entanglement of body and memory. The works of the carefully selected artists oscillate between abstraction, figuration and symbolism.

This group show features artists including Rinella Alfonso, Lynda Benglis and Erika Verzutti. Alfonso is known for paintings that foreground objects from everyday life within original and stark fantasy worlds. Benglis was first recognised in the late sixties with her poured latex and foam works. Verzutti’s characteristic sculptures sit outside of period and place and range from bronze to paper-mache in construction.

You can expect a bold variety of paintings, sculpture and other experimental art forms, including the transformation of everyday objects such as lamps and ashtrays into thought-provoking pieces.

The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue is displayed on 47 Approach Rd, Bethnal Green, E2 9LY from 14 January 2023 till 18th February 2023. It is free to enter.

Painting by artist Sophie Wright depicting food plates, including fish, lemons, lobster and oysters on a striped white and blue background.
Image credit: Sophie Wright

The Brick Lane Gallery showcases an eclectic variety of contemporary art from British and international artists with exciting and distinctive styles. The programme of exhibitions includes solo-shows and group displays from emerging and established artists of diverse artistic backgrounds.

The featured artwork is by Australian artist Sophie Wright, who has traveled from Melbourne to London, and will be displaying artworks, ‘Continental Breakfast’ and ‘Mixed Plates’ for just under two weeks.

Wander in after a winter walk to see Sophie’s work and that of other upcoming artists in a much loved East End space.

Art in Mind will be displayed at Brick Lane Gallery on 216 Brick Lane, E1 6SA from 14 January 2023 to 18th. It is free to enter.

Illustration by artist Tom Berry of a man coloured in blue, yellow and green with intersecting harms and hands around him.
Image credit: Tom Berry

London-based illustrator Tom Berry has his art on show for the ninth Nunnery Café exhibition showcasing a collection of original prints and paintings on the human condition.

Expect to see pared down, flattened and symbolised human forms as part of Berry’s ongoing five-year experiment to render images of humans in the mind’s eye.

The exhibition is an experiment in screen printing and pushes the technique in myriad directions. In some cases, this culminates in the bold and graphic appearance. At other points, it results in subtle, blended and textured work akin to etchings or pencil drawings.

This exhibition is in collaboration with Bow Arts, a London arts charity which often displays affordable art pieces.

Tom Berry’s work will on display at Nunnery Cafe on 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ from Tuesday 11th October 2022 till Friday 20th January 2023.

If you enjoyed this article, then read our piece on Kay Kanté’s ordinary scene paintings of East London, previously shown at The Brady Art Gallery.

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