As a pioneer of British conceptual art, John Latham (1921-2006) has exerted a powerful and lasting influence, not only on his peers but on generations of younger artists. This spring, the Serpentine hosts a new exhibition that encompasses all strands of Latham’s extraordinary practice, including sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object assemblage, performance and the artist’s theoretical writings.
Central to the world view that Latham spent a lifetime developing was his proposed shift towards a time-based cosmology of events away from a space- based framework of objects. In Latham’s eyes, ‘flat time’ expands across and beyond individual disciplines, aligning social, economic, political, psychological and physical structures. He saw the artist holding up a mirror to society: an individual whose dissent from the norm could lead to a profound reconfiguration of reality as we know it. A World View: John Latham at the Serpentine Gallery, 2nd March – 21st May.
At the same time a Serpentine Sackler Gallery exhibition brings together contemporary artists, Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon and Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner whose diverse work has affinities with Latham’s ideas. This show proposes Latham as an ‘open toolbox’ for artists, revealing how his concepts of time, language and society resonate today.
A catalogue to accompany both exhibitions features contributions from artists who worked with or been influenced by Latham, including Rita Donagh, Anish Kapoor, Liam Gillick, Richard Hamilton, Yoko Ono, Pedro Reyes and Barbara Steveni, as well as the four artists featuring in Speak.
Speak at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Both galleries are open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am – 6pm. serpentinegalleries