Richard Serra: N-J 2, Rounds, Equal Weight, Unequal Measure, Rotate, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street (until 25 February 2017)
Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy of Arts (until 2 January 2017)
Jeff Koons, Almine Rech Gallery (until 21 January 2017)
My plan was to round up the plethora of big and predominantly male transatlantic artists to be seen in the capital this week, but after Tuesday nights (8 November) result I havent really the stomach for any more showy US muscularity. While both are important exhibitions and contain very great work, right now the threatening, precarious precision of Richard Serras most recent heavy metal masses and the emotive brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionists at the Royal Academy of Arts seem to offer just too much testosterone. Jeff Koonss shiny baubles nestling up to the meticulously reproduced Old Master paintings, along with his sickly, slickly reflective ballerinas on show at Almine Rech, appear to be ominous premonitions of Trumpish plans for the White House dcor.
Ed Ruscha: Extremes and In-Betweens, Gagosian Gallery, Grosvenor Hill (until 17 December)
The laconic nihilism of Ed Ruschas new paintings, which shrink the lofty into the quotidian and puncture hubristic clichs of infinity and the American sublime, seem more appropriate to Wednesday mornings sober election aftermath. In one series, vistas of sun-blushed craggy mountains are viewed through constrictive restraining apertures, their possibilities and horizons literally limited.
Mike Kelley: Framed and Frame, Hauser & Wirth (until 19 November)
Mike Kelleys Framed and Frame on view for one more week feels especially apt. This full-scale replica of a run-down, blobby concrete, paint-daubed wishing well from Los Angeles Chinatown is studded with Buddhas, buckets, coins and crucifixes. Shown in a separate room from its pagoda-topped chain-link and brick enclosure, it is a misplaced local landmark that speaks both of marginalisation, segregation and exclusion as well as of faith, cultural resilience and change. With the offerings and deities on its outside perversely at odds with the profane condom-strewn crawlspace hidden within, Kelleys re-framed relic also seems to stand as an image of a confused, conflicted and complicated nation. A nation reverberating with its multiple beliefs and agendas.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz: an Autumn Lexicon, Serpentine Gallery (until 20 November)
A deliciously epicene and utterly European antidote to this torrent of transatlantic (and Brexiteer) gloom in which Chaimowicz has taken possession of every aspect of the Serpentine Gallery building, meticulously combining paintings, photographs, textiles, ornaments and prototypes for furniture as well as lights, moving image and music to conjure up a series of elegantly, evocative mise en scne under the collective title of An Autumn Lexicon. Part sculptural arrangement, part interior dcor and part shrine, these subtle groupings span from the 1970s up to this year. In a prevailing pastel palette of pink, violet, lemon and eau de Nil, this most subtle and sophisticated artist dissolves and renders irrelevant the distinctions between decorative and functional, artistic and domestic, and aesthetic and narrative in order to meditate on remembrance, dj vu and the passing of time. Chaimowicz was born in post-war France and declares: We should resist the tyranny of linear time for one which is much more elusive, labyrinthian, gracious and once understood, perhaps even kindly. Demagogues on both sides of the Atlantic, take note.