Rambling around Soho

The exhibition hinged on Freud's three concepts of the psyche - id, ego and superego.

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Mark Wallinger's 'Superego', 2016 at Hauser and Wirth, February 26 – May 7, 2016.

Walking through Soho can feel like walking through a forest of galleries - leave one and you spot another across the road. We took full advantage of this on a recent outing through one of our favourite parts of London, starting at Hauser and Wirth to see Mark Wallinger's exhibition 'ID'.

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Mark Wallinger, 'Orrery', 2016.

The exhibition was Wallinger's first solo show in the gallery, and hinged on Freud's three concepts of the psyche - id, ego and superego. 'Superego' (pictured above) is aptly named - the rotating mirrors, based on a revolving New Scotland Yard sign, represent the anxiety of surveillance and authority. 'Shadow Walker' (below) continues the theme of examining the facets of an individuality by following the artist's shadow as it moves with him across streets and pavements. The shadow comes to take on an identity of its own, beyond that of the body which produces it.

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Mark Wallinger, 'Shadow Walker', 2016.

From Hauser and Wirth we made our way to Alan Cristea gallery, where we were lucky enough to catch Paul Winstanley's 'Art School' before its end on May 7th. The material for the series comes from photographs taken by Winstanley in 2011/12 as he travelled around the UK photographing unpopulated art school studios. The repetitive nature of the images is a reminder that the art school's status as institution is more precarious than ever. There's a quiet calm, too, in their 'sameness', and a recursivity at play in displaying images of art spaces in an art space, making art out of rooms where art is made.

The repetitive nature of the images is a reminder that the art school's status as institution is more precarious than ever.

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From Paul Winstanley's 'Art School: New Prints and Panel Paintings' at Alan Cristea, March 17 - May 7, 2016.

On Carnaby Street, we caught a glimpse of Julian Opie's 'Shaida Walking', 2015.

Heading into Mayfair, we popped into David Zwirner Gallery. On the ground and first floors is 'Art & Beauty' by R. Crumb, an artist whose illustrations helped define cartoon/punk sub-cultures a generation ago. His work is frequently erotic, and this series features a range of images of women in various settings. The subject matter and style, coupled with a strange, self-deprecating tone borrowed from the soft-core magazines the series is based on, Crumb's work strikes a unique chord. It feels like something between a comic strip and an instagram feed.

It feels like something between a comic strip and an instagram feed.

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From 'Art & Beauty', R. Crumb at David Zwirner, April 15 - June 2, 2016.

On the top floor - 'THE UPPER ROOM' - is an exhibition of works from Richard Hamilton produced in Cadaqués, Spain, and named accordingly. His sly addition of an 'H' into the word Ricard, which appears on signs, ashtrays and bottles containing the liqueur 'Ricard', is a slick twist on the art of the ready-made. Hamilton first came to Cadaqués at the invitation of Marcel Duchamp, and his philosophical influence is clear in this particular collection of Hamilton's.

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From Cadaqués, Richard Hamilton at David Zwirner, April 8 - May 28, 2016.