Detail from James Pyman's The Owl in Daylight (2013). Image: PEER Gallery

Detail from James Pyman’s The Owl in Daylight (2013). © James Pyman, courtesy Maureen Paley

James Pyman @ PEER
97-99 Hoxton St, N1 6QL

James Pyman’s preferred artistic tools are the pen and pencil, giving him access to an almost photorealistic skill that he applies to quite a wide range of subject matter – from 70s prog-folkers Comus to the bleak, abstract landscape depicted in 2006’s Jackdaw. One of his recent forays into installations, Upper Mill, saw him ‘wrap’ an entire Grade II-listed watermill in Wakefield with detailed pencil drawings of its own eroding features. Now he comes to Hoxton’s PEER, for an exhibition that showcases more of this magpie-like approach to culture and drawing. From 28 April until 10 June

Evelyn Taocheng Wang: For An Embarrassed Person It is Always Very Difficult To Avoid Embarrassing Things @ Carlos/Ishikawa
Unit 4, 88 Mile End Road, E1 4UN

This is Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s debut solo exhibition in the UK, at this small gallery renowned for breaking artists, like LA’s Henry Taylor, who go on to global acclaim and coverage. Little is known about this upcoming exhibition from the Chinese artist, beyond the lengthy title (a previous solo exhibition in Malmö was called Someone who lives in great comfort is completely enjoying it but still prays for even more fortune). Her previous showings have ruminated on issues of ethnicity, gender and power relationships through sharing and reflecting experiences Wang had as a masseuse in Amsterdam, via dappled paintings, diary entries and in-gallery massage (in exchange for images of landscapes from visitors to her Heatwave Wrinkle exhibition at California’s Chateau Shatto). From 5 May until 17 June

Tom Phillips @ Flowers Gallery
82 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DP

Flowers’ own Tom Phillips is the subject of the Shoreditch (and New York) gallery’s latest show. It presents an entirely new body of work, but one that returns to his preoccupation with reconfiguration. (Phillips’ A Humument project has seen him treat the same obscure Victorian novel, plucked at random from a Peckham bookshop, to collage, cut-up, ornament and other scramblings, over 45 years.) This time around, his own discarded plastic transforms into small, ornate oil collages – the artist as “the complete recycler”, as he puts it. Perhaps former student Brian Eno will make the trip over from Notting Hill to see his old art teacher. From 26 May until 1 July

Alice Neel, Uptown @ Victoria Miro
16 Wharf Rd, N1 7RW

Benjamin by Alice Neel. Image: Victoria Miro

Benjamin by Alice Neel. Image: Victoria Miro

Released from Philadelphia General Hospital’s sanatorium (the artist had attempted suicide following her husband’s absconsion to Cuba with their young daughter), Alice Neel resettled in New York, and eventually in Upper Manhattan in 1938. Her portrayal of local characters from all walks of city life broke ground for the portrayal of people of colour in portraiture. As Alice Neel, Uptown curator Hilton Als (The New Yorker) puts it in the accompanying catalogue, seeing Neel’s work as a youth in Brooklyn: “what shocked me more than her outrageous and accurate sense of color and form…was the realisation that her subject was my humanity.” From 18 May until 29 July

ISelf Collection: Self-portrait as the Billy Goat @ Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX

A four-part series of ISelf exhibitions kicks off this month, with twenty artists from all over the world – including Louise Bourgeois, André Breton and Yayoi Kusama – contributing to this inaugural collection. The connecting thread is self-portraiture, but far from being the art world’s version of a selfie-strewn Instagram feed, each work brings with it a twist on the concept. From Tracey Emin’s scratchy, inky nudes to the titular work by Pawel Althamer (a goaty reworking of the famous Rodin sculpture The Thinker), each piece in the exhibition examines and magnifies an aspect of each creator’s identity. From 27 April until 20 August

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team