With a whole lot of exhibitions and occasions vying on your consideration in London throughout Frieze week, Apollo’s editors select the reveals they don’t need to miss
The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare christens Stephen Friedman Gallery’s new Cork Road location with what the artist has referred to as a ‘celebration of nature’ – a vivid show that features his personal sculptures, masks and textiles alongside works by 9 established and rising artists from throughout the African diaspora (till 11 November). Among the many highlights of ‘Free The Wind, The Spirit, and The Solar’ are Shonibare’s Hybrid Masks, which mix human and animal options to discover the custom of masquerades in West African areas, and Feeling Like a Chook (2023), a life-sized sculptural reinterpretion of an equestrian portrait by George Stubbs. In Shonibare’s work, a feminine determine rides sidesaddle, bearing birdcages on her again; birds could be seen releasing themselves from their confines.
Crossing Piccadilly to St. James’s, the New York-based painter Will St. John is having his debut solo present at Saatchi Yates (till 22 October). St. John spent years learning Renaissance portray methods throughout Europe and brings these abilities to bear on his vibrant portraits of bohemian New Yorkers – from drag kings and queens, to trans fashions, musicians and actors. Probably the most putting works, Contemporary Tendrils (2023) pairs St. John’s masterful use of sunshine and shadow with the good inexperienced of his topic’s hair. Elsewhere, he creates a collage-like impact in works corresponding to Singing Queen (2022), wherein a drag performer seems enshrined by floral motifs, referencing the aesthetics of flower portray.