Our Picks: External shows and news of interest
  • Jenny Holzer @ Tate Modern
    23 July – 31 July
    American artist Jenny Holzer presents statements that can provoke strong responses. Whether encountered on city streets or in art galleries, Holzer's work asks us to consider the words and messages that surround us. Her art takes many forms, including stone benches, projections, signs, posters, paintings, plaques and textiles. Words are central to her work, whether pasted on a wall, flickering from an electronic sign, carved in granite or stitched in wool. Her texts can be forceful and apparently simple, but may contradict one another. They are not necessarily straightforward expressions of the artist’s views. Truisms, Holzer’s first text series, is a survey of belief.
  • Heather Ackroyd @ White Horse Wood Country Park, Maidstone
    1 September – 30 September
    Ash to Ash by internationally recognised artists Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey is a major new environmental artwork commissioned by The Ash Project. As part of their process the artists have undertaken a substantial research and development project, creating a work that responds to the loss of ash across the globe.
  • Libita Clayton @ Gasworks
    24 January – 24 November
    Quantum Ghost, the first UK solo exhibition and a major commission by Libita Clayton. Consisting of an immersive sound installation, a series of large-scale photograms and a programme of live performances, Quantum Ghost maps a journey through archives and territories related to the artist’s heritage. Clayton digs deep into personal documents and oral histories tracing her family tree across different mining regions and colonial geographies of extraction. She reconstructs the paper trail left by her late father, a member of SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organisation, the political mass movement that fought for Namibia’s liberation from Apartheid South Africa) who went into exile in the 1980’s and studied mining engineering in Cornwall. Grounded in these sites of memory and testimony, Clayton’s research unearths the subterranean histories and political undercurrents connecting the mining regions of Namibia and Cornwall.
  • Yinka Shonibare CBE @ Hereford Cathedral
    24 January – 1 June
    Internationally celebrated artist Yinka Shonibare has created a series of new quilt artworks for Hereford Cathedral, commissioned by Meadow Arts. Creatures of the Mappa Mundi is inspired by the Mappa Mundi (the largest medieval map of the world to survive to the present day). Shonibare invited diverse Herefordshire groups of people to contribute to the project by coming together for sewing sessions, intended to spark debate on current hot topics, including the environment and immigration.
  • Claudia Wieser @ Bloomberg Space
    31 January – 31 July
    Claudia Wieser's Shift transforms the ground floor of the three-level space with delicately crafted sculptures and collaged wallpaper, welcoming visitors to explore an ever-changing scene where the ancient and the contemporary conflate and collide.  It is a visual archive of found images and times, resulting in a collage of different pasts that both cancel out and affect each other. At its core, Shift provokes questions about the different lenses and perceptions of past and present whilst inviting viewers to create their own associations and narratives.
  • Carolina Caycedo & others @ De La Warr Pavilion
    9 February – 2 June
    Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act II explores the history of resistance and alternative forms of living from the perspective of gender from the late 19th century to the present and beyond. The exhibition presents ways in which resistance has been approached by visual artists, writers, architects, designers, activists, working as individuals or in groups. Grounded in intersectional and queer feminist perspectives, it takes place within a global context, referring to recent women-led uprisings and demonstrations, as well as historic moments including the Civil Rights Movement, independence movements against colonial rule in Africa, the Women’s Liberation Movement, the AIDS crisis and the Stonewall Rebellion.  At the core of Still I Rise is the idea of collaboration, community building and egalitarianism.
  • Magdalene Odundo @ The Hepworth, Wakefield
    16 February – 2 June
    The Journey of Things, brings together more than 50 of Magdalene Odundo’s vessels alongside a large selection of historic and contemporary objects which she has curated to reveal the vast range of references from around the globe that have informed the development of her unique work.  
  • Carey Young @ Towner Art Gallery
    17 February – 2 June
    An exhibition of Carey Young’s, Palais de Justice (2017) which was filmed surreptitiously at the Palais de Justice in Brussels, an enormous and ornate 19th Century courthouse designed to depict law in terms of the sublime. The film contradicts the familiar patriarchal culture of law, as Young’s camera depicts female judges and lawyers at court. Sitting at trial, directing proceedings or delivering judgments, female judges are seen through a series of circular windows in courtroom doors.
  • Anne Hardy @ Towner Art Gallery
    17 February – 2 June
    British artist Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection in Towner’s eighth and final exhibition as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme 2016-19. Anne's work derives from places she calls ‘pockets of wild space’ – gaps in the urban space where materials, atmospheres, and emotions gather – using what she finds there to manifest sensory and unstable installation works that fully immerse you. Hardy brings this approach to her selection for Towner, envisioning the gallery space as a shifting impermanent landscape, a meditative environment shaped by local weather data, which has been translated into gently fluctuating light. The Weather Garden encompasses over thirty artworks in a diverse range of media that are engaged with material, physical action, and sensuality. Artists include: Roger Ackling, Claire Barclay, Becky Beasley, Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Claude Cahun, Lynn Chadwick, Alice Channer, Lygia Clark, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Jane Coyle, Hubert Dalwood, Rita Donagh, Barry Flanagan, John Gibbons, Shirazeh Houshiary, Kim Lim, Sarah Lucas, Lucia Nogueira, Madeleine Pledge, Ima-Abasi Okon, Margaret Organ, Karin Ruggaber, Veronica Ryan, Seb Thomas, Edward Weston and Cathy Wilkes.
  • Dorothea Tanning @ Tate Modern
    27 February – 9 June
    This is the first large-scale exhibition of Dorothea Tanning’s work for 25 years. It brings together 100 works from her seven-decade career – from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures. Tanning wanted to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’: to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye. She first encountered Surrealism in New York in the 1930s. In the 1940s, her powerful self-portrait Birthday 1942 attracted the attention of fellow artist Max Ernst – they married in 1946. Her work from this time combines the familiar with the strange, exploring desire and sexuality.
  • Myfanwy Macleod @ Canada House Gallery
    1 March – 8 June
    Neighbours, is the first solo UK exhibition by Myfanwy MacLeod, who is best known for her irreverent artworks that often explore the overlap between pop culture, folklore, traditions and histories. Her practice examines how perceptions of “high” and “low” culture are interpreted through themes of gender, privilege and value, and ranges from gallery exhibitions through to celebrated works in the public realm. Her interest in how an image or object can be transformed to change its meaning and, importantly, the context of indoors or out plays a specific role within her deliberations and is the starting point for this exhibition.  
  • Emma Smith @ Freud Museum
    6 March – 26 May
    Wunderblock,  Emma Smith’s artworks and interventions interrogate some of this complex narrative to highlight the hidden history of the child’s influence over the adult world.
  • Joanna Piotrowska @ Tate Britain
    8 March – 9 June
    Joanna Piotrowska has an interest in domestic spaces and man-made environments.  Her photographs and films in All our false devices, relate to self-protection, psychophysical relationships and the power dynamics underlying how we relate to each other.  
  • Renee So @ Henry Moore Institute
    8 March – 2 June
    Renee So makes ceramic sculptures and machine-knitted textiles. The exhibition, Bellarmines and Bootlegs includes works from 2012 to the present. So’s extensive research into the histories of European and Assyrian sculpture, along with an enthusiasm for theatre costume, cartoons, advertising design and popular souvenirs, has resulted in a unique take on portraiture. Her trans-historical points of reference combine into heavily stylised, magical and mythical images in both her sculptures and what the artist calls ‘knitted paintings’. Featuring a central protagonist, a bearded and inebriated man accompanied by an array of props – pipes, cigarettes, boots, hats and drinking vessels – So’s work assimilates histories of representation in sculpture and beyond.
  • Kate Adams @ MK Gallery
    16 March – 26 May
    Illuminating the Wilderness is a new film production by Project Art Works, conceived and directed by Kate Adams and Tim Corrigan, filmed on location with Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon and neurodiverse artists and makers, families and carers. This 40-minute film follows the investigation of a remote Scottish glen over several days and reveals the pleasures and challenges of neurodiverse responses to nature and shared experience.   
  • Susan Derges @ The Queen's House
    20 March – 5 January
    Inspired by the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I; this exhibition is a new commission from photographer Susan Derges.  Using both analogue and digital techniques the work, titled Mortal Moon, unpacks the Armada Portrait’s symbolism, with a particular focus on the Moon. 
  • Elizabeth Blackadder @ Willis Museum, Basingstoke
    29 March – 12 June
    Dame Elizabeth Blackadder is one of our greatest artists: the first woman to be elected both to the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy, she was given the prestigious title of Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland in 2001. She has had a long and distinguished career but her art remains quietly personal. She has charted a very individual course throughout the second half of the 20th century and beyond, unswayed by fashion, a tireless devotion to her practice as an artist her guiding principle. This specially curated exhibition, From the artist’s studio shows the breadth and variety of Blackadder’s work and aims to reveal and celebrate an exceptional career.
  • Beverly Fishman @ Ronchini Gallery
    3 April – 1 June
    Combining the handmade with the industrial, Beverly Fishman employs a variety of techniques to explore technological, scientific, and biological systems of perception and representation, instigating constructive conversations about the ways people see their bodies and minds, and construct their identities.  
  • Anita Corbin @ The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
    4 April – 28 May
    In the early 1980s, Anita Corbin represented young women in a photographic genre that was almost entirely dominated by men. Mods, punks, skinheads, rastas, lesbians, rockers – young women defying the mainstream, showing their individuality in tribes characterised by music, fashion, geography and sexual orientation. 36 years later, Corbin has called those original girls back together for Visible Girls: Revisited.
  • Partou Zia @ Falmouth Art Gallery
    6 April – 15 June
    This exhibition, The World as yet Unseen, reveals a world both intimate and outward looking, seen through the eyes of women artists based in Cornwall and internationally.  At the centre is the visionary work of the artist and writer Partou Zia (1958-2008) who was born in Iran but came to England in 1970, settling in Newlyn in 1993.  Her dream-like canvases will be displayed alongside works by her contemporaries and influential figures including:  Gillian Ayres, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Tacita Dean, Naomi Frears, Barbara Hepworth, Rose Hilton, Nina Royle, Lucy Stein, and Winifred Nicholson.
  • Tirzah Garwood @ The Fry Art Gallery
    7 April – 27 October
    Mr & Mrs Ravilious, is the Gallery's main exhibition for 2019, which will be devoted to the work of Eric Ravilious and his wife Tirzah Garwood, two artists whose lives were both prematurely cut short. Eric died in 1942, aged 39, while serving as a war artist; Tirzah (née Garwood) died in 1951, aged 42. Despite this, they have a unique place in 20th century art and the exhibition tells the story of their artistic life together, presenting the parallels in their work and the influence they had on each other's creativity. In what will be a very insightful and eclectic collection, it will be the first time that the careers and work of Ravilious and Garwood have been seen from this fascinating and intertwined personal perspective. Over 150 items will be on display including watercolours, oils, ceramics, marbled papers, box constructions and wood engravings, together with two fine oil portraits of Eric and Tirzah.  
  • Bea Bonafini @ Bosse & Baum
    11 April – 25 May
    Bea Bonafini’s exhibition is entitled Talk to the Hand, and presents two new tapestries, shown as wall-hangings, and a series of ceramic tools and masks. The exhibition is a material and narrative reformatting of memory and fantasy: an elaboration of loss, a falling apart.
  • Anna-Sophie Berger @ Cell Project Space
    12 April – 26 May
    A Failed Play is Anna-Sophie Berger’s first solo exhibition in London. The new installation includes wall mounted prints drawn from archival material documenting the production of the artist’s 2013 project 'fashion is fast' (a 36 piece fashion collection) as well as two new individual sculptures.   
  • Mandy El-Sayegh @ Chisenhale Gallery
    12 April – 9 June
    Mandy El-Sayegh’s large-scale paintings, works on paper and object-based installations move between linguistic, material and corporeal registers, often creating double meanings that signal a breakdown in everyday systems and orders. The exhibition brings together principle elements from an ongoing series of works to explore themes relating to representation, abstraction and subjectivity. Comprising painting, drawing, print and sculpture, Cite Your Sources addresses the process of constructing meaning through the production and circulation of images and materials.
  • YiMiao Shih @ House of Illustration
    13 April – 14 July
    During a six-month residency, YiMiao Shih wove a parallel universe in which the UK voted not for Brexit but 'Rabbrexit': the expulsion of rabbits from the country. For Rabbrexit Means Rabbrexit, Shih created a series of ‘relics’ from the UK’s imaginary rabbit population, including large-scale embroidered epics, newly minted 52p and 48p coins and aeroplane landing cards for rabbits stripped of their British citizenship. These satirical pieces draw together Shih’s real-world observations of the nationalistic fervor, economic uncertainty and fragmentation of societal bonds brought about by Brexit.
  • Sarah Morris @ White Cube Bermondsey
    17 April – 30 June
    This exhibition, Machines do not make us into Machines, by Sarah Morris features paintings, films, a site-specific wall painting as well as the artist’s first sculptural work. The exhibition reflects Morris's interest in networks, typologies, architecture and the city, articulated through colour and geometric abstraction.  
  • Lili Dujourie @ Richard Saltoun Gallery
    18 April – 25 May
    Lili Dujourie is a Flemish artist whose work traverses sculpture, painting and video. Described as an ‘Old Master in Postmodern Garb,' Dujourie operates at the intersection of minimalism and conceptualism, consistently and systematically challenging the subject position of the viewer through clever experimentation with material and form. 
  • Prabhavathi Meppayil @ Pace Gallery
    26 April – 25 May
    The exhibition features a new body of work continuing Prabhavathi Meppayil’s concerns with questions of Modernism and Minimalism through traditional Indian artisan practices.
  • Asuncion Molinos Gordo @ Delfina Foundation
    30 April – 22 June
    Accumulation by Dispossession, is an exhibition by Asunción Molinos Gordo that explores inequalities in the global food system.  It addresses issues of privatisation, financialisation, the management and manipulation of crisis, as well as redistribution, and is part of the new Politics of Food season.  
  • Katja Liebmann @ HackelBury Fine Art
    1 May – 8 June
    Katja Liebmann in her exhibition Early Workbrings together five bodies of work from the artist’s early career, which illustrate her on-going examination of the confluence of time, movement, and environment. Katja’s use of early photographic techniques—the pinhole, kallitype, and cyanotype—further reinforces the theme of time, reflecting on tools of the past to emphasise the fleeting nature of the present. Katja’s process, is not nostalgic; instead, it is a study into our continual progression over time.
  • Debra Welch @ Chelsea Space
    1 May – 31 May
    This exhibition focuses on a film Debra Welch made in response to the closure of her old school in Portsmouth, King Richard School, previously Paulsgrove Secondary Modern Boys & Girls School.  Situated on a large post-war council estate in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, it served families who lived there for over 60 years, becoming a central pillar to the local community. Welch sensed a melancholy around this closure and in 2016 began a process of communicating with the school, the community and the local authorities, recording a collective memory. This evolving research culminated in the artist documenting the building in its last days before demolition in 2018, in a work called All Things are Young.  
  • Kathy Acker @ ICA
    1 May – 4 August
    I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker is an exhibition dedicated to the American writer Kathy Acker (1947–1997), her written, spoken and performed work.  This polyvocal and expansive project combines an exhibition with a programme of performances, screenings and talks. The exhibition is structured around fragments of Acker’s writing, which serve as catalysts for a network of interconnected materials presented around them, including works by other artists and writers, video and audio documentation of Acker’s performative appearances in various cultural and media contexts, documents and books from her personal archive.   
  • Greta Alfaro @ Roaming Room Gallery
    1 May – 26 May
    I will not hesitate to react spiritually is a large scale, solo installation of new work by Spanish artist Greta Alfaro.  
  • Debra Welch @ Chelsea Space
    1 May – 31 May
    Debra Welch's exhibition focuses on the closure of her old school in Portsmouth, King Richard School, previously Paulsgrove Secondary Modern Boys & Girls School. Situated on a large post-war council estate in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, it served local families for over 60 years, becoming a central pillar to the community. Welch sensed a melancholy around this closure and in 2016 began a process of communicating with the school, the community and the local authorities, to record a collective memory. This evolving research culminated in the artist documenting the building in its last days before demolition in 2018. ‘All Things Are Yours’ (a motto taken from one of the school's emblems) brings together new video, sculptural and photographic works made over the duration of this project, while Welch spent time between London and Portsmouth.
  • Katja Liebmann @ HackelBury Fine Art
    2 May – 8 June
    Katja LiebmannEarly Workbrings together five bodies of work from the artist’s early career which illustrate her on-going examination of the confluence of time, movement, and environment. Katja’s use of early photographic techniques—the pinhole, kallitype, and cyanotype—further reinforces the theme of time, reflecting on tools of the past to emphasise the fleeting nature of the present
  • Lucia Pizzani @ Cecilia Brunson Projects
    4 May – 8 June

     ‘Coraza’ by Lucía Pizzani is a new body of work developed over the last two years and from her recently completed residency at the Marso Foundation in Mexico.

    The title, ‘Coraza’ (translated – ‘armour’), references the ceremony to the Aztec god of rebirth, Xipe Totec. As part of the ritual to celebrate the start of the corn cropping season, Aztec priests would peel the skin from defeated warriors before donning their flayed skins. Pizzani became fascinated by the ancient ceremony, and this exhibition is her parallel exploration into regeneration, transformation and metamorphosis through ceramics, photography, installation, collage and video.

  • Carey Mortimer @ Thackeray Gallery
    7 May – 24 May
    The techniques and materials that Carey Mortimer uses are quintessential to her work. The paintings’ beginnings go far beyond the first brush strokes, with pigments being ground from collected rocks, coral and burnt vines, ink taken from local cuttlefish, an awareness of the origins of all the material aspects of the final piece. Carey is a contemporary British painter who uses these ancient techniques to convey her very modern concerns, transforming often bleak issues into a resolved and peaceful work, a moment of calm reflection.
  • Sophie Layton @ Eames Fine Art Gallery
    8 May – 9 June
    Refracting Light is an exciting exhibition of new works by Sophie Layton. Using traditional Japanese printmaking techniques and inspired by blown glass and the Japanese art of Ikebana flower arranging, these exhibits display a gorgeous delicacy and translucence whilst remaining typically bold and striking images. Many of the works in the show are one-off monotypes combining the mokuhanga print technique with hand colouring.
  • Dorothy Bohm @ Avivson Gallery
    9 May – 14 June
    A selection of small and exquisite colour prints, many of them images never seen in public before, by doyenne of British photography Dorothy Bohm.  Intimate in scale and mainly domestic in subject-matter (still life predominate), in lyrical and poetic images that delight the eye. 
  • Teresa Pemberton & others @ The Brownston Gallery
    10 May – 31 May
    The exhibition Earthly Delights: Landscapes and Still Life celebrates the wonderful month of May with new work by four inspiring women artists - painters Teresa Pemberton, Joanna Vollers and Sue Luxton and sculptor Sally Derrick. This new collection brings together Teresa's bold and colourful impressonist landscapes, Joanna's striking yet delicate still lifes, Sue's quirky and endearing snapshots of daily life and Sally's lifelike sculptures of animals and birds. Like nature herself this exhibition simply bursts with life and energy.  
  • Lynn Chadwick @ Sainsbury Centre
    11 May – 31 August
    Three striking sculptures by Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) - These three “Beasts” (Crouching Beast IILion I and Beast Alerted I) are monumental animals captured in various states of action, made of welded stainless-steel sheets.
  • Rachel Ann Grigor @ Brook Gallery
    11 May – 8 June
    This work, Composition, by Rachel Ann Grigor deals with the harmony of art, including musical extracts from Isaac Short.
  • Kate Nicholson @ Falmouth Art Gallery
    13 May – 6 July
    Kate Nicholson's exhibition covers the breadth of her creativity.  It includes examples of early landscapes (Cumberland, Isle of Skye and St Ives), the still life's she made in St Ives working alongside her father Ben Nicholson, the Greek abstracts from the 1960s made while she was travelling with her mother Winifred Nicholson, and a selection of works from her time on the Hebridean Isle of Eigg in the 1980s.
  • Heidi Bücher @ The Approach
    16 May – 23 June
    Die Wässer und Libellenlust, is a solo exhibition of works by Heidi Bucher. The show focusses on water and the symbol of the dragonfly, two major aspects of her practice that resonated throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s. These elements highlight Heidi’s fascination with the processes of shedding, transformation and renewal. Bucher’s employment of water, with its ablutionary qualities, and the dragonfly, as an embodiment of metamorphosis, represents her vision of breaking free from the constraints and traumas that haunt both one’s past and present.
  • Nora Berman @ Kingsgate Workshops
    18 May – 15 June
    On display is a special Billboard Commission, which is a work by Nora Berman, entitled Piped Woman.
  • Martina von Meyenburg @ Coleman Projects
    18 May – 9 June
    ‘A Lot or Knot’ is an exhibition of new sculptures and works on paper by Martina von Meyenburg.  The histories of found objects and materials form the basis of von Meyenburg’s sculptural investigation. As a collector and curator of “traces”, the visceral and associative evidence of the previous lives of things, she is interested in how particular material combinations and modes of display can alter our relationship to the ‘data’ presented. In ‘A Lot or Knot’ the artist pushes the playfully surreal and instinctive aspects of her practice. 
  • Sara Lee @ Rabley Gallery
    23 May – 20 June
    In Sara Lee’sBeckoning Lines’ she produces intense pastel drawings of landscapes that have no bearing on distance.  Each is a desert of infinity where one is pulled into the nuance of surface.   
  • Huguette Caland @ Tate St Ives
    24 May – 1 September
    After moving to Paris from Beirut in 1970, Huguette Caland achieved artistic recognition with her exuberant and erotically charged paintings that challenged traditional conventions of beauty and desire. The female physique is a recurrent motif in her work, often painted like landscapes with voids and mountain-like forms. Shifting between figuration and abstraction, large, colourful canvasses and detailed drawings from the 1970s and 1980s explores the delicate balance between the suggestive and the explicit that Caland creates in her work.  
  • Alison Watt @ Parafin Gallery
    24 May – 13 July
    A Shadow on the Blind, is Alison Watt’s new work that constitutes an interrogation of the genre of still life. The starting point for this body of work is an extended meditation upon Thomas Warrender’s Still Life (1708) in the Scottish National Gallery, a trompe-l’oeil depiction of a letter rack and the only known oil painting by the artist.
  • Zoe Williams @ Mimosa House
    25 May – 27 July
    A solo exhibition and premiere of Zoe Williams’s new moving image work, Sunday Fantasy. The work uses the language of fantasy to play with and subvert dominant power structures, dissecting and interrogating current representations of the erotic and viewing them through an importantly female and queered lens.
  • Madge Gill @ William Morris Gallery
    22 June – 22 September
    Madge Gill was born in Walthamstow and spent most of her years living in East London. A self-taught, visionary artist, she created meticulous artworks, many of which were created while “possessed” by Myrninerest, her spirit-guide. This landmark exhibition is the most comprehensive survey of Gill’s work to date, bringing together drawings, large-scale embroideries, textiles and archival objects, many of which have never been exhibited before.
  • Anne Bevan & Janice Galloway @ Hunterian Art Gallery
    28 June – 1 October
    From research in the “special collections” of medical history and the modern labour suite, Anne Bevan and Janice Galloway have put together the words and sculptures of Rosengarten, taking the tools of obstetrics and pairing them with water, light, human hands and garden plants.  Away from the heat and trauma of birth, seen in isolation or reflection, the implements appear as open, allusive, organic, and most of all, visible.

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