If you're not already on your way to Hong Kong for the art fair, chances are you're looking for something closer to home. It's yet another inspiring week in galleries across the UK and I've highlighted some of the best shows below, but don't forget our full list of recommendations is always available on the main site, with maps and more detailed information.
With the announcement of the four finalists for the Art Fund Prize (congratulations to The Hepworth in Wakefield, RAMM in Exeter, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Watts Gallery in Guildford), it's also Museums at Night this weekend, with opportunities to see collections across the country by candlelight.
The Ashmolean open their new exhibition of objects, paintings, sculpture and specimens from across the globe, with the chance to take your own Grand Tour of four of Oxford's finest museums in a series of free events this weekend. Why not pick up one of their special passports between 6-9pm this Friday, when there'll be live orchestral music, a DJ on the decks, and large-scale projections inspired by their show (see below). There's also a sleepover at Belsay in Northumberland, a candlelit tour of Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire, and Apsley House, London with their fine art collection boasting both Velasquez and Rubens, is open to the public in the atmospheric half-light. Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall also has special evening events as part of the Penzance Convention.
In London, the Photographers Gallery move into their new building with an exhibition of work by Edward Burtynsky, the V&A open a glamorous exhibition of ballgowns, and as the National Portrait Gallery showcase their official portraits of the Queen, across town WW Gallery present a group show exploring the 'guilty pleasures of Jubilee celebrations' in Diamond Geezer.
I'll be visiting the Alex Katz show at Tate St Ives - roll on the sunshine, bring on the sand.
Kate Jago / @isendyouthis
artexhibition: opening highlights
| ||Hans Josephsohn |
Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford Ireland
12/05/2012 to 30/09/2012
Staged in collaboration with Hauser & Wirth and Kesselhaus Josephsohn, the exhibition features works dating from 1950 - 2011, specially selected for Lismore including pieces in the gallery and the historic Castle Gardens by this internationally important artist.
| ||Edward Burtynsky - Oil |
The Photographers Gallery, London
19/05/2012 to 01/07/2012
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has travelled the world to chronicle the effect of oil on all our lives, and to reveal the rarely seen mechanics of its production and distribution. The works depict landscapes scarred by the extraction of oil, and the cities and suburban sprawl defined by its use. He also eloquently addresses the coming end of oil, as we face its rising cost and dwindling availability.
Also: Raqs Media Collective: An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale (2011) is a silent looped video projection of an archival photograph, subtly altered by the artists to create a dream-like mise-en-scène.
| ||Keith Vaughan - A Centenary Exhibition |
Agnews, London W1S 4BA
16/05/2012 to 15/06/2012
A retrospective of the ‘strangely heroic’ Briton, Keith Vaughan, the first commercial exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the artist’s birth, coinciding with the major show at Pallant House, Chichester. This exhibition of 50 oils, gouaches and drawings cement Vaughan’s place as one of the most significant British artists of the twentieth century.
| ||Matthew Johnstone - Photographs & Slideshows |
JVA at Jerwood Space, London SE1 0LN
07/05/2012 to 01/09/2012
Johnstone’s works explore the way that different technologies, normally used for public display, materially mediate and modify the content that they display. The LCD screens used in the exhibition serve not only as transmitters of a digital content, but also function as material devices which are constitutive of the artwork itself.
| ||Saul Fletcher |
Alison Jacques Gallery, London W1T 3LN
25/05/2012 to 23/06/2012
Fragments from the artist's life are pieced together through intimate images of installations meticulously constructed directly onto his studio wall. Fletcher transforms everyday objects into melancholic sculptures and integrates them within layers of flaking paint, as tender, almost hermetic compositions emerge through a surface that serves as both his canvas and stage.
| ||The Historical Box |
Hauser & Wirth, London W1J 9DY
COMING UP NEXT WEEK: 23/05/2012
Curated by Mara McCarthy, director of The Box, Los Angeles, this exhibition showcases key pieces by influential American artists including John Altoon, Judith Bernstein, Simone Forti, Wally Hedrick, Robert Mallary, Barbara T. Smith and Stan VanDerBeek, many of which have never been exhibited in the UK. ‘The Historical Box’ brings together a collection of important performance, film, dance, drawings and sculpture created during the political and social turmoil of the Sixties and Seventies in the USA. It aims not only to broaden the canon of art history, but also to highlight the contemporary relevance of the issues which these artists confronted over three decades ago.
| ||Bedwyr Williams - My Bad |
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham B1 2HS
16/05/2012 to 08/07/2012
Williams observes the world with a sharp eye and wry humour. His work includes a wide range of media, including performance, sculpture, painting and photography. Drawing on his own personal narratives and family histories - from school days in a North Wales farming community to his experiences as an artist-in-residence - Williams has become known for sculpture and performance work reflecting on rural life, loss, memory and the folly of ambition.
| ||Richard Rigg |
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gatehead NE8 3BA
19/05/2012 to 26/08/2012
Playful and often humorous, Richard Rigg’s sculptures manipulate everyday objects, asking us to view their physicality and function in a new light. Rigg will realise his most ambitious work to date for this exhibition, calling into question not just an object, but an entire living landscape, in this case presented in an unassuming mountain hut.
| ||The English Prize - The Capture of the Westmorland |
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford OX1 2PH
17/05/2012 to 27/08/2012
In January 1779, The Westmorland, an armed merchant ship sailing from Livorno to London, was captured by the French, laden with works of art, books and antiquities accumulated by Grand Tourists on their travels through Italy.
Following an extraordinary research project, scholars have traced the history and fate of many items on board. ‘The English Prize’ presents over 120 objects, highlights include portraits of two of the Grand Tourists by Pompeo Batoni; a group of amazingly fresh watercolours by a young John Robert Cozens; and portrait busts by sculptor Christopher Hewetson.
| ||Alex Katz - Give Me Tomorrow |
Tate St Ives
19/05/2012 to 23/09/2012
Katz brings together over 30 canvases plus collages and cut-outs spanning the full breadth of his career from the 1950s to now. Given the gallery’s location on the beach, and the nature of the summer season in St Ives, the exhibition places a special emphasis on Katz’s seascapes and beach scenes, as well as images of family holidays and friends, painted in his own seaside retreat of Lincolnville, Maine.
Katz has also made a personal selection of works from the Tate collection, bringing together an illuminating cross-generational selection of artists.
| ||Mat Chivers - Sculpture & Drawings |
Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton EX14 1LX
EDITORS PICK: 19/05/2012 to 30/06/2012
A selection of sculpture and drawing by Mat Chivers whose recent group exhibitions have included shows at the Venice Biennale and the Courtauld Institute of Arts. This exhibition highlights the diversity in Chivers’ work which examines processes of change through combinations of traditional and technological materials.
| ||Adriana Groisman - Voices of the South Atlantic |
Ffotogallery, Cardiff CF5 1QE
19/05/2012 to 30/06/2012
Voices of the South Atlantic examines issues of war and its consequences. Rooted in the 1982 conflict, it includes the voices of people who fought on both sides, as well as civilians who were directly affected. Colour landscapes and black and white photographs of the sea.
Click here to see the full list