Photographs by John Keane
John Keane was the official artist for the Imperial War Museum, sent to cover the Gulf War 20 years ago. He was embedded with the British army, but he also spent five days in Kuwait City at the end of the war. He records that "the stench of death" was everywhere as bodies lay rotting.
Open 10am-5pm daily
Part exhibition, part legal graffiti wall, over 30 artists are on display there, from backgrounds ranging from fine art to graphic design and everywhere in between. These include Shepard Fairey (aka Obey, of André the Giant fame), Eine (anyone walking down an east London high street will recognise his single neon letters on shop shutters), Pure Evil (owner of the Shoreditch gallery of the same name), Tina Hage, Mode 2, Agent Provocateur, Keh Ng and Part 2ism, to name but a few.
British Museum, until 10 October
Aside from being unimpressed at first, I did enjoy this.
Through writings, visuals and music the Akan drum exhibition connects an old, torn, worn-out drum with well known music, while telling the story of the drum and the slaves who travelled with it. The story goes far beyond the development of drumming - it is the development of rhythm.
Tate Liverpool; Until 30 August 2010
The Picasso exhibition in Liverpool gives us a remarkable insight into this artist's tremendous political commitment over four decades - a commitment in which his activism and creativity were so successfully brought together in the fight for a better future.
British Library; Until 19 September
This new exhibition - subtitled "Power, Propaganda and Art" - points to the varied functions of maps. In fact, most of the maps here seem to emphasise both their aesthetic magnificence and their function as symbols of power. Vast canvases of expensive thread, continents outlined in gold leaf and portraits of kings adorning the tops of their colonial conquests need little explanation. The structure of the exhibition, portioned into "throne room", "bedchamber" and other rooms in a royal court, adds to this effect.