Art / Exhibitions

Monuments Should Not Be Trusted

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This exhibition of work by artists in former Yugoslavia has been curated by Lina Džuverović.

It brings together over 30 leading artists and groups from the “golden years” of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia — the period between the early 1960s and the mid-1980s.

There is a striking collage by Avgust Černigoj from 1972 of anti Vietnam War protesters and a cartoonish, ghoulish face wearing a Stars and Stripes bandana with the name “Nixon”.

Artist and Empire

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At first the idea of an exhibition of art relating to the British Empire sounds deeply off-putting. Is it a collection of images celebrating imperial conquest? While it does contain such paintings, Artist and Empire is doing something more complex and more interesting.

Its opening room concentrates on the justification for empire. It contains many maps, while the second has studies of plants, people and landscapes.

Works To Know By Heart: An Imagined Museum

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The year is 2666 and art galleries are empty. The government has decided what they contained was subversive (and the cash from the sale of the artworks would help the economy). A group of people meet to view grainy photos of the lost works so they can survive at least in the memories of people who can share them with others.

British Art Show 8

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The British Art Show is a five yearly overview of contemporary art and a chance to survey in one place the work of leading, younger generation contemporary artists. Significantly the exhibition tours provincial cities rather than basing itself in the capital.

There are 42 artists represented here and in a welcome departure from past practice curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee extended invitations to non-British artists who work in the UK and the exhibition is undoubtedly the stronger for this.

The World Goes Pop

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This is a thrilling, colourful and challenging exhibition. It succeeds in demolishing any idea that the pop art movement of the 1960s and 1970s was a US and UK phenomenon produced largely by men.

In this show work by artists working across the world in countries as diverse as Iceland, Japan, Peru, Iran, Brazil, Poland and Cuba gives a completely new perspective on what pop art was and the themes it tackled.

Barbara Hepworth

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It is impossible to separate Barbara Hepworth’s work from its method. Although she was far from the first artist to choose carving over other methods of sculpture, it remained a less popular and prestige method, and her choice remains significant.

Carving a sculpture begins with something pre-existing—the wood or stone it is carved from — and consists of changing this thing rather than creating something anew, so the art can never be seen as entirely man made.

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk

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The new exhibition at the Turner Contemporary in Margate covers the work of the current great success story of British art. It is a success seen and heard on radio and television on a daily basis. The happily married father, holder of an MBE, soon to be installed Chancellor of the University of the Arts, and national treasure beloved by all, is Grayson Perry.

Sonia Delaunay

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Sonia Delaunay was no socialist, but she was a revolutionary. An early companion wrote to her from Moscow in 1906 “beware of ideology”. There were those who sought to change the world through social relations and those who revolutionised the way we perceive the world. Delaunay was a pioneer of modernism and this exhibition is a comprehensive survey of an original and prolific artist who lived and worked at the centre of 20th century art and design. At the end of her long life Delaunay said that she had in fact lived three lives.

Indigenous Australia: Unfinished business

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The Indigenous Australia exhibition at the British Museum sits uncomfortably between the past and present. It is a powerful combination of art and artefacts from the history of the hundreds of indigenous peoples in what is now known as Australia. The British Museum has been studiously self-conscious in acquiring and exhibiting these objects. It has taken seriously its role of representing people whose voices have largely been written out of their own histories. The exhibition has been curated in discussion with Aboriginal artists, historians and anthropologists.

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