Art / Exhibitions

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art

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Woman with a Rake

Tate Modern, London, until 26 October
The curators at Tate Modern have assembled, quite simply, a magnificent exhibition. Kazimir Malevich was born near Kiev in 1879. He died in 1935 after being diagnosed with cancer while imprisoned in one of Stalin’s camps. Throughout his adult life he was a revolutionary artist, an innovator and teacher.

British Folk Art

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British Folk Art

Tate Britain, London, until 31 August

Policing the borders of art is a tricky business. They’re porous, and they’re constantly shifting. What passes as “art” today may no longer pass tomorrow. It’s like nailing jelly to a tree.

This is not a question that torments most of us. But the movers and shakers in the art world are obsessed with it. Either they’ve got millions riding on their favourites or else they’ve erected palaces of high culture around them.

Digital Revolution

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Digital Revolution

Barbican, London, until 14 September

Digital Revolution opens onto a darkened room lit by code that drops Matrix-style towards the floor, the flashing of video games and the blinking of computer screens. Clips of music repeat over and over, competing with the 8-bit bleeps and bursts from early video games. It’s immediately loud, exciting, daunting and disorientating.

Mondrian and Colour

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Turner Contemporary, Margate. Until 21 September

Piet Mondrian declared that he was not interested in painting pictures, but that his art was about "seeking truth".

For him, this search came to mean reducing images of the things he saw around him to their most objective essence - to remove the subjective and thereby achieve clarity.

Mondrian's most famous works, the grids, use simple horizontal and vertical lines to separate the bright primary colours of red, yellow and blue to create a "universal harmony". It is easy to see the effect Mondrian's abstraction has had on areas of graphic design and architecture.

Exhibitions: Ai Weiwei in the Chapel

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Until 2 November

Some 25 years after the Tiananmen Square democracy protests, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is staging an exhibition by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. In his words, "Freedom of speech...is the very essence of human rights", and his work explores freedom and its restriction in capitalist societies.

The park is in the grounds of Bretton Hall, and this exhibition is showing in its newly restored 18th century chapel.

Matisse: The Cut-Outs

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Tate Modern, London, until 7 September

Shortly after Henri Matisse's death the writer and artist John Berger wrote a short illuminating essay on Matisse's work in which he remarked, "I can think of no modern artist with less interest in history or psychology." He was born in the year that the Cutty Sark was launched and died the year in which the first hydrogen bomb was tested.

Freedom Has No Script

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Iniva, Gallery London, until 17 May

The title of Burak Delier's show is inspired by recent social movements. The artist argues, "When we consider the recent uprisings in Istanbul, Tahrir Square and Occupy New York, we can see that the rioters don't have a programme. Nobody knows exactly how we'll become free."

Burak is a Turkish artist living in Istanbul who has been politically engaged for many years. This is his first exhibition in Britain.

Cezanne and the Modern

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 22 June

This is the first European exhibition of the Pearlman collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, and it's a real treat.

Henry Pearlman was a rich American businessman who was as proud of the wheeler-dealing it took to acquire the paintings as he was of the paintings themselves, but don't let that put you off.

Richard Hamilton

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Tate Modern, London, until 26 May

Just what is it that makes Tate Modern's current retrospective exhibition of Richard Hamilton's work so different, so appealing? Of course this is a rather tongue in cheek reworking of the title of Hamilton's now iconic 1956 piece, "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?" Hamilton was, I would argue, one of the most interesting, innovative and enjoyable artists working in Britain from the late 1940s until his death in September 2011.

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