Alan Cristea, until 16 March 2013
A new exhibition of prints by Julian Opie at Cork Street’s Alan Cristea Gallery expands on one of the highlights of his solo show at the Lisson Gallery last summer (touched upon in a previous blog here).
Julian Opie, 'Winter 11.', 2012. From a series of 75 digital prints laminated to glass and mounted to Plexiglas. © Julian Opie. Courtesy the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
Winter (2012) represented in a digital animation the view of the artist as he walked in the French countryside; the natural world, however, was rendered in typical Opie style, with interior detail minimal and the graphic outlines bold. The British artist presents at Alan Cristea 75 glass-laminated prints that relive the journey again in distinct sequential steps.
Pablo Picasso, 'Harlequin and Companion', 1901. Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm. © The State Pushkin Museum, Moscow. Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901
The Courtauld Gallery, until 26 May 2013
If modern art was born with the first Salon des Refusés in Paris in 1863, then perhaps it came of age in the summer of 1901, when a young Spanish artist Pablo Picasso had his debut show with the city’s most influential art dealer, Ambroise Vollard. A fascinating, highly focused exhibition at London’s Courtauld Gallery tracks the momentous shifts in Picasso’s painting during that year.
Critics were wowed by the show; Gustav Coquiot described him as 'a mad but subtle jeweller, in bringing out his most sumptuous yellows, magnificent greens and glowing rubies'. But during the second half of 1901 the Malaga-born artist produced portraits characterised more by azure and ultramarine – heralding the emergence of his Blue Period that was to become a definitive moment in art history.
Manchester Art Gallery, until 26 May 2013
The young Calcutta-born, London-based artist Raqib Shaw has become acclaimed by critics and collectors in recent years for his opulent, richly detailed paintings and sculptures that feature fantastical flora and fauna.
Raqib Shaw, 'Monkey King Boudoir II'. Courtesy the artist. ©Raqib Shaw.
Following exhibitions at Tate Britain and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manchester Art Gallery stages the largest solo show of his work to date, with 28 works from private collections bringing visitors into a visual world that is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch and, in the words of writer Martin Herbert, 'at once ecstatic and terrible'.
Miroslav Tichy, 'Homemade camera', 1987. Courtesy Foundation Tichy Ocean. Photo ® Roman Buxbaum. Mark Leckey
The Bluecoat, Liverpool, 16 February – 14 April 2013
Liverpool’s Bluecoat, a multi-disciplinary arts centre that has of late shown some particularly high-quality visual art exhibitions, continues its good form by presenting an interesting thematic show curated by Turner Prize-winning Mark Leckey. The Birkenhead-born artist – whose own work in many media tends to extrapolate outwards in unexpected directions from found items and images – brings together a wide array of objects, from modern and contemporary artworks by figures such as Louise Bourgeois and Richard Hamilton, to archeological finds and machines. The show, titled ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’, has the premise that our understanding of objects has changed radically thanks to the latest technologies. If you can’t catch it in Liverpool, the exhibition tours to Nottingham Contemporary and Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion later in the year.
Elisabeth Frink, 'Eagle Lectern', 1962. © The Elisabeth Frink Estate. Elisabeth Frink
The Lightbox, Woking, 19 February – 21 April 2013
Histories of twentieth-century British sculpture often seem to move seamlessly from the post-war abstractions of Moore and Hepworth, to Anthony Caro and then onto the various conceptually informed styles pioneered from the 1980s by ‘New British Sculptors’ like Academicians Tony Cragg and Antony Gormley, and then the YBA generation. From next week, The Lightbox in Woking appraises the celebrated artist Elisabeth Frink RA, who followed a very different path to these artists, concentrating from the 1960s on the poetic possibilities of figurative sculpture. This retrospective, the first in over 25 years, presents her most important bronzes of male and animal figures alongside photographs, correspondence and the artist’s personal objects.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine