Our pick of this week’s art events: 22 April – 29 April

Published 22 April 2016

From a major Alberto Giacometti show at the Sainsbury Centre to a rare display of contemporary Arab art at Whitechapel Gallery, we pick the week’s best art.

  • Giacometti: A Line Through Time

    The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, 23 April until 29 August
    This exhibition at The Sainsbury Centre marks the 50th anniversary of Giacometti’s death, but it also has added significance because of the strong relationship the sculptor had with the couple that founded the institution. Robert and Lisa Sainsbury – who donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia in 1973, leading to the creation of a special building to house and display it – were personal friends of Giacometti and ardent supporters of his work. Today, thanks to them, The Sainsbury Centre boasts one of the largest collections of Giacometti’s work in the country. Giacometti: a Line in the Sand, serves as an important exploration of the defining elements of Giacometti’s practice, and also the strength of his influence on British art in the Post-War period, exemplified by a display of works by Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Henry Moore and Elisabeth Frink RA.

  • Alberto Giacometti , Standing Woman

    Alberto Giacometti, Standing Woman, 1958-1959.

    Bronze. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016. Photo: Pete Huggins..

  • Guan Xiao: Flattened Metal

    Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, until 19 June
    Chinese artist Guan Xiao juxtaposes technological with so-called ‘primitive’ mediums in her work, making truly unique fusions. Exploiting the endless possibilities afforded by installation art, the works in this exhibition include a triptych of videos, large printed screens, and sculpture with audio components. In considering the difficulties associated with exploring the past from the perspective of the present, Guan Xiao exposes the ways that history can be manipulated to suit any given purpose or narrative.

  • Guan Xiao, Installation view of Guan Xiao: Flattened Metal in association with K11 Art Foundation

    Guan Xiao, Installation view of Guan Xiao: Flattened Metal in association with K11 Art Foundation, 2016.

    Image courtesy Institute of Contemporary Arts London (ICA) Photo: Mark Blower.

  • Georg Baselitz: Wir fahren aus (We're off)

    White Cube, Bermondsey, London, 27 April until 2 July
    In this exhibition, George Baselitz Hon RA’s hauntingly beautiful works span the entirety of the White Cube’s Bermondsey gallery: large-scale paintings, bronze sculptures and a wide array of works on paper. Honing in on Baselitz’ portraiture and ‘remixing’ technique (where images are repeated and reinterpreted using different mediums), the show underscores the liberal modes of experimentation that characterize the artist’s practice; while works such as Oh, Rosy, oh rosy demonstrate his mastery of paint, which he applied with deceptive carelessness to create hazy, anthropomorphic forms.

  • Georg Baselitz, Oh, rosy, oh rosy

    Georg Baselitz, Oh, rosy, oh rosy, 2015.

    Oil on canvas. 300 x 290 cm. © Georg Baselitz. Photo © Jochen Littkemann Courtesy White Cube.

  • Barjeel Art Foundation: Imperfect Chronology

    Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 14 August
    Four displays at The Whitechapel offer visitors a rare opportunity to see some great gems of Modern and Contemporary Arab art, borrowed from the Barjeel Art Foundation. The third in the series, Imperfect Chronology: Mapping the Contemporary I, looks toward the emergence of media-based practices among a generation of artists in the 1990s. In considering the aftermath of war, artists such as Walid Raad and Akram Zaatar draw on both real and fabricated archival sources, whilst Yto Barrada deploys photographs and maps of her native Tangier in contemplating the prospect of a better life for its people.

  • Yto Barrada, Northern Provinces, Tangier

    Yto Barrada, Northern Provinces, Tangier, 2009.

    Image courtesy Sfeir-Semler Gallery.

  • Orpheus Ascending

    Eagle Gallery, London, until 14 May
    Orpheus Ascending brings together the work of four diverse artists – Stephen Chambers RA, the late Ken Kiff RA, Anne Buchanan Crosby and James Fisher – to consider how myths, proverbs and folk tales have served as a shared and vital source of inspiration to each of them. Buchanan Crosby’s art draws on Greek mythology, Fisher’s primarily from music and literature, whilst Kiff’s subject matter pertains to the poetic. Chambers’ emotive, colourful and naïve art masks his deep art historical knowledge. The flattened-down perspective in his paintings make reference to the years he spent in Rome on a scholarship, studying Sassetta and Pierra della Francesca, whilst their content draws on the proverbs of Bruegel in their depictions of human behaviour. Much like the other works on display, Chamber’s paintings captivate with their rich narratives.

  • Stephen Chambers, Stealing Things: Bicycle Theif

    Stephen Chambers, Stealing Things: Bicycle Theif, 2015.

    Oil on panel. 29 x 48 cm. Image courtesy Eagle Gallery.

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