Five art shows to see this week: Tate Modern, IKON and more

2–8 December

Published 2 December 2016

From a taxidermy goat in a car tyre to controversial feminist installations, here’s the best art to see this week.

  • Renate Bertlmann: Höhepunkte (Two Climaxes)

    Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, until 27 January 2017

    When they were first shown in 1978, the works of Austrian feminist artist Renate Bertlemann were criticized for being too explicit and gratuitous – to the point that her participation in the exhibition Museum des Geldes was eventually cancelled due to complaints from the audience. Almost 40 years (and several women’s rights protests) later, her rebellious installations have finally found recognition within private art galleries and major exhibitions. Preoccupied with notions of love, sexuality and the representation of female and male bodies, her multimedia practice challenged conventional gender roles. Now, Richard Saltoun Gallery is displaying some of her most iconic works, including the Bru(s)tkasten (Breast incubator) (1984), together with a series of drawings and photographs.

  • Renate Bertlmann, Wheelchair(red-big)

    Renate Bertlmann, Wheelchair(red-big), 1975.

    Copyright the artist. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery.

  • Robert Rauschenberg

    Tate Modern, London, until 2 April 2017

    To cover the six-decades long, constantly evolving artistic practice of Robert Rauschenberg in a single exhibition is no easy task, but Tate Modern has risen to the challenge. From his epochal Combines – in which he merged materials as much as methods – to the early works he produced while at Black Mountain College (the art school where he encountered friend and avant-garde composer John Cage), this first posthumous retrospective reveals the experimental attitude of the artist toward both his practice and his life. The show takes the viewer on a journey through the multifaceted career of one of the most prominent figures in modern American art.

  • Pelican (1963)

    Pelican (1963)

    Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg’s Pelican (1963) as performed in a former CBS television studio, New York, during the First New York Theatre Rally, May 1965

    © The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York Photo: Peter Moore © © Barbara Moore / Licensed by VAGA, NY. Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

  • Rehana Zaman: Tell me the story Of all these things

    Tenderpixel, London, until 28 January 2017

    The works of contemporary artist Rehana Zaman oscillate between documentary, performance and digital narratives. For her first solo exhibition at Tenderpixel, Zaman was inspired by American writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee (1982) – the title of the one video work displayed at the show, “Tell me the story Of all these things”, is a reference to the novel. Both works refer to notions of dislocation and fragmentation; the video – formed by three different screens that spans on the two floors of the gallery – focuses on intimate staged conversations the artist had with her two sisters. They address their experiences as British Muslim women, juxtaposed with unsettling digital images of a female body in an arid desert landscape.

  • Video still from 'Tell me the story Of All these things'

    Video still from 'Tell me the story Of All these things'


    Courtesy of the artist

  • Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until 21 May 2017.

    The deserved popularity of Joan Eardley’s paintings of children playing in Glasgow slums, and earthy landscapes of typical villages on the northern coast of Scotland, is once again confirmed in this new exhibition. However, what might surprise the viewer is a collection of sketches and drawings, displayed here for the first time. They reveal insights into the development of Eardley’s style and her obsession with both urban and rural Scottish life. Though her career was tragically short, Eardley’s figurative works left an enduring mark on Scottish art history.

  • Joan Eardley (1921-1963), Winter Day, Catterline

    Joan Eardley (1921-1963), Winter Day, Catterline, c.1957-60.

    Oil on calico on board. 30 x 69 cm. © Estate of Joan Eardley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016..

  • Roger Hiorns

    IKON, Birmingham, until 5 March 2017

    Roger Hiorns’ often-undefinable assembled objects require the viewer to let go of their preconceptions about the function and meaning of everyday materials. Talking about his use of materials, Hiorns states, “It becomes a process of human empowerment to re-use and re-propose the power of objects simply left lying in the streets.” Through his practice, Hiorns often re-contextualizes and reshapes found plastic, machine engines and foam, producing high-impact installations that fill the exhibition space with their abnormal designs. Hiorns often includes performance in his work; during the show at IKON visitors can witness the interaction between a young performer and a jet engine positioned in the gallery.

  • Roger Hiorns, Untitled

    Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2011.

    Courtesy the artist © Roger Hiorns. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016.