Our pick of this week’s art events: 13 – 19 February

RA Recommends

Published 13 February 2015

From the scattered wild waters of Scotland to knick-knacks collected by artists.

  • Lynda Benglis

    The Hepworth Wakefield, until 1 July
    Benglis’s career is too-often typified by her iconic work Centrefold (1974) in which she poses brazenly with a dildo, daringly staring directly into the lens. This major retrospective confidently exposes the creative diversity of this American artist, acknowledging but not dwelling on her feminist-icon status. Focusing on her significant sculptural output, the Hepworth show is a full-bodied fusion of materials, colours and forms. Benglis’s poured latex works energise the gallery floors – a playful ‘two-fingers-up’ to Carl Andre’s measured, industrial floor sculptures of the mid-sixties. The female body is an enduring inspiration for the American, although in the works post-Centrefold Benglis’s focus is on its formal qualities rather than as a vehicle for political conversation.

  • Henry Groskinsky, Photograph of Lynda Benglis

    Henry Groskinsky, Photograph of Lynda Benglis, 1970.

    Originally published in Life, February 1970. ©Life Inc. Image: Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York..

  • Yinka Shonibare RA

    The William Morris Gallery, until 7 June
    Now synonymous with the bold batik fabrics of his ancestral home Nigeria, Shonibare’s art explores the legacy of British Imperialism. For this new photographic commission, Shonibare has invited residents of Waltham Forest to help recreate archive photographs of William Morris’s family. The presentation draws poignant parallels across the centuries between two significant craftsmen and two sets of North London residents respectively. I’ve also been lusting after his collection of bags, created in collaboration with House of Alistair available from the gift shop.

  • Yinka Shonibare MBE, The William Morris Family Album

    Yinka Shonibare MBE, The William Morris Family Album, 2015.

    Copyright the artist, Courtesy the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, Commissioned by William Morris Gallery.

  • Thomas Joshua Cooper: Scattered Waters: Sources Streams River

    The Fleming Collection, 20 February – 11 April
    The celebrated landscape photographer, traveller and tutor at Glasgow School of Art presents a compelling collection of milky, meticulously hand-printed photographs. Brimming with Romanticism, the black and white images simultaneously celebrate the beauty of the Scottish landscape and recognise human subservience to it. Made over the last thirty two years, this series is a passionately composed ode to the flowing waters of his adopted Scotland.

  • Thomas Joshua Cooper, Late afternoon - The Mouth of the River Forth - The Firth of Forth - South Queensferry - West Lothian

    Thomas Joshua Cooper, Late afternoon - The Mouth of the River Forth - The Firth of Forth - South Queensferry - West Lothian, 1991-2014.

    Silver gelatin print, hand tones and printed by the artist.

  • Richard Long RA: The Spike Island Tapes

    Alan Cristea, 20 February – 2 April
    This show marks two firsts for the Royal Academician – his first solo show with Alan Cristea and his first foray into carborundum printmaking. Long applies a thick paste of pigment and PVA to his 4 x 8 foot aluminium plates, in a process reminiscent of his mud wall paintings. The seventeen resultant works on display are all named after songs or pieces music he likes. For a man whose practice is firmly rooted in the physical natural landscape, these indoor relief works still sing with an organic vitality.

  • Richard Long RA, Love Minus Zero/No Limit

    Richard Long RA, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, 2014.

    A two panel carborundum relief printed on Hahnemühle Etching White 350 gsm paper (Edition of 2). 121.5 x 388 cm. Courtesy Richard Long, and the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.

  • Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

    Barbican, until 25 May
    A snooper’s paradise – this show boasts an impressive list of artists, past and present (including several Academicians) offering audiences a through-the-keyhole glance into their personal collections and obsessions. A particular highlight unveils the 1960s apartment of Hanne Darboven – the minimalist artist here displays maximal hoarder predispositions. Cabinets of curiosities overspill with trinkets and knick-knacks, from Hiroshi Sugimoto’s prosthetic eyeballs, to Edmund de Waal’s Netsuke, to Damian Hirst’s stuffed menagerie. Despite its compartmental framework, the show manages to retain an absorbing cohesion. The Barbican has constructed a treasure trove, which I fear may demand multiple visits.

  • Danh Vo, I M U U R 2 (detail)

    Danh Vo, I M U U R 2 (detail), 2013.

    Photo by Gene PittmanCollection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, T.B.Walker Acquisition Fund, 2014.