Our pick of this week’s art events: 15 – 22 April

Published 15 April 2016

From a display of ancient Sicilian treasures to bawdy illustrations by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb, we pick the week’s best art events.

  • R. Crumb: Art and Beauty

    David Zwirner, London, until 2 June
    R. Crumb’s bawdy illustrations embody 1960s and 1970s counter-culture, satirising politics and social conventions. His oeuvre is recognised for its overt eroticism, yet this exhibition at David Zwirner focuses on a less sexually explicit series of drawings that Crumb produced for his Art and Beauty Magazine, founded in 1996. The semi-eroticisation of female figures posed as a tennis player, a gymnast, a circus performer and a weight lifter implies a pervasive, predatory, male gaze. Combining artistry with humour and perversity, Crumb’s drawings offer a candid perspective on society that is sure to amuse the most stern-faced visitor.

  • R. Crumb, Page from Art & Beauty Magazine, Number 2

    R. Crumb, Page from Art & Beauty Magazine, Number 2, 2003.

    © Robert Crumb, 2002. Courtesy the artist, Paul Morris, and David Zwirner, New York/London.

    Ink and correction fluid on paper. 14 x 11 inches.

  • Sicily: culture and conquest

    British Museum, London, until 14 August
    This exhibition takes visitors through the rich cultural history of Sicily, a land shaped by various settlers – including Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Byzantines – over the past 4000 years. Venerated for its stunning architecture, gold jewellery, coinage and textiles, Sicily has an abundance of treasures to offer. Amongst those on display are richly carved marbles, an ancient tombstone and intricate mosaics which are sure to rouse both historical fascination and aesthetic appreciation.

  • , Sicily Palermo Bust Small

    Sicily Palermo Bust Small, c. 540–510 BC.

    Selinous, Sicily.

    Limestone head from a temple. Museo Archeologico Regionale A Salinas, Palermo,© Regione Siciliana..

  • KALEIDOSCOPE: A Moment of Grace

    Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, until 22 May
    Modern Art Oxford marks its 50th anniversary with Kaleidoscope: a year-long programme bringing together iconic works previously displayed at the gallery, along with talks, performances and events introducing new artists to the space. The series considers some of the highlights the gallery has seen since opening in the 1960s, and through this attempts to draw out some of the key themes and ideas that have defined contemporary art of the past half century. Opening this week as part of the programme is A Moment of Grace: an exhibition which considers the threat of mankind’s impact on the environment. It will look at how artists tackle issues facing the modern age; Gustav Metzger’s psychedelic light installation Liquid Environment, for example, demonstrates a preoccupation with harnessing new technologies to pave the way for positive change.

  • Gustav Metzger, Liquid Crystal Environment

    Gustav Metzger, Liquid Crystal Environment, 1965 - 1998.

    Photo by Ben Westoby © Gustav Metzger, Modern Art Oxford..

  • The Grounds we Tread

    Pump House Gallery, London, until 19 June
    This exhibition at the Pump House brings together four international performance artists in a show that interrogates public spaces. Jirí Kovanda – one of the most important Czech artists of recent years – will kick off a series of solo performances. A similar spontaneity to his most recent exhibition at the Tate Modern, where Kovanda famously invited members of the public to kiss him mouth to mouth through glass, is perceptible in this new work, where objects usually designed to hold something such as a plinth, photo frame or flagholder are left empty and seemingly invisible. Following on from Kovanda is a work by Lloyd Corporation (a collaborative project between artists Ali Eisa and Sebastian Lloyd Rees), who have asked local artists to create watercolor paintings of the local area, along with Ilona Sagar, whose work responds to medical, social and political experimentation and Cara Tolmie, whose piece will explore singing and the body.

  • Jirí Kovanda, Untitled

    Jirí Kovanda, Untitled, 2016.

    Courtesy the artist and Pump House Gallery, 2016.

  • Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016

    The Photographer’s Gallery, London, until 3 July
    This prestigious annual prize established by the gallery in 1996 rewards a living photographer for a series or specific work felt to have made a profound contribution on European photography. The four artists shortlisted this year are Laura El-Tantawy, Erik Kessels, Trevor Paglen and Tobias Zielony. El-Tantawy’s photographs exemplify the emotional resonance the works on display pertain to. Her publication Shadow of the Pyramids features close-up photographs of protestors on the streets of Cairo participating in the January revolution in Tahrir Square. El-Tantawy fuses documentary and portrait photography to produce highly moving representations of raw human emotion.

  • Lara El-Tantawy, Faces of a Revolution #7: Safeya's Tears, Cairo, Egypt

    Lara El-Tantawy, Faces of a Revolution #7: Safeya's Tears, Cairo, Egypt, 2012.

    ©Laura El-Tantawy Courtesy of the artist.