Our pick of this week’s art events: 19 – 25 June

RA Recommends

Published 19 June 2015

From the fairytale paintings of Richard Dadd to the ‘unfinished’ works at the Courtauld Gallery, we take you through our top shows this week.

  • Henry Moore: From Paper to Bronze

    Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, until 25 October 2015
    Moore’s works on paper stand as significant artworks in themselves as well as a test-bed for ideas to be executed in three dimensions. The sculptor’s restlessly experimental drawing practice is now explored in a satisfying show at Waddesdon Manor, which presents over a 100 varied works from periods across Moore’s life and career.

    His early works took inspiration from artists old and new: an homage to El Greco (1921) sees the Spanish painter’s Mannerist figures translated into Moore’s more abstract forms, while a collage of a reclining woman (1929) nods to the fractured perspective of French Cubism (below). But one sees the draughtsman coming into his own with affecting images of crowds sheltering underground during the Second World War, and Moore’s late landscapes, often overlooked, are a highlight of the exhibition, as his ability with watercolour and charcoal reaches new heights.

  • Henry Moore, Drawings for Sculpture

    Henry Moore, Drawings for Sculpture, 1937.

    Photo: Michel Muller, The Henry Moore Foundation archive. Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation.

  • Unfinished… Works from the Courtauld Gallery

    The Courtauld Gallery, London, until 20 September 2015
    Rarely are unfinished artworks intended for public display, but this summer the Courtauld unveils their unique collection of paintings left as works in progress. Curator Dr Karen Serres suggests why each work may have remained unfinished, whether due to dissatisfaction, technical difficulties or death, while also examining each artist’s creative process and asking why the incomplete works would have been bought for a collection at all. Paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture from the Renaissance to the early 20th century will be on show, from Perino del Vaga’s Renaissance painting Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist (c. 1528-37; below) to Impressionist works like Degas’ Lady with a Parasol (1870-72).

  • Perino del Vaga, Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist

    Perino del Vaga, Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, c. 1528-37.

    Oil on panel. 139.8 x 111.2 cm. Courtesy of The Courtauld Gallery.

  • Richard Dadd: The Art of Bedlam

    Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey, until 1 November 2015
    Victorian artist Richard Dadd was twenty-seven when he was locked away in Bethlem, after murdering his father. He showed much promise as a young painter and even attended the Royal Academy Schools, but the main body of his work was made in the insane asylum where he was detained for most of his life. This summer the Watts Gallery reappraises Dadd’s figurative paintings, whose mythical subjects and extreme level of detail convey a complex soul.

  • Richard Dadd, Contradiction. Oberon and Titania

    Richard Dadd, Contradiction. Oberon and Titania, 1854-8.

    Private Collection.

  • Laura Ford

    Strawberry Hill House, London, 20 June – 1 November 2015
    Sometimes spooky, and always of a distinctly fairytale origin, Laura Ford’s figurative sculptures have taken up residence in the suitably Gothic folly of Strawberry Hill House this summer. The decadent interiors of Walpole’s self-designed house are quietly inhabited by Ford’s eerie series of works, inspired by The Castle of Otranto (1764), Walpole’s novel considered to be the first work of Gothic fiction. From tailed figures elegantly pacing across the lawn outside to puppet-like people sitting placidly inside, these sculptures let the viewer’s imagination run wild.

  • Laura Ford, Days of Judgement (Cats I-VII)

    Laura Ford, Days of Judgement (Cats I-VII).

    © Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde.

  • Carsten Nicolai: Unicolor

    The Vinyl Factory, Brewer Street Car Park, London, 24 June – 2 August 2015
    In a dark room at the top of Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, a panoramic screen is filled with flashing and fluctuating colours while a soundscape echoes the changing effects. Informed by Goethe’s Theory of Colours (1810), as well as Josef Albers’ tireless exploration of tone and the light works of American Minimalist Dan Flavin, Carsten Nicolai’s sensational installation examines our perception of chroma – one really does question what colours one is really seeing.

  • Carsten Nicolai, Unicolor

    Carsten Nicolai, Unicolor, 2014.

    Photography Julija Stankeviciene, courtesy Galerie EIGEN+ART, Leipzig, Berlin and The Pace Gallery © VG Bildkunst, Bonn.