Our pick of this week’s art events: 2 June – 9 June

Published 3 June 2016

From a new museum concept that addresses the migrant crisis to paintings by the talented but largely forgotten Winifred Knights, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.

  • Call me by my name

    Migration Museum Project, London, until 22 June
    “Migrant numbers out of control.” “How many more can we take?” Such familiar headlines splashed across our newspapers have sparked fear about the spiralling numbers of refugees across Europe. The Migration Museum Project aims to readdress this narrative by instilling a sense of humanity back into discussions around the crisis. Featuring work by both established and emerging artists from within and outside of the refugee community in Calais, Call me by my name provides a platform for the stories of individual migrants. One work, Wanderers by Danish born Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, includes 300 handmade small-scale plasticine figures. The figurines appear at first to form a homogenous group but on closer inspection their individual traits become strikingly apparent.

  • Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Wanderers

    Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Wanderers.

    Hardened plasticine. © Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen.

  • Winifred Knights

    Dulwich Picture Gallery, 8 June – 18 September
    Winifred Knights, considered a genius during her lifetime, has fallen into relative obscurity since her premature death in 1947. This exhibition marks the first time her paintings and preparatory drawings have been displayed together since they were conceived. Trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, her love of the Italian Quattrocento painters, such as Botticelli and Masaccio, can be seen in her solidly three-dimensional figures, modelled from a combination of light and shade. Knights was the first British woman to win the prestigious art scholarship, Prix de Rome, with her oil painting The Deluge (1920). The artist makes an appearance in the foreground of this celebrated work, which features in the exhibition, as the female figure on the centre right.

  • Winifred Knights, The Deluge

    Winifred Knights, The Deluge, 1920.

    Oil on canvas. 152.29 x 183.5 cm. © The Estate of Winifred Knights Tate: Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1989 © Tate, London 2016.

  • Blood for Light

    Waterside Contemporary, until 6 August
    Nastivicious – multimedia and performance artists Nastiò Mosquito and Vic Pereiró – is a formidable partnership. The two have joined together once again to create a new body of video installations that explore the power of language and identity in the modern world. The duo combine pop music, fine art and politics to explore their own heritage – Mosquito is Angolan and Vic Pereiro is Spanish – as well as humanity’s wider ancestral heritage. Fuck Identity combines spoken narrative with archival images – Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – overlaid with colour filters: cyan, magenta, yellow, to create an unsettling pop video-like aesthetic.

  • Nastivicious, Fuck Identity

    Nastivicious, Fuck Identity, 2014.

    Video still.

  • Mary Heilman: Looking at Pictures

    Whitechapel Gallery, 8 June – 21 August
    Painter, ceramicist and furniture maker, Mary Heilmann is a master of several different mediums. Each of her works is an exploration of colour and form. Inspired by the simple shapes of Minimalism and the bold colours of Pop Art, Heilmann’s work takes the viewer on an escapist journey into her world. Inspired by the things around her, whether that be nature, as shown in Crashing Wave (2011) – an undulation of greens and blues that resemble an Alpine scene – or the brash cartoon yellows and pinks of TV show The Simpsons, as demonstrated in Taste of Honey (2011), this showcase of her recent paintings celebrates both playfulness and nostalgia.

  • Mary Heilmann, Crashing Wave

    Mary Heilmann, Crashing Wave, 2011.

    Oil on canvas. 127 x 101.6 cm. ©Mary Heilmann Photo: Thomas Müller Courtesy of the artist, 303 Gallery, New York, and Hauser & Wirth.

  • Wolfgang Tillmans

    Maureen Paley, 9 June – 31 July
    New photography by Wolfgang Tillmans RA explores the boundaries that both physically impede us and control our thought processes. In the downstairs gallery of Maureen Paley, a large-scale print The State We’re In, A (2015) shows an apparently inconsequential portion of the Atlantic Ocean. But this body of water marks the intersection of a multitude of time zones and territorial borders. Tillmans has been an outspoken supporter of the ‘Remain’ campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, and with works like I refuse to be your enemy 2 (2016) – a presentation of blank paper taken from Europe and North America – he makes the point that we are united, as Europeans, by even the inane culture of office stationary.

  • Wolfgang Tillmans, The State We're In, A

    Wolfgang Tillmans, The State We're In, A, 2015.

    ©Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London.