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Our pick of this week’s art events: 3 – 9 July

RA Recommends

Published 3 July 2015

From the exploration of contemporary Chinese art at The Whitworth to Eloise Hawser’s appropriation of a cinema organ, we guide you through the week’s top art events.

  • The M+ Sigg Collection: Chinese art from the 1970s to now

    The Whitworth, Manchester, 1 July – 20 September 2015
    During China’s Cultural Revolution, even painting en plein air on the street was prohibited without prior approval, so complete was the state’s control. But in the four decades since Mao’s death in 1976, visual art has flourished across many mediums, albeit within the strictures of censorship.

    The Whitworth gives us a fantastic insight into these developments this summer with an exhibition drawn from the world-class collection of Uli Sigg, an eminent collector whose holdings come closest to representing the breadth of contemporary Chinese art. As well as a major installation by Ai Weiwei, ahead of his retrospective at the Royal Academy, highlights include rarely seen works connected to 1970s and 1980s artist groups such as the No Name Group and Stars Group, which are fascinating for anyone interested in China’s culture or history.

  • Zhang Huan, Family Tree

    Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000.

    Image courtesy of the artist.

  • Out of Chaos – Ben Uri: 100 Years in London

    Somerset House, London, 2 July – 18 December 2015
    It has been a century since Russian-Jewish émigré Lazar Berson and like-minded local artists set up the Jewish National Decorative Art Association, an East London art venue otherwise known as Ben Uri. To celebrate, the gallery – now based in St John’s Wood rather than Whitechapel – brings its art collection out of storage and into the limelight of Somerset House. ‘Out of Chaos’ explores the history of the collection, sparking conversations about immigration, creativity and citizenship, issues that continue to fuel political debates. Seminal works by artists such as Frank Auerbach, Marc Chagall and the first Jewish Royal Academician Solomon Hart go on display alongside pieces by prominent female artists Eva Frankfurther, Clare Winsten and Dorothy Bohm.

  • David Bomberg, Ghetto Theatre

    David Bomberg, Ghetto Theatre, 1920.

    Oil on canvas. 92.8 x 80 cm. Ben Uri Collection © The Estate of David Bomberg.

  • Eloise Hawser: Lives on Wire

    ICA, London, 1 July – 6 September 2015
    Inspired, in part, by the John Compton organ factory in London, Eloise Hawser’s exhibition ‘Lives on Wire’ examines the art and science of how we develop machines for human use. By repurposing the materials used in the industrial production of the cinema organ, invented by British telephone engineer Robert Hope in the early 20th century, Hawser reconfigures a once fashionable item into a new site-specific installation that features sculpture and digital video.

  • Eloise Hawser, Installation view of Eloise Hawser: Lives on Wire

    Eloise Hawser, Installation view of Eloise Hawser: Lives on Wire, 2015.

    Photo: Mark Blower.

  • Hannah Collins

    Camden Arts Centre, London, 4 July – 13 September 2015
    After graduating from Slade School of Art in 1978, Hannah Collins quickly developed her signature large-scale, black-and-white photographs of stirring landscapes and interiors. It is her ability to capture the emotional and psychological dimensions of spaces full of cultural and social history that has set her apart from others in her field.

    Collins’ solo show at Camden Arts Centre introduces us to early prints taken in the late 1980s, the mere scale of which draws the viewer in, and culminates in an installation, Interior and the Exterior – Noah Purifoy (2014; below), that combines sound and photography, filling an entire gallery. The work pays tribute to artist Purifoy’s assemblages of recycled objects and incorporates verbal accounts by Ed Ruscha Hon RA and members of the radical Black Panther Party – a potent mix of immersive soundscape and contemplative visuals not to be missed.

  • Hannah Collins, The Interior and the Exterior – Noah Purifoy

    Hannah Collins, The Interior and the Exterior – Noah Purifoy, 2014.

    © Hannah Collins.

  • Sickert in Dieppe

    Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 4 July – 4 October 2015
    Before the outbreak of the First World War the French town of Dieppe was a popular seaside resort that inspired a host of British artists and writers; Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm and Charles Conder to name a few. For Walter Sickert RA, an artist fascinated by everyday life, the growing trend for leisure and tourism in the late 19th-century provided the perfect theme for paintings, and regular visits to Dieppe produced works such as L’Hôtel Royal, Dieppe (1894; below); he was soon to meet Edgar Degas during the summer of 1885, who encouraged the artist to explore a modernist approach to painting. A major summer exhibition at Pallant House Gallery surveys Sickert’s technical development at Dieppe, from works emanating the influence of James Abbott McNeill Whistler to his studies of the town’s ancient architecture and native community.

  • Walter Sickert RA, L’Hôtel Royal, Dieppe

    Walter Sickert RA, L’Hôtel Royal, Dieppe, 1894.

    Oil on canvas. 50.2 x 61 cm. © Museums Sheffield.