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Our pick of this week’s art events: 15 – 21 July

Published 15 July 2016

From redefining black masculinity to celebrating the joy of playing, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.

  • Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity

    The Photographers’ Gallery, London, 15 July–25 September
    Diamond Reynolds’ voice cracks as she pleads with the officer: “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.” Philando Castile was one of the two black men fatally shot by police at the beginning of this month, sparking mounting racial tension both here and in America. The exhibition explores the vulnerable position that many black men still inhabit within society, and proposes the dandy’s flamboyant style as a way of countering the stereotypical perception of black male masculinity as physically domineering. The photographs range from modern day to as far back as 1904, when the concept of the dandy as “a man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance” materialised.

  • , Unattributed

    Unattributed, circa 1904.

    Courtesy The Larry Dunstan Archive.

  • William Eggleston

    National Portrait Gallery, London, 21 July–23 October
    In May 1976 the New York Times condemned William Eggleston’s exhibition at MoMA as “the most hated show of the year”, while critic Hilton Kramer refuted the curator’s claim that the show was “perfect” with a damning evaluation of it as, "perfectly bad, perhaps… perfectly boring, certainly”. The critics couldn’t understand how these snaps of suburban America could be deemed “Art”. Now, however, the photographer and Leica camera obsessive – in 2013 he owned around 300 – is one of the US’s most celebrated photographers, credited with transforming colour photography from a mundane everyday object to an artistic medium. Eggleston’s images are imbued with colour; reds, blues and greens seem to pop out of the very surface of his photographs.

  • William Eggleston, Untitled (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee)

    William Eggleston, Untitled (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee), c.1975.

    ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.

  • The Playground Project

    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 15 July–30 October
    That feeling of flying as you kick your feet forward and the swing climbs higher and higher. The thud of feet on hard grass as you seeeee-down before saw-ing back up to the sky. The stickiness of flesh against warm metal as you squeak down the slide. The Playground Project is both a celebration of these fond childhood memories and a look at the wider social role that these urban spaces have played since the first “sand gardens” were introduced in Germany in 1885. Having gained popularity in the UK during the 1960s, the playground was subsequently plunged into crisis during the 1980s when interest and investment dwindled. But young creatives - including last year’s Turner prize winners ‘Assemble’ - are reigniting the passion for play by contributing to this interactive touring exhibition, which also pays homage to old school champions like Swiss architect Alfred Trachsel who created the Robinson Crusoe playground. Running in conjunction with The Playground Project is Caroline Achaintre’s solo show; a playful multimedia exploration of the excitement and frivolity surrounding the European carnival.

  • , The Playground Project (installation view)

    The Playground Project (installation view), 2016.

    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

    Photo: John McKenzie © 2016 BALTIC.

  • The Body Extended: Sculpture and Prosthetics

    Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 21 July–23 October
    During the First World War, soldiers were exposed to unprecedented injuries from new weapons like the machine gun and tanks. Doctors on both sides responded with innovative solutions and as a result, the world saw a rapid advancement in prosthetics technology and plastic surgery. This exhibition looks at artists’ participation in the aftermath of the war, with sculptors like Anna Coleman Ladd and Francis Derwent Wood collaborating with surgeons to create facial masks for those that suffered injuries in the trenches. Others, like Louise Bourgeois and Rebecca Warren, have responded to trauma in a more abstract manner. Bourgeois’ single prosthetic leg Henriette (1985), deals both with the horror of war, which she experienced as a child, and her own personal suffering in seeing her father’s infidelities and losing her mother at a young age, while Warren’s specially commissioned bronze legs sculpture is frozen mid-stride outside the Henry Moore Institute.

  • Rebecca Horn,  Moveable Shoulder Extensions

    Rebecca Horn, Moveable Shoulder Extensions, 1971.

    Photograph: Achim Thode © Rebecca Horn / DACS, 2016.

  • Going Public: The Napoleone Collection

    Graves Gallery: Museums Sheffield, Sheffield, 15 July–1 October
    In the 1920s Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a passionate patron of female artists, approached the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art to donate her 700-strong collection to the gallery. The Met refused. Unperturbed, Whitney founded her own gallery in 1931 – the Whitney Museum of Modern Art. Nowadays, the relationship between philanthropist and gallery is one of symbiosis. Valeria Napoleone, another important collector of works by female artists, has lent a selection of works including pieces by painter Joanne Greenbaum from her collection to the Museums Sheffield for their ‘Going Public’ series. The exhibition responds to a new agreement of collaboration between important private philanthropists and public museums directors, in order to protect the future of regional galleries and museums.

  • Mai-Thu Perret with Ligia Dias, La Fée électricité

    Mai-Thu Perret with Ligia Dias, La Fée électricité, 2005.

    Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich.

  • Night in the Museum

    Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 16 July–16 October
    What if sculptures could talk? What would they tell us about the inquisitive faces staring back at them? Conceptual artist Ryan Gander uses figurative pieces from the Art Council’s 8,000-strong collection of modern and contemporary art to curate an exhibition in which we are made to question whether we are spectators or the spectacle… The Art Council Collection, which is celebrating its 70th birthday, has commissioned eight new artworks, including a sculptural piece by Gander in which he weaves an extended narrative for French ballet student Marie Geneviève van Goethem, better known as Degas’ The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer (1880-81), presenting her asleep on the gallery floor.

  • Richard Paul Lohse/Reg Butler , Kreuz aus Gleichung und Kontrast; Konstellation mit Eckpositionen; Horizontal - und Vertikalpositionen aus Extrem - und Nachbarfarben/Girl and Boy

    Richard Paul Lohse/Reg Butler, Kreuz aus Gleichung und Kontrast; Konstellation mit Eckpositionen; Horizontal - und Vertikalpositionen aus Extrem - und Nachbarfarben/Girl and Boy, 1975/1951.

    Photo: Anna Arca.

    © DACS 2016/©Estate of Reg Butler 2016. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London..