This week: five top art shows to see

21 – 27 October

Published 22 October 2016

From sculptural works made of everyday materials, to photographic works savouring everyday moments, the ordinary seems extraordinary in the best art shows this week.

  • Raoul Dufy: A Spectacle of Society

    Connaught Brown, London, until 25 November
    The critic Louis Vauxcelles said of his contemporary Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), “In a time when one lives in fear of the next day, or the newspapers are full of horrible killing, here is the singer of joy, the painter of mild grace, freshness, of cheerfulness”. Dufy’s paintings of romantic bourgeois escapades, from regattas to receptions and recitals, radiate with the vibrant palettes that have seen the artist celebrated as one of the great colourists of the last century. As this show points out, however, this “master of colour and joy” was often depicting a carefully constructed whimsicality created for his wealthy clientele on the French Riviera, far away from the front line.

  • Raoul Dufy, Le casino de Nice aux deux vasques

    Raoul Dufy, Le casino de Nice aux deux vasques, c.1930.

    Oil on canvas. 46 x 55.4 cm.

  • Karla Black and Kishio Suga: A New Order

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 22 October – 19 February 2017
    Scottish artist Karla Black and Japanese artist Kishio Suga work in different continents, and had never encountered each other prior to the conception of this exhibition. Placing contemporary Scottish art in a wider context, this show unites the two artists through their use of everyday materials, from stone, glass and soil, to cotton wool, petroleum jelly and lip-gloss. Though not well known in the UK, Suga has been exploring space through physical structures since the 1960s, when he was a key member of Mono-ha (School of Things), a movement exploring an experimental and radical approach to familiar materials.

  • Karla Black, Recognises (detail)

    Karla Black, Recognises (detail), 2016.

    Cellophane, sellotape, PVA glue, paint. 150 x 1310 x 450 cm. Photo: Courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; Modern Art, London, and David Zwirner, New York/London.

  • From Slow to Stop

    Holden Gallery, Manchester, 24 October – 16 December
    We are constantly told that contemporary life is relentless: a continuous stream of data and distractions that far outweigh the hours in a day. This exhibition brings together five artists whose works explore variations on slowing down, or stopping, offering a chance to look closer at moments that are otherwise hurried over. Hannah Starkey’s staged photographs create disarming scenes of women caught in a moment of detached contemplation, while Adrian Paci’s film builds on his own experience fleeing to Italy from Albania, considering the elasticity of time, and the political dimension of slow movement for refugees in camps or detention centres.

  • Adrian Paci, Centro di Permanenza Temporanea

    Adrian Paci, Centro di Permanenza Temporanea, 2007.

    Courtesy of the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milan/New York.

  • Amanda Beech: Covenant Transport Move or Die

    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, until 29 January 2017
    The central, titular work of this solo exhibition is a multichannel video installation featuring five characters – manager, worker, programmer, consumer, and dealer – who form a “workerist crew”, navigating and organising the wasteland of global capitalism. Disorientating camerawork, spliced with analogue video game aesthetics and disconcerting voiceovers, continues a theme in the artist’s work that she made clear in 2009: “I’m really interested in work that is oppressive and demanding”. Beech’s background, as Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts in Los Angeles, throbs through the nuanced demands that her work makes of the viewer, probing the function of the gallery, its art and its visitors, while one screen repeatedly flashes with the claim, ‘THIS IS NOT A SYSTEM’.

  • Film still from Amanda Beech, Covenant System Move or Die, 2016.

    Film still from Amanda Beech, Covenant System Move or Die, 2016.

    Courtesy of the artist

  • The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

    Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, until 19 February 2017
    In its inaugural year, The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture offers £30,000 to “a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture”. The judges have now whittled down a shortlist – Phyllida Barlow RA, Steven Claydon, Helen Marten and David Medalla – and new and recent work by the artists is on display at The Hepworth Wakefield. Showcasing the work in a building specially designed and built for exhibiting sculpture by David Chipperfield RA (who is also on the judging panel for this prize), the gallery’s director Simon Wallis hopes to “celebrate sculpture in its broadest sense and promote wider engagement with this art form”.

  • Installation view: 'Phyllida Barlow: scree', Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines IA, 20 June - 22 September 2013

    Installation view: 'Phyllida Barlow: scree', Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines IA, 20 June - 22 September 2013

    Photo: Paul Crosby

  • Alice Primrose is an editorial intern at RA Magazine.