Roll Up, Roll Up: Unmissable UK Exhibitions Jan-Mar 2016

Friday – Exhibition Opening: Supermarket Sweep: Bonus Round! 6-8pm @ P E R I C L O, Wrexham -- FREE

One Direction fantasies, kidnapped curators, NASA and Cilla Black… We pick our favourite visual art exhibitions of early 2016. Get your diaries out!

Supermarket Sweep: Bonus Round! @ P E R I C L O, Wrexham, 8 January-20 February 2016

If, like us, watching Supermarket Sweep with Dale Winton took up an embarrassing amount of time in your childhood, then you need to make your way to Wrexham this month. Curated by Owain McGilvary and Yan White and a response to what we all see in our trip to the local supermarché, expect to see an exciting array of upcoming artists including Beth Fox, Joe Fletcher Orr, Lucia Quevedo, Jack Strange and Kate Turner & Alex McNamee.

Brutalust: Celebrating Southampton’s Post-War Architecture @ K8 Gallery, Southampton, 10 January-7 April 2016

Brutalust: Celebrating Southampton’s Post-War Architecture @ K6 Gallery, Southampton, 10 January-7 April 2016

Lusting over Brutalist post-war architecture seems to be a common hobby now, and for good reason. Pointing to a particular climate of rebuilding, Brutalism was an architectural trend that took its name from the French word for ‘raw’, via Le Corbusier’s choice of material béton brut, or raw concrete. See Southampton’s finest, selected by Guardian writer Owen Hatherley and photographed by  Greg Moss, James Newell and Daniel Cane, and take home a Brutalust Photo Booklet.

Robots Lift Art @ A&D Gallery, London, 12 January-20 February 2016

Robots Lift Art @ A&D Gallery, London, 12 January-20 February 2016

Tiny vintage Japanese robots carrying equally tiny original artworks from young contemporary artists. Because why the hell not?

Champagne Life @ Saatchi Gallery, London, 13 January-6 March 2016

Champagne Life @ Saatchi Gallery, London, 13 January-6 March 2016

Highlighting a serious gender imbalance and inequalities that still, unfortunately, pervade the art world along with many other workplaces, Saatchi Gallery has decided to ring in its 30th anniversary with its first, all-female exhibition. Featuring artwork by — rather than about — 14 international female artists, expect to see amusing taxidermy as “cultural collage between East and Western philosophy” by Iranian-born artist Sohelia Sokhanvari (above), plus the work from which the exhibition takes its name, an oil painting of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Minnie Mouse by American artist Julia Wachtel.

Oliver Braid: The Nude Ignity @ Vane, Newcastle, 14 January-20 February 2016

Oliver Braid: The Nude Ignity @ Vane, Newcastle, 14 January-20 February 2016

What would a hand look like if it didn’t look like a hand? Oliver Braid’s latest solo show attempts to answer this and other big questions in his new solo show at the excellent Vane gallery. Braid is often provocative, always interesting; expect to mull over ‘the eccentric wish to be both noticed and ignored’ through new drawings, and a new commission/collaboration from Dundee-based artist, Sam Lyon, known for his digital JellyGummies project.

Antonio Roberts. Jerwood Encounters: Common Property @ Jerwood Space, London, 15 January-21 February 2016

Jerwood Encounters: Common Property @ Jerwood Space, London, 15 January-21 February 2016

A new group show that seeks to question ‘common property’; or how the chaotic law of copyright is currently impacting on the way visual artists (many of whom Jerwood have supported over the years through funding and commissions) make and distribute their work. Expect explorations of digital technology by Antonio Roberts (pictured above), plus Owen Parry’s life-size ‘monument’ to the fictional romance between One Direction members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, as dreamed up by the band’s infatuated fans, plus much more.

Flat Death @ Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, 15 January-3 April 2016

A must for anyone interested in art ethics, Open Eye’s new exhibition focuses on how we deal with death, through the work of Edgar Martins and Jordan Baseman. The former presents photography made after time spent at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science in Portugal: expect forensic evidence, archival material and Martins’ own reflections on death. The latter presents one part of Baseman’s 2013 exhibition, Deadness: collected photography of the dead at funeral homes and at cemeteries, taken by their families. Not for the faint-hearted.

Mick Peter: Pyramid Selling @ Drawing Room, London, 17 January-13 March 2016

Mick Peter: Pyramid Selling @ Drawing Room, London, 17 January-13 March 2016

Collecting, using and transforming fiction, illustration and graphic design, Mick Peter’s charming and absurd sketch-like sculptures ‘seem to have been cut from the flatness of the paper and dragged into three-dimensional space.’ Expect to thrown head-first into a richly imagined, 3D cartoon.

Drawing on Childhood @ The Foundling Museum, London, 22 January-1 May 2016

Drawing On Childhood @ The Foundling Museum, London, 22 January-1 May 2016

How have illustrators, especially book illustrators, portrayed childhood over the centuries? Drawing from folklore, fiction and popular culture from the 18th century to the present day, and inspired by Lemn Sissay’s 2014 poetry commission for the museum, Superman Was A Foundling, expect to see characters from stalwarts like Quentin Blake, in addition to contemporary artists like David Hockney, Pablo Bronstein, Chris Haughton and Posy Simmonds — the latter three creating new illustrations for Henry Fielding’s novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (1749).

Michael Benson. Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System @ Natural History Museum, London, 22 January-15 May 2016

Otherworlds: Visions Of Our Solar System @ Natural History Museum, London, 22 January-15 May 2016

Revealing stunning geological formations found on other planets, artist Michael Benson joins forces with NASA, ESA missions and the Natural History Museum to present 73 new forms of photography, created from incredibly detailed composite images. Expect an insight into the landscapes beyond Earth, as well as how space exploration has evolved over the past 60 years.

Rafael Lozano. Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966) @ Whitechapel Gallery, London, 29 January – 15 May 2016

Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966) @ Whitechapel Gallery, London, 29 January-15 May 2016

Taking its name from pioneering video artist Nam June Paik — who basically invented new media art, working with innovative tech in the 1960s such as circuitry, sound, TV and electronics – Electronic Superhighway features over 100 works from the most exciting multimedia artists. Expect to see Cory Arcangel, Jeremy Bailey, James Bridle, Constant Dullaart, Lynn Hershman Leeson and many more explore the impact of computer and Internet technologies: from now, back in time, to a pivitol moment in 1966.

Richard Slee: Work and Play @ Tramway, Glasgow, 6 February-20 March 2016

Richard Slee: Work And Play @ Tramway, Glasgow, 6 February-20 March 2016

Bending, shaping ceramic into sometimes impossible formations, whilst managing to be satirical and topical, Slee showcases his most radical work from the last 10 years. A touring exhibition from Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle (his birthplace) in partnership with Hales Gallery, London, expect glossy, colourful sculptures that channel the precision of Wedgewood alongside RCA training.

KALEIDOSCOPE Celebrating 50 Inspirational Years @ Modern Art Oxford, 6 February-31 December 2016

KALEIDOSCOPE: Celebrating 50 Inspirational Years @ Modern Art Oxford, 6 February-31 December 2016

It’s MAO’s 50th anniversary; as such, they’ll be taking the whole year to celebrate with interlinking exhibitions, performances and events, reflecting on their fantastic, and quite often iconic, past shows. Expect an impressive array of invited artists — including Marina Abramović, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Yoko Ono and many, many more.

BLIND DATE @ The Royal Standard, Liverpool, 19-28 February 2016

BLIND DATE @ The Royal Standard, Liverpool, 19-28 February 2016

‘I like duvet days, walks on the beach, going to the pictures with friends, Cradle of Filth and prescription drugs’… and so The Royal Standard kick off their 10th anniversary year with an exhibition of artistic romance via creative partnership. Inviting artists Alfie Strong, Lindsey Mendick and Josef Zachary Shanley Jackson from Leeds’ collective (it’s all) Tropical to find their ‘dream dates’ , curator Rachel Cunningham Clark will play Cilla; selecting the best matches from an online callout, who will then work collaboratively for six weeks and exhibit the — possibly seductive — results. Keep an eye out for updates about anniversary celebrations — including a TBC major retrospective exhibition.

Nico Vascellari @ The Whitworth, Manchester, 25 February-18 September 2016

Ben Rivers / Nico Vascellari @ The Whitworth, Manchester, 25 February-22 May/18 September 2016

Billed as his ‘most ambitious work to date’, Ben Rivers presents his Morrocan odyssey The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers at The Whitworth this February (formerly shown at Television Centre in London): shot on hand-processed 16mm cinemascope, expect a fantastical retelling of the brutal short story of a man travelling through the desert. In another part of the gallery, Nico Vascellari shows haunting installation Bus de la Lum: conveying the mystical, enchanting and, some say, Satanic powers of the forest, in a gallery set in a Victorian park.

We Have Your Art Gallery (Assemble and Tate Collective) @ Tate Liverpool 7-31 March 2016

We Have Your Art Gallery (Assemble And Tate Collective) @ Tate Liverpool 7-31 March 2016

Turner Prize winners Assemble and a team of young artists kidnap Tate Liverpool, enter into ransom negotiations with the gallery’s curators and directors – chaos ensues. Expect lots of mischief-making, lively discussions and ideas to emerge from a temporary art school; giving everyone the opportunity to learn and reflect alongside an architectural collective just emerging from the Turner Prize-media-whirlpool.

The Grand Tour: Simon Starling @ Nottingham Contemporary, 19 March-26 June 2016

The Grand Tour: Simon Starling @ Nottingham Contemporary, 19 March-26 June 2016

Another Turner Prize-winner to round-off our picks: Simon Starling’s largest exhibition in the UK to date. Winning the Prize for the excellent Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2) installation in 2005, Starling is best when analysing hidden relationships. Here, he investigates the minutiae of industry — from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to China’s industrial dominance; expect new artwork and major projects never before seen in Britain.

Laura Robertson

Posted on 11/01/2016 by thedoublenegative