Culture Diary w/c 10-06-2019

Joseph Szkodzinski Keith Haring Drawing Series [02]

Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the North of England and the rest of the UK – and loads of it’s free!

Monday – Exhibition on Screen: Van Gogh & Japan 6.30pm @ FACT, Liverpool – £17.50/concs

Vincent van Gogh never visited Japan. And yet, via the Japanese prints that he studied and collected – when he could afford them – he became steeped in the country’s culture. Buying more than 600 such prints from a dealer, he absorbed their influence, applying it to his own work. With exclusive access to works inspired by his dreams of Japan, this film documents and explores the story of the profound effect the country had on Van Gogh and his art.

Tuesday – Baroque Art from Rome to England 2pm @ Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool – FREE

This free talk revolves around the pairing of William Dobson’s The Executioner with the Head of John the Baptist (1640-6) and the painting which inspired it, by Matthias Stom, from around a decade earlier. Brought together in Liverpool for the first time, curator Kate O’Donoghue looks at the religious, social and political contexts in which they were created.


Wednesday – Artist’s Talk: Simeon Barclay 6pm @ the Bluecoat, Liverpool – £3/2

As someone who has written a fair few gallery texts in his time, take it from me when I say there is nothing like getting it straight from the horse’s mouth when it comes to learning about art works. Why and how was it made? What materials were used? What was the intention? Join artist Simeon Barclay this Wednesday as he discusses his works (above) responding to popular culture and identity in current Bluecoat exhibition, Survey.

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts 8pm @ The Baltic Social, Liverpool – £12

“Every once in a while, I’ll notice I have a pile of new songs” said Jeffrey Lewis in a TDN interview back in 2012. One suspects, then, that – more than half a decade having passed – Lewis, once the standard-bearer for the anti-folk movement, will have amassed yet more. As ever, it will be interesting to hear which stop of his ongoing musical odyssey Lewis has reached.

5. Armet Francis, ‘Fashion Shoot Brixton Market’, 1973. Courtesy of the artist

Exhibition Opening: Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers @ Somerset House, London – £12.50/concs

“Celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond,” this new Somerset House exhibition explores black experience and influence, from the post-war era to today. Including around 100 artists, to name a few, the exhibition features filmmaker Horace Ové, painter of vivid and symbolic abstract expressionism, Aubrey Williams, 2017 Turner Prize Winner Lubaina Himid, Zanele Muholi, Keith Piper and Armet Francis (above).

Thursday – Ting Ting Cheng: A turning away from debates that have not been concluded 6pm @ CFCCA, Manchester – FREE

One of the great features of Manchester’s Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art is its residency programme. Visit the gallery and you can see a step ladder, which leads up to a raised level, where resident artists, researchers and writers live and work within in the building. Current resident artist Ting-Ting Cheng has been considering questions of Chinese identity and terminology relating to arts vocabulary, to produce this collaborative performance project.


Friday – Exhibition Opening: Keith Haring/Sol Calero: El Autobús @ Tate Liverpool – £12.50/concs/FREE

This exhibition has been on people’s radars for quite some time. Curated by Darren Pih and Tamar Hemmes, Keith Haring promises to be an expansive trip in to the artist’s world of 1980s New York – where graffiti, pop, hip-hop, visual art, underground clubbing and more came together to create a vibrant scene that resonates to this day. With more than 85 artworks, footage of the day and related ephemera, this feels like the show of the summer. For more on Haring, read our preview. Opening on the same day, contemporary artist Sol Calero’s El Autobús (above) offers an “immersive and colourful installation inspired by South America”.

Exhibition Opening: New York Scene/Unseen: Keith Haring and Friends 6pm @ Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool – FREE

Continuing the Haring vibes, Open Eye stages New York Scene/Unseen in the space outside the gallery. Throwing further light on the 80s scene from which Haring was so inspired by and part of, it features photographs of the people and places that defined an era, of which curator Suzie Zabrowska said: “Something truly inexplicable and mystical happened in this one decade. The blocks of the east village world, with its scuzzy glamour, real danger and decaying low rent tenements, gave birth to an explosion of expression.”

Image credit: Mogan Selvakannu, The Decolonial Earth, Goldsmiths

Saturday – In Conversation: Julia Gruen and Miranda Sawyer 12pm @ Tate Liverpool – £10

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of visiting the Keith Haring Foundation, ran by Exec director Julia Gruen. Studio manager, friend and confidant of Haring back in the day, Gruen is uniquely well-placed to discuss a multitude of topics relating to the artist, the culture at that time and, sadly, his death in 1990 from AIDS related complications. Doing the questioning (though the tales will run freely questions or no) is journalist Miranda Sawyer, who knows more than a little something about being where its at herself.

The Decolonial Earth 2.30pm @ Goldsmiths, University of London – FREE

“How do we, citizens of the world today, explore and expand our decolonial future? How can we imagine alternative futures and possibilities without colonial hegemony? How are Black, Asian, Indigenous and ethnic minorities building and shaping their cultural narratives and communities outside the West?” Inspired by Frantz Fanon, artists (such as Mogan Selvakannu, above), activists, academics and writers explore these questions and more in envisioning a decolonised future.


Sunday – Exhibition Closing: Amber Akaunu: 39 @ Output Gallery, Liverpool – FREE

The current blink and you’ll miss it exhibition at Output features ROOT-ed Zine’s Amber Akaunu, a graduate of Hope University in 2018. Taking her degree show work, 39 (above), and presenting it on a larger scale, the installation consists of a series of 39 videos each inspired and informed by a hip hop lyric. Using the genre – often associated in mainstream media with aggression and crime – as a site of debate, Akaunu repositions it as a positive form of black expression, where key issues can be explored.

Exhibition Closing: Ericka Beckman & Marianna Simnett @ FACT Liverpool – FREE

A mash-up of tech and classic fairy-tales, Ericka Beckman & Marianna Simnett’s run at FACT also comes to an end this week. The pairing foregrounds “the female body as a main player in the densely layered fantasy worlds they conjure” and, sadly, highlights why the conversation remains an urgent one. Catch it while you can. Read our review.

Mike Pinnington

Image credits, top to bottom: Joseph Szkodzinski, Keith Haring Drawing Series, January 1982 © Joseph Szkodzinski 2018; Simeon Barclay, the Bluecoat; Armet Francis, ‘Fashion Shoot Brixton Market’, 1973, courtesy of the artist; Mogan Selvakannu, The Decolonial Earth, Goldsmiths; Amber Akaunu: 39, Output Gallery

Posted on 10/06/2019 by thedoublenegative