The best art to see this February

The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns. At the heart of the Dancing around Duchamp season is a major exhibition The Bride and the Bachelors examining one of the most important chapters in the history of contemporary art. It is the first exhibition to specifically explore Marcel Duchamp’s (1887-1968) impact on four great modern artists – composer John Cage (1912-1992); dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) and visual artists Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) and Jasper Johns (born 1930). Tracing their creative exchanges and collaborations, the exhibition features twenty-three works by Duchamp, and more than forty by Johns and Rauschenberg, as well pre-recorded music by Cage and live Cunningham performance. At Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2 from 14 February – 9 June 2013


Albert Irvin: Gouaches 1979-96. One of the country’s admired abstract painters, Bert Irvin is known for his bold, invigorating paintings, including painterly motifs of squares, circles, lines and crosses. This exhibition concentrates on a collection of his gouaches. At University Gallery, Newcastle University Gallery & Baring Wing, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road
Newcastle upon Tyne 15 Feb to 29 March.

Dale Atkinson: Paintings. Atkinson is interested in the ‘psychology of paint’, the way in which a chance mark or colour can change the identity or meaning of a piece. When he is working he frequently turns the canvas allowing the paint to dictate the form and the story. At University Gallery, Newcastle, University Gallery & Baring Wing, Northumbria University, Sandyford Road
Newcastle upon Tyne from 15 Feb to 29 March.

Designed to Shine: 100 Years of Stainless Steel. A new exhibition exploring a century of innovation as part of a city-wide celebration of the centenary of the discovery of stainless steel. Designed to Shine chronicles the importance of stainless steel, featuring pieces from Sheffield’s renowned collection as well as contemporary examples. At the Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield from 16th February- 13th October 2013.

Chasing Beauty. A series of paintings by Patricia O’Brien done over 15 years. She presents ‘woman as muse’ and her figures pay homage to classical form and sensibility but lie within the 20th century modernist tradition. At Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford from 14 February to 16 March.

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Looking at the View. An exhibition dedicated to the continuities in the visions of landscape over the last 300 years. All works featured are by British artists, ranging from the renowned, such as Tracey Emin and JMW Turner, to lesser-known artists. 12th Febraury- 2nd June at Tate Britain, Millbank, London. .

Quentin Blake: Drawn by Hand. An exhibition featuring book illustrations, etchings, lithographs and drawings from renowned illustrator Quentin Blake, famous for illustrating Roald Dahl’s children’s books. 12th February- 12th May at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge.

Objectivity – collector David Usborne has assembled an exhibition of ordinary, useful tools that have made an impact on our lives and items that in themselves are considered a work of art – utilitarian items that he considers ‘accidental masterpieces’, in the servants’ hall at Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds from 16 Feb to 1 Sep.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors – 35 lithographic reproductions of the cut-outs produced in the last four years of Matisse’s life. At the Gosport Gallery, Hampshire from 16 Feb to 20 April.

British Murals & Decorative Painting 1910-1970, with celebrated paintings by artists such as Edward Bawden, Frank Brangywn, Gilbert Spencer, Colin Gill, Charles Sims and Peter Lanyon and a number of significant works that have previously been overlooked or forgotten. Also works by Mary Adshead and Barbara Jones, John Piper and Alan Sorrell. Many for sale. At the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W1 until 9 March. (see review in Country Life Feb 13, 2013)

Boyd & Evans Paintings – works from the 1970s to the present by this long standing collaboration whose works encompass many media and ranges from early portrayals of British hinterlands and smaller extracts of urban areas to scenes of North America’s South West, with the influence of photography playing an important part. At Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, London E2 from 16 Feb to 13 Apr.  

Warli Paintings – paintings created by members of the Warli Tribe, from the Thane District about 90 miles south of Mumbai, India. They are an indigenous tribe or Adivasis who are guided by their own traditions and beliefs and their art is inspired by their daily life, which includes hunting, fishing and gathering. Rhythm and two colours – red ochre and white – are the main components of their art. At Grosvenor Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, London SW1 until 1 Mar.

Charmed Life: The Solace of Objects – 380 amulets ranging from simple coins to meticulously carved shells collected by the banker and obsessive folklorist Edward Lovett who scoured London by night, buying curious objects mostly from the East End. At The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester until 14 Apr.

The Picture Collection – new work by Taryn Simon, comprising 44 works inspired by the New York Public Library’s picture archive, one of the institution’s lesser-known troves containing 1.2 million prints, postcards, posters and printed images. Each work is made up of a number of images that Simon has selected from a given archival category, in overlapping compositions. At Gagosian Gallery, Davies Street, London until 28 Mar.  

This is Not an Exit – works by Mat Collishaw at Blain/Southern, 4 Hanover Square, London W1 until 30 Mar.

Candida Hofer – A Return to Italy, at Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brooks’s Mews, London W1 until 12 April.

Houston’s Italy – paintings reflecting the variety of landscape in Italy, from the architectural splendour of cities such as Rome and Florence to the historical sites of Sicily and holiday spots such as the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. At Portland Gallery, 8 Bennet Street, London SW1 until 1 Mar. www.portland

Robert Rauschenberg: Jammers – a series of works executed in 1975 and 1976 after he’d worked for a month in an ashram in Ahmedabad in India. These ‘true bursts of colours’ are named after the windjammer, a sailing vessel, and titles of individual works emphasise the maritime reference. At Gagosian Gallery, 6-24 Britannia Street, London until 28 Mar.  

Master Drawings Uncovered – Piranesi’s Paestum drawings
– his last great graphic project – reunited for the first time. The preparatory work for his Differentes Vues de Pesto, finished by his son and published posthumously in 1778, they depict views of the three great Doric temples in the former Greek colony of Poseidonia, colonized by the Romans and re-named Paestum. At Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2 until 18 May. (See review in Country Life, Apr 17, 2013).

Richard Long and Nancy Holt: Land Art – two sculptors by Long and text works, together with Holt’s photography of her largescale works in the environment, at Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester until 16 June.

Callum Innes – new and recent work by one of Britain’s best known abstract painters at Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester until 16 June.

The London Group at 100.  The London Group was set up in 1913 by 32 artists including Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Lucien Pissarro and Walter Sickert with the aim of creating a powerful artist-run exhibiting body to act as a counter balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy. This exhibition comprises contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, video and performance art by 40 current members of The London Group join historic works by former members including Lowry, Sutherland, Vanessa Bell and Sickert, at the National Trust’s Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire until 21 Apr.

Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 – the remarkable story of Picasso’s breakthrough year as an artist, when the ambitious 19 year old launched his career in Paris. At The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2 until 26 May. (see preview in Country Life Feb 20)

Paul de Monchaux: Fixing Memory, Sculpture 1986-2013. Elegant, enigmatic sculptures by the former head of sculpture at Camberwell are exhibited for the first time in a private gallery, The Piper Gallery, 18 Newman Street, London W1 until 15 Mar.

Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings – a remarkable series of drawings and paintings made during the late 1940s illustrating surgeons at work in operating theatres in Post War Britain. They reveal her skill as a draughtsman and her aptitude for narrative realism, and, rather like Henry Moore’s Underground shelter drawings, they function as invaluable social documents, rendered with extraordinary emotional intensity. At Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester until 2 June.

Alice Channer, Jessica Jackson-Hutchins and Linder Sterling- three separate but linked exhibitions by these artists who have engaged with the legacy of Barbara Hepworth as part of the process of making new works for their exhibitions here. At Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield until 3 June.

Walter Leblanc – works on paper and sculpture from 1963-1985. At The Mayor Gallery, 22a Cork Street, London W1 until 28 Mar.

Rosemarie Trockel – A Cosmos
– exploring the relationship between different disciplines, A Cosmos includes new work from the German artist that has never been seen in the UK before, presented in the company of a variety of objects and artifacts with which she feels an affinity, racing a historical lineage from the early cabinets of curiosities, to natural history and modern art museums, through to the white cube of contemporary galleries. At Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 until 7 Apr.

Hugh Buchanan: The Lineaments of Light. New watercolours inspired by rooms and the spaces between them in historic houses in England, Scotland and France from Blair Castle in Perthshire to the Palace of Versailles. Francis Kyle Gallery, 9 Maddox Street, London W1 from 12 Dec to 21 Feb.

Make! Believe! Make!: How Museum Objects Inspire Contemporary Craft Artists. An exhibition exploring some of the processes that nine contemporary craft artists have used to create their work and how methods of making have developed. As well as showing how museum objects can spark creativity. At Portsmouth City Museum, Museum Road, Portsmouth from 24 Nov to 24 Feb.

Portrait of a Lady: The Life and passions of Lady Barber.  An exhibition providing a view of the life and interests of Lady Barber and her husband Sir Henry. Including portraits of Lady Barber by the artist Nestor Cambier, outstanding textiles from Culham Court and the finest pieces of lace from Lady Barber’s own collection. Works are complimented by archive photographs and documents. At The Barber Institute of Fine Arts,
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham from 14 Dec to 24 Feb.

Sladers Yard Winter Show. A mixed show by top gallery artists, featuring Julian Bailey, Angela Charles, Stewart Jones, Alex Lowery, Howard Phipps, Simon Quadrat, Alfred Stockham, furniture by Petter Southall and gifts and accessories by leading British designer craftspeople. At Sladers Yard, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset from 1 Dec to 24 Feb.

The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years. An exhibition of sixty photographs of the Queen at both official occasions and relaxed family gatherings. Including the work of leading press photographers of the past six decades. At The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh from 16 Nov to 24 Feb.

Revealed: Government Art Collection. The first time that these works, usually displayed in British Government buildings across the world, have been united under one roof. Includes works by Edward Lear, L S Lowry, John Piper, Walter Sickert, Vaness Bell, Bridget Riley, Grayson Perry, Callum Innes, Tracey Emin and Hurvin Anderson. At Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square, Birmingham 17 Nov to 24 Feb.

Inspired by Lace.  An exhibition by mixed media textile artist Jacqueline Lawrence inspired by Lady Barber’s personal lace collection, a selection of which will be included in the show. At Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham 14 Dec to 24 Feb.

Aid and Abet Temporary Residence. 
Including artists Martyn Cross, Annabel Dover, Rosanna Greaves, Kevin Hunt, Iain Paxon, Richard Proffitt, Sean Vicary and Lisa Wilkens. At Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge 12 Jan to 24 Feb.

Basil Blackshaw, Blackshaw at 80. Featuring over 50 paintings by renowned artist Basil Blackshaw, chosen by the artist from throughout his career. Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, RHA Gallery 1, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland 11 Jan to 24 Feb.

Justin Larkin, Scenery.
Justin Larkin’s work shows re-configured pieces positioned in dramatic new situations where notions of value and authenticity are questioned. His work includes photographs, paintings, printed matter, sculpture, drawing, collage and caricature. Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland 11 Jan to 24 Feb.

Polke and Richter, Works on Paper from the Kunstmuseen Krefeld
Featuring approximately 30 prints, watercolours and gouaches by Gerhard Richter (*1932) and Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) from the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany. At Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, RHA Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland 11 Jan to 24 Feb.

Terence Coventry Three Decades of Sculpture & Works on Paper

An exhibition tracing the development of themes and preoccupations in Coventry’s work over the past three decades, from 1985 to the present day. At Pangolin London, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 11 Jan to 23 Feb

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New Year Exhibition 2013 – paintings and sculpture by abstract artists of different nationalities – Brian Graham, Bridget Leaman, Caroline Doyle, Deborah Tarr, Fabienne Delli Zotti, Gabriele Cappelli, Hans O. Bergman, Maiju Tirri, Sofia Petropoulou, Roger Stephens, Scott Blaser and Cristiano Di Martino – whose bold use of colour, line and form creates a powerful, cohesive exhibition. At Cadogan Contemporary, 87 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 until 22 Feb.

High Resolutions, a group show of documentary photography by photographers including UNESCO-winning photographer Jeremy Hunter, Rene Burri, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, John Dominis, William Klein, Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Cindy Sherman, Herbert Ponting, Ruth Orkin, Weegee, André Dienes, Lillian Bassman, Eve Arnold, Gered Mankowitz, Nick Brandt, Paolo Ventura, Steve MacLeod, Nathan Harger, Thomas Hoepker, and Frauke Eigen. At Atlas Gallery, 49 Dorset Street, London, W1 from 16 Jan to 16 Feb.

Fiona Rae: New Paintings– third solo show by the British artist at Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place, London W1 from 18 Jan to 23 Feb.  

Freya Pocklington – Wolves Find Dogs Delicious – curious combinations of dogs and other creatures, from insects to walking sausages,interacting in ususual scenarios where scale and species are seamlessly disregarded. At Breese Little, 30d Great Sutton Street, London EC1 from 16 Jan to 23 Feb.

The British Scene. Capturing views from across the country, a selection of artists examine the picture of a visually shifting landscape. A reflection on both the familiar and hidden landscape of the British Isles through paint, pastel and print. At Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 from 24 Jan to 16 Feb.

Andrea Byrne. The closing exhibition at the pop-up gallery at One New Change displaying nine beautiful canvases. At Panter & Hall Pop-Up at One New Change, Cheapside, London EC2 from 23 Jan to 15 Feb.

The Art Stable: Modern & Contemporary Paintings & Prints– including work by Peter Daglish, Albert Irvin, Mary Potter and Georges Valmier. At The Art Stable, Kelly Ross Fine Art, Blandford, Dorset from 26 Jan to 16 Feb.

Rose Hilton: Pastels – an exhibition of her new pastels at Hilton Fine Art, 5 Margarets Buildings, Bath from 2 to 23 Feb.

Scottish Show 2013 – works by Scottish artists at Panter & Hall, 27 Bury Street, St James’s, London SW1 until 22 Feb.

Buildings by Hand: The Design Process through Drawing. Exploring the connection between new traditional buildings and the artistic skills which help create them. At The Prince’s Foundation Gallery, 19-22 Charlotte Road, London EC2 until 15 Feb. 020 7613 8578

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