Spear thrower made from reindeer antler, sculpted as a mammoth. Found in the rock shelter of Montastruc, France, c. 13,000-14,000 years old; Copyright of The Trustees of the British Museum Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind
British Museum, until 26 May 2013
‘By looking at the oldest European sculptures and drawings we are looking at the deep history of how our brains began to store, transform and communicate ideas as visual images,’ explains Jill Cook, the curator of the British Museum’s exhibition
on twenty-millennia-old Ice Age objects. Encouraging visitors to view the sculptures, drawings, ceramics and ornaments on view as works of art rather than archaeological evidence, the show has already garnered great praise from reviewers, including Andrew Marr, who in the last issue of RA Magazine
wrote that some of the drawings on display are ‘just as skilled as that of a Rembrandt or young Picasso.’
Man Ray, 'Solarised Portrait of Lee Miller', c.1929. The Penrose Collection © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2012, courtesy The Penrose Collection. Image courtesy the Lee Miller Archives Man Ray Portraits
National Portrait Gallery, until 27 May 2013
The last issue of RA Magazine also discussed
the group of high-calibre photography exhibitions that have graced the capital this winter, including the show of works
by the American in Paris avant-gardist Man Ray, which has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery. Man Ray’s contribution to photography is most often framed through his pioneering ‘Rayograms’ – cameraless photographs of objects made by placing objects on photosensitive paper. Some of his most enchanting portraits show similar technical experimentation, from the famous photograph that turned the back of his lover Kiki into a violin, to a truly gorgeous likeness of his collaborator Lee Miller, captured using a process known as solarisation – I was stunned when I saw the image blown up extra large on a tube station platform poster this week.
Luxembourg & Dayan London, 12 February – 12 April 2013
Since 2011 Luxembourg & Dayan has presented a programme of insightful modern and contemporary shows from its Savile Row space, ranging from a century-spanning exhibition of grisaille works
to a survey about the post-war New Realism movement.
From Tuesday the gallery showcases works
from the 1960s and ’70s by Arte Povera pioneer Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Michelangelo Pistoletto, 'La Gabbia', 1967-1974. Silkscreen on polished stainless steel in four parts. Each: 92½ x 49¼ in. (235 x 128 cm.) Overall: 92½ x 197 in. (235 x 500 cm.)
The theorist Germano Celant described the Italian collective’s ‘poor art’ as highly political and anti-establishment in character, an opposition to the ‘kleptomaniac reliance on the system and the use of codified and artificial languages in comfortable dialogue with existing structures’. Pieces on view by Pistoletto dovetail with this interpretation; in La Gabbia (1967-1974), for example, Pistoletto puts the viewer behind the bars of a jail cell.
Rosemarie Trockel, 'Mechanical Reproduction', 1995. Watercolor on paper. 20.5 x 25.5 cm. Private collection. © Rosemarie Trockel, DACS 2013. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London. Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos
Serpentine, 13 February – 7 April 2013
If many young artists today are eschewing a signature style for multidisciplinary works in a range of material and mediums, then we should thank the influential German conceptualist Rosemarie Trockel, a disciple of Joseph Beuys and the subject of a survey at London’s Serpentine Gallery
from this Wednesday.
The exhibition, a version of that which was on view at New York’s New Museum and Madrid’s Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía last year, brings together the artist’s photography, collage, video and sculpture with works by other artists to examine our relationship with the natural sciences.
Matt’s Gallery – 13 February – 14 April
For four decades Florida-born, London-based artist Susan Hiller has produced highly intelligent video and mixed-media installations that probe the more intangible experiences of the human consciousness, such as dreams, telekinetic communication and supernatural encounters.
Susan Hiller, 'Channels' installation in progress. Photograph and copyright © 2013 Bernard G Mills.
Following her highly praised retrospective at Tate Britain in 2011, she unveils on Wednesday at London’s Matt’s Gallery
an installation about near-death experiences. Her raw material is an audio archive of accounts by those who have had such perceptions which are inexplicable from a scientific perspective.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine