Here's one we've been hyped about for quite some time. It's the first major retrospective of the supremely talented German artist Wolfgang Tillmans at Tate Modern, and it promises to be an evocative, powerful and groundbreaking take on the world we've found ourselves in. Tillmans is an artistic master of plenty of trades including still life and abstract photography, video, digital slide projections, publications and recorded music; all presented in the innovative way that's made the guy a household name. The starting point of the exhibition is 2003: the year Iraq was invaded, when anti-war demonstrations erupted and when Tillmans became aware of the changing world. That gives a fairly good idea of the kind of stuff on display — socio-political works that tackle the big issues such as war and activism. This isn't one to let pass you by, friend.
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Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How and Why
It's the third major retrospective at Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery, and this time it's the turn of Gavin Turk — incidentally the third white male — to get his moment in the sun. Turk, a fellow YBA, has become big and famous for pioneering plenty of the forms of contemporary British sculpture, including the painted bronze sculpture, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of rubbish in art. This exhibit is a showcase of works throughout his career — art that's often high concept and concerned with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Damien Hirst says it's work "about language and the spaces between things – about identity and being somebody and nobody... he plays with our preconceptions of what’s there and not there, of what art is and how it functions." Expect to see bin bags, tyres, waxworks and figures from pop culture at this one.
Nathaniel Rackowe: Black Shed
Thankfully, exploding sheds aren’t an every day occurrence - they'd be a pretty massive safety hazard. Still, this extraordinary light sculpture by Nathaniel Rackowe looks as if it’s exploding upside down and ready to flip inside out. The eery acid yellow light seems to be so strong that it is the force that is splitting the garden structure, so you might want to schedule this delight for a night time gawk for the full effect.
Baffling, wild, frustrating and innovative are all words we've seen associated with the American Pop Art artist Robert Rauschenberg, so you can definitely expect this retrospective to evoke emotion one way or another. He was said to be an artist who defied categorisation, producing works that smashed through the boundaries of media by pioneering hybrid forms of painting, sculpture, photography, performance art and stage design. This exhibition includes work that spans 60 years of his career; a career full of unconventional art that worked largely with mass, popular and trashy imagery and materials. Here his rarely seen sculptures - often deemed too fragile to travel - will be on display which is definitely a big draw. An original artist who liked to make thought-provoking, witty, and at times wild, works, this is a big one in the calendar.
Here's a startling little fact to hit you straight up: 48% of art is now bought on Instagram. You've heard of Instagram haven't you? It's that safe haven for your holidays snaps. Unit London have teamed up with prominent Instagram art platform Avant Arte to mount a fairly small exhibition of art that's been publicised via Instagram. Avant Arte's aim is to democratise the process of finding and buying contemporary art, removing any elitism from the whole thing and they've been mighty successful doing it. Among participating artists are Avant Arte’s Jason Seif, Lionel Smit, and Brian Willmont and Unit London’s Ryan Hewett, Ivan Alifan and Massimo Agostinelli. And they're covering all sorts in their works.