Arts Radar: 14th February

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As Valentine's Day approaches, we've got two choices. Fall face-first into the candy coloured fantasy, or accept the grim reality that this is a horrible consumerist holiday and ultimately we all die alone. Art mirrors life, so we present you with this same choice. If it's a glittering fantasy you want head then to Dior at V&A. But if you're a bitter pessimist who's kinda dead behind the eyes? Don McCullin's bleak war photos and Tracey Emin's traumatic confessional art should have you covered.
Following a period of silence, the divisive Turner Prize winner has made a triumphant return with a collection of paintings, photos and sculptures in her signature confessional style. No stones are left unturned here: a painful abortion, damaged relationship with her father, and loves lost are all addressed in a way which characteristically brings a titan of art into a very human sphere.
From a magnificent dress Princess Margaret wore at her 21st to the iconic New Look silhouette which sent shockwaves through post-war rationing Europe, this multi-faceted show looks back at the storied history of the mega-watt fashion house. Expect meters upon meters of silk and more pleats than you’ll know what to do with.
Starvation in Biafra; civil wars in Senegal and Belfast; the Berlin wall being torn down; a Congolese man lying dead next to his bicycle with his brains blown out. There aren’t many places the probing lens of Don McCullin’s camera hasn’t been to, capturing compelling black and white snapshots of some of the 20th century's most traumatic and important moments. McCullin has certainly seen some shit and now, vicariously, you are about to as well.
Walter de Maria was a man with a lot of ideas - some tricky to digest, others pretty rad (though sadly unrealised). This show presents a series of drawings (alongside some sculptures), detailing de Maria’s thought process from the vague and barely explainable scribbles to the humorous and witty, where he explains how his art is intended to be understood (hint: not terribly easily).
The floor of Hannah Barry looks like someone stabbed Kirby and left it to bleed out. It certainly provides an extra layer of eeriness to these wintry landscape paintings by Henry Hudson which ought to be calming, but whose fleshy mounds of plasticine and wax remind us of bodily fluids and organs. Who knew pink could be such an unsettling colour?
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