Arts Radar: 17th January

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Explosive aluminium sculptures and an exhibition showing selfies of Tony Blair watching the world burn are just some of the incendiary works on show this week set to help you fight those January blues. Our highlight is a show on the legacy of protofeminist baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, which features a particularly spicy work of a woman casually beheading a man.
Artemesia Gentileschi was a bad-ass painter and a pioneer in every sense of the world. Her works display some of the most accurate depictions of women in the Baroque period and her use of light and personal tragedy in painting was nothing short of groundbreaking. Spanning from her own works to 20th century pieces which draw significant inspiration from her legacy, this show is a 'if u don’t know, get to know' kinda survey of her work. Seriously folks, this lady is awesome.
Peter Gronquist’s sculptures are created by an intense, explosive process whereby recognisable ceramic objects are filled with aluminium, heated, then cooled rapidly before being plunged underwater to explode and expand in chaotic, indeterminable ways. These messy looking pieces certainly provide a much needed jolt of colour and craziness to the somewhat sterile surroundings of Unit London.
Matthews stands in puddles and floats in seas to make paintings that he views akin to spiritual experiences. He also incorporates found objects, pieces of plastic or driftwood into his works, leaving no part of the ocean untouched. And, if that wasn't enough, the guy is also something of a hero. In 2016 he used one of his canvases as a makeshift stretcher to save a drowning man. Art truly can save lives folks - if you’re willing to risk a bit of water damage.
A collection of artists from a diverse selection of backgrounds take a look at the dual concepts of rules and freedom. In particular, they'll be considering the not-so-hot rise of the alt-right and general fascism across the world aided by fake news, along with controversial concepts of freedom of movement. Stop on by this show, or don’t. After all we don’t make the rules.
Ryan Sullivan proves why painting is still a relevant medium in the age where film and video seems to reign supreme. He drips his paint and he uses broad brushstrokes - some of it doesn’t work but lots of it genuinely does. Most importantly, its work that doesn’t take itself hugely seriously, striking a safe balance between historical referencing and cutting edge technique.
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