Too Cute!: Sweet is about to get Sinister, Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham
For this show curated by Scottish artist and filmmaker Rachel Maclean examines the world of cuteness by selecting works from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s own collection.
The exhibition includes a range of artworks that show different takes on cuteness, ranging from contemporary pieces to 19th-century oil paintings, with the results offering a fascinating take on what the word has meant to us historically and why contemporary society is so fixated on the sharing and reproduction of cute objects and images.
Until 12 May 2019. www.birminghammuseums.org.uk
Lauren Gault: drye eyes, Grand Union, Birmingham
The first solo exhibition in England by Glasgow-based artist Lauren Gault features various objects and sound pieces, including blown and scientific glass, pressure adjusted water, welded PVC, recorded sound, cast gel, dry-stitched neoprene, salt dough and collapsed foam. The results are an exploration of the ‘open-ended’ nature of materials and how they can ‘allude to the past or potential future’. To complement the show, there is a public programme responding to the work involving artists and musicians creating writing, performance and conversation.
Until 13 April 2019. www.grand-union.org.uk
Carry On, Fold, London
This group show at Fold features 25 artworks by 25 artists whose practice is informed by abstraction. Its title relates to the intriguing proposition that each of the works on display is able to roughly fit, either whole or in their unframed or dismantled state, into an aeroplane carry-on suitcase. Artists include, amongst others: Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, Simon Callery, Tim Ellis, Dominic Beattie, Dominic Kennedy, Kes Richardson, Valérie Kolakis, and Oliver Perki.
Until 2 March 2019. www.foldgallery.com
Susumu Matsuura, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London
Japanese artist Susumu Matsuura is known for creating work that explores human feelings and emotions, and in particular the two-sided nature of ‘both positive feelings and greed’. Works on display at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation include symmetrical portraits inspired by the Rorschach test, plus works inspired by feelings of depression that the artist himself has experienced. Also on show is the series Caress the Cat, which explores the theme of ‘healing’ mixed with feelings of stress and loneliness that Matsuura felt while traveling across Europe.
Until 28 February 2019. www.dajf.org.uk
Digital Citizen: The Precarious Subject, Baltic, Newcastle
This group exhibition explores ideas of citizenship in the digital age, questioning how online propaganda is significantly endangering democracy. With AI and CGI technologies blurring the distinction between reality and simulation, it looks at whether we have lost the ability for informed political action. Featuring various digital avatars and game environments, artists include: James Bridle, Alan Butler, Laura Grace Ford, Peter Hanmer, Daniela Ortiz, Jonas Staal, Kate Stonehill, Petra Szemán, They Are Here, and Alan Warburton.
Until 16 June 2019. www.baltic.art
1. Arts Council Collection exhibition ‘Too Cute!’ by Rachel Maclean at Birmingham Museum & Art
Gallery. Photography by Luke Unsworth. January 2019
2. Lauren Gault, Present Company. Photo: Simon Mills
3. Ted Larsen, Amateur Expert, 2018, salvage steel, marine-grade plywood, silicone, vulcanised rubber, chemicals, hardware, 27 x 25.5 x 11.5cm. Courtesy: Fold
4. © Susumu Matsuura
5. Peter Hanmer, Plato’s Lair, 2018. Part of Digital Citizen – The Precarious Subject, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Photo: Colin Davison © 2019 BALTIC
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