Akram Zaatari: The Script, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford
Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari‘s exhibition at Modern Art Oxford offers an intriguing exploration of how people choose to present themselves to the outside world. It includes a new video work, The Script, which is the result of the artist’s research into online content connected with the Arab world. Exploring YouTube using relatively neutral search terms such as ‘father and son’, Zaatari discovered multiple films depicting fathers praying. The Script features a re-enactment of these moments, offering scenes of domestic life that are rarely seen in Western media’s representation of the Arab world. Also on show is the video installation Dance to the End of Love, which explores Arab male identity through a montage of clips uploaded to YouTube by men in Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Until 12 May 2019. www.modernartoxford.org.uk
Barbara Hepworth: Artist in Society, St Albans Museum and Gallery, St Albans
One of Britain’s best-known artists, Barbara Hepworth had an extensive career that spanned five decades. Although closely linked with St Ives, where she lived and worked for 26 years, this show focuses on her little-known connections with Hertfordshire. It explores Hepworth’s career immediately after the second world war, when she was beginning to receive wider recognition, and includes numerous sculptures and drawings, some of which have not been seen together since they were first created 70 years ago. Also on show is a collection of over 100 archival items that delve deeper into her artistic practice during these pivotal years.
Until 8 September 2019. www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk
Beth Collar: Daddy Issues, CGP London/Dilston Grove, London
This collaborative commission between Matt’s Gallery and CGP London is taking place at Dilston Grove, an intriguing Grade II listed building and modernist former church within Southwark Park, Bermondsey. The exhibition title, ‘Daddy Issues’, is a reference to a phrase that has traditionally been used disparagingly to negate an ’emotional’ aspect of a person’s character – and often to subjugate and manipulate women. Known for her sculptural and performance practice, Beth Collar offers an exploration of how historically women’s art has often been read as ‘confessional and seen through the lens of the micro: the autobiographical, the domestic and the emotional’. Read our 2016 Q&A with Beth Collar here.
Until 28 April 2019. www.mattsgallery.org
Pum: Earth Echo Affective Reflection, Project Ability Gallery, Glasgow
Glasgow-based artist Pum presents a new body of collage work, plus a sound piece composed and created with Gordon Kennedy. The show explores ‘a 21st century worldview’, and in particular the unquestioning use of new digital media. Pum describes her work as a ‘language about languages’, investigating the invisible processes involved in establishing a sense of self and the psychological aspects of human relationships.
Until 27 April 2019. www.project-ability.co.uk
Renee So: Bellarmines and Bootlegs, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Born in Hong Kong, raised in Australia and now living and working in London, Renee So’s ceramic sculptures and machine-knitted textiles offer a unique take on portraiture. The works in this exhibition are from 2012 to the present and, drawing on research into the histories of European and Assyrian sculpture, feature heavily stylised, magical and mythical images that assimilate the history of representation in sculpture. The show also includes a number of ceramic tile pieces that are inspired by Neo-Assyrian stone carved reliefs and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
Until 2 June 2019. www.henry-moore.org
1. Akram Zaatari, The Script, 2018. Courtesy: the artist
2. Barbara Hepworth, The three forms of The Unknown Political Prisoner. © Bowness
3. Domenico and Francesco Pizzigani, The Pizzigani portolan, 1367
4. Pum, Earth Echo Affective Reflection
5. Renee So, Cross Legged Man, 2018, glazed ceramic, oil paint. Courtesy: the artist. Photo: Robert Glowacki