There are not six, but seven UK-wide shows for your perusal this month, a nearly arbitrary quantitative adjustment to a hopefully less arbitrary qualitative overview.
© Köln/Berlin and The Estate of Jack Goldstein
Sonya Dyer: Paul Robeson Research Station, Site Gallery, Sheffield, until February 19 2011
Dyer uses several tried and trusted methods for researching the legacy of an American activist: ‘discursive platforms’, exploring anthems and tomato growing. Robeson, an actor, athlete, writer, and son of an escaped slave, should prove worth the interest.
Pile, Chapter, Cardiff, Feburary 4 - March 20 2011
At first glance, Pile looks like a timely glimpse of what might happen should curators go on strike. The 30 sculptures are on top of one another, in some cases literally. This exploration of how works in a group show interact has been taken to the limit.
Jack Goldstein, Nottingham Contemporary, until March 27 2011
Despite his importance to many artists working today, this is the first solo showing of Goldstein’s work in the UK. Evolving from a background of minimalist sculpture, his later works are a conceptual take on the gloss of Hollywood and 80s graphic design.
Moving Portraits, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, until March 27 2011
In painting or sculpture, sitting still is a prerequisite for any subject of a portrait. This show demonstrates how the tradition of portraiture has been turned on its head by the advent of film. Some 22 artists include Sam Taylor Wood and her sleeping Beckham.
Simon Starling: Recent History, Tate St Ives, until May 2 2011
Find out what the 2005 Turner Prize winner has been up to in the last five years with several previously unseen works. The special commissioned of a full size replica of part of a Scottish gallery where Starling recently showed should be a highlight
Susan Hiller, Tate Britain, London, until May 15 2011
With themes that include UFO sightings, alien messages and gateways to the spirit world, these multimedia installations are not for the easily spooked. Hiller’s major survey suggests that art can get to grips with such beliefs, just as well as science.
Robert Orchardson: Endless Façade, Ikon, Birmingham, Feburary 23 - April 25 2011
Taking a fairly obscure start point (set design in a 1955 RSC production of King Lear) Orchardson revisits the modernism of previous generations and sets it in the context of suspended disbelief. Ikon gives the Scottish artist his first European museum show.
Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.