The Culture24/7: Art picks for January 2012

By Mark Sheerin | 04 January 2012
Colour photo of a derelict cruise liner in an American port
The SS United States as seen in Richard Williiams' show in Edinburgh© Richard Williams
It's another good month for art lovers and a very good month for art lovers North of the border as we pick new shows from Edinburgh to Ealing.

Focus Space Richard Williams: United States, Stills, Edinburgh, until March 18

A current show at Stills comprises photos related to a ghostly 990-foot cruise liner moored in Philadelphia. But Professor Williams' interest in the disused SS United States is more than academic and goes back to a childhood fascination with the ship.

The Sculpture Show, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, until June 24

Perhaps learning from criticism levelled at Modern British Sculpture at the RA, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art stages a more cosmopolitan and canonical sculpture survey. It's an interesting context for Turner Prize nominees Black and Boyce.

Carole Griffiths & Michael Stewart: Couples, South Square Cantre, Bradford, January 6 – 31

This high concept show observes romantic partnerships from the point of view of a writer and an artist. Stewart has written pairs of texts based on real life couples, while Griffiths responds with everyday materials to produce darkly comic sculptures.

Henri Gaurdier-Brzeska: Vorticist!, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, January 14 – April 1

A move from Paris to London may have been an unlikely one for an artist in 1911, but Guardier-Brzeska soon fell in with Ezra Pound, Jacob Epstein and Wyndham Lewis. But his luck ran out with a tragic early death in the Great War, aged just 23.

Daria Martin, Milton Keynes Gallery, January 20 – April 8

MKG are yet again first to give an artist their first ever show in a UK public space. In Martin's case, we can look back on a decade. And since her medium is 16mm film, the Gallery has reconstructed its interior for what promises to be an absorbing show.

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, Royal Academy, London, January 20 – March 18

Although the jpegs look hopeful, this would be worth a visit for daring alone. Despite the painter’s considerable back catalogue, an extensive show of Yorkshire landscapes was pulled together from scratch in just four years. This is a Hockney for this century.

The Near and the Elsewhere, PM Gallery and House, Ealing, London, January 25 -March 17

Fans of urban decay may find much to like, but there is more to this Greater London show than ruin porn. Along with disused buildings and deserted zones, visitors will also find thriving Far East hubs and populations worldwide who are down but not out.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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