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Photorealist painting of a view across Trafalgar Square, London

Getting realism: Ben Johnson talks about a controversial painting show in Birmingham

On the occasion of a landmark show at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, photorealist painter Johnson discusses his oft-dismissed genre with Mark Sheerin.

A photo of a lizard made up of a suit of orange and yellow with a brown head

The best art exhibitions to see in galleries in the Midlands during 2014

From Warwick to Wolverhampton and Walsall to Birmingham, we look ahead to Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jeremy Deller and more in 2014 at galleries across the Midlands.

Painting of a buddha figure floating on a blue background with a host of mystical details

Tim Johnson brings together punk energy with aboriginal spirituality at Ikon

Birmingham gallery charts remarkable journey from Sydney punk scene to Pupunya settlement by esoteric Australian artist.

Colour photo of a number of sculpted busts of Margaret Thatcher

Culture24/7: seven top art exhibitions around the UK for December 2013

Lots happening in Liverpool and London this month as we present you with seven more opportunities to see art in the face of Christmas shopping.

A photo of a large red brick building in a city centre

Birmingham's Ikon Gallery to celebrate 50 years with major exhibition programme

Fifty years after starting out in the city's Bullring, organisers at Ikon have invited some of their former gallery-fillers back as part of their 2014 exhibition programme.

a detail of a large painting by Hurvin Anderson of ornate white metal gates against a green background

Hurvin Anderson's stunning paintings take over Birmingham's IKON gallery

IKON devotes its entire gallery space to a major retrospective of works by painter Hurvin Anderson. Mark Sheerin gets lost in some beautiful canvasses.

a photo of Jake and Dinos Chapman in their studio

Dinos Chapman to take Luftbobler to Birmingham ahead of All Tomorrow's Parties

The artist says his audio-visual work is "a constantly evolving thing" as he prepares for an appearance at Bring to Light, a three-day festival in Birmingham this October.

A photo of an ancient urban library

From frozen gas pipes to Harold Wilson: The history of the Library of Birmingham

The £189 million Library of Birmingham may be taking all the headlines, but it's actually the city's fourth central library. We take a look at 150 years of culture.

A photo of a woman holding up a circular green sign with the word play written on it

The Culture24/7: Top history exhibitions for September 2013 in our heritage round-up

Heritage Open Days, the opening of the Ashmolean's new museum in a Cotswold village and the opening season at the Library of Birmingham catch the eye this month.

A photo of a modern library

Cake, critics and Rizzle Kicks: The Library of Birmingham gets set for grand opening

Francine Houben's dream of a "people's palace" will become reality when Birmingham's £189 million library opens to the public. We take a look at the reaction so far and what to expect from the......

Colour photo of two sisters holding two young boys

Traditionalists look away: Gillian Wearing unveils subjects for Birmingham Family sculpture

Ikon Gallery and the former YBA have found subjects for a £100,000 bronze sculpture in Centenary Square in England's second city.

Gillian Wearing, Family Monument (2007)

Gillian Wearing and Ikon Gallery search for A Real Birmingham Family at The Mailbox

A three-year search for A Real Birmingham Family is nearing a conclusion, with the four shortlisted families featuring in a new exhibition in the BBC Birmingham Public Space.

Colour photo of a performance troupe in red before a newbuild library

4 Squares Weekender to provide warm welcome for new library in Birmingham

A citywide festival will offer spectacle and participatory opportunities for potential visitors to Birmingham's newly built library and theatre annexe.

Colour film still of an artist holding an octopus on an overcast beach

Shimabuku brings food, fauna and fun to first ever retrospective at Ikon

The Birmingham gallery hosts a two-floor show of surprises from the Japanese artist who translates well. Mark Sheerin pays a visit.

A photo of a sculpture showing a family on a plinth in bronze by a river

Culture24/7: Museum events and exhibitions in History and Heritage for August 2013

Yorkshire Medieval Festival focuses on Richard III and Scotland's Festival of History unites circus skills, archery and rampaging armies in this month's history highlights.

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