Culture24's art must-sees: Christmas and New Year 2010

By Mark Sheerin | 20 December 2010
Colourful film still from a semi-abstract animated film featuring dancers
Len Lye, Rainbow Dance (1936). Courtesy the British Post Office, Len Lye Foundation, Govett Brewster Art Gallery and New Zealand Film Archive© All Rights Reserved
If you want a bit of festive cheer with your contemporary art, look no further than our Christmas picks. These shows offer all the colour, magic and delight associated with this time of year. But please do check venue listings for holiday opening schedules.

Len Lye, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

There’s joy to all men at Ikon with the first ever UK retrospective of Len Lye. Kinetic sculptures and colourful animations both express the New Zealander’s lively sense of optimism. This one is sure to warm up visitors of all ages.

Sharpe’s Wood: Lisa Dracup, PM Gallery, London

Magical woodlands make an apt setting for a seasonal photography show. But in fact the photographic images are all shot outside Bradford. Dracup works at night without use of a flash to capture otherworldly details which the naked eye tends to overlook.

Dan Holdsworth: Blackout, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

The make-believe landscapes in Dan Holdsworth’s show are photos taken in Iceland. Using a mix of analogue and digital processes, the London-based photographer turns melting glaciers into lunar mountain ranges or locations even further from ours.

Lucent Lines: Simon Fenoulhet, Oriel Davies, Newtown, Powys

Prepare your sense of winter wonder as you enter a darkened space lit only by the sculptures of Simon Fenoulhet. The Cardiff artist uses a range of technologies to illuminate a range of everyday materials, bringing something extra- to the ordinary.

Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Manchester Art Gallery

Although this show was a Culture24 pick for the Manchester Weekender, it could be worth another visit over the holidays. Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive installations are more fun than a game of charades and full of surprises, unlike those crackers.

Tomaiko Suzuki, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

If proof were needed of this Japanese artist’s festive credentials, look no further than his £120,000 crib at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London. However, Eastbourne has its share of toy-like wonders with the sculptor’s urban, wood-carved figurines.

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

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