The Culture24/7: UK art picks for April 2011

By Mark Sheerin | 01 April 2011
Photo of three huge luminous sculpted heads in a gallery
Monuments with a light touch in Yorkshire as Jaume Plensa opens at YSP© Michael Bodycomb. Courtesy YSP
In this monthly round-up of art happenings around the UK, there is heavy representation from Catalonia. Shows by Joan Miró and Jaume Plensa both open in April, plus a lot more, as ever.

Ant Macari: 'Get out and troop the shape of a void', Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, until June 18 2011

Between Medieval heraldry and mystical geometries, it looks like things have gotten heavy during Macari's six-month residency at NGCA. One piece promising a missing link between Michelangelo and Gordon Matta-Clark looks worth a visit alone.

Jaume Plensa, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, April 9 - September 25 2011

Given the use of light, text and three dimensional grids in his work, it is tempting to think of Plensa as an urban or even a new media artist. But what city gallery could offer the mix of outdoor and indoor space he will find at YSP? Expect contrasts.

New Cartographies: Algeria-France-UK, Cornerhouse, Manchester, April 8 – June 5 2011

As a friend to the US, a trade partner with the UK and a neighbour to both Libya and Tunisia, Algeria occupies an interesting position at the moment. Perhaps art can tell us how North Africa has come to be so volatile and what we might expect  to come.

Toby Ziegler: The Alienation of Objects, The New Art Gallery Walsall, 8 April - 19 June 2011

Low resolution photos of art historical artefacts become large sculptures modelled in a polygonal aluminium skin. Ziegler’s interest is in the way information may deteriorate and through digital technology even distort. That will explain the show's almost parodic title.

Roman Ondák: Time Capsule, Modern Art Oxford, until May 20 2011

Modern Art Oxford has already drawn the crowds with this show since volunteers were recruited en masse to take part in a performance here. Now echoes of the event form one of two installations, along with a project based on the trapped Chilean miners.

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape, Tate Modern, London, April 14 – September 11 2011

Cheerful, colourful abstraction may not be the obvious choice for our troubled times. But Miró himself experienced two wars and this show sets out to demonstrate that his political engagement continued up until the 1970s. Colours are, after all, not neutral.

Charles Atlas, Mika Tajima and New Humans: The Pedestrians, South London Gallery, April 1- 21 2011

SLG relates performance and dance to the demo march with a show about walking. It features a catwalk and a film set and several scheduled happenings. So depending on your standpoint this will be a fruitful or a worrying union of live art and protest.

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