The Culture24/7: UK art picks for May 2011

By Mark Sheerin | 28 April 2011
Colour photo of the cockpit of a plane with bats hanging from the ceiling
Bat Project IV (inside view, cockpit) 2005 © Walker art center, Minneapolis Courtesy Huang Yong Ping and Yu De Yao
In Wales, a grim celebration of work is one of the highlights of this month’s round up of unmissable art from around the UK.

Spaghetti Junctions: Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, Cubitt, London, until May 29 2011

Swiss artists use archive material, text and installation to revisit the construction and closure of the world’s first solar power plant, plus the installation of a since removed solar panel from the roof of the White House. Sure to provoke wonder and dismay.

Gareth Jones, Milton Keynes Gallery, until June 26 2011

Milton Keynes’ leading gallery does a nice line in shows about Milton Keynes. This show offers another view of the modernist dreams of the city’s founders, with sculpture and found media by local artist Gareth Jones. The town has lasting appeal.

Huang Yong Ping, Nottingham Contemporary, until June 26 2011

You may not need to know the backstory to enjoy climbing into a spyplane filled with taxidermied bats. But rest assured there is plenty of significant allegory in the Chinese artist’s installations here. Robot dogs and sea monsters complete the phantasmagoria.

Aggregates: Jonathan Anderson, Oriel Davies, Newtown, Powys, until July 6

Nihilism and humour come together for a show about work and no working day goes by for Anderson without making a mixed media zen mandala, with coal dust. Carriage clocks with concrete-covered faces also offer cold comfort.

John Salt, Ikon, Birmingham, until July 17 2011

Capitalism and desire are in the frame along with automobiles in these photorealist paintings. Salt has worked in this genre and format for five decades and gets a major survey at the gallery where in 1965 he was the first artist to ever feature.

Christine Borland, Camden Arts Centre, London, May 13 – June 10 2011

Surgeons made a fibreglass sculpture recording the dissection of an unidentified man. A former YBA has now recast the model to show the figure’s resemblance to Michelangelo’s pieta. Looks to be a pithy comment on art’s influence on science.

The Recipe Exchange, Spacex, Exeter, May 14 – July 9 2011

Expect more than cooking advice from this knowledge exchange project initiated by artist Helen Pritchard. In the gallery, texts, diagrams and videos accompany an online archive of how-to information compiled by locals in two East Devon villages.

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

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