The Culture 24/7: Art picks for February 2012

By Mark Sheerin | 02 February 2012
Colour photo of a knitwear model in front of some statement architecture
An Icelandic knitwear model confronts the economic crisis in Sarah Browne's show at Ikon
© Sarah Browne
If you've spent January hibernating, now may be the time to revive your senses with some art. We pick shows from around the UK and it's a busy month...

Jane and Louise Wilson, DCA, Dundee, until March 25

Photos from an evacuated town near Chernobyl and CCTV footage of a political assassination in a Dubai hotel comprise new show from Turner Prize nominated siblings. DCA continues to prove a northern beacon for such contemporary fare.

Haroon Mirza, /|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|, Spike Island, Bristol, until March 25

Pronounciation difficulties aside, /|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/| offers Bristolians a chance to check out the boundaries between sculture and sound. For total engagement there’s a drum kit you can get behind. See why Sheffield-based Mirza has been making so much noise.
JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, February 4 – June 24

Ultraman, Pikachu and Hello Kitty feature in a show about what may be Japan’s greatest export: quirky and colourful characters. This UK appearance in Norwich features 3D models, 2D prints and a reconstructed kid’s room live envirvonment.

Sarah Browne: How to Use Fool's Gold, Ikon, Birmingham, Feburary 15 – April 22

Browne's show is so au courant that a key moment takes place two days after it opens, when the bank of France stops accepting francs. A hand-knotted Donegal carpet and project with Icelandic knitwear models provide dditional interest in human economies.

Picasso and Modern British Art, Tate Britain, London, February 15 – July 15

The list of British admirers for Picasso also reads as a list of the greatest artists this island produced in the 20th century: Moore, Nicholson, Bacon, Sutherland, Hockney etc. But almost half the works in this show are, naturally, by the great man himself.

Mark Leckey: Work & Leisure, Manchester Art Gallery, February 17 – March 18

Leckey's recent show at the Serpentine staged a face off between a speaker stack against a Henry Moore sculpture. For its Northern remix he borrows a three tonne steam chest from a mill near Rochdale. Show also features Leckey's seminal film, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.

Jeremy Deller: Joy in People, Hayward Gallery, London, February 22 – May 13

Almost every major work by this influential British artist can now be found under one roof, as the Hayward brings together photos, videos, posters, banners and sound pieces. Should be another popular and accessible show from the Southbank venue.

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