Culture24/7: recommended art exhibitions from around the UK in May 2013

By Mark Sheerin | 30 April 2013

Welcome to your monthly round-up of recommended art exhibitions in galleries across the UK. Top shows all over the regions this month made for difficult decisions...

Colour photo of a wide brickwork tunnel
David Rowan's subterranean shots of the Black Country on show in Walsall© David Rowans
Andrea Büttner, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, from April 12

What with her collaborations with nuns and extensive use of woodcut, German artist Büttner is like someone from another age. However, bright colours, abstraction, video and photos also proliferate and leave the viewer in no doubt as to her freshness and modernity.

Edgar Martins: The Time Machine, Ffotogallery, Penarth

In these days of economic malaise, we don’t usually associate Portugal with rampant ambition. And yet between the 1950s and 1970s the Iberian state built a number of futuristic power stations which now inspire nostalgia. The fading hopes are captured here in saturated colour. Part of Diffusion Festival (read our Preview).

House 2013, various venues, Brighton, May 4-26

Making a virtue out of a necessity, Brighton’s relative lack of galleries has led to a festival of art in domestic spaces. But the line-up is by no means homespun: Mariele Neudecker, Andrew Kotting with Anonymous Bosch, David Wightman, and Dylan Shipton and Ben Fitton all feature. Read our Preview of Neudecker's Heterotopias and Other Domestic Landscapes.

David Rowan: Pacha Kuti Ten, New Art Gallery, Walsall, from May 10

The subterranean rivers, mines and bunkers of the Black Country are the dark matter for a new show of photography in Walsall. Works are hung high on the wall as a way of turning the region upside down, and the title comes from apocalyptic Inca Legend. You have been warned.

Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, from May 10

This touring show pretty much does what it says on the tin, collecting together 26 artists who were keen to break free of the confines of the gallery. Instead of paint they use earth, water, the sun and fire. If this was just a phase, then some important British artists went through it.

Andrei Molodkin, Void, Derry-Londonderry, from May 18

Artists can work a range of day jobs, and, indeed, Russian Molodkin has transported oil and missiles before now. So oil and military issue ball- point pens have become art materials. New work is also on show in Derry, which responds to the city’s turbulent history. Unmissable.

Michael Landy, Saints Alive, National Gallery, London, from May 23

This much-anticipated show combines Landy’s love of refuse with the National Gallery’s predilection for saints. Kinetic sculptures incorporate details from early renaissance portraits. Seven foot tall and interactive, they promise to bring the National’s collection to life in new ways.

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