Culture24/7: seven top art exhibitions around the UK for December 2013

By Mark Sheerin | 03 December 2013

Lots happening in Liverpool and London this month as we present seven more opportunities to see art in the face of Christmas shopping

Colour photo of a number of sculpted busts of Margaret Thatcher
Oscar Nemen sculptures at Castlefield Gallery© Oscar Nemon
Wundercamera, PM Gallery, London, until January 11 2014

Here’s a dizzying proposition for visitors to PM Gallery. Wundercamera is a group show in which artists have taken photographs within a range of other galleries. Once your head has stopped spinning, you may hang around long enough to compare curatorial styles and strategies.

Radical Conservatism: Curated by Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, until February 2 2014

Writers and curators as well as artists, this London-based Kollectiv asks some difficult questions. What can radicalism mean when the left cling to the past and the right make sweeping reforms? Central to the debate is a bust of Thatcher made by a former flatmate of Rene Magritte.

Jake and Dinos Chapman: Come and See, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, until February 9 2014

There are countless ways this exhibition is calculated to offend, but fair to say that most people will enjoy being shocked. Highlights include the dioramas of Nazi atrocities, some twenty mannequins of new age Klansmen, and a hilarious new film starring Rhys Ifans.

Agnes Denes: Work 1967-2013, firstsite, Colchester, until March 9 2014

Colchester hosts this artist’s first retrospective in Western Europe. And Hungarian born, New York-based artist Denes is perhaps best known for growing and harvesting wheat in downtown Manhattan. The current show documents such intervention along with a wealth of drawings and prints.

David Tremlett: 3 Drawing Rooms, Ikon, Birmingham, December 4 2013 – April 21 2014

Offering to ‘retune’ the space in Ikon’s second floor galleries, Tremlett and his assistants are drawing on the walls in pastel and engine grease. The market-defying results promise to be ephemeral and quietly spectacular. Visitors can also see paintings by Tim Johnson.

Different Domain, The Royal Standard, Liverpool, December 6 2013 – January 18 2013

If you thought PM Gallery was getting meta this month, check out the premiere artist-led space in Liverpool. The Royal Standard are staging a show on their website, Twitter feed and Google Hangouts, along with two gallery based events. Expect gifs galore for this enquiry into digital.

Alvin Baltrop and Gordon Matta-Clark: The Piers From Here, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, December 7 2013 – February 9 2014

New York’s Piers fell into disuse about the same time as Liverpool’s docks, and soon became home to drug dealers, gay cruisers and prostitutes. This drew artists like Baltrop and Matta-Clark, whose complementary work is shown together for the first time in the UK.

You might also like:

The best art exhibitions to see in London during autumn/winter 2013

Culture 24/7: the top art exhibitions to see around the UK in November 2013

What are you looking forward to? Leave a comment below.

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