New openings this month include Amongst Heroes: The Artist in Working Cornwall at Two Temple Place in London (26 January – 14 April 2013) and New Glass: Ancient Skill, Contemporary Artform at the Blackwell Arts and Craft House in Windermere (31 January – 12 May 2013). Amongst Heroes is the latest in a series of Two Temple Place exhibitions designed to provide Londoners with the chance to view work usually housed outside the capital and to offer hands-on experience to emerging curators. The exhibition focuses on late 19th- and early 20th-century representations of Cornish men and women at work, highlighting how such paintings and drawings contributed to the county’s nascent reputation for realist art. New Glass is the result of a collaboration between The Lakeland Arts Trust and the Contemporary Glass Society. The exhibition showcases the work of both established and emerging contemporary glass-makers, seeking, in particular, to explain the objects’ production processes. Look out for Lund Humphries’ exciting new book, Colin Reid: Glass Artist, due out in the autumn of this year, which offers a fascinating insight into how kiln-cast glass is created.
Several exhibitions close over the next few weeks, so visit soon to avoid missing out. Gwen John and Celia Paul: Painters in Parallel at Pallant House in Chichester (until 27 January) brings together the paintings and drawings of two artists whose lives were lived nearly a century apart and yet who are united by their shared concern to communicate aspects of personal experience, including familial relationships and spirituality.
Given the unprecedented number of photography-centred exhibitions that opened in London last autumn, aficionados of the medium might not have had a chance to get down to the South Bank to see William Klein/Daido Moriyama at Tate Modern. The show is well worth a trip if you’re in the capital before 13 January, however, its range of material thoroughly immersing us in the rich – dynamic, tumultuous and sometimes unsavoury – urban worlds of these two masters of the lens. William Klein is one of the twentieth-century ‘emigré photographers’ featured in Displaced Visions, published in June.
Peter Doig: Imaginary Places at the MAC in Belfast, which closes on 20 January, also offers up landscapes for our exploration. This time, though, the spaces depicted are those liminal sites at the edges of cities, where the natural and the man-made meet and the rigid orders which reign elsewhere seem, momentarily, to have been suspended.
Both Higher Ground: Prints by Gerhart Frankl (1901-65) at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings at The Hepworth in Wakefield close on Sunday 3 February. The former focuses on the Austrian émigré’s use, in the 1920s, of a variety of printmaking techniques to make portraits and landscapes. The show underlines how, in sharp contrast to the Expressionist output of the Viennese avant-garde, Frankl’s early images evidence a sensitivity in the treatment of light and space – an approach partly inspired by Cézanne and Romanesque sculpture. The Hepworth exhibition, meanwhile, provides an opportunity to see some of the extraordinary drawings of surgeons at work which the sculptor made at hospitals in Exeter and London between 1947 and 1949. The pieces make clear Hepworth’s superior skills as a draughtsperson as well as her fascination with an occupation whose requirement for manual dexterity rendered it akin to her own. If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of The Hepworth, Wakefield, there is an excellent essay on the topic by David Chipperfield in Barbara Hepworth: The Plasters.
Celia Dunne, Publishing Assistant