January 5, 2012


The Sculpture Show

This major exhibition, which continues at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until 24 June, celebrates sculpture in all its many forms. Taking over all the available space in the gallery, it boasts a dazzling variety of works: Impressionist masterpieces by Rodin and Degas, German Expressionist work by Kathe Kollwitz, Cubist collage, and even the strange plastic and bronze Wedge of Chastity that Marcel Duchamp gave his wife as a wedding present. Leading Scottish figures such as Eduardo Paolozzi rub shoulders with the greats of 20th-century British sculpture, including Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, as well as Damien Hirst, Turner Prize nominee Karla Black and this year's winner, Martin Boyce. Perhaps most striking of all is Ron Mueck's monumental work A Girl, back in Edinburgh after a world tour.

BBC Radio 4

Merzman: The Art of Kurt Schwitters

A founding member of the Dadaist movement, Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) was an inventor of the technique we now call collage. He also developed a style he called "Merz", making elaborate sculptures or Merzbau that people could walk inside - the forerunners of today's installation art. Although he ended his days in Cumbria, the British art world has been slow to recognise his importance. But at last there are signs that this is beginning to change. In 2011, the Lake District barn that Schwitters worked in during his final days was rebuilt stone for stone in the West End of London, while 2013 will see a major retrospective of his work at Tate Britain. For this documentary, Bob Dickinson brings together a number of leading experts to explore the life and career of a great yet strangely underappreciated European modern artist.

9 January, 4pm


The Kreutzer Sonata

A man boards a train alone. The confined space of the carriage triggers potent memories. Soon he is confessing to a terrible crime, one for which he holds Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata responsible. This chilling portrayal of sexual jealousy and murder - adapted by Nancy Harris from Leo Tolstoy's shocking 1889 novella, which was censored by the Russian authorities - runs from 6 January to 18 February at the Gate Theatre, where it was first performed to great acclaim in 2009. (It will then transfer to La MaMA Experimental Theatre Club in New York City from 8 to 25 March.) Natalie Abrahami's production again stars Hilton McRae as obsessive husband Posdnyshev, Sophie Scott as his piano-playing wife and Tobias Beer as her supposed lover.



Starting the New Year with a bang, the Barbican Theatre presents a major new musical work forged from a bold collaboration between two extraordinary artists working together for the first time. At its heart is a score by choreographer turned composer Hofesh Shechter, performed live by his band of 30 musicians, which will immerse the audience in percussive grooves, melancholy strings and electronic soundscapes. All this unfolds within a landscape created by sculptor Antony Gormley that turns the whole Barbican stage into an instrument to be played and offers a unique sensory experience. Survivor runs from 12 to 14 January, with an additional matinee on the final day.


Graham Sutherland: An Unfinished World

Curated by 2011 Turner Prize nominee George Shaw, this exhibition brings together more than 80 rarely seen works on paper by Graham Sutherland (1903-80), one of the most compelling British artists of his generation. Most come from three separate phases of his career: Welsh landscapes of the 1930s, works created during his time as an official war artist, and those produced after his return to Pembrokeshire in the 1970s. Many are largely devoid of human life and offer a highly distinctive vision of a world both dark and magical, recognisable yet elusive. An Unfinished World continues at Modern Art Oxford until 18 March.

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