Five exhibitions to see this October
From the uncanny landscapes of Paul Nash to Rebecca Warren's St Ives-inspired sculptures, this month’s must-see exhibitions all offer new geographies to explore. All five open in October and are either free or half-price with a National Art Pass.
After a highly anticipated expansion, Tate St Ives fills its refreshed spaces with the work of contemporary British sculptor Rebecca Warren, who has made new work inspired by the area and its artistic legacy especially for the occasion. Warren’s first solo show in the UK for eight years, it promises an in-depth reintroduction to her distinctive work, which often references and intentionally misappropriates existing images by accepted ‘masters’ within the western canon. An extensive display exploring the history of modern art in St Ives, including work by Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, runs alongside.
Perhaps you’ve already seen the Hepworth Wakefield’s vibrant summer exhibition exploring Howard Hodgkin’s relationship with India, or perhaps you’re planning to catch it before it comes down on 8 October. Either way, this collection at Victoria Art Gallery of prints, sketches and gouache studies will deepen your understanding of the artist’s fascination with the country he visited almost annually from the 1960s until his death earlier this year, capturing his experiences and those he met in his vivid, gestural style.
The mercurial power of the landscape is central to the work of Paul Nash, whose approach to depicting the environment evolved over the course of his life. Moving from early-career drawings of wind-blasted trees through war-ravaged plains and calm images of the English countryside, he eventually arrived at an almost abstract conception of landforms and natural shapes. Curated by collage artist John Stezaker, this exhibition juxtaposes Nash’s work with Stezaker’s own, offering a view of the land that is decidedly uncanny and sometimes surreal.
A traditional Portuguese folk tale about a boy who loved the sea is the inspiration behind Paula Rego’s new body of work, which comes to the suitably salt-aired setting of Hastings thanks to your support through an Art Happens crowdfunding campaign. Those familiar with the artist will know she’s long had an interest in the sea, perhaps stemming from a childhood spent on the Lisbon coast, while newcomers will find an introduction to her interest in the subject thanks to other, older works also on display.
The first major exhibition in the UK devoted to the response of artists to the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 comprises 50 works of art that offer alternative analyses than those we are accustomed to seeing in the media. Split into four themes, the show looks at the event itself, the resultant controversy over state surveillance and security, our relationship with weaponry and other tools of war, and the devastation inflicted on people and the environment – and features work by artists including Ai Weiwei, Coco Fusco and Grayson Perry.