As the weather gets milder and the nights get lighter, we take a look at the new shows opening this season. Our 5 To See begins in Scotland with a candid portrayal of drug addiction in Graham MacIndoe’s Coming Clean, while in New York, Yoshitomo Nara looks at solo figures that could, with enough creativity, withstand the forces of nature. Tomás Saraceno introduces visitors to a collective cosmic concert at Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, and Arts Council Collection’s touring exhibition, Kaleidoscope, Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art lands at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
1. Graham MacIndoe, Coming Clean, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
The National Galleries of Scotland bring together 25 personal images taken by artist Graham MacIndoe (b.1963) across a six-year period. A compelling and powerful collection, the hold openly reveals his descent into drug addiction, with many shots portraying the effects that heroin and crack cocaine had on the New York-based photographer. The exhibition candidly reflects on MacIndoe’s shift from a flourishing professional career to his laborious struggle with addiction until he got clean. Whilst other photographers have shown the excesses of drug-taking before, MacIndoe is the subject of his own work – providing a frank rigour like no other.
2. Yoshitomo Nara, Thinker, Pace Gallery, New York
Thinker is Yoshitomo Nara’s first solo exhibition in New York since 2013 and features over 50 new works including paintings, sculptures, ceramics and works on paper. It’s been 30 years since Nara first made his mark on the international art stage, and since then he has continued to make work with a creative fervour: the exhibition reflects on where the artist is now. As Nara shifts his focus to the materials, colours and conversations between his artworks, he allows that process to determine the final form of the work.
3. Anselm Kiefer, For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit, Copenhagen Contemporary
In this presentation, world-renowned artist Anselm Kiefer’s pieces are filled with references to the past. Four airplane sculptures, battered with a war-weary aura, are juxtaposed with four large-scale paintings which contain references to photographs taken during Kiefer’s travels to the Gobi Desert in 1993. Beginning as a practitioner in post-war Germany, Kiefer has continued to find inspiration in historical events, literature, poetry, alchemy, astronomy, chemistry, and religion over the last 50 years. The project also draws on a scene from the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann’s Book of Franza (1955), in which the title character unsuccessfully seeks solace in the barrenness of the desert.
4. Tomás Saraceno, How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider Web, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires
The artist’s first solo exhibition at an Argentine museum will showcase two immersive installations as the result of a decade’s worth of interdisciplinary artistic research. Combining Tomás Saraceno’s interest in archaeology and astrophysics with sound and the visual arts, the project introduces visitors to a collective ‘cosmic concert’ that envelops the two spaces. Suspended filaments of webs and swirling formations of dust foreground a floating journey through the cosmic web. How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider Web is curated by Victoria Noorthoorn.
5. Kaleidoscope, Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton
YSP hosts the first leg of this Arts Council Collection touring exhibition. British art of the 1960s is noted for its bold, artificial colour, alluring surfaces and capricious shapes and forms, yet these qualities are often underpinned by a strong sense of repetition, sequence and symmetry. Key examples of painting and sculpture from collections across the UK are brought together and examined under a fresh lens. Kaleidoscope presents the work of over 20 artists including: David Annesley, Anthony Caro, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Phillip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Bridget Riley, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull.
1. Tim Scott, Quinquereme (1966). Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.