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Opens Tomorrow | The NewcastleGateshead Art Fair | The Sage Gateshead | 30 September – 2 October

The fifth annual NewcastleGateshead Art Fair opens tomorrow at spectacular venue of The Sage Gateshead. This year the fair has attracted more galleries than ever before, providing a platform for the work of hundreds of artists represented by around 50 galleries from across the UK and overseas. NewcastleGatehead is the largest commercial art fair in the North-East of England, and provides the opportunity to find affordable art as an investment for the feature. This year the fair features an extensive range of unique paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, prints and glass.

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Radical, Bold & Experimental Art Forms | Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011 | Site Gallery | Sheffield

Text by Amy Baker

Established in 1949, New Contemporaries is an important and highly regarding annual initiative that gives art students and recent graduates essential support and recognition at a crucial stage in their development through a high-profile exhibition. One of only two open exhibitions in the UK, participants are selected by a panel comprising influential art figures including curators, writers and artists often who have themselves previously been a part of New Contemporaries, and a rigorous process that considers the work within a broad cultural context. The selectors for 2011 are Pablo Bronstein, Sarah Jones and Michael Raedecker.

The Open & Illegible Letter | EJ Major | Love Is…

Between 2004 and 2006 the artist EJ Major undertook a mail art project which involved taking a screenshot of each second of the film Last Tango in Paris (1972) and from each one printing a single postcard. These 7000+ postcards were then hand-delivered around the UK over the course of two years. On the back the artist printed her Freepost Address and ”love is…” Recipients were asked to respond and return the postcard as part of an enquiry, into love.

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Questioning Documentary Narrative | Others’ Stories | Golden Thread Gallery | Belfast

Text by Angela Darby

Others’ Stories collates six artists’ exploration and questioning of documentary narrative. When two people verbally interact, dialogue can go beyond oral communication; facial expressions and body language become part of the exchange of ideas and the meaning attached to them. Curator Peter Richards pointedly asks: “Can you really tell someone else’s story for them… does truth suffer when it is mediated by a third party?” Essentially the interviewer must earn a bond of trust with the interviewee in order to achieve a meaningful discourse between the two parties. It was interesting to observe what techniques, if any, the invited artists adopted in order to gain their subjects confidence.

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Opens Tomorrow | Bridget Riley: Colour, Stripes, Planes & Curves Kettle’s Yard | Cambridge

Bridget Riley (b.1931) is one of Britain’s best-known artists. Since the mid-1960s she has been celebrated for her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings which actively engage the viewer’s sensations and perceptions, producing visual experiences that are complex and challenging, subtle and arresting.

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The Real & The Non-Abstract | Ingrid Calame | The Fruitmarket Gallery | Edinburgh

Text by Luke Healey

The Fruitmarket Galllery’s summer exhibition of work by American artist Ingrid Calame whose beautifully-coloured, intricate drawings and paintings have a specific, if abstracted relationship to the world. Calame’s paintings and drawings all begin with tracings of marks, stains and cracks on the ground made by the artist in various urban locations. Back in the studio, the tracings are combined layered and re-traced in coloured pencil, painted in enamel and, more recently, oil paint. The paintings and drawings that result from this singular process are beautiful and intelligent abstract works. Displayed in a gallery, they retain their connection with the world outside at several removes, exerting an oddly insistent presence.

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Shifting Identities | Entanglement: the Ambivalence of Identity | Iniva | London

Text by Lara Cory

In the bustling back streets of Shoreditch you’ll find the imposing Rivington Place building. Upon entering the sleek, black façade, you’ll find yourself inside Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), an institute that supports the debate and visual expression of diversity in society. Through exhibition, publications, multimedia, education and research, Iniva hope to destablilise existing hierarchies in visual arts culture and provide support and opportunity to a wide variety of culturally diverse artists, curators and writers.

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Welcome to the Real World | Peering Sideways | Project Space Leeds

Text by Daniel Potts

Peering Sideways consists of three new exhibitions running concurrently at PSL. The title suggests at once that the viewer is encouraged, through the prism of the artists’ vision, to look askance at the familiar and hints at the artist-peers taking part in the show, which aims to examine the idea of collectivity. Here, collectivity is to be found through collaborative practice, affiliation through studio membership, the formation of artists’ groups or the artist-peers choosing other with which to exhibit their work in a group format. The project brings together artists’ groups from across the UK (London, Manchester, Wakefield). The three constitutive exhibitions titled Welcome to the Real World, Sorry for the Inconvenience, and, Other People’s Problem.

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Last Chance To See | Bold Tendencies | Levels 7-10 | Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park

Text by Paul Hardman

The immediate appeal of Bold Tendencies, particularly on a sunny day, irrespective of what the art is like, especially if you haven’t been before is simply to visit the venue. Located on the top two floors and roof of a seven story car park in Peckham, the view is fairly epic, and since the temporary gallery space is complemented by having Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar strapped onto the building it is a pleasure to be in the space itself. Specially appointed by the Curatorial Council, the 15 large-scale new works by international artists commissed for the space, take central stage.

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Opening Tomorrow | International Print Biennale | Various Venues | Newcastle | Until 19 November

Showcasing the best in new British and international printmaking, the International Print Biennale 2011 is an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, activities and an international symposium taking place across Newcastle and the North East. It follows the success of the Northern Print Biennale in 2009 which was the first major project in the UK for 20 years concentrated on the diversity of contemporary printmaking.

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Nedko Solakov | All in Order, with Exceptions | Ikon Gallery | Birmingham

Ikon presents the first major exhibition in the UK of Nedko Solakov (b.1957) in Cherven Briag, Bulgaria. All in Order, with Exceptions is a chronological survey of Solakov’s practice, an amalgamation of four selections, made by three galleries – Ikon (UK), S.M.A.K. (Belgium) and Serralves (Portugal) – comprising one work per year since he emerged as an artist c.1980. There are overlaps, where a work was chosen by two or more curators. The ‘exceptions’ are those works first exhibited in years following their years of production, the latter being ignored for our purposes. In addition, for the Fondazione Galleria Civica, Trento, Solakov has made a further selection from all the works not chosen for the three other galleries: All in (my) Order, with Exceptions is a kind of Salon des Refusés, which articulates an intimate approach to the survey format, fully autonomous from curatorial ‘interference’.

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An Unending Series of Connections | Lost in Lace | Gas Hall | BMAG, Birmingham

Lost in Lace is the first exhibition programmed through the Craft Council‘s biennial Fifty:Fifty scheme, through which the Crafts Council co-funds and co-produces an exhibition with a partner organisation chosen by open selection. Speaking about the partnership, Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council: “We are thrilled to be working with the BMAG on this exciting inaugural Fifty:Fifty exhibition. Lost in Lace will encourage people to think about the fabric of the spaces we live in through extraordinary textile pieces created by prolific international artists. We believe this will draw new audiences to see the sort of contemporary craft that they may have never seen before.”