We love an excuse for an out of town art trip and this winter offers the Turner Prize 2017 exhibition at the Ferens gallery in Hull plus works by recently re-discovered Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow at The Hepworth in Wakefield. Look out for the Tate’s new Surrealism in Egypt show and Alfredo Jaar’s world-class (and potentially world changing) installations at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Closer to home we recommend Wyndham Lewis at Imperial War Museum North and the forthcoming Humans Being Digital group show at the Lowry, both in Salford Quays.

1. Turner Prize 2017 at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull
Staged outside London every other year, catch the Turner Prize exhibition in Hull as part of its UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations. The four nominees for the prestigious award exhibit during the autumn with the winner announced in December. On offer this year we have entries from Hurvin Anderson, who explores themes of community and identity with paintings that shift in and out of abstraction. In the work Beggar, Andreas Büttner shows the simplified huddled figure of a beggar in large woodblock prints. Lubaina Himid’s unashamedly satirical work explores ideas of power and black heritage in the arts, whilst Rosalind Nashibi’s altogether more meditative entry entitled ‘Vivien’s Garden’ is a slow and beautiful filmic portrait of the relationship between mother and daughter. It’s a varied lot and one not to be missed.
Until Sun 7 Jan 2018, Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Carr Ln, Hull HU1 3RA. Tel: 01482 613902, times vary, FREE, www.tate.org.uk

2. Rediscovered sculptures: Alina Szapocznikow: Human Landscapes at Hepworth Wakefield
Overlooked and under-appreciated for much of the 20th Century, Alina Szapocznikow’s provocative sculptures have been rediscovered in the past decade with the artist posthumously earning the recognition for her innovative work. The Hepworth Wakefield present the first major retrospective of the Polish artist with over 100 hundred works on display. The exhibition tracks the artist’s development chronologically, beginning with the more classically figurative pieces, to her surrealist and pop-art influenced later work which she termed ‘objets maladroits’ or ‘awkward objects’. One of the first artists to experiment with synthetic materials, she used polyester casts of body parts, usually her own, to create playfully absurd and organic sculptures that also double-up as household objects – think half a head as an ashtray and a selection of lamps made of lips.
Sun 21 Oct – Sun 28 Jan 2018, The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW. Tel: 01924 247360, FREE, www.hepworthwakefield.org

3. Radical, political and brilliant: Alfredo Jaar installations and more at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Alfredo Jaar’s politically motivated work seeks to question how events and injustices are represented in a media-led society. You might remember him from the huge neon sign announcing ‘This is Not America’ that hung in Times Square in 1987 and again in 2014. His major new commission for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is no less political. Titled The Garden of Good and Evil, it features a seemingly peaceful grove of trees in which 9 cells are hidden, each one representing one of the CIA’s interrogation prisons or ‘black sites’. Alongside this new installation, the exhibition will feature a selection of Jaar’s other work, including a video telling the story of South African photographer Kevin Carter, and Shadows, a light piece relaying an account of one family during the Nicaraguan Civil War. Jaar’s work is rich with empathy and sensitivity, relying on his architectural know-how to manipulate space and light to maximum effect. It’s also eco-friendly as those trees will be planted around the park when the exhibition finishes.
Sat 14 Oct – Sun 8 Apr 2018, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG. Tel: 01924 832631, FREE

4. Surrealism in Egypt at Tate Liverpool
We may think of surrealism as a pretty European affair, but the Tate Liverpool’s new exhibition should change your mind about that. The Art et Liberté movement centred around a radical collective of artists and writers living and working in Cairo in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. Influenced by their correspondences with the likes of Andre Breton, the Art et Liberté group adopted and explored Surrealism as a means to comment on the cultural and political state of Egypt – then under colonial rule. Through an exhibition of key artworks and artefacts Surrealism in Egypt takes the movement far from its European origins, showing how the style crossed borders and cultures and was adapted and repurposed to great effect. And with many of the artworks drawn from private collections and shown here for the first time, it’s sure to make for refreshing viewing.
Fri 17 Nov – Sun 18 Mar 2018, Tate Liverpool Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 4BB. Tel: 0151 702 7400, times and prices vary, www.tate.org.uk

5. A British radical: Wyndham Lewis at Imperial War Museum North (pictured)
Imperial War Museum North takes an abstract look at history with new exhibition Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War. Lewis was the founder of the Cubist-inspired movement Vorticism and became an official war artist when posted to the western front in 1917. Read our preview.
Fri 23 Jun 2017 – Mon 1 Jan 2018, Imperial War Museum North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17 1TZ. Tel: 0161 836 4000, 10am – 5pm, £8 (free for members), www.iwm.org.uk

Fri 13 Oct - Sun 8 Apr
Olivia Rye
Published on:
Thu 22 Mar 2018