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August 8, 2014 6:00 pm
Ai Weiwei, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Ai Weiwei’s contribution to Documenta 2007 was to invite 1,001 Chinese citizens to Kassel in Germany, drawing the attention of the global biennale set to complications of travel for the Chinese. Ai, himself now confined to Beijing, devised this show using plans and photographs. In YSP’s newly restored chapel, “Fairytale – 1001 Chairs” references his Documenta intervention.
Dating from the Qing dynasty and associated with privilege, the chairs evoke ideas of freedom, sanctuary and collective memory. Also in the chapel is “Iron Tree”, the largest and most complex of Ai’s tree sculptures.
The wonderful YSP was named Museum of the Year last month; its extensive grounds feature works by Moore, Caro, LeWitt, Houseago and more.
ysp.co.uk, 01924 832631, to November 2
. . .
Gego, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Gego, born Gertrud Goldschmidt in Hamburg in 1912, emigrated to Venezuela in 1939 and, exploring the possibilities of line as object, became a pioneer of Latin American geometric abstraction. Her expansive nets star at the Royal Academy’s Radical Geometry show; this new retrospective includes nets, columns, spheres, a torsolike black aluminium hanging piece (“Vibration in Black”), and sculptures composed of paper and gold cigarette wrappers (“Tedejuras”) from 1991.
henry-moore.org, 0113 246 7467, to October 19
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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican Art Gallery, London
Subtitled “From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”, the first exhibition devoted to the French designer showcases 165 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments, tracing Jean Paul Gaultier’s development from the streets of Paris to the DIY aesthetic of punk and works inspired by science fiction. Last few weeks.
barbican.org.uk, 0845 120 7550, to August 25
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Franz West, The Hepworth, Wakefield
The third point on the triangle making Yorkshire a vibrant international sculpture centre is the excellent Hepworth. This summer’s show was developed with the anarchic Austrian sculptor before his death in 2012, and challenges definitions of sculpture with his user-friendly interactive “combi” pieces, which combine and re-combine individual works – furniture, indoor and outdoor sculpture, works on paper, video – in different configurations.
hepworthwakefield.org, 01924 247360, to September 14
. . .
Summer Showcase: Bruegel to Freud, Courtauld Gallery, London
The least-known part of the Courtauld’s fabulous collection of works on paper is the prints. Highlights spanning half a millennium trace the development and variety of printmaking: Mantegna, Bruegel, Canaletto, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Matisse, Freud, Ofili.
courtauld.ac.uk, 020 7848 2526, to September 21
. . .
Mario Schifano, Luxembourg and Dayan, London
The Italian avant-garde artist experimented with enamel, parcel paper, Plexiglas, Perspex and spray-paint to radicalise painting in the 1960s. Schifano exhibited alongside Andy Warhol – his “Incidente” works parallel Warhol’s “Car Crash” series – and Roy Lichtenstein, and fused US and European influences. Final week.
luxembourgdayan.com, 020 7734 1266, to August 16
Photograph: Leister Foundation, Switzerland
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