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Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War, Imperial War Museum, London
How the new reality of 20th-century warfare demanded new forms and sensibilities in painting, from futurism – Wyndham Lewis’s “A Battery Shelled”, Christopher Nevinson’s “La Mitrailleuse”, where trenches and soldiers are reduced to angular shapes, with definitions between human flesh and heavy artillery blurred – to Paul Nash’s charred landscapes and elegiac, disillusioned narratives from traditionalists such as George Clausen (“Youth Mourning”) and William Orpen.
iwm.org.uk, 020 7416 5000, to March 8
Jerwood Drawing Festival, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
Marking 20 years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, two exhibitions celebrate the centrality yet diversity of the medium in contemporary art. Among former Jerwood judges exhibiting in Drawn Together: Artist as Selector are Anthony Green, Michael Craig-Martin, Lisa Milroy, Cornelia Parker and Rachel Whiteread. In Quentin Blake: Artists on the Beach, the popular illustrator displays drawings made in response to favourite works in the Jerwood collection by Stanley Spencer, Christopher Wood, LS Lowry and others.
jerwoodgallery.org, 01424 728377, to October 15
Barbara Kruger, Modern Art, Oxford
“THE BRUTAL RELENTLESS FEARFUL END OF IT ALL” declares one slogan. “IS THERE LIFE WITHOUT PAIN?” asks another. Ironically deploying mass media visual strategies in loud, colourful text pieces, Kruger has always questioned conceptions of value and materialism; here she is more overtly philosophical. The show includes films: Plenty LA, focused on the gaze of a phone-obsessed consumer, and Twelve, a conversation between a dozen characters exploring confrontation and casual cruelty in soap operas. Final fortnight.
modernartoxford.org.uk, 01865 722733, to August 31
As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s, Ikon, Birmingham
Also final fortnight to catch this show of 29 artists who exhibited at Birmingham’s leading contemporary space in the 1980s, and now return for a retrospective characterised by post-modernism, appropriation art, installations, the return of figurative painting. Artists range from conceptualists Susan Hiller, John Stezaker, the group Art & Language, to 91-year-old painter Albert Irvin.
ikon-gallery.org, 0121 248 0708, to August 31
Radical Geometry, Royal Academy, London
Highlights from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros’ lively collection of 20th-century Latin American artists who used geometry to liberate colour and form from the picture plane: Hélio Oiticica’s playful bright monochrome reliefs hanging from the ceiling, Lygia Clark’s shiny hinged aluminium sculptures, opened up like folded paper, Jesús Soto’s installation “Nylon Cube”, which seems to make an entire gallery sway, and a shimmering five-metre stripe painting by 90-year-old Carlos Cruz-Diez.
royalacademy.org.uk, 020 7300 8000, to Sept 28
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