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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican Art Gallery, London
The first show devoted to the French designer showcases 165 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments, tracing Gaultier’s development from the streets of Paris to the DIY aesthetic of punk and works inspired by sci-fi.
barbican.org.uk, 0845 120 7550, to August 25
Barbara Hepworth: Within the Landscape, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
“I, the sculptor, am the landscape. I am the form and I am the hollow, the thrust and the contour.” Hepworth’s convergence of body and natural forms continue to have an impact on art today; this major new show explores her multi-faceted, changing relationship with landscape, and includes iconic pieces: “Stringed Figure (Curlew)”, “Torso III (Galatea)”, “Moon Form”, plus prints, photographs and archive material on the theme.
abbothall.org.uk, 01539 722 564, from today to September 28
Jan van Huysum: An Impossible Bouquet, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
A small, free display devoted to the Dutch artist regarded as the 18th century’s greatest still-life painter. Working from sketches built up over years, van Huysum devised complex compositions which could depict over 35 different types of flowers, impossible to see together in life as they blossomed at different times.
dulwichpicturegallery.org, 020 8693 5254, to September 28
The Visual Revolution: Russian-AvantGarde Photography, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
This comprehensive exhibition is drawn from a single private collection of 1,500 vintage photographs concentrating on the constructivist-suprematists artists, social realism and second world war era. There is a strong focus on the great Alexander Rodchenko – pioneer of photomontage and creator of defining images of 1920s Moscow life including, here, “Woman with a Baby”, “Portrait of Mayakovsy”, “VarvaraStepanova” – and his significant but still underexposed Vkhutemas Workshop.
richardsaltoun.com, 020 7637 1225, from Wednesday to August 28
Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation, Tate Britain, London
Period reconstructions evoke English taste during the art historian’s Edwardian youth – Landseer, Beardsley, Japanese prints – and the 1930s-40s, when he collected and jumbled displays of renaissance and impressionist paintings, Coptic textiles, German silver as a “rearguard action” against modernism.
Paradoxes – how an elitist democratised art; why he had brilliant historical insights but failed to understand art in his own time – make this idiosyncratic show thought-provoking, if nostalgic.
tate.org.uk, 020 7887 8888, to August 10
Natural History – Africa Edition, Art First, London
Artists including William Kentridge, Karel Nel, Jack Milroy, botanical painter Gillian Barlow and Georgia Papageorge reflect on how art responds to the pleasures and challenges of nature on the continent.
artfirst.co.uk, 020 7734 0386, to August 16