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Gilbert & George: Scapegoating – Pictures for London White Cube, London
Sixty new photograph-based silvery-grey pictures, starring as ever the celebrated London “living sculptures”. This time they appear as masked figures, or capering skeletons, or spirit forms, in a vision of over-technological, multi-faith 21st-century urban life characterised by fear of terrorism, fundamentalism and escapism, and dominated in these images by the motif of a bomb-shaped canister, containing nitrous oxide to be recreationally inhaled to induce euphoria.
whitecube.com, 020 7930 5373, to September 28
A Strong Affinity, Hannah Barry Gallery, London
The affinity is between three very different sculptors whose interests include science and structures of knowledge. James Capper’s huge sluggish yellow machine here could be functional but suggests a technological insect. James Balmforth’s shiny wall-based works, contrasting rough industrial steel with gold, experimenting with the metal gallium and fat, exploit the physical properties of materials. Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq’s polished metal “Falling Stars”, shown alongside dense graphite drawings, reference astronomy, Egyptian pyramids, geometry, and have a spiritual intensity and formal simplicity; they remind me of early Anish Kapoor.
hannahbarry.com, 07850 639570, to July 27
Louise Bourgeois, Mima, Middlesbrough
Spiders, spirals, entwined fabric bodies, the “arch of hysteria”: in a tight formal language, indebted to but going beyond surrealism, Bourgeois evolved a new way of depicting female experience, co-opting sculpture’s classic contrasts – soft/hard, interior/exterior – in works of monumental scale. This major Artist Rooms presentation emphasises her late work, and benefits from loans from the Bourgeois foundation.
visitmima.com, 01642 726 720, to October 12
Tove Jansson, ICA, London
The author of the children’s series The Moomins has a cult following. Marking Jansson’s 100th birthday, this display of rare photographs and archive material – illustrations, first editions – is entitled “Tales from the Nordic Archipelago” and focuses on her summer life on a private Finnish island.
ica.org.uk, 020 7930 3647 to August 24
Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings, David Zwirner, London
A museum quality show, effectively a retrospective, this focuses on the variety, virtuosity, surprises Riley achieves in the recurrent use of the stripe, changing colour, weight, density. Works range from 1960s vibrating black and white paintings, to warm/cold colours rippling into pale dawn light in the classic “Late Morning 1”, to a sonorous new series dominated by hot pinks and oranges. Final week.
davidzwirner.com, 020 3538 3165, to July 25
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 here trace the development and variety of printmaking: Mantegna, Bruegel, Canaletto, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Matisse, Lucian Freud, Chris Ofili.
courtauld.ac.uk, 020 7848 2526, to September 21