Travelling top to bottom: The Baltic is the first non-Tate venue to host the Turner Prize, so if you’re in the north east of England, that’s your cultural destination for the day. Walk in a vaguely straight line down until you hit Nottingham and there is a greatly strange/strangely great Klaus Weber exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary. And finally, keep going south till you see the sea and Edward Burra has received some retrospective attention at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.
Turner Prize 2011 The Baltic, Gateshead
Shortlisted for this year’s less-contentious-than-the-year-with-the-blue-tack-on-the-wall Turner Prize (for an outstanding British artist under 50) is Karla Black (whose crumpled, tangible and expansive floor-based works create landscape like sculptures), Martin Boyce (who “engages with the historical legacy of Modernist forms and ideals” to create outside-on-the-inside type designed installations), George Shaw (a painter of honest and adolescent landscapes based on his own fragmentary memoirs) and Hilary Lloyd (video projections and specifically contrasted technical equipment from which to project the films, that are similarly engineered environments.) It is also the first year the prize is being hosted at The Baltic and will be on show until January 8, 2012.
Klaus Weber: If you leave me I’m not coming Nottingham Contemporary
A lot of pseudo-science and artistic licence has been employed by Klaus Weber to question what is natural, what is “natural order” and how real science constantly changes our assumptive answers – providing “ironic counterpoint to the shared understanding – social, natural, scientific – that underpins our society” using a series of installations and sculptures. Running alongside If you leave me I’m not coming is a contextual sort of sister show Already there! – 200 objects spanning 1,000,000 years investigating “obsolete thought systems”, including work by André Breton, Louise Bourgeois and Eduardo Paolozzi, selected by Klaus Weber. Both shows are open until January 8, 2012.
Edward Burra Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery has just opened its doors to a very wide selection of Edward Burra’s unconventional paintings. The show has been constructed more or less around the anchor 1963 work, The Straw Man – a watercolour with, like much else he did, with figures that appear to be dancing, so specific is their arrangement – in actual fact it’s a choreographed kicking of an inert straw mannequin. Although his work is irrevocably linked to its era (1930s onwards), they appear thoroughly modern in their surreality. Sort of unclassifiable really – personally I think they’re like some medieval, perspective-less works of art, but that’s just me. We’re very excited about this show which is on until February 19, 2012.