April Diary: where to go and what to see

3 April 2017
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4 minute read

The clocks have changed, spring has sprung and institutions all over the world are installing and opening new shows that we can visit while wearing our SS17 wardrobes. The It’s Nice That team has rounded up the events and exhibitions that have caught our eye. This month we choose a real mixed bag from blockbuster shows at the Tate, famous film festivals in New York and a series of rockumentaries for those of you who are less inclined to venture outdoors. Enjoy.


Ellsworth Kelly: Méditerranée, 1952 © Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly in Focus
Tate Liverpool, UK, 3 April – 29 May 2017

Ellsworth Kelly is said to be one of America’s greatest abstract artists of the 20th Century. He is best known for his pioneering paintings, inspired by geometric shapes found in overlooked places like shadows on a wall or features of a building. This Tate Liverpool show presents 11 paintings, prints and reliefs from the Tate collection, displaying more than six decades of the artist’s career. 

Design Week Portland
Portland, Oregon USA, 15 – 23 April

A week-long, city-wide celebration of design in all its forms. There’s a conference at Revolution Hall, with speakers including Leyla Acaroglu from Disrupt Design and Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers, plus satellite events like the Letterpress Printers Fair and a panel discussion by Gray magazine around Design Activism.

Sky Arts Rocks
Sky Arts Channel UK, 15 – 29 April 2017

Sky Arts premieres three new feature length documentaries this month, each providing a personal account from some of the biggest names in music. Escape from History (15 April) tells the story of the Manic Street Preachers as they dealt with the aftermath of guitarist Richey Edwards’ disappearance and the period which saw them record Everything Must Go. Directed by Bafta award winning director Kieran Evans, its a poignant and eye opening look at a band and loss.

Mad Dog With Soul (22 April) tells the story of Joe Cocker through the works of his friends and collaborators, charting the rise of Cocker from a young gas fitter in Sheffield to international superstar. The final film features Don Letts recounting his memories of the “Punky Reggae Party” in Dread Meets Punk Rockers (29 April). Letts has trawled through his extensive archive of Super 8 films “to tell the story of when the politically alienated, multicultural youth of the era made their voices heard via the sounds of punk, dub and reggae.”

Foam, Amsterdam, 21 April – 18 June 2017

Foam Gallery’s exhibition Collectivism explores the ways in which artist collectives come together to attach value and meaning to images. The show also presents collectives that concern themselves with the values of images in the media and the “organisation of dissenting voices to challenge the mainstream media”. 


Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein): Self-Portrait (1942) NPG © National Portrait Gallery, London

Queer British Art 1861–1967
Tate Britain, London UK, 5 April – 1 October 2017

The first exhibition dedicated to queer British art, featuring works relating to LGBTQ identities and marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. Spanning decades of progress, the show explores seismic shifts in gender and sexuality and the artistic response to changing times.

Tribeca Film Festival
Lower Manhattan, New York USA, 19 – 3- April 2017

It’s the 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival. Founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, the festival brings together documentaries, features and shorts with thousands of screenings and talks from industry legends like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Lena Dunham and er, Kobe Bryant, who is apparently spending his post-basketball days making puppet films. 


Mat Collishaw, The Centrifugal Soul, 2016, Courtest the artist and BlainSouthern, Photo Rémi Chauvin

Mat Collishaw: The Centrifugal Soul
Blain Southern, London UK, 7 April – 27 May 2017

While we wait for Mat Collishaw’s VR exhibition Thresholds, the artist has a solo show featuring sculpture, installation and paintings inspired by illusion. Mat has paired up for evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller to make the exhibition’s title world The Centrifugal Soul.


The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights, 2007 Installed at Cass Sculpture Foundation 2017, image courtesy © Cass Sculpture Foundation, Photographer – Barney Hindle

Jake and Dinos Chapman: _The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights) & Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good
Cass, Sussex UK, 14 April – 16 December 2017

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights comprises three large-scale sculptures entitled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Towering as high as eight metres, these corten steel works will be placed amongst the beautiful woodlands at Cass. “These clumsily lovable herbivores invite audiences to view the work with a sadistic humour typical of the Chapman Brothers,” says the Cass. The exhibition Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good displays creatures by the artists that “includes a bucket of eyeballs floating in blood, a cow defecating, a collection of ominous crows, a sheep suffering from haemorrhoids and a demented looking farmer.”

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