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The Amazing World of MC Escher
Having busted the block with its summer show of Eric Ravilious, Dulwich Picture Gallery looks set to have another hit on its hands with this survey of the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972). He of the impossible perspectives, gravity defying waterfalls, buildings morphing into bodies and, most famously, stairs rising inexorably to nowhere is the subject of this retrospective comprising nearly 100 prints and drawings stretching across his career. Escher set out to become an architect in 1918 and started to work as a printmaker shortly after. But it’s not surprising that he became truly famous in the 1960s, when his mind-melting images chimed with the pervading mood of the era and his prints were bought in their thousands by students, stoners and anyone groovy and far-out to put on their walls. Escher remains immensely popular, and his influence has been massively influential on popular culture. Possibly because of his general popularity, museums shows of his art are relatively rare, making this full-scale retrospective (which comes to London from the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh) one of the most anticipated shows of autumn. You can expect to see all the greatest hits – including ‘Day and Night’, in which two flocks of birds, one white, one black, emerge magically from the centre of the image to head towards daytime and night, and ‘Drawing Hands’ (1948) where two hands seem simultaneously to draw each other on a single page.
The biggest contemporary carnival in London’s art calendar hits its thirteenth year in 2015. With last year's redesign and rebranding (now Frieze London), the fair returns to the south end of Regent's Park with 160 international galleries from over 25 countries exhibiting special presentations and emerging talent. As always Frieze Projects is a highlight of this mammoth event with Nicola Lees curating seven new commissions by ÅYRBRB, Lutz Bacher, castillo/corrales, Thea Djordjadze, Jeremy Herbert, Asad Raza and Rachel Rose (winner of the 2015 Frieze Artist Award). Focus will continue to showcase young galleries including new additions such as Antenna Space from Shanghai and Hopkinson Mossman in Auckland. And the Sculpture Park will return to the park’s English Gardens with a selection of new and historical works from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters as chosen by Clare Lilley, Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Director of Programme. SEE OUR GUIDE TO FRIEZE LONDON AND FRIEZE MASTERS HERE SEE ALL THE ART FAIRS HAPPENING LONDON HERE
Lee Miller: A Woman's War
The Imperial War Museum's major autumn 2015 photography exhibition focuses on American fashion model, surrealist muse and photographer Lee Miller (1907-77). Divided into four sections, the show considers Miller's vision of women and their lives, and her own changing role in front of and behind the camera, as she moved across continents and between countries before, during and after WWII. Miller was one of only four female professional photographers to be accredited as US official war correspondents. Highlights include her shot of Anna Leska, a Polish pilot flying a Spitfire in Berkshire in 1942, an image of German women sitting among the ruins of a bombed-out Cologne in 1945, and her iconic self-portrait in Hitler's bathtub, taken in his Munich apartment in 1945.
Giacometti: Pure Presence
We tend to think of Alberto Giacometti's skinny figures as embodiments of the human condition – containers of existential angst – rather than depictions of actual people. But the Swiss modernist sculptor (1901-1966) had a parallel artistic career as a portraitist. This show, which comprises over 60 works, including paintings, sculptures and drawings and which marks the fiftieth anniversary of Giacometti’s death, focuses on that parallel career, revealing the intense relationships he had with his sitters, including his wife Annette and his brother Diego, friends such as the writers Louis Aragon and Jean Genet, the art writer James Lord and retailer and philanthropist Lord Sainsbury.
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