The best art exhibitions in summer 2019—Antony Gormley and the undead Bauhaus

Plus Barry Flanagan at the Ikon Gallery
July 18, 2019

Antony Gormley, Royal Academy, 21st September to 3rd December

In the early 1970s, Antony Gormley created a series of works called Sleeping Place. Made by draping a cloth, soaked in plaster, over a curled-up body, they show Gormley’s preoccupation with the inner space of the human body and the body’s relationship to the space it occupies. This exhibition captures Gormley at the height of his career, showing how his work has evolved through experiments with different materials—lead, concrete, aluminium tubing, iron, steel mesh, bronze, seaweed and clay. But drawing runs through everything.

Barry Flanagan, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 18th September to 24th November

Barry Flanagan is today identified with his dancing bronze hares. But as Ikon’s major survey will show, there was much more to Flanagan, who died in 2009. He set out as a conceptual artist, working with materials like sand, cloth, string and paper; he also made films and light installations. Preoccupied with ideas of motion and transience, he fastened on the hare as his quintessential emblem in the 1990s.

Still Undead: Pop Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, Nottingham Contemporary, 21st September to 12th January 2020

Still Undead is part of Bauhaus Imaginista, a major project exploring the art school’s radical global impact. It takes the 1920s experiments with light, sound and performance of Bauhaus student Kurt Schwerdtfeger, and tracks their influence from Weimar Germany through British electronic music and kinetic sculpture, to shop-window display, 1960s mod fashion and the queer club culture of the 1980s.