Published in November 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
British Library, 4th November to 1st March 2017
The emblem of the United Nations depicts a map of the world held in two olive branches symbolising peace. It may sound uncontroversial, but the first version centred on the United States and cut off part of Argentina; it had to be revised. As this exhibition will demonstrate, maps are political dynamite.
Maps became potent tools in the 20th century, which saw the movement of people and the frequent toppling and creation of new states. It was also during this century, curator Tom Harper suggests, that their use became commonplace, rather than the preserve of landowners, scholars and the military. The British Library has drawn together over 150 maps and related objects, from the first one of AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood to a trench-map of the Somme battlefields.
Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham, 26th November to 19th February 2017
In the late 1940s, Victor Pasmore, then on the cusp of 40 and an accomplished figurative painter, switched tack entirely to work in an abstract idiom, leading eventually to the striking collages and reliefs that would make him famous. This show focuses on works from the critical years, between the late 1930s and early 1960s, seeking to trace what critic Herbert Read dubbed “the most revolutionary event in post-war British art.”
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, 18th November to 26th February 2017