Extravagantly tattooed human remains: The best (and weirdest) art exhibitions this month

Concrete casts, expressionism, and something a little bit different
August 15, 2017

Rachel Whiteread

Tate Britain, 12th September to 21st January 2018

In a street in the East End in 1993, a life-size concrete cast of a terraced home stood eerily: a monument to erased histories and forgotten intimacies. Rachel Whiteread’s piece captured the imagination of locals and won her the Turner Prize, the first woman to do so. As this major retrospective will demonstrate, Whiteread continues to make work of formal inventiveness and psychological power: the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna; Untitled (Room 101)—a cast of the room at the BBC thought to be the model for Orwell’s Room 101. On show are drawings in pencil, varnish and correction fluid which are the bedrock of her practice. Unmissable.

Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia

British Museum, 14th September to 14th January 2018

These fearsome nomads roamed the vast lands between southern Russia, China and the northern Black Sea from 900 BC until 200 BC. They left no monuments, but in burial mounds in the mountains of southern Siberia, preserved in permafrost, archaeologists have discovered weapons, elaborate horse harnesses, multicoloured textiles, gold jewellery (above) and extravagantly tattooed human remains.

Alfred Kubin 1900–1906: From Quickening to Death

Richard Nagy Ltd, Mayfair, 29th September to 3rd November

Art dealer Richard Nagy is renowned for his museum-quality exhibitions of 20th-century German and Austrian art. This autumn his focus is Bohemian artist Alfred Kubin (1877-1959), a key figure associated with the Symbolist and Expressionist movements. His spooky pen, ink and wash drawings are hardly known here. The exhibition focuses on the years when Kubin, after a traumatic childhood, produced his most original and subversive work.