by Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, April 29, 2015
1: Mona Hatoum
You can’t help but admire Hatoum’s guts, especially when her 1994 video installation Corps Etranger plunges you into an endoscopic voyage through her insides. As an artist, she is a surreal excavator of trauma and anguish, making the personal political. Everyday objects become unfamiliar – playground swings mutate into symbols of war and the earth sizzles with menace. This is a well-deserved retrospective for a thoughtful provocateur.
2: Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty And Rebellion
Despite the art world’s love affair with London, Liverpool has also been an art centre since the 18th century. Its merchants not only collected great European works but sponsored the avant garde movements of their day, from the Romantic art of George Stubbs to the Pre-Raphaelites such as Ford Madox Brown. This exhibition foregrounds the connection between Merseyside and a movement re-enchanted with poetry and sex.
3: Georg Baselitz
Germany is arguably the greatest art nation of our time, having produced figures as diverse in their brilliance as Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Of these three, Baselitz is both the most playful and the most puzzling. What are his pungent reinventions of portraiture, his upside-down people and multicoloured totems really saying? His fascination with art includes a passion for collecting Renaissance woodcuts, and this may be a clue that – above all – he’s a lover of the creative process itself.
4: Alberto Giacometti and Yves Klein
Two renowned yet wildly contrasting 20th-century artists are juxtaposed in a show that tempers tragedy with liberation. While Giacometti’s sombre visions of numbed figures caught the damaged psyche of Europe after the Holocaust, Klein epitomises the 1960s rebirth of art and life, via martial arts, attempts to fly and his own patented shade of blue.
5 Keith Coventry
The harshly ironic British painter is keeping the flame of bohemian cynicism alive. He recently turned the McDonald’s sign into a Russian constructivist arrangement of pure colours, capitalist fast food becoming communist art. The golden arches also turn into a luxurious decoration, as Coventry maps the seedy stuff of real life on to the leftover dreams of modern art.
This article was written by Jonathan Jones from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.