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Regulars / Diary

February Diary: check out the best things to see and do this month

“Exhibitions are kind of ephemeral moments, sometimes magic moments, and when they’re gone, they’re gone,” said curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. We feel that this month, with all the craziness that is going on in the world, there is no better time to get out there and get inspired. Below you can find the details exhibitions that have caught the eye of the It’s Nice That team – this month we cover everything from Paolozzi in London to the films of Mark Leckey in New York.

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Wolfgang Tillmanns/David Hockney/Tracy Emin
Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool, from 9 February

Two blockbuster exhibitions hover on the horizon at Tate — at Tate Britain there’s a David Hockney retrospective, at the Modern Wolfgang Tillmans shows an array of “ground-breaking” photographs. Northerners can find a surprising pairing in Tracey Emin and William Blake: In Focus at Tate Liverpool.

Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers
MoMA PS1, through March 5 2017

The largest exhibition to date of British artist Mark Leckey’s work is being shown within spitting distance of Trump Tower at MoMA. Among the work is Leckey’s brilliant rave film Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.

Vanessa Bell
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 8 February

The work of Vanessa Bell, the modernist painter and sister of Virginia Woolf, will be exhibited at Dulwich Picture Gallery. “Muse to fellow artists such as Roger Fry, sister of Virginia Woolf, mastermind of the idyllic Bloomsbury life at Charleston – Bell’s reputation as an artist has long been overshadowed by her family life and romantic entanglements,” says the gallery. “A radical innovator in the use of abstraction, colour and form, Bell will be presented for fresh consideration in this, the first major exhibition of her work.”

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Al Taylor, Early Paintings
David Zwirner, New York, 24 February

A collection of Al Taylor’s early paintings will take place at the David Zwirner gallery, New York. “This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view Taylor’s paintings exhibited together for the first time,” says the gallery. “Featuring a selection of canvases created between 1971 and 1980, the presentation of this relatively unknown body of work reveals a connection with the underlying painterly concerns found in the artist’s overall practice and provides a broader understanding of his oeuvre as a whole.”

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Eduardo Paolozzi
Whitechapel Gallery, London,16 February – 14 May 2017

This major retrospective of one of the godfathers of Pop Art features over 250 works by the artist, including “revolutionary” screenprints and collages, and early brutalist concrete sculptures, plus his large scale Whitworth Tapestry (1967).

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Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine
Vitra Design Museum, Basel, Germany, 11 February – 14 May 2017

This exhibition aims to examine the current boom in robotics and how they have found their way into our everyday lives. It looks at the role design and designers play in this societal shift, comprising over 200 exhibits including robots used in the home, in nursing care, in computer games, films, literature and media installations.  

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Lubaina Himid: A Fashionable Marriage, 1986. Courtesy of Matthew Birchall and Tao Lashley-Burnley.

The Place Is Here
Nottingham Contemporary, UK, 4 February – 30 April 2017

This exhibition brings together over 30 artists for an exhibition that explores identity, representation, and what culture is for. Many of the artists were part of a movement in the 1980s that saw artists and thinkers come together to discuss “the form and function of Black Art”. The show traces the conversations that were taking place between black artists, writers and thinkers during that time, where political and civil unrest was dividing the country. 

The show is in partnership with two retrospective shows at Modern Art Oxford and Spike Island in Bristol, which explore artist Lubaina Himid’s work in greater detail. 

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Clyfford Still: PH-950 (1950). Courtesy of the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, Colorado. © City and County of Denver, VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016

Abstract Expressionism
Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, 3 February – 4 June 2017

First shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, London last year this exhibition promises to explore an “unparalleled period in American art”, revealing the full breadth of the movement with over 130 paintings, sculptures and photographs. The exhibition aims to re-evaluate abstract expressionism, recognising that “though the subject is often perceived to be unified, in reality it was a highly complex and many-sided phenomenon.”