Art must-sees this month: May

Clara Ursitti, Ghost (2010). Courtesy Tatton Park Biennial. Photo: Thierry Bal

Here’s a selection of half a dozen of the most exciting contemporary art shows from around Britain this month. Written for Culture24.

Agnes Martin, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
Martin’s minimal paintings, characterised by airy colours and hand-drawn grids, map out a fragile, yet peaceful, interior world. It makes sense that the Canadian-born artist took to painting in the desert and 10 works here are from her years in New Mexico.

The City and The Stars, Stills, Edinburgh
This show takes its name from a 1948 Arthur C Clarke novel and also explores the belief systems of a dying planet. Emma Kay, Craig Mulholland and Rut Blees Luxemburg are photographers who deal with memory, everyday life and the city.

Tatton Park Biennial 2010 – Framing Identity, Tatton Park, Knutsford
An old Toyota which smells like a Rolls Royce, a kitchen overrun with feathers and a machine built to fossilise a pineapple are among the surprises to be found in this Cheshire stately home. With more than 20 artists in their art biennial, there is a lot to see.

Otto Zitko and Louise Bourgeois – Me, Myself and I, Arnolfini, Bristol
Drawings on both a monumental and a personal scale takes their place side by side at Arnolfini. Austrian artist Zitko will draw directly onto the gallery walls in a bid to cover all three floors, while Bourgeois delivers intimate, abstract reflections on love.

Theo Jansen, Spacex, Exeter
If your Dutch is any good, you’ll know that Strandbeests translate as beach animals. But that still may not prepare you for the sight of Jansen’s 14-metre long skeletal monster, which is due to explore Exeter in June and July using wind-power alone.

Lily van der Stokker – No Big Deal Thing, Tate St Ives, St Ives
Another artist from the Netherlands takes up residence at Tate St Ives. Expect more drawing on the wall, this time with pastel colours and decorative motifs, as van der Stokker explores heartwarming themes in a style she calls “nonshouting feminism”.

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