This month has some very exciting exhibitions. David Hockney at Tate Britain is undoubtedly going to be one of the stand out shows of the year, so make sure you see it. Retrospectives of Vanessa Bell and Frank Brangwyn offer fascinating insight into the worlds they inhabited, and contemporary art fans will be delighted with the wow-factor installations of Do Ho Suh. Here’s our guide to what’s happening in February:

February Art Guide: For Emotional Art

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s at Victoria Miro

The Lowdown: Arguably South Korea’s most significant contemporary artist, Do Ho Suh’s work is particularly topical right now: he’s interested in migration. What it means to leave where you call home, and give that name to someplace new. Suh has moved a fair bit himself, leaving South Korea to study in the States, then a spell in mainland Europe, before settling in London.

All that moving is probably what’s left him so interested in home – that most warm and emotional of concepts. In this exhibition Suh has created replicas of the places he’s given the term; odes to the most important buildings in his life. Architectural motifs and structures are rendered to 1:1 scale in translucent, brightly coloured fabric. They are mightily impressive and trigger another of those warm, emotional words: play. You can’t help but want to interact with them, to experience the emotion of these homes yourself.

When: Passage/s runs until the 18th March 2017.

Where: Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Road, London. N1 7RW. Admission free.

Photo Credit: Courtesy the Artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kongand Victoria Miro, London.

February Art Guide: For a Retrospective Exhibition

David Hockney at Tate Britain

The Lowdown: David Hockney is widely considered Britain’s greatest living painter, he hardly needs introduction here. One of the most influential contributors to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he was responsible for truly iconic works such as A Bigger Splash and Beverley Hills Housewife. Retaining his heavyweight status ever since, Hockney has continued to prove himself an innovator; his blockbuster success exhibition, A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy featured many pictures completed on an iPad doodling app – they were brilliant. This exhibition is the most complete retrospective of the artist’s work yet, celebrating his six decade long (and continuing) career. Unmissable.

When: David Hockney runs from the 9th February until the 29th May 2017.

Where: Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London. SW1P 4RG. Adult tickets £17.70, members go free.

Photo Credit: David Hockney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter.

February Art Guide: For Contemporary Art

Bruce High Quality Foundation: Pearls at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

The Lowdown: The Bruce High Quality Foundation is an anonymous art collective based in New York. They have become power players in contemporary art, lauded by critics, and notable for their insistence that art should stand on its own merits, and not ride the coattails of a famous name. Their work is often subversive, humorous, and erudite, well informed from an art historical perspective.

In Pearls they rework baroque masterpieces, overlaying them with scratchy text and new colour. Bold, brilliant canvases from darlings of the New York art scene.

When: Pearls runs from the 10th February until the 11th March 2017.

Where: Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, 6 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London. W1B 4BT. Admission free.

Photo Credit: The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Massacre of the Innocents. Courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. 

February Art Guide: For Landscape Painting

Michael Andrews: Earth Air Water at Gagosian Gallery

The Lowdown: Michael Andrews RA was a British painter who occupied the same artistic arena as big names (he personally disdained publicity) such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Anselm Kiefer – often referred to as “The London School”. For the last 25 years of Andrews’ life, he was concerned with painting various natural landscapes and life forms – such as schools of fish. Works from this period of his life are presented in this exhibition under the elemental themes earth, air, and water. The paintings capture a sense of dreamy naturalism, largely due to the general absence of human depiction. They represent superb examples of modern landscape painting.

When: Earth Air Water runs until the 25th March 2017.

Where: Gagosian Gallery, 20 Grosvenor Hill, Mayfair, London. W1K 3QD. Admission free.

Photo Credit: The Estate of Michael Andrews. Courtesy James Hyman Gallery, London.

February Art Guide: For a Celebration of Male Beauty

Henry Miller Fine Art Spring Show at Coningsby Gallery

The Lowdown: Art dealer Henry Miller carefully curates the most divine collections of art specifically focusing on the male form. Yes, it’s a little bit gay. No, it’s nothing like Tom of Finland. Quite the opposite. Unbound to any particular style or period, Miller’s compilations read like a record of gentlemen throughout history. Works by names such as Jean Cocteau, John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Augustus John, and Noel Coward are on display; many of which are utterly charming. There are paintings, photographs, prints, and etchings, all are available for purchase – some of which quite affordably so.

When: The Spring Show runs from the 27th February until the 11th March 2017.

Where: The Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London. W1T 4RJ. Admission free.

Photo Credit: Yves Paradis Courtesy Henry Miller Fine Art.

February Art Guide: For Political Art

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 at the Royal Academy of Arts

The Lowdown: It’s been 100 years since the revolution that ended centuries of Tsarist rule in Russia. The Royal Academy’s powerful new exhibition examines these momentous events through the artworks produced by those who lived through it. Despite the vast political uncertainty of the era, art surprisingly managed to thrive with figures such as Kandinsky, Chagall, and Rodchenko helping to define what a new people’s art might look like. That period was not to last however; Stalinist oppression of the state ended any guise of creative freedom. The works are of course charged with political expression, conveying both the idyllic hopes of what revolution may mean, and its grim realities. There are some truly remarkable paintings on display.

When: Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 runs from the 11th February until the 17th April 2017.

Where: The Royal Academy Of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London. W1J 0BD. Adult tickets from £18, friends go free.

Photo Credit: 2016, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. 

February Art Guide: For Modern Art

Vanessa Bell 1879-1961 at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Lowdown: One of the most celebrated painters of the enormously influential Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell was an artist ahead of her time. Notably for rejecting Victorian ideals on perfect femininity and womanhood, Bell instead was inspired by the bright colours and bold forms of Post-Impressionism that eventually lead her to Abstraction. Bell is often overlooked due to the wide shadow cast by her sister Virginia Woolf, the Bloomsbury Groups most famous member. Dulwich’s new exhibition brings Vanessa’s life to the forefront, providing insight into her work as a pioneer of modern art.

When: Vanessa Bell 1879-1961 runs from the 8th February until the 4th June 2017.

Where: The Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Southwark, London. SE21 7AD. Adult tickets £14, friends go free.

Photo Credit: The Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett. Photo credit Photography by Matthew Hollow. 

February Art Guide: For Japanese Art

Sheer Pleasure – Frank Brangwyn and the Art of Japan at William Morris Gallery

The Lowdown: Frank Brangwyn was a trier. He had a go at ceramics, stained glass, painting, drawing, furniture, glassware, interiors, lithography, woodcutting, and book illustration. He produced an estimated 12,000 works, including some 1,000 oil paintings. And for all that effort and dedication he found himself with a knighthood and status as a Royal Academician. During his life he had a prolific relationship with Japan, and this exhibition aims to unravel that relationship. There are works on display by Brangwyn, as well as the Japanese art and ceramics he collected.

When: Sheer Pleasure – Frank Brangwyn and the Art of Japan runs until 4th February-14th May 2017.

Where: The William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park House, 531 Forest Rd, Walthamstow, London. E17 4PP. Admission free.

Photo Credit: Frank Brangwyn, Courtesy of William Morris Gallery

February Art Guide: For Striking Art

Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis at Gagosian Gallery

The Lowdown: A collaborative project between visual artist Alex Israel and writer Bret Easton Ellis, who’s perhaps best known as the author of American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction. Together they create large canvases featuring cynical (and perhaps a bit dated) riffs on Hollywood, showbiz, and relationships, laid over gorgeous photographs of landscapes and scenes from Los Angeles. Shown by the gallery that hosted the masterful Ed Ruscha doing something fairly similar a few months ago, this can’t help but feel like a poor man’s version. Still, they’re visually fantastic and certainly worth seeing.

When: Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis runs until March 18th 2017.

Where: The Gagosian Gallery, 17-19 Davies Street, London. W1k 3DE. Admission free.

Photo Credit: Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis; images courtesy iStock.

February Art Guide: For Love it or Hate it Art

Tim Noble and Sue Webster: STICKS WITH DICKS AND SLITS at Blain Southern

The Lowdown: Tim Noble and Sue Webster are that rather rare combination in the art world of a man and woman double act. They found fame and success in the 90s as part of the YBA movement, and so naturally their art has a tendency to indulge in shock tactics. The “dicks and slits” in this exhibition are attached to large, wire sculptures of the two that resemble stick figures. The accompanying literature is extremely serious, but the exhibition itself is silly and crass in the most playful of ways. Perhaps one for Valentine’s Day? On second thought, probably not.

When: STICKS WITH DICKS AND SLITS runs until the 25th March 2017.

Where: Blain Southern, 4 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1BP. Admission Free.

Photo Credit: Courtesy the artists and BlainSouthern, Photo Peter Mallet. 

Before you go..

Oh and, if you haven’t seen the all-female Terrains of the Body photography exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery (we featured it last month), it’s absolutely fantastic and on until April 16th!