Celebrating British Art in 2012

At a time when our nation is buzzing with anticipation for the impending London 2012 Olympic Games, we should also acknowledge the huge Cultural Olympiad programme that is permeating every corner of our green and pleasant land.

It’s no surprise that this year British Art is (more than ever) well and truly on the global map. In 2012 there are a multitude of exhibitions and events happening across the country that celebrate the finest examples of our home-grown artistic talent, past and present.

Here are some new and rather superb artist monograph catalogues that surely represent the ‘Best of British’…and, of course you can buy them here on-line.

BRIDGET RILEY: Works 1960 – 1966 – Featuring over 40 of Riley’s classic and visually arresting b&w works from the beginning of her impressive career. Exhibition at Karsten Schubert, London, and at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, London.

RICHARD DEACON: Association – Illustrating Deacon’s fascination with the relationship of the individual component to the structural whole and new works in ceramic, aluminium and steel evidence this investigation. Exhibition at Lisson Gallery, London.

FIONA RAE: Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century – Rae’s distinctive, energetic, humorous and complex works challenge and expand the modern conventions of painting. This catalogue examines the artist’s works from the past decade. Exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery.

GARY HUME: Flashback – Showcasing the artist’s work from the Arts Council collection, this exhibition celebrates Hume’s career from his early abstract ‘door paintings’ to his recent journeys into painted sculpture. Exhibition touring the UK in 2012-13 to venues in Leeds, Wolverhampton, Hastings and Aberdeen.

LUCIAN FREUD: Drawings Bringing together a compilation of Freud’s graphic work selected with the assistance of the late artist. Beginning in the 1940s and spanning the artist’s career, this densely illustrated volume features a number of the works never before exhibited or reproduced. Exhibition at Blain|Southern, London.

SHEZAD DAWOOD: Piercing Brightness – This is the first major solo exhibition and monograph book on the artist’s work. Dawood has developed a unique, collaborative approach to making art through a practice that incorporates light sculpture, textile painting and film. Exhibition touring to Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, Modern Art Oxford, and Newlyn Art Gallery.

GILLIAN WEARING – A major retrospective of the Turner Prize winner’s work from the early, iconic photographs of people holding up hand-written signs, to her latest video work  in which the roles of victims and perpetrators, actors and directors are blurred. Exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

JASON MARTIN: Infinitive – Exploring the artist’s recent body of work, this exhibition shows Martin still pushing the boundaries of the medium: making paintings about paint – its materiality, sculptural presence and transformative, alchemical nature. Exhibition at Lisson Gallery, London.