John Piper – the Mountains of Wales; Richard Long – Land Art; Beryl Korot – Text and Commentary; Michael Landy – Four Walls; Callum Innes – New Watercolours; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

view gallery VIEW GALLERY
3.00

 

Some great regional galleries have very special collections indeed and are overlooked at our peril. The Whitworth in Manchester, for example, has a textiles holding second only to the V&A's in London, and is also strong on wallpaper, landscape painting, and drawings both historic and contemporary. A few months from now, it will close for a major refurbishment which, when complete, will see the galleries dramatically open out to the park at its back. How to mark this transitional moment?

Many curators would have opted for a single big show. Not so here. The Whitworth has decided to open four small shows almost simultaneously, all of which mesh with the gallery's main preoccupations, and also remind us of the city's past as the hub of the Industrial Revolution.

Beryl Korot was a pioneering New York video artist of the 1970s. 'Text and Commentary', a five-channel video installation, shows us fabric being woven on a pre-programmed Jacquard loom. Each flickering screen seems to offer up the equivalent of an abstract painting forever in the making. On nearby walls hang pictographic notations, codings that resemble chinese calligraphy or a musical score.

Two entire galleries are given over to new and recent work by the Turner-Prize-shortlisted Scottish painter Callum Innes. Innes is a rigorous abstractionist, often quite muted and cerebral. A little less so here. A new series of 20 watercolour paintings are displayed, facing up and side by side, on a series of trestle tables, as if painting is yet another craft-driven, graft-driven production line. Each one is a square of colour, marooned and glowing at the centre of a huge cream mount. It is all about tonal harmonics.

Richard Long is busy recording his ceaseless perambulations in a rectangular upper gallery. Texts on the wall describe the journeys, and massy stones, configured in a rectangle or an oval on the gallery's floor, memorialise them physically. John Piper's series of paintings from the 1940s and 1950s entitled 'Mountains of Wales' hangs in an adjacent space. Here are painted and drawn transcriptions of violent geological ructions – frozen lake beds, toothsome rock formations, threatening crags.

Meanwhile, downstairs Michael Landy remembers, in a video installation, the house where he grew up in Essex, and his DIY-besotted father, whose ambitions were cruelly blighted when he had a dreadful accident at the age of 37. Once again, images of objects of utility serve the needs of art. There is no such things as art for art's sake at the Whitworth.

The galleries run until 16 June except Piper, which ends 7 April.

To look at the series of exhibitions on show at the Whitworth Art Gallery click here or above on "view gallery".

Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral