Visual arts highlights of 2015: Goya, Marlene Dumas and the utopian Black Square

Your guide to the most though-provoking exhibitions coming this year

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The Independent Culture

Adventures of the Black Square

Following Tate Modern’s excellent Malevich exhibition last year, this exhibition will explore how the utopian Black Square has provided inspiration for generations of artists. Themes of communication, architectonics and the everyday will be explored by artists from Dan Flavin to Jenny Holzer.

Whitechapel Gallery, London,  15 January to 6 April

João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva: Papagaio

This is the Brazilian artists’ first major exhibition in London, in one of my favourite galleries. An immersive video installation, shot on a high-speed camera and slowed down to disquieting effect, will consider ideas of “truth and perception.”

Camden Arts Centre, London,  30 January to 29 March

Marlene Dumas:  The Image as Burden

The South African painter Marlene Dumas’s lucid, disturbing portraits include Amy Winehouse, in which the singer’s much reproduced face takes on a melancholy, ghostly aspect. Drawing inspiration from found-images and life, Dumas explores feminist themes through perverse and delicate imagery.

Tate Modern, London,  5 February to 10 May

Goya: The Witches and  Old Women Album

While a large exhibition of Goya’s portraits will be held at the National Gallery in October, this smaller show will bring together works from a private album that were not intended for public viewing, exploring themes of the diabolical and feminine.

Courtauld Institute, London,  26 February to 25 May

Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington was a fascinating surrealist artist and novelist who turned her back on her upper-class British upbringing and moved to Mexico, where she lived and worked until her death in 2011. This exhibition will include her unnerving, uncategorisable dreamscapes.

Tate Liverpool, 6 March to 31 May

Risk

Risk is an essential part of the creative process; this exhibition will bring together artists from Marcel Duchamp to Marina Abramović, and from process art, performance art and abstract expressionism, to explore the themes of productive failure, spontaneity, and control.

Turner Contemporary, Margate, 17 October to 17 January 2016

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