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30 December 2010

The Arts Diary

The cultural highlights of the first half of 2011.

By Staff Blogger

Art

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Masterpiece a Month (January – December 2011)

To celebrate its 200th year in the style, Dulwich Picture Gallery has lined up the loan of twelve different masterpieces from across the world. Each will be on show for a month, during which there will be a lecture exploring the life of the artist. Kicking off the exhibition in January is Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of Sir John Soane.

Royal Academy of Arts: Modern British Sculpture (22 January – 7 April 2011)

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This exhibition presents a chronological look at British sculpture of the 21st century. Work has been borrowed from the V&A and British Museum to show the Native American, Indian and African influences from the peak of the British Empire. Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth are amongst those exhibited.

Tate Modern: Joan Miro (14 April – 11 September 2011)

Tate Modern presents over 150 paintings, scupltures and prints from across the Surrealist painter’s career. The exhibition tracks the Catalonian’s work across six decades, spanning the Spanish Civil War and Second World War and exposing the political and psychological themes at the heart of his work.

Music

02 Arena: Roxy Music (7 February 2011)

Bryan Ferry’s solo career is going well – after this year’s much-heralded album Olympia – but he will always be best known for his work with Roxy Music (“Love is the Drug”, “Virginia Plain” and the rest). The band, who formed in 1971, have organised a 40th anniversary tour which ends at the O2 Arena. Then they head to Australia.

Royal Festival Hall: Loudon Wainwright III (20 May 2011)

After a well-received performance with Richard Thompson as part of last year’s Meltdown Festival, the father of Rufus and Martha brings a solo show back to the Royal Festival Hall. There will be a guest performance from Lucy Wainwright-Roche, another of his musical offspring.

Southbank Centre: Meltdown Festival (June 2011)

Ray Davies of The Kinks is this years curator of the festival that has been slathering entertainment across the Southbank since 1993. He joins a list of alumni that includes David Bowie, Morrisey and John Peel. Although predominantly musical, past festivals have included screenings, lectures and radio panel games. The line up will be announced in early 2011

Opera

Royal Albert Hall: Madam Butterfly (24 February – 13 March)

Puccini’s 106-year-old opera set in Nagasaki has been adapted by everyone from David Cronenberg to the rock band Weezer. In February and March, an English version, first launched at the Royal Albert Hall in 1998, will be performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dance

Sadler’s Wells: The Most Incredible Thing (17 – 26 March 2011)

The éminences grises of electronic pop, the Pet Shop Boys, have written the soundtrack to a ballet based on The Most Incredible Thing, a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale thought by the Danish author to be one of his best. The ballet has been choreographed by Javier De Frutos, who staged a 2007 West End revival of Cabaret and stars Ivan Putrov of the Royal Ballet.

Books

Martin Amis: the Biography: Richard Bradford (March)

This unauthorised biography is based on several long interviews with Amis, one of the most divisive and outspoken novelists of our time. The friend of Christopher Hitchens, lover of Tina Brown and son of Kingsley Amis is not known for his shyness, so expect a few hair-raising anecdotes.

Ed: Ed Miliband and the Remaking of the Labour Party: Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre (Summer)

The NS‘s senior editor (politics) teams up with his former colleague in a bid to get under the skin of the new Labour leader. At a time when people will no doubt still be asking “who is this guy?”, this book should offer some idea of what we can expect from Miliband the younger.