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Phillip K Smith III: ‘The earth and the sky are the things that bind us’

As he prepares to mount an illusionistic new installation in Milan, the American space and light artist talks time, technology and theatricality

José Parlá in residence at Landmarks, the public art programme of The University of Texas at Austin, 2017. Photograph: Rey Parlá.
For his most ambitious project to date, commissioned by the Landmarks public art programme at the University of Texas at Austin, Parlá transforms a 4,000-sq-foot site into a panoramic landscape evocative of Austin’s natural and urban environment.
E.E.Cummings. Sound, 1919. Oil on canvas, 89.2 x 88.9 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Estate of E.E.Cummings.
As the US charged headlong into the 20th century, as its cities grew skywards and consumerism began to bubble up like the champagne at Jay Gatsby’s parties, some of modernism’s biggest names stood back and took stock. And the world they depicted was a surprisingly silent one.
Interiority, 2018. Installation view,  Hunter/Whitfield, London.
The artist and set designer discusses casting her mother’s breasts for one of her nipple urns, breast milk for bodybuilders and the problematics of bodies and economies.
Rie Nakajima, Cyclic, installation view, Ikon, Birmingham, 21 March – 3 June 2018. Photograph: Martin Kennedy.
Japanese artist Rie Nakajima’s practice sees everyday objects turned into semi-autonomous mechanisms that come alive in the most inventive ways.
William Crozier. (Untitled) Landscape, 1958. Oil on board, 97 x 71.5 cm. Private collection courtesy Piano Nobile, London.
Working in the shadow of the second world war, the nuclear threat and the Irish Troubles, Crozier’s work confirms that life is merciless. Yet even at its most desolate, there is a vitality to it, a forceful wildness that shines through in his electric soup of colours.
Man in makeup wearing ring. Photograph from a photo booth, with highlights of colour. United States, c1920. © Sébastien Lifshitz Collection. Courtesy of Sébastien Lifshitz and The Photographers’ Gallery.
Based on found photographs collected by French film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz, this exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery examines the historical notion of cross-dressing, but in concentrating on a binary way of thinking, it has missed a trick.
Michele Oka Doner talking to Studio International at the opening of Bringing the Fire, David Gill Gallery, London, 21 March 2018. Photograph: Martin Kennedy.
American artist and author Michele Oka Doner shares some of her explorations of nature and ritual from across her five decade-long practice.
Linder. She/She (detail), 1981, printed 2007. 14 photographs, black and white, silver bromide print, on paper, 70.7 x 61.2 cm. Tate. © Linder.
The great modernist writer serves as a presiding spirit in an inclusive, multifarious group show, displayed in the town that triggered her childhood imagination.
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Two Women at a Window, 1655-1660. Oil on canvas, 125.1 × 104.5 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
A small number of Murillo’s rare portraits are brought together at the National Gallery to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the artist’s birth. But what can the only two self-portraits he painted tell us of the man himself?.
Langlands & Bell talking to Studio International about their upcoming exhibition, Internet Giants – Masters of the Universe, at Ikon, Birmingham. Photograph: Martin Kennedy.
For their new show at Birmingham’s Ikon gallery, they have turned their shared gaze on to the giants of the technological age – among them Google, Amazon, Alibaba and Facebook - and the structures they have created as their new headquarters. Through architectural models, plans, digital animations, portraits and relief sculptures they explore the profound influence these companies are having on our lives.
Creativity and Collaboration: Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity, National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, 2018.
The two-day colloquium Creativity and Collaboration: Revisiting Cybernetic Serendipity, which explored how a combination of art, design, science, engineering and medical research can yield productive partnerships, was preceded by a one-day symposium where students from a wide range of disciplines presented their work.
John Walter. The Shonky Bar. Photograph: Ruth Clark.
Guest curated by John Walter, as part of the Hayward Gallery’s Touring Curatorial Open, this vibrant and subversive group show is kaleidoscopic and entertaining, as well as intellectually stimulating.
Cécile B. Evans. Amos’ World, 2017: Episode One. Exhibition view, mumok, 2018. © mumok. Photograph: Klaus Pichler.
Cecile B Evans’s video transports us into the surreal world of an architect who believes he can build both a housing complex and a social structure. And by forcing viewers to watch from a dark cubbyhole, she draws us visually and physically into his world.
Lee Lozano. No title, 1964. © The Estate of Lee Lozano. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.
A major figure on the New York art scene of the 1960s and early 70s, Lozano is not so well known these days. This new exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh – featuring expressive and fascinating paintings, drawings and ‘language pieces’ – aims to change that.
Dawn Mellor. Detective Superintendent Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), 2016. Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. © the artist.
The artist best-known for her parodic portraits of celebrities talks about taking a year of from painting, exploring social media and satirising identity politics.
Chiahru Shiota in the chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: Veronica Simpson.
Using 2,000 balls of thread, Chiharu Shiota’s installation of white woollen webbing in the chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park drifts up from floor to ceiling, twisting around and drawing you in to the spirit of the place.
Current day Sainsbury Centre, 2009. Photograph: © Sainsbury Centre, Pete
Forty years after it opened, the Sainsbury Centre plays host to an exhibition looking at the pioneering designs of architects such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers in the latter half of the last century.
Japanese dancer Masako Ono of Odissi dance form. Photograph: Jill Spalding.
Committed to placing this marginalised sector of India in the light once again, film-maker Sarah Singh has given Punjab its first international arts festival, a phoenix of contemporary and traditional creative expression, arisen in Patiala in front of the mighty Qila Mubarak to jumpstart a new dialogue between its warrior-arts past and socially driven cultural future.
Cecil Beaton. Pablo Picasso, rue La Boétie, 1933, Paris. © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s
Despite passages of naked voyeurism, the Tate’s blockbuster intoxicates with passion, power and the pleasure of unbound creativity.
JR, So Close, installation.  Presented by Artsy and Jeffrey Deitch. Photograph courtesy the Armory Show Press Service.
This year’s Armory Show offered viewers an impressive selection of works by a wide range of artists from around the world. Curated sections emphasised performance and installation, as well as interactions between art and technology. The enduring influence of postwar art and the historic avant garde was abundantly clear in the works from the end of the last century, as well as in more recent creations.
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