Our weekend arts and culture picks, from Paramore to Derren Brown
Welcome back to Arts Agenda, the weekly round-up from the culture editors and critics at The Independent.
Whether it’s a good book you’re after, or an eye-opening gallery recommendation, we’ve got you covered. Maybe it’s a rowdy gig – or a transcendent play. Perhaps you just want to stay in and watch some telly. Whatever your preference, you’ll find some sage tips from our experts below.
This week’s picks include a “life-enhancing” show on Abstract Expressionism at the Whitechapel Gallery, recommended by chief art critic Mark Hudson, a book of short stories by recent Best of Young British Novelists listee Saba Sams, chosen by arts editor Jessie Thompson, and the predictably gruesome reboot of the Evil Dead franchise, as seen by features editor Adam White. Music editor Roisin O’Connor has positive things to say about indie folk-rock artist Waxahatchee, while TV editor Ellie Harrison flags the new special from magic maestro Derren Brown.
Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian: Forms of Life
Af Klint, the recently discovered Swedish mystical painter, feminist and abstract art pioneer, meets an absolute don of classic Modernism, Piet Mondrian, in one of the most eagerly awaited exhibitions of the year. Their surprising similarities – both started with landscape and things of the spirit – and massive differences are fascinatingly explored. Tate Modern, until 3 Sept
RIP Germain: Jesus Died for Us, We Will Die for Dudus!
This young British artist-to-watch turns expectations of Black culture on their heads in a series of sinister and often grimly funny immersive installations. Providing a scholarly glossary of “street” terms is a brilliant touch. ICA Gallery, until 14 May
Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-70
There are just two weeks left to catch this glorious celebration of the undersung contribution made by women to the most macho of 20th-century art movements, Abstract Expressionism. While artists from as far afield as Korea, Mozambique and Iran bring distinctive cultural elements it’s the sense of global kinship in exuberant brushwork and joyous colour that makes this show a life-enhancing experience. Whitechapel Gallery, until 7 May
Mark Hudson, chief art critic
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Succession, The White Lotus, The Menu and Triangle of Sadness: stories about the superrich are definitely A Thing right now, and here comes another (very good) one. Jenny Jackson, editor of brilliant writers such as Gabrielle Zevin, Katherine Heiny and Kevin Kwan, has penned an intensely readable, witty debut novel about a family of one per centers. Pineapple Street charts the fortunes – figuratively and literally – of the Stockton family, in one of the most compulsive pageturners of the year.
Send Nudes by Saba Sams
The Granta Best of Young British Novelists list, issued last week, caused some head-scratching. It had previously been the terrain of established star authors such as Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan, but this time round gave us 20 writers who were little heard of. My personal pick of the list is 26-year-old Saba Sams, who may not yet have published a novel but has released a collection of unique and daring short stories. “Blue 4eva”, which won the BBC National Short Story Award last year, is an Aftersun-esque tale of a bittersweet summer holiday, where you can almost smell the sun cream and disappointment.
Jessie Thompson, arts editor
Evil Dead Rise
No body part leaves unscathed in this revival of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise, which scalps, stabs, dismembers and – in one particularly wince-inducing sequence – cheesegrates its way through a cast of relative unknowns. Alyssa Sutherland plays a stressed Los Angeles mum possessed by a demon from the depths of hell, leading her rock-musician sister and three kids to try and curtail the resulting horror. In cinemas now
Chris Evans and Ana de Armas appear to have achieved anti-chemistry in this action comedy that reunites the pair four years after Knives Out. They play a couple set up on a blind date, who fall in love in a day, only to have their romantic plans scuppered when it turns out that De Armas’s character is a spy. Clips released so far feel as if these otherwise incredibly charismatic A-listers shot their scenes separately against green screen, before they were awkwardly stitched together in post-production. What happened here? Streaming on Apple TV+ now