1. Exhibition: London
Taking place at two sites, the solo show by Belgian painter Vermeersch is headlined by a one-off installation at Londonewcastle’s 3,000 sq m project space on Redchurch Street in the city’s arty East End (pictured). The walls of the three interconnected galleries have been hand-painted in a gradual effect, spreading from white by the door to the deepest of blues at the back of the gallery, and then back again, like a blue sky turned on its side. It took Vermeersch and his skilled team two weeks to complete, and is testament to how figurative good abstract art can be when in the right hands.
Carl Freedman Gallery at 44a Charlotte Road, and Londonewcastle Project Space at 28 Redchurch Street, London. Until 3 April, 12.00–18.00 Wednesday to Saturday.
2. Festival: Dubai
-Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Catch the tail-end of an impressive edition of the Middle East’s leading written and spoken word festival that has seen everyone from Margaret Atwood and Simon Armitage to Michael Palin appear over the last few days, as well as a decent programme focusing on Arab world literature. This Saturday: Tony Parsons in conversation with Paul Blezard; Laila Lalami on the challenges facing modern day Morocco; and Marina Lewycka on the craft of novel writing.
InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. Until 12 March.
3. DVD: Global
-Out of the Ashes
As if to prove that such a team exists, this documentary follows the Afghan Cricket XI at home and on tour as they attempt to qualify for the current World Cup competition. From rubble-strewn Kabul pitches to clubbable lawns in Jersey, the cricketers’ odyssey is more anthropological than sporting, and more touching than triumphalist. Directed by Leslie Knott, Lucy Martens, and Timothy Albone.
4. Exhibition: Florence
-Angry Young men: Picasso, Miro, Dali
Three supposedly stroppy Spaniards collide under the Strozzi’s sugar-icing cornices, with impressive results. This show explores these masters’ early works, from when Picasso was Blue not Cubist and when and Dalí and Miró were dealing in pre-Surrealist landscapes and portraits. Early signs of their later work as practitioners of change are evident here in light, shade and impending oddness.
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Until 17 July, 9.00–21.00 daily.
5. Festival: Austen
-South by Southwest (SXSW)
For nine days, Austin welcomes a hyper-confluence of musicians, directors and enthusiasts who descend on Texas for this annual festival. Around 2,000 international music acts are showcased alongside a film and shorts programme and interactive technology presentations. New this year is a four-day creative technology trade show, which provides ample opportunity to scout culture and new business opportunities in equal measure.
SXSW, various locations, Austin, Texas. Until 20 March.