1 Anish Kapoor
One of our greatest artists, this modern Rubens continues the exploration of colour and its emotional power that started with his early experiments in bright-hued sculptural forms in the 1980s. In his latest works, he plays with the idea of painting in the same way a child might play with a doll – by pulling it apart. Spectacular, intensely vivid, somehow erotic wall works deliberately confuse two dimensions with three and voluptuously celebrate the power of art.
Lisson Gallery, NW1, to 6 May
2 Graham MacIndoe
It’s Trainspotting, only real. Scottish photographer MacIndoe, who lives in New York, took the brutal self-portraits in this exhibition when he was trying to overcome an addiction to heroin. Later, once recovered, the artist rediscovered his unflinching pictures; they preserve a story that is both unsettling and matter-of-fact. There is no sentiment or self-pity here, only real life.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, to 5 November
3 Rachel Kneebone
Fantastical porcelain sculptures that create fountains of body parts, white grottos of surreal desire and tottering towers of pale flesh. Kneebone has something in common with Turner-nominated sculptor Rebecca Warren as well as being consciously inspired by Rodin’s Gates of Hell. Her exuberant sensuality is eerily undercut by the icy coldness of her works’ bright glazed surfaces – it is as if a witch has frozen a decadent court.
V&A, SW7, to 14 January
4 Marlene Dumas: Oscar Wilde and Bosie
Two portraits of the joyously provocative late Victorian dandy and the young man he began a relationship with in 1891. Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas was the son of the Marquess of Queenberry, whose court battle with Wilde led to the writer’s downfall. These portraits haunt in their overtly decadent colours and sensual expressiveness. Dumas brings a dark eroticism and sense of doom.
National Portrait Gallery, WC2, to 30 October
5 Erik van Lieshout
Cats that live in the cellars of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg are among the stars of Van Lieshout’s videos, which also feature his family and a mysterious dead man called Janus. These blackly comic meditations on modern life are shown in an immersive installation by this Dutch artist, whose anthropological eye offers ironic reportage on the social world, from spontaneous portrait drawings to doc-style interviews.
South London Gallery, SE5, to 11 June
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010