The best art exhibitions for Christmas 2010

Mangled technology, fashion statements and monstrous playpens

Nam June Paik

The Korean-born fluxus artist, composer and performer Nam June Paik was the first to really explore the artistic potentials of a new technology that has changed our lives. Expect mangled TVs, redundant electronics and sizzling experiments with technology.

▶ Tate Liverpool and FACT Liverpool (0151-702 7400), 17 December to 13 March.

British Art Show 7: In The Days of the Comet

Funny, frightening, often serious and sometimes silly, this is the best British Art Show to date. Christian Marclay's 24-hour film The Clock at the New Art Exchange is a must-see work of genius that has had viewers queuing round the block at its recent London showing.

▶ Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange & Nottingham Castle Museum until 9 January, then touring.

GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity

This big group show explores clothing as fashion statement, as habitation, as art and as political statement. Yoko Ono gets her clothes torn off, Grayson Perry invents an artist's robe and Yinka Shonibare uses 19th-century children's dress to make a bespoke mural.

▶ Royal Academy, London W1 (0844 209 0051), 2 December to 30 January.

Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work

Modesty and confidence, intelligence and pleasure mark Bridget Riley's work. Riley's early study based on Jan Van Eyk's Portrait of a Man and paintings by Mantegna, Raphael and Seurat confront Riley's own canvases and paintings made directly on the walls of the National Gallery.

▶ National Gallery, London WC2  (020-7747 2885), Wednesday to 22 May.

Childish Things

Childhood is more weird than innocent in this exhibition of surrealist and dada-inspired American and British art, which includes monstrous playpens, abject dolls, and perverse playthings by the likes of Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley and Louise Bourgeois. Take the kids.

▶ Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (0131 225 2383) until 23 January.

Len Lye: The Body Electric

This is the first UK retrospective of legendary New Zealand artist and film-maker Len Lye (1901-80). Lye made joyous, avant-garde films without a camera and kinetic sculptures that dance and rotate and sway and swish through the air. His was an art of tangible pleasures.

▶ Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (0121-248 0708), Wednesday to 13 February.


Adrian Searle

The GuardianTramp

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