Much of Pierre d'Avoine's practice over the last 15 years has been devoted to housing, with schemes such as his Invisible House, quietly infiltrating a west London suburb, and his Big House near the Thames at Mortlake. With Clare Melhuish he drew together these projects to make Housey Housey: A Pattern Book of Ideal Homes - 'measured, pragmatic Modernism' said Elain Harwood in her review of it (AJ 19.05.05). The book accompanies an idiosyncratic touring exhibition of d'Avoine's work, with 'doll's house' models made by students from London Metropolitan University (above). This show is now at the Globe City Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where it continues until 13 May ( www. myhomeourplace. com).
Just across the River Tyne in Gateshead, the Baltic is hosting a beautiful exhibition seen earlier at the De La Warr Pavilion. It features two very subtle abstract painters - James Hugonin and the late Ian Stephenson. The latter's work, a kind of updated pointillism which suggests phenomena that astronomical telescopes or miscroscopes reveal, was reviewed in AJ 13.10.05. Hugonin lives at the edge of the Cheviots and often acknowledges the effect of the Northumbrian landscape - and especially the quality of light - on his work, with its intricate grids of pale colour, methodically applied on a surface of gesso. From a distance these paintings are almost monochrome, like parchment; the ickering, pulsing colour emerges closer to ( www. balticmill. com).
Light and colour are very much the focus for James Turrell. In his current installations at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it's as if the pigments of a Rothko have wafted off the wall to surround you (AJ 19.1.06). On 27 April the YSP inaugurates a permanent piece by Turrell - a conversion of a 19th-century deer shelter into a Skyspace. Unlike the installations, these Skyspaces don't depend on artifice - instead they frame what's there, a square of the sky. They're most compelling at times when the light is changing; the one at New York's PS1 opens just before dusk. And it's not just sight but hearing that's affected when you're in these spaces - sounds outside, their sources unseen, are also more distinct.