Art Exhibitions

The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK

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Which art exhibitions are open now – or coming soon – across the country?

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Looking for must-see art exhibitions in the UK? You’ve come to the right place. There are oodles of galleries spread across the country where you can find a fantastic array of artworks and designs.

The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK

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Art Exhibitions

Once Upon a Time

The Scottish Gallery

Lachlan Goudie’s latest collection of fairy tale-inspired works are to be showcased at The Scottish Gallery this month – a reflection of this year’s unprecedented events and the way in which fantastical stories can provide escapism. “Fairy tales, nature and the tide of springtime flowers and birdsong that seemed to envelope the place we had escaped to, provided almost all the necessary distractions,” says Goudie. From illusive rural landscapes to a dark reimagining of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Goudie’s new works will transport audiences to the fairy tale settings we read about as children, ‘once upon a time’. 28 October – 25 November. scottish-gallery.co.uk

Image: New Pastures, 2020, © Lachlan Goudie

Charles Green, Watts Gallery

Art & Action: Making Change in Victorian Britain

Watts Gallery

Can art change the future? This question lies at the heart of Watts Gallery’s new exhibition, which looks at the Victorian roots of art activism. Art & Action: Making Change in Victorian Britain explores times when artists sought not only to comment on social problems, but to help solve them. Works from Sir Luke Fildes, Thomas Kennington and William Morris will sit alongside a radical series of early social realist art from the gallery’s co-founder, G F Watts. 17 November 2020 – 21 March 2021. wattsgallery.org.uk

Image Credit: Charles Green, ‘Sunday Afternoon in a Gin Palace’, The Graphic, 8 February 1879. The Guildford Institute.

Grace Before Jones

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio

Nottingham Contemporary 

Delve into the multiple facets of Grace Jones at Nottingham Contemporary’s new exhibition Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio, which looks at the iconic singer through the themes of image and gender identity. The show features over 100 works by 30 artists, featuring a mixture of film, fashion sound and music. 26 September – 3 January. nottinghamcontemporary.org

Image Credit: Richard Bernstein, Inside Gatefold for Muse, 1979. The Estate of Richard Bernstein.

Sarah Tubb and the Heavenly Visitors, 1933. Barbara Karmel Bequest, 1995.

LOVE, ART, LOSS: The Wives of Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer Gallery, Maidenhead

A new exhibition at the Stanley Spencer Gallery examines the intriguing relationships artist Stanley Spencer had with his two wives, Hilda Carline and Patricia Preece. Featuring over 25 works, the show examines the bizarre love triangle that existed between them, as well as looking at the effect the two women had on Spencer’s art. 15 August – Autumn 2021. stanleyspencer.org.uk

Image Credit: Sarah Tubb and the Heavenly Visitors, 1933. Barbara Karmel Bequest, 1995.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Portuguese artist and sculptor Joana Vasconcelos has graced Yorkshire Sculpture Park with her largest exhibition yet. Exploring female creativity, the spectacle comprises an array of large-scale sculptures designed by Vasconcelos over the past twenty years, from Pop Galo, a giant rooster comprised of ceramic tiles and LED lights, to a colossal ring – seven metres tall, in fact – crafted with gold wheel rims and crystal whisky glasses. Until 3 January 2021. ysp.org.uk

Image: Joana Vasconcelos, Solitaire, 2018. Photo © Jonty Wilde, Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ancient Deities

Ancient Deities

Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh

Curated by Rhiannon Rebecca Salisbury and Agnieszka Prendota, Arusha Gallery’s new exhibition sees eighteen selected artists reflections of an ancient deity. Presented physically in the gallery as well as online, the collection is all about mystical entities: gods, demons and spirits all feature. ‘I wanted to invite a group of artists whose work excites and inspires me to come together and invoke a whole world of otherness, apart from the seen reality around us,’ says Salisbury. ‘Calling upon or selecting an Ancient Deity to make an artwork from is an entirely subjective process. Whether your belief in the Deity is literal, or you resonate with the ideas they form has come to symbolise, each artist’s choice and research reveals something about their current position and standing in today’s world.’ 10 September – 18 October 2020. arushagallery.com

Young Rembrandt

Young Rembrandt

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Uncover the history behind one of the most influential visual artists, Dutch painter Rembrandt,  at the Ashmolean Museum’s Young Rembrandt exhibition. The first retrospective ever dedicated to the artist’s early years (624–34) – comprising of 24 authentic works amongst those from his chief contemporaries, international and private collections – uncover the evolution of an artist destined for universal recognition. Until 1 November. ashmolean.org

Image: Rembrandt and others, Let the Little Children Come to Me, c. 1627–8 and later, Oil on canvas, 83 x 103 cm, Courtesy of Jan Six Fine Art, Amsterdam

Anish Kapoor, Houghton Hall

Anish Kapoor

Houghton Hall, Norfolk

Head to Norfolk to see the largest UK exhibition of outdoor sculptures by celebrated British sculptor Anish Kapoor. The exhibition – which was originally due to open in March – features 24 seminal works from Kapoor, including Sky Mirror, a five-metre diameter mirror of stainless steel that reflects and transforms the space around it. 12 July – 1 November 2020. houghtonhall.com

Read Ed Vaizey’s review here…

Image credit: courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery. © Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2020. Photo: Pete Huggins.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Tate Modern, London

Despite having to close early due to the pandemic, Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol exhibition is certainly worth the wait. The highly anticipated retrospective presents over 100 of the legendary artist’s most iconic and inspiring works. From quintessential Warhol works such as the Green Coca-Cola bottles and Marilyn Diptych, to the largest showcasing of his equivocal Ladies and Gentlemen series portraying members of the 70s New York transgender sphere, the major exhibition demonstrates the artist’s creative and cultural legacy. Until 15 November 2020. Read our review of the Warhol exhibition here.

Featured Image: New Pastures, 2020, © Lachlan Goudie

Virtual Exhibitions / The Best Art Exhibitions in London