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The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK

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Ming Smith Grace Jones

The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK

Culture /


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.

Main Image Credit: Ming Smith, Untitled (Grace Jones Ballerina), 1975. Courtesy of the artist and and Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York and San Francisco.

The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK

Virtual Exhibitions

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  • 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.

  • Forest Listening Project

    The Forest Listening Project

    Watts Gallery

    Liz K Miller has launched a new audio visual installation at Watts Gallery, designed to explore our relationship with trees. Can the simple act of listening reignite our interest in these fascinating and complex living beings?  Can we re-learn their value and importance as the climate and ecology of the world break down? Entitled The Forest Listening Project, the installation brings together the sounds of the rainstorm recorded from beneath the forest floor with visualisations of these sounds, presented a series of blueprints hanging from the trees. As visitors wander through the woodland, they can listen to the sound file via the Smartify app. Until 4 October, wattsgallery.org.uk

  • 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

  • Linderism

    Linderism

    Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

    Shaking off its stuffy reputation, Cambridge is embracing a wave of exciting artists, and Kettle’s Yard is just the place for fans of contemporary art. An active figure in the punk and post-punk music scenes, artist Linder is best known for her album covers and innovative use of photomontage. This exhibition explores a diverse range of her work and experiences as a performance artist, musician, body-builder and muse. Until 11 October, kettlesyard.co.uk

    Image: Linder, Untitled, 2015

  • Dicksee-Romeo-&-Juliet

    Beyond The Brotherhood

    Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth

    The Pre-Raphaelite movement has impacted and inspired art and culture since its very foundation in 1848. Beyond the Brotherhood explores the movement’s effect on contemporary fantasy works, from the likes of Game of Thrones to Lord of the Rings. 21 February until 27 September 2020, russellcotes.com

    Image: Romeo and Juliet, Frank Bernard Dicksee (1884), © Southampton City Art Gallery

  • 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.

  • Carry Akroyd Pink Valley with pheasant

    Carry Akroyd, Inland

    The Jerram Gallery, Dorset

    Landscape artist Carry Akroyd has traversed rural England to produce her softly coloured, recognisable paintings, which are often found gracing book covers. Using mixed media as well as oils and watercolour, she deftly captures the dramatic changes in field patterns and geology across counties from Dorset to the Cotswolds. 10–24 October, jerramgallery.com

    Image: Carrie Akroyd, Pink Valley with Pheasant


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