Vivace, 1988, Sandra Blow, Tate St Ives © The estate of Sandra Blow

Exhibitions to see this summer

Art galleries and museums are finally reopening after months of closure. Instead of a spontaneous visit in between meetings or coffee, nearly all now require a booked time slot for entry. Plan ahead and catch these exciting exhibitions in London and beyond:

TATE St Ives, Naum Gabo: Constructions for Real Life (27 July – 6 September 2020)

Opens: 27 July, booking necessary

If you’re heading to Cornwall this summer, do visit the Tate St Ives where a carefully curated one-way route guides you through the gallery that looks over Porthmeor beach. The Naum Gabo exhibit celebrates the modernisation of the 20th century and fits perfectly with the permanent collection of modern art by Winifred and Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Sandra Blow who worked around St Ives at a similar time. The other Tate galleries are also opening on 27 July, with Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern, British Art 1930-Now at Tate Britain and Ideas Depot at Tate Liverpool. 

NATIONAL GALLERY, Titian Love, Desire, Death (July – 17 January 2021)

Now open, booking necessary

Titian, ‘Diana and Actaeon’ 1555-1559, Oil on canvas, 185 x 202 cm, Courtesy of National Gallery

For the first time in years you might be able to stand in front of the National Gallerys Leonardos, Botticellis and Van Eycks without fighting cameras and tourists to catch a glimpse of their finer details. Through the museum’s booking slots, only a few visitors are allowed to be inside the gallery at a time, ensuring a calm experience. The much anticipated Titan exhibition that reunites six paintings after nearly 500 years of separation depicting Classical myths from Ovids Metamorphoses has been extended until January too.

HEPWORTH WAKEFIELD, Bill Brandt/ Henry Moore (1 August – 1 November 2020)

Opens: 1 August, pre-booking recommended

Anthea Hamilton, ‘Leg Chair (Sushi Nori), 2012, Acrylic, brass, plaster, wax, sushi, 81 x 92 x 46 cm, Courtesy of Anthea Hamilton.

Hepworth Wakefield’s re-opening exhibition follows the artistic paths of both Bill Brandt and Henry Moore who met during the Second World War. The show highlights their common artistic themes of labour, British landscape and the human body. Whilst here, you can enjoy the prominent architecture designed by David Chipperfield and scan the museums impressive modern British and contemporary art collection by the likes of Barbara Hepworth (the gallery’s namesake who was born in Wakefield), Maggi Hambling, Eva Rothschild and many more. Although it has not secured a date of its reopening, whilst in the area check out the Yorkshire Sculpture Park that is full of contemporary and modern sculpture set against the countryside.

BARBICAN CENTRE, Masculinities; liberation through photography (13 July – 23 August 2020)

Open, booking necessary

Sunil Gupta, Untitled 22 from the series Christopher Street, 1976, Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery. © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019

Masculinities opened just as Covid-19 stared to envelop, hence many did not get the opportunity to go to this thought-provoking and sensitive exhibition at the Barbican that examines the depictions of masculinity through photography. Fortunately, it’s reopened: see work by Catherine Opie, Ana Mendieta, Robert Mapplethrope and Wolfgang Tillmans. 

TURNER CONTEMPORARY, Margate We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South (22 July – 6 September 2020)

Opens: 22 July, booking necessary (free)

Annie Mae Young, ‘Bars’ 1965, textile, Pitkin Studio

Just a short train ride from Central London, the Turner Contemporary in Margate is always a delight and you get to go to the seaside too. The large and modern gallery built by David Chipperfield looks over the north Kent coast that its namesake, JMW Turner was so inspired by. The main show in the space, that feels very apt today, We Will Walk is a survey of the history of the Civil Rights period in America in the 1950/60s. The show brings together works by twenty African American artists who lived through this time in history. Whilst you are there check out Carl Freedman Gallery, former gallerist and lover of Tracy Emin (who is from Margate) and their show by Nel Aerts is open now until 23 August. 

HAUSER & WIRTH, Somerset Don McCullin, The Stillness of Life (until 6 September 2020)

Now open, booking necessary (free)

The River Alham that runs through my village in Somerset, mid-1990s, by Don McCullin, gelatin silver print. © Don McCullin. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

This Don McCullin show feels so fitting for todays climate. McCullin – who resides close by in his country cottage – presents an array of images across the gallery with the last room displaying photographs of the ever-changing and calming environment he loves most. If you’re in Mayfair, be sure to check out Hauser & Wirth’s London gallery shows by Isa Genzken and Alina Szapocznikow. 

WHITE CUBE, Cerith Wyn Evans, ‘No realm of thought… No field of vision’ (until 2 August 2020)

Now open, booking necessary (free)

Cerith Wyn Evans, ‘…take Apprentice in the Sun III’, 2020, White neo, 185 x 215 x 85 cm. C Cerith Wyn Evans

White Cube, Bermondsey and Mason’s Yard have been open since 16 June with timed visiting slots. In Bermondsey they’re currently showing the conceptual work of Cerith Wyn Evans whose artworks include a diverse range of media filling the expansive white walls of the gallery. His large works seem otherworldly and futuristic, expressing a sensitive relationship between light and text. In their more central gallery in Masons Yard they’re showing Peter Schuyffs work until 8 August.

SERPENTINE GALLERIES, Cao Fei: Blueprints (4 August – 13 September 2020)

Opens: August 4th, booking necessary (free)

Cao Fei, Blueprints (Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, 2020) Photo Credit: Gautier Deblonde. Courtsey of Serpentine Gallery

As much as everyone has loved being in the park, from 4 August you can actually go inside the Serpentine Gallery. To coincide with the reopening they they’re exhibiting the work of contemporary artist Cao Fei who showcases her digital media and video practice. These immersive and radical works explore her investigations of perceptions of the self and how one can slip between the virtual and the physical so easily.  

MESSUMS, Wiltshire, A Place Apart: Elizabeth Frink’s Studio’ (4 July – 18 October 2020)

Open, booking necessary

Elizabeth Frink Studio, Messums

Messums in Wiltshire has recreated the studio of one of the most famous sculptors of the 20th century, Elizabeth Frink. The artist lived near the gallery, and the gallery have rescued and reconstructed her studio in their stunning country barn. Alongside this, there are two other interesting shows to look out for from Bridget McCrum and Ian Chapman, as well as eating or drinking tea at their new Mess Under Canvas marquee restaurant.

PALLANT HOUSE, Chichester An Outbreak of Talent: Bawden, Marx, Ravilious and their Contemporaries (5 August – 1 November 2020)

Opens: August 5th, booking necessary and available from 24 July 

The newly designed one way route through Pallant House takes you past the gallerys permanent collection of modern British art as well as various new installations. Look out for contemporary artist Pablo Bronsteins Wall Pomp, a panoramic wallpaper depicting 18th century architectural designs in the stairwell. An Outbreak of Talent explores a generation of 20th century artists like Eric Ravilious who transformed the world of design. 

HOUGHTON HALL, Norfolk Anish Kapoor (12 July – 1 November 2020)

Open, booking necessary

Anish Kapoor, Spanish and Pagan Gold to Magenta, 2018. Courtsey the artist and Lisson Gallery C. Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2020. Photo Pete Huggins

The historic Houghton Hall have opened their grounds with yet another groundbreaking exhibition by sculptor Anish Kapoor. The artist has worked towards creating his largest outdoor sculptures, with 24 on display here including his stainless steel mirrors that reflect the space around the expansive Norfolk countryside where Houghton Hall sits. 

Written for A Little Bird by Domenica Marland, an art dealer who specialises in affordable and decorative works by contemporary artists as well as sourced art via her online shop. 

— A Little Bird
15th July 2020