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The UK’s Best Summer Art Exhibitions

5 July 2018 | Emily May

You don’t have to be in the capital to discover fascinating art. With endless options of inspiring galleries up and down the country, there are many opportunities for you to see a wide range of cultural gems this summer. From early 20th Century American Art to the work of Dutch Old Masters, we’ve rounded up some of the most intriguing art exhibitions on display in the upcoming months.

With out-of-London galleries in St. Ives and Liverpool, the Tate is a reliable first port of call for inspiring art exhibitions this summer. We’re particularly excited about Tate Liverpool’s exhibition showcasing the work of Klimt’s radical protégé Egon Schiele. Running until 23 September, Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/ Francesca Woodman draws parallels between two artists who are both known for their intimate portraits, and for looking beneath the surface of their subject’s facades to reveal their inner emotions.

Image Credit: Tate Liverpool via Facebook
 
The Tate is also renowned for its ARTIST ROOMS touring collection, a collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland which has exhibited the work of 40 major international artists at over 75 museums and galleries around the UK since 2009. They have a range of new exhibitions this year, many of which are taking place over the summer including Gilbert and George at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery until the 2 September (read our review here). We are also looking forward to their Gerhard Richter exhibition, which is the debut show of John Hansard Gallery’s new expanded, purpose-built exhibition space, Studio 144 in Southampton. Incorporating painting, photography, print and tapestry the exhibition will showcase the diversity of the 20/21 Century German artist’s work, and highlight his immense influence on the art world.

Image Credit: John Hansard Gallery via Facebook
 
For more German art, head to the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh for their Emil Nolde exhibition, which displays the Expressionist artist’s depictions of the dramatic countryside of his north German home, as well as his fascination with elements of his country’s urban cities, such Berlin’s cafes and cabaret culture and Hamburg’s busy port filled with tug boats. (Runs 14 July – 21 October). For art of an older, more traditional nature, also check out SNG’s display of work by the Old Master, Rembrandt. Running from 7 July – 14 October, this Edinburgh exclusive explores how a taste for the Dutch painter’s work in Britain has developed over the past 400 years.

Landschaft Nordfriesland (1920) by Emil Nolde. Image Credit: Nolde Stiftung Seebüll via Scottish National Galleries website
 
Turner Contemporary in Margate is presenting a joint exhibition of the work of Yin Xiuzehn and Duan Jianyu until 2 September. Xiuzehn is known for her large sculptural works exploring the urbanisation of contemporary China, and Jianyu’s large scale paintings similarly explore the tensions between rural life and urbanity. The exhibition is part of the NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists programme. Exhibiting around the country at other locations including Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Middlesbrough) and Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham), the programme aims to raise awareness for female Chinese artists, and explores how their work transcends notions of gender difference.

Image Credit: Turner Contemporary via Facebook
 
Women in Chinese art seems to be a recurring theme in this season’s exhibition circuit, with The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford presenting their A Century of Women in Chinese Art exhibition, which features a diverse selection of representations of women in Chinese art over the past 100 years. Whilst at the Ashmolean, don’t miss their acclaimed America’s Cool Modernism exhibition before it closes on 22 July (read our review here). With 35 paintings that have never been seen in the UK before (including loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago), the show exhibits work from the interwar period, in which American artists employed a cool, detached style to reflect their uncertainty about the ensuing modernisation and urbanisation of their country.

Image Credit: Ashmolean Museum via Facebook
 
If you fancy heading out of the galleries to soak up some sunshine, you can enjoy blue skies and culture in equal measure at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The UK’s leading open air gallery, YSP welcomes acclaimed installation and performance artist Chiharu Shiota’s Beyond Time for the duration of the summer months (runs until 2 September). Inhabiting YSP’s beautiful 18th Century Chapel, the installation is made entirely out of delicate white thread and responds to the building’s unique architecture and heritage.

Image Credit: Yorkshire Sculpture Park via Facebook

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