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Image © Vivian Suter, Nisyros at Tate Liverpool © Fred Dott

Free Arts and Exhibitions in Manchester for 2020

27 December 2019 | Sam Waller

January isn’t usually seen as a banner month for going out and doing stuff, but there’s still plenty going on if you can manage to break out of hibernation mode — here’s a quick waltz through what’s happening at a few art galleries around Manchester and beyond…


Image credit: manchesterartgallery.org

Out of the Crate at Manchester Art Gallery 
Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL

Out of the Crate sees Manchester Art Gallery dust off some of the finest wares from Manchester’s publicly owned sculpture collection and display ‘em for all to see. The collection has over 500 sculptures made from everything from marble to paper, but up until now less than 3% of them were on show. This long-running exhibition changes that, with 25% of the collection spread across three rooms.  Grouped in ‘store room style’, according to size or material (as opposed to themes or time period), the exhibition also helps show the inner workings of the art gallery world. It probably goes without saying that if you’re into sculptures then you should be well catered for here.

This exhibition is open until 21 November 2021 


Image credit: Linda Hemmersbach, from Talking Sense at The Portico Library

Talking Sense at The Portico Library
57 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HY

Just up the road from Manchester Art Gallery is a particularly ornate building called the Portico Library. According to Wikipedia, this is an independent subscription library built in 1806, but as well as being filled with old books, it also puts on exhbitions throughout the year. Talking Sense looks at the terminology and vocabulary used to describe mental and emotional experience - allowing 50 artists to create work influenced by the language used in the 1952 guide which psychologists still use today, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. To be honest, we've got no idea what sort of stuff will be on display for this exhibition - but it’s a good excuse to take a look in this swanky old building.

This exhibition is on 17 January - 13 April 2020 


Image credit: Amang Mardokhy via Facebook

Amang Mardokhy - Sometimes When You Say Nothing You Say Everything! at Home MCR
2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN

Not to be confused with that old Ronan Keeting song from twenty years ago, Sometimes When You Say Nothing You Say Everything! is an exhibition of paintings from a Stockport-based artist named Amang Mardokhy. Amang created the work on display here via live performance - alongside musicians and in front of an audience, meaning that quick and loose dashes of paint were the order of the day. 

This exhibition is open until 20 January 2020 

 


Image credit: Vivian Suter, Nisyros (Vivian’s bed) 2016-17. © Courtesy of the artist and Karma International, Zurich and Los Angeles; Gladstone Gallery, NewYork and Brussels; House of Gaga, Mexico City; and Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City. 


Vivian Suter at Tate Liverpool 
315 The Colonnades, Liverpool, L3 4AB

Over at the Tate in Liverpool is the first UK solo exhibition of Vivian Suter — a Swiss-Argentine artist known to some for her brightly coloured abstract landscapes which she paints from her studios in the rainforest of the Guatemalan highlands. The main centrepiece of the exhibition goes by the name of Nisyros (Vivian’s Bed) and is basically 53 massive tropical-flavoured paintings inspired by her fairly exotic surroundings, suspended from the ceiling. Pretty much the least ‘wintry’ thing you’ll ever see. 

This exhibition is open until 15 March 2020 


Image credit: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery via Facebook

Eric Tucker - The Unseen Artist at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery 
Bold Street, Warrington, WA1 1DR

Eric Tucker was a labourer from Warrington who died last year at the age of 86. Not the usual grounds for a solo exhibition, but as it happened, Eric was also a highly skilled (and highly secretive) painter, who over the last six decades quietly documented the streets, pubs and people around him using oil paints and watercolours. It’s not particularly hard to see why he’s been dubbed ‘the secret Lowry’, but comparisons could also be made with the lively night-time scenes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (as well as the story of the American photographer Vivian Maier, whose photos of Chicago street scenes were only discovered two years before her death). Made up of over 70 paintings and sketches taken from a huge stash that Eric’s family found in the front room of his terraced house, The Unseen Artist is the first chance for the public to get a true glimpse at the full spectrum of this seemingly egoless artist’s talents. 

This exhibition is open until 23 February 2020 

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