Our top picks of must-see exhibitions in August and September
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty
15 September – 17 April 2022
Presenting the first major exhibition in the UK dedicated to the work of Helen Frankenthaler. A pivotal abstract artist in the 20th-century American scene, this exhibition details her woodcut work, designed across multiple mediums and establishing her as a pioneer in the printmaking technique, demonstrating her flair for colour and experimentation.
Royal Academy of Arts
22 September – 2 January 2022
Complete with pieces inspired by the theme “Reclaiming Magic”, the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition returns, coordinated by Yinka Shonibare. Art of all mediums from artists at every step of their careers will be on display and are available to purchase. It’s all in aid of supporting the Academy and the artists, whose work celebrates the pure joy that comes in creating art.
Reflections: Contemporary Art in the Middle East and North Africa
Until 15 August
Connecting artists across the Middle East and North Africa, the British Museum presents a collection of contemporary art that reflects the diverse cultures and styles of artists from across the vast stretch of land. More than 100 works are on display that aim to change the public perception of countries which are often negatively portrayed in the modern media and expand Western knowledge of centuries-old societies.
Conversations with God:
Jan Matejko’s Copernicus
Until 22 August
The most famous piece by Matejko, considered Poland’s national artist, is displayed for the first time in the United Kingdom. On loan from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, the epic painting of Copernicus, one of the most significant names in the scientific community, was created to mark the 400th anniversary of Copernicus’ birth. This is a great opportunity to see one of Poland’s most revered pieces of art outside Central Europe.
Van Gogh Alive at Kensington Gardens
Until 26 September
A stunning, immersive and multisensory experience into the work of Van Gogh, one of the world’s most celebrated artists. Kensington Gardens plays host to this exhibition, bringing Van Gogh’s work to life as its never been seen before. Family-friendly and perfect for children to get in touch with art.
Sheffield Botanical Gardens
Art in the Gardens
4 – 5 September
Set in the charming tranquillity of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, the city presents its annual Art in the Gardens show, presenting works from artists and craftspeople from across the UK. One of the largest outdoor art shows in the country, pieces in a variety of mediums will be displayed across the gardens – and plenty are also available to purchase directly from the artists. Get in touch with your natural side and your arty side with this weekend installation.
Tate St Ives
Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors
Until 26 September
South Korean artist Haegue Yang presents the largest exhibition of her work in the UK to date at the beautiful Tate St Ives. Multimedia work from sculpture to painting to print will be on display, made with industrial objects that emphasise the labour-intensive work of creating their art. Yang took inspiration from the heritage and archaeology of the Cornish coast and so their exhibition will take place exclusively in the county.
Until 5 September
In a series that celebrates and reflects on the work of key NHS staff during the pandemic in the Merseyside area, New York artist Aliza Nisebaum presents a series of new paintings, inspired by the community of Liverpool. Capturing stories of frontline workers and the impact of coronavirus on their own lives and families, visitors will get to see the new large scale and individual portraits for the first time, alongside films and additional materials explaining how the project came together.
Cyril Gerber Fine Art
Margot Sandeman Poetry & Harmony
Works on Paper and Oils
5 August – 1 September
Playing host for the third time to Sandeman’s work, Glasgow will feature an exhibition of her works on paper and drawings that were created prior to later oil work. Sandeman, a Glaswegian artist herself, was best known for her expansive landscapes and oil paintings, influenced by the Arts & Crafts tradition.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Ruined: Reinventing Scottish History
Until 14 November
Designed over the last four years, a collection of young Scottish creatives present “Ruined”, exploring and reinventing Scottish history, warts and all. With bloody battles, heroes and heroines, borders, fights, religious zealots – blends multimedia to create a new look back on the country’s complex history, all told through the narration of producer and rapper, Mercurius MC.
Golden Thread Gallery Project Space
The Bystander Effect
5 August – 9 September
Created following two years of extensive research, Alice Lowry’s sharp exhibition will explore the “architecture of containment” that was established in the development of Northern Ireland, particularly through misogynistic infrastructure systems including the Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools. Lowry examines the intergenerational trauma through sculpture and interactive installations of objects.
Coast, Country, City:
The Jerwood Collection
20 August – 7 November
Marking the second exhibition in the Jerwood Collection, fifty works have been selected and curated by James Rawlin to go on display at the Harley Gallery. Landscape artists that will be featured in the second collection include David Hockney. Prunella Clough, David Bomberg and LS Lowry.
Oriel Davies Gallery
The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour: Jean-Simeon Chardin “The House of Cards”
Until 26 September
Playing host to this iconic piece of work, the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour stops off in Powys to present Jean-Simeon Chardin’s “The House of Cards”, complete with two brand new commissions to connect the work to the present day. Believed to have been painted around 1741, the painting shows a child building a house of cards and has often been associated with questions of morality and ethics in contemporary discussion.
Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth
21 August – 5 December
In partnership with Chatsworth, Museums Sheffield, over 60 pieces of master drawing will be exhibited at The Lightbox. Offering the largest display of drawings from the collection in the UK, work from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries will be available to view for the first time together. Featuring drawings from Van Dyck, Poussin, Rembrandt and da Vinci.
St Fagans National Museum of History
23 July – 2 October
Opening to correspond with the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, iconic objects and photographs from some of Wales top athletes who have competed at the games will go on display for the first time. Made in partnership with the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame and Amgueddfa Cymru Museum Wales, some of Wales’ greatest Games victories and sportspeople will be celebrated in this display.