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Must-see summer exhibitions

 

From a landmark exhibition showcasing the unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashions at V&A to a show all about the urgent and all-embracing subject of climate at Royal Academy, there’s a wonderful range of exhibitions to see this summer.

Eileen Mayo, Turkish Bath, 1930. 4 block print on paper. Private collection. Photograph by James RatchfordEileen Mayo, Turkish Bath, 1930. 4 block print on paper. Private collection. Photograph by James Ratchford

Eileen Mayo, A Natural History, Towner, Eastbourne

12th February – 3rd July

The work of multi-skilled painter, printmaker, illustrator and tapestry designer Eileen Mayo (1906-1994) is celebrated in this solo exhibition Eileen Mayo A Natural History; her first in the UK. Despite her exceptional skills, Mayo remains largely unknown in the United Kingdom.

She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire just before she died in 1994, but her work is far more widely celebrated, exhibited and collected in New Zealand, where she had relocated in 1962 (following ten years in Australia), and where she spent the remainder of her life.

Her rare ability to combine this knowledge and understanding of nature with a skill at representing it across a wide range of media showcased to the public through this exhibition.

As part of our long standing partnership with Towner we have produced a postcard pack for this monumental exhibition. Our in-house designers have colour matched the postcards to the original artworks, printed on our triple coated Invercote G paper. Head to Towner to purchase the pack and discover more of our products. 

Azyl/Azul, a series of seven landscape paintings by Dee Ferris, at Corvi-Mora. Image courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora. Photo: Marcus LeithAzyl/Azul, a series of seven landscape paintings by Dee Ferris, at Corvi-Mora. Image courtesy the artist and Corvi-Mora. Photo: Marcus Leith

Azyl/Azul, Dee Ferris, Corvi-Mora, Kennington, Lambeth North, London

Tommaso Corvi-Mora present an exhibition of new work by British artist Dee Ferris, her eighth at the gallery.
Azyl/Azul is a body of work that continues Ferris’s investigation in the aspirational tropes and aesthetics of lifestyle marketing and branding.
Consisting of seven landscape paintings, the series is based on the alluring images of places of escape promoted on a variety of online travel and social media platforms.

The images are then subjected to an intense process of dissolution and re-emerge as paradoxical and precipitous visions whose implicit promise of fulfilment is called into question.
Developed over the last three years, the works reflect an ongoing enquiry into the languages of desire, longing and nostalgia, rendered even more potent by the intense restriction of movement and prolonged social isolation suffered during the pandemic. Through July 30th 2022.

Raphael The Madonna and Child with the Infant Baptist (The Garvagh Madonna) about 1509-10, Oil on wood 38.0 x 32.9 cm (c) The National Gallery, LondonRaphael The Madonna and Child with the Infant Baptist (The Garvagh Madonna) about 1509-10, Oil on wood 38.0 x 32.9 cm (c) The National Gallery, London

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael, The National Gallery

9th April 2022 – 31st July 2022

Marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death in 2020 and delayed because of Covid restrictions, the National Gallery presents one of the first-ever exhibitions to explore the complete career of this giant of the Italian Renaissance.

A painter, draughtsman, architect, designer and archaeologist who captured in his art the human and the divine, love, friendship, learning, and power: Raphael’s life was short, his work prolific, and his legacy immortal.

This exhibition examines not just his celebrated paintings and drawings – but also his not so widely known work in architecture, archaeology and poetry, as well as his designs for sculpture, tapestry, prints, and the applied arts.

The aim is to do something no previous Raphael exhibition has ever done - explore every aspect of the virtuoso.

Johann Jakob Frey, 1813 - 1865, Cloud Study. (4), Oil on paper, mounted on canvas, Private Collection, LondonJohann Jakob Frey, 1813 - 1865, Cloud Study. (4), Oil on paper, mounted on canvas, Private Collection, London

True to Nature: Open-air Painting in Europe 1780-187The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

3rd May – 29th August

True to Nature (May 3 – August 29) unites, for the first time, over one hundred and twenty luminous open-air paintings from the remarkable collections of The Fondation Custodia in Paris, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, and The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, together with a distinguished private collection of oil sketches, never before seen in public.

The exhibition reveals the evolution of plein air painting across Europe in the nineteenth century. The practice of open-air painting developed rapidly across Europe during this period, as artists sought new ways of representing the natural world.

As the century progressed, it became enshrined in the teaching of art academies and was enthusiastically taken up by French, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and British painters, amongst them two pioneering women, Louise-Josephine Sarazin de Belmont and Rosa Bonheur. 

Installation view of Summer Exhibition 2020, (C) David ParryInstallation view of Summer Exhibition 2020, (C) David Parry

Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition 2022, The Courtauld Gallery

21st June – 21st August 2022

Celebrated British sculptor Alison Wilding RA co-ordinates this year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show which has taken place every year since 1769, marking its 254th year running.

The Summer Exhibition provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience, comprising a range of media from painting and printmaking to photography, sculpture, architecture and film.

The theme this year explores CLIMATE in all its manifestations. Whether it presents as crisis or opportunity, nightmare or memories, or simply our everyday experience of weather, CLIMATE is an all-embracing and urgent subject.

Walter Sickert Brighton Pierrots 1915. Tate, purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1996Walter Sickert Brighton Pierrots 1915. Tate, purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1996

Walter Sickert, Tate Britain, London

28th April 2022 – 18th September 2022

Walter Sickert at Tate Britain is London’s biggest retrospective of Walter Sickert (1860-1942) in almost 30 years. A master of self-invention and theatricality, Sickert took a radically modern approach to painting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, transforming how everyday life was captured on canvas.

This major exhibition will feature over 150 of his works, from scenes of rowdy music halls to ground-breaking nudes and narrative subjects. Spanning Sickert’s six-decade career, it will uncover the people, places and subjects that inspired him and will explore his legacy as one of Britain’s most distinctive, provocative, and influential artists.

Visitors will see the variety of different personas adopted by Sickert over the years and how his complex personality evolved throughout his career.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Smokin Jo, window, 1995, (c) Wolfgang Tilmans courtesy Maureen Paley, LondonWolfgang Tillmans, Smokin Jo, window, 1995, (c) Wolfgang Tilmans courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Reframed: The Woman in the Window, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

4th May 2022 – 4th September 2022

Dulwich Picture Gallery presents Reframed: The Woman in the Window, the first exhibition to explore the enigmatic motif of the ‘woman in the window’.

Featuring artworks from ancient civilisations to present day, the exhibition will bring together over 40 works by artists including Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rachel Whiteread to reveal how artists have long used the motif to elicit a particular kind of response ranging from empathy to voyeurism.

The exhibition will go on to consider the personal and often intimate relationships between artists and their models and muses through works by artists such as Walter Sickert, Pablo Picasso and Wolfgang Tillmans.

It will also consider one of the most prevalent uses of the motif, to portray women enclosed within the domestic interior. 

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) Bathing Bow, 1904-05. Oil on canvas 70.1 x 91.3 cm. KODE Bergen Art Museum, The RasmusMeyer CollectionEdvard Munch (1863-1944) Bathing Bow, 1904-05. Oil on canvas 70.1 x 91.3 cm. KODE Bergen Art Museum, The RasmusMeyer Collection

The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Edvard Munch. Masterpieces from Bergen, The Courtauld Gallery

27th May 2022 – 5th September 2022

A major collection of works by Edvard Munch will be shown in the UK for the first time as part of a partnership between The Courtauld and KODE art museums in Bergen, Norway.

KODE in Bergen is home to one of the most important Munch collections in the world, originally assembled in the early 20th century by Norwegian industrialist Rasmus Meyer (1858 – 1916), who collected Munch’s work during the artist’s lifetime.

The exhibition will bring together some 18 paintings from this collection – the first time a comprehensive group of works from the collection has been seen outside Norway.

It will begin with seminal early examples of Munch’s ‘realist’ period of the 1880s which launched his career, such as Morning (1884) and Summer Night (1889), a pivotal work that reflects the artist’s move towards the expressive and psychologically charged work for which he became famous. 

Pablo Picasso Woman with a Book, 1932. Oil on canvas 130.5 x 97.8. The Norton Simon Foundation (C) Succession Picasso/DACS 2021 / photo The Norton Simon FoundationPablo Picasso Woman with a Book, 1932. Oil on canvas 130.5 x 97.8. The Norton Simon Foundation (C) Succession Picasso/DACS 2021 / photo The Norton Simon Foundation

Picasso Ingres: Face to Face, The National Gallery

3rd June 2022 – 9th October 2022

For the first time ever a painting by Pablo Picasso (‘Woman with a Book', 1932) from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and the painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (‘Madame Moitessier’, 1856) which famously inspired it, will be shown side by side at the National Gallery, London as part of a special collaboration between the two museums.

This exhibition is an opportunity to explore Picasso’s enduring affinity with Ingres, and his ability to reference or ‘steal’ previous artist’s work which he famously acknowledged when he said: ‘Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.’

It will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to compare the two works and to engage with these masterpieces in a different way. Picasso makes you look again at Ingres, and Ingres helps you to understand Picasso.

Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944. Oil on canvas, 111.8 x 81.3 cm. Collection Friends of Neuberger Museum of Art. (C) Milton Avery Trust / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2022Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944. Oil on canvas, 111.8 x 81.3 cm. Collection Friends of Neuberger Museum of Art. (C) Milton Avery Trust / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2022

Milton Avery American Colouris, Royal Academy of Arts

15th July 2022 – 16th October 2022

Avery’s career fell between the movements of the American Impressionists and the Abstract Expressionists, leaving him to forge a staunchly independent path. Worshipped by Abstract Expressionists Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, Milton Avery expressed his vision of the world through harmonious colour and simplified forms.

Now, for the first time, see the North American painter’s work this side of the Atlantic in the first comprehensive exhibition of Avery’s work in Europe.

Bringing together a selection of around 70 paintings from the 1930s – 1960s, that are among his most celebrated, these works typically feature scenes of daily life, including portraits of loved ones and serene landscapes from his visits to Maine and Cape Cod.

Marvel in the colour sensibility and balance that runs throughout his work – a style that was to have a major influence on the next generation.

Mbeuk Odourrou collection, Imane Ayissi, Paris, France, Autumn/Winter 2019. Photo: Fabrice Malard /Courtesy of Imae AyissiMbeuk Odourrou collection, Imane Ayissi, Paris, France, Autumn/Winter 2019. Photo: Fabrice Malard /Courtesy of Imae Ayissi

Africa Fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum

2nd July 2022 – 16th April 2023

V&A’s landmark exhibition showcases the irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashions.

As the UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashions to date, with over 250 objects on display, the exhibits celebrate the vitality and innovation of this vibrant scene, as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.

Uncovering the stories behind the objects, Africa Fashion offers personal insights from the designers, together with sketches, editorial spreads, photographs, film and catwalk footage.

Starting with the African independence and the liberation years that sparked a radical political and social reordering across the continent, the exhibition will look to explore how fashion, alongside music and the visual arts, formed a key part of Africa’s cultural renaissance, laying the foundation for today’s fashion revolution.

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