This Summer, you can experience all the seasons with exhibitions on Arctic expeditions and Van Gogh’s seasonal works. Besides weather, July sees a wide range of exhibitions opening up across the globe. You can enjoy a history lesson in Feminist photography and art from the Civil Rights Movement or visit solo exhibitions dedicated to Bazille, Modigliani and Kyōsai.
1 July – 29 October
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Discover a remarkable, but little-known period in British Art: 1920’s and ’30’s Realist paintings. True to Life | British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s explores the realist tradition in British art between World War One and Two, a tradition which was lost soon after the Second World War in favour of Abstract art. At the time, Realism was a globally popular, and remarkable movement with paintings of meticulous detail. However, after World War Two, these artists became somewhat side-lined. This exhibition celebrates the movement. Showing only in Edinburgh, True to Life includes over 80 stunning paintings by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, Meredith Frampton, Laura Knight, James Cowie, Harold Williamson and Winifred Knights.
Until 9 July
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Drawing inspiration from the vibrant culture of Paris and Languedoc, the French painter Frédéric Bazille (1841–1870) crafted a style of painting that was distinctly his own and helped to lay the foundations of Impressionism. Bazille was part of a social circle of avant-garde artists and writers that included Émile Zola, Henri Fantin-Latour and Zacharie Astruc.
However, due to his untimely death during the Franco-Prussian War, Bazille remains relatively unknown in comparison to his contemporaries. Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism is the first major American exhibition on his works in over 25 years. It hosts 74 of Bazille’s paintings alongside his contemporaries, including Manet and Monet, and key works by the predecessors who inspired him such as Théodore Rousseau and Gustave Courbet.
12 July – 22 October
Tate Modern, London
Visit Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America. The exhibition documents the history of the Civil Rights movement with works from over 50 influential American artists such as Romare Bearden, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar. These artists provoked, confronted and confounded expectations at a time where the concept of Black Art was not always promoted, but contested across the United States.
Exploring works from 1963 onward, a defining year in the Civil Rights Movement, this exhibition brings together art in many forms to reflect the varying opinions of the time including paintings, murals, collage, activist posters, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures (some of which are made with Black hair, melted records and tights)! Most of these works will be on display in the UK for the first time.
Until 12 July
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Observe Van Gogh’s life, his passions and his take on the natural world. This exhibition delves into the Dutch artist’s love of literature and nature, as well as the environments that heavily influenced his life and livelihood. Showcasing his works and his personal letters, Van Gogh and the Seasons examines the Post-Impressionist painter’s depiction of the changing seasons alongside several key stages in his life. This exhibition explores some of the most career (and life) defining places in the Dutch artist’s life, such as his hometown, and places of deep creativity in the Netherlands, to regions in France where his mental health suffered and he ultimately committed suicide. This exhibition is showing only in Melbourne.
14 July – 7 January
National Maritime Museum, London
When Sir John Franklin and his expedition crew went missing in their search for the Northwest Passage, many wondered what happened to them. In 1959, 12 years later, one of the two ships was discovered, with the dead bodies of Franklin and 23 of his crew. There were rumours of cannibalism with the 105 survivors, as they tried to head south across the North American mainland to the Back River.
Discoveries in 2014 and 2016 by the Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team have revealed some of the questions of what really happened to those men on their fateful journey. Franklin: Death in the ice will showcase a number of discoveries including personal items, clothing and components of the ships, so you can scrutinise forensic evidence and discover the Inuit oral testimonies, to draw your own conclusions as to what happened. These items will be displayed in the UK for the first time.
Until 16 July
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Explore works by several generations of female photographers. This exhibition showcases exceptional and rare photographs spanning the history of the medium. With examples by pioneers Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Anne Brigman as well as contemporary artists such as Kelli Connell, Ann Parker, and Elaine Stocki, you can experience the variety of ways women have used the camera to capture lived experience. This includes themes of identity and female roles, domesticity and street photography.
Until 16 July
Palazzo Ducale, Genoa
Modigliani shows the main stages of the Italian Jewish painter’s brief, but rewarding artistic career. Known for portraits and nudes characterised by elongated faces and figures, his works were not well received in his lifetime, only after his death. Through over thirty paintings and drawings, this exhibition looks into Modigliani’s unique, introspective portraiture of fellow painters, intellectuals and close friends. As well as portraits, Modigliani also showcases the famous nudes such as the Reclining Nude, and a display of studies, drawings, watercolours and tempera.
21 July – 5 November
Throughout history, creative outlets such as music and art have been interlinked – one inspires the other. This exhibition investigates the subject of music in drawings and prints.
Pay a visit to We Set the Tone. Pictures of Music from Mantegna to Matisse to see 100 musical works from the likes of Andrea Mantegna, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Roy Lichtenstein and Edvard Munch, plus many more. As well as musical works, an exhibition on the relationship between musicality and pictorial expression would not be complete without artworks of the greatest musicians and composers of all time such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Niccolò Paganini, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Until 23 July
Museum EKI Kyoto, Kyoto
Nicknamed ‘demon painter’ because of his artistic talents as a child, Kawanabe Kyōsai was always destined for success. Throughout his career, Kyōsai experimented with various artistic styles and techniques including political caricature. He is often considered the greatest successor of Hokusai, known for the masterpiece The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Art dealer Israel Goldman admired Kyōsai’s works for their sense of humour and has been collecting Kyōsai’s works for 35 years. Visit this exhibition of his best-known pieces and over 60 newly acquired works.
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