Art, like many of us, takes a summer holiday over August but that means we get loads of great openings in the Autumn. Here are the 10 exhibitions we’re most excited to see before the year is out:
Late Turner – Painting Set Free @ Tate Britain (10 September – 25 January)
Okay, it may seem like a year doesn’t go by without yet another Turner exhibition, but there’s a good reason for that — he is after all one of Britain’s greatest artists. Recent exhibitions have focussed more on his earlier work but it’s in his later career where he reached his expressive peak, and so we look forward to flashes of colour and near-indistinguishable (yet still beautiful) forms at this new Tate exhibition.
Constable – The Making of a Master @ V&A (20 September – 11 January)
If there’s one British landscape painter who can compete with Turner in the popularity stakes, it’s John Constable. This exhibition will look at how the Suffolk-born artist mastered his style, as well as who inspired him to create works such as his masterpiece The Hay Wain.
Witches and Wicked Bodies @ British Museum (25 September – 11 January)
After a successful outing in Scotland, this devilish collection of prints and drawings seeks to spook a London audience. The exhibition charts the history of how witches have been portrayed in art since the Renaissance. Expect spells, sacrifices and monsters galore.
The Art of the Brick @ Old Truman Brewery (26 September – 4 January)
Everybody loves Lego, but if you think you’ve seen everything that can be made from the versatile bricks, you may be in for a surprise. Replicas of famous artworks as well as unique surreal creations are to be expected, in what is no doubt going to be a popular show.
Anselm Kiefer @ Royal Academy (27 September – 14 December)
Kiefer is not an artist to operate on a small scale, so in this retrospective, prepare for large scale sculptures and paintings that integrate natural elements so that they quite literally stand out. Kiefer’s often dark works are politically engaging and are not afraid to confront his native Germany’s Nazi past.
Turner Prize 2014 @ Tate Britain (30 September – 4 January)
The Turner Prize often acts as a springboard for an artist’s career — every year there seems to be one who grabs the headlines. This year is decidedly different. Not one of the competing artists has come up with work that has the public protesting that it isn’t art. Does this mark the point at which the Turner becomes a more ‘academic’ prize? And will it be able to draw the crowds without the controversy? We shall have to wait and see.
Sigmar Polke @ Tate Modern (9 October – 8 February)
Yet another retrospective from a highly influential German artist. This exhibition will showcase his experimental style, including drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, notebooks and even photocopies. Polke is a hard artist to understand without seeing the full breadth of his work, and this will be a great opportunity to appreciate his influence on contemporary art.
Rembrandt: The Late Works @ National Gallery (15 October – 18 January)
Rembrandt is arguably the greatest of the Dutch masters, and it’s a rare treat to see his later bolder works in London. Considering the National Gallery’s exceptional year of exhibitions, including the Veronese blockbuster, this feels like the perfect way to finish on a high.
Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude @ Courtauld Gallery (23 October – 18 January)
The intense expressionism of Schiele’s work transforms the nude from a thing of beauty to something ungainly and unflattering. His radical style changed the way that the human form is portrayed and paved the way for artists like Lucien Freud. Over 30 of Schiele’s works will be on display in this confrontational show.
Allen Jones @ Royal Academy (13 November – 25 January)
A retrospective for the man who courted controversy with his use of the female figure to create furniture. We’ll let you decide whether it’s incisive social commentary or simply sexist. Either way, this pop art show is likely to be a popular one that sparks many a discussion.
We will be reviewing all these exhibitions in due course and letting you know whether they live up to our expectations. If you have other exhibitions you’re looking forward to, let us know in the comments section.