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Our 2020 must-see exhibitions

As we look ahead to 2020 we are already filling our diary with dates for some special exhibitions and retrospectives taking place across the South West and in London. Here is our must-see list for creative inspiration:

1. | Don McCullinThe Stillness of Life
Hauser & Wirth Somerset | 25 January - 4 May 2020

Don McCullin The Stillness of Life at Hauser & Wirth Somerset

In Somerset, ‘Don McCullin. The Stillness of Life’ is a focused presentation of over 70 landscape photographs, mapping Sir Don McCullin CBE’s intimate relationship with the local landscape of Somerset and continued passion for global travel since the 60s.

Regarded as one of the most accomplished war photographers of recent times, McCullin has spent the last six decades travelling to remote locations and witnessing harrowing scenes of conflict and destruction. Often referring to the British countryside as his greatest salvation, McCullin demonstrates the full mastery of his medium with stark black and white images resonating with human emotion.

This personal survey depicts scenes from across the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, revealing McCullin’s innermost feelings through powerful compositions of wild heavens, haunting vistas and meditative still lifes

Where: Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0NL
When: 25 January – 4 May 2020. 
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm (November – February) and 10 am – 5 pm (March – October). Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
Admission: free entry

2. | Grayson Perry The Pre-Therapy Years
The Holburne Museum, Bath | 24 January - 25 May 2020

Grayson Perry The Pre-Therapy Years at The Holburne Museum

The first exhibition to survey Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world will re-introduce the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994. These ground-breaking ‘lost’ pots will be reunited for the first time to focus on the formative years of one of Britain’s most recognisable artists.

The Holburne exhibition will display the earliest works – pots, plates and sculptures – that first made Perry’s name and will shine a light on his experimentation and exploration of the potential of pottery to address radical issues and human stories.

For art lovers, this exhibition
 represents a unique opportunity to enjoy the artist’s clever, playful and politically-engaged perspective on the world through a number of pieces, many of which have not been seen in public since they were first exhibited. Often challenging and explicit, these works reveal the early development of Perry’s distinctive voice that has established him as one of the most compelling commentators on contemporary society. 

Where: The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB
When: 24 January - 25 May 2020. Open daily: 10am to 5pm (Sunday and Bank Holiday 11am to 5pm)
Admission: £12.50 / £7 (includes a donation)

3. | Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath | 15 February - 26 May 2020

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre at The Victoria Art Gallery

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre will bring the sights and sounds of Lautrec’s thrilling Bohemian Paris to life. The exhibition will revisit the ‘street art’ of the era showcasing over 80 works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Steinlen and more. 

Evening events unique to this exhibition will echo the joie de vivre of the Belle Époque and Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris. These will feature music and entertainment to celebrate how visual art, music and dance were intertwined in this thrilling era.

The Gallery will also give everyone the chance to participate, with a multilingual audio guide, music from the era, a display of personal items from the performers and a dressing up area.

Where: Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT
When: 15 February - 26 May 2020. Open daily: 10.30am to 5pm
Admission: £6 / Concessions, 18 & under and Discovery Card holders free

4. | David Hockney: Drawing from Life
National Portrait Gallery, London | 27 February - 28 June 2020

David Hockney: Drawing from Life at National Portrait Gallery

The first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years, David Hockney: Drawing from Life, explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to the present by focusing on depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.

Featuring around 150 works from public and private collections across the world, as well as from the David Hockney Foundation and the artist, the exhibition will trace the trajectory of his practice by revisiting these five subjects over a period of five decades.

Highlights include a series of new portraits; coloured pencil drawings created in Paris in the early 1970s; composite Polaroid portraits from the 1980s; and a selection of drawings from an intense period of self-scrutiny during the 1980s when the artist created a self-portrait every day over a period of two months.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE
When: 27 February - 28 June 2020. Open daily: 10am – 6pm and Friday 10am – 9pm
Adult £18 (£22 with donation). Concessions, students & child (12-18yrs) £17 (£21 with donation). Art Pass £9 (£11 with donation). Art Pass Concession £8.50 (£10.50 with donation). Child under 12yrs & Carer FREE


5. | Streets Ahead: Bristol Street Art 2020
The RWA, Bristol | 6 June - 23 August 2020

Streets Ahead: Bristol Street Art 2020 at The RWA

10 years since Bristol’s leading street artists were invited to take over the Academy’s walls in Crimes of Passion, the RWA brings Bristol’s best street artists back for a second round.

Focussing on artists who are pushing the boundaries of street, graffiti and urban art, the exhibition will span installation, interactive art, sculpture, sound art, collage, light-based works and performance as well as fresh perspectives in mural painting.

The exhibition takes visitors on an unexpected journey and is a major reassessment of street art recognising the impact made beyond the city walls. 

Where: Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1PX
When: 6 June - 23 August 2020. Open: 
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.
Admission: Adults: £7.95 (includes 80p donation) or £6.95 online / Concessions: £6.75 (includes 70p donation) / Under 18s/SGS, UoB & UWE students: FREE / National Art Pass holders: 50% discount on ticket price

6. | Summer Exhibition 2020
Royal Academy of Arts, London | 9 June — 16 August 2020

Summer Exhibition 2020 at Royal Academy of Art

The Summer Exhibition has run without interruption since 1769 as the world’s largest open-submission art show. Each year, a committee of diverse artists choose an array of art in all mediums – prints and paintings, film and photography, sculpture, architectural works and more – for everyone and anyone to enjoy.

Work by leading artists, Royal Academicians and household names will be on show, as well as new and emerging talent you might not know. So, explore art you love, art you hate, and art that simply puts a smile on your face!

Where: Main Galleries and The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
When: 9 June - 16 August 2020. Open daily: 10am – 6pm and Friday 10am – 10pm
Admission: t
icket information coming soon

7. | Andy Warhol
Tate Modern, London | 12 March - 6 September 2020

Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

A new look at the extraordinary life and work of the pop art superstar. 

Andy Warhol was the son of immigrants who became an American icon. A shy gay man who became the hub of New York’s social scene. An artist who embraced consumerism, celebrity and counter culture – and changed modern art in the process.

This major retrospective is the first Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern for almost 20 years. As well as his iconic pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans, it includes works never seen before in the UK. Twenty-five works from his Ladies and Gentlemen series – portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women – are shown for the first time in 30 years. Visitors can also play with his floating Silver Clouds and experience the psychedelic multimedia environment of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

Where: Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
When: 11 March – 6 September 2020. Open: Sunday – Thursday 10am to 6pm, Friday – Saturday 10am to 10pm
£22 / FREE for Members. Concession £20. Family child 12–18 years £5. Under 12s FREE (up to four per family adult)

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