Pablo Picasso, Francesca Woodman, Mary Ellen Mark, Georgia O’Keeffe, and more, are all showing in the UK throughout the year
New Years Resolution: leave the house more. It feels easier said than done, unless there’s a series of not-to-be-missed major art exhibitions opening country-wide throughout the year. Take, for example, Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe at London’s V&A, the re-opening of the Hayward Gallery after two-years of refurbishment, the 10th Liverpool Biennale, or a major Picasso survey opening at the Tate Modern. While this isn’t a definitive list, these are some of the shows that we’ve already marked down in our diaries.
Kicking off the year is William Blake at West Sussex’s Petworth House. From 1800 to 1803, the poet, painter, and printmaker lived in Sussex – the only place he lived outside of London. This period of time will be explored with the help of 50 loans from the British Museum, the V&A and Tate, alongside other collections.
13 January – 25 March 2018 at West Sussex’s Petworth House
After two years of refurbishment, the Hayward Gallery will open with the first UK retrospective of acclaimed German photographer, Andreas Gursky. Described by the gallery as “A true innovator engaged in thinking about and picturing the times in which we live in”, it will feature an estimated 60 works that range from the early 1980s until more recent times.
25 January – 22 April 2018 at London’s Hayward Gallery
Including works from 1850 until the present day, Tate St Ives presents Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired By Her Writings. Over 70 artists will have their work shown in an exploration of “feminist perspectives on landscape, domesticity, and identity in modern and contemporary art”.
10 February – 29 April 2018 at Tate St Ives
The Barbican will open Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins in February. Featuring Pieter Hugo, Mary Ellen Mark and Paz Errazruiz, to name a few, the show aims to lift the lid on “the outsider as an agent of change”. From trans-people, cross-dressers, hustlers, bikers, circus performers, tearaways, gang members, and more, Another Kind of Life celebrates life “on the margins”.
28 February – 27 May 2018 at London’s Barbican
Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud come together at the Tate Britain for All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life. The show, opening in February, will celebrate the “painters in Britain who stove to represent human figures, their relationships and surroundings in the most intimate of ways”. Freud and Bacon’s contemporaries, Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego will also feature, and a portrait (below) that Freud made of Bacon, titled “Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud” (1964), will be shown in public for the first time since 1965.
28 February – 27 August 2018 at Tate Britain
Science and art combine across four immersive installations that will pair artists Martina Amati, Daria Martin, Maria McKinney, and John Walter, with scientists in an attempt to visualise ideas around the origins of our food, our sexual health, our senses, and our bodies’ limitations.
8 March – 26 August 2018 at London’s Wellcome Collection
1932 was a seminal year for Pablo Picasso, one in which he produced an impressive amount of works. For Tate Modern’s first ever solo show of the Spanish painter, the gallery will bring over 100 paintings, sculptures, and drawings, all which will coincide with photographs and a look into his personal life during this period. With many of the works never being shown alongside one another before, highlights include three paintings of his lover Marie-Thérèse which he created over just five days.
8 March – 9 September at London’s Tate Modern
Known as “a pioneer of performance and video”, Joan Jonas has been creating groundbreaking artworks for five decades. This March, London’s Tate Modern will open the largest exhibition of her work ever held in the UK, with pieces ranging from the late 1960s and exploring themes such as climate change and extinction. Jonas will also take part in the annual BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights programme, alongside Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey, and more (from 16 – 25 March).
14 March – 5 August at London’s Tate Modern
Georgia O’Keeffe, Imogen Cunningham, and Dennis Hopper will exhibit in Ashmolean’s America’s Cool Modernism from March. Described as showcasing “significant examples of American art produced during the roaring 1920s and the depression-era 1930s”, for some works, it will be their first time landing on UK soil.
23 March – 22 July 2018 at Oxford’s Ashmolean
Jenny Saville heads to Edinburgh for the third installment of NOW, with works that will span 25 years of her career, dating from 1992 to 2017. The exhibition claims it “will demonstrate the scale and ambition of the artist’s practice, and her singular and dynamic approach to composition, gesture, materials, and subject matter”.
24 March – 16 September 2018 at National Galleries Scotland
2018 brings a second major joint exhibition for Egon Schiele (for his first, see further down), this time with photographer Francesca Woodman. Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/Francesca Woodman explores motion in drawing and photography and will celebrate both artists’ talent for nude portraits and self-portraits.
24 May – 23 September 2018 at Tate Liverpool
Famed for their “large-scale environmental works of art that intervene in the natural world and urban surroundings by altering both the physical form and visual appearance of sites”, Christo and Jeanne-Claude will present their first exhibition at a public institution since 1979.
June – September 2018 at London’s Serpentine Gallery
Frida Kahlo’s sartorial choices are often as admired as her incredible paintings. A cross-section of her relationship with her western and her Mexican heritage, Kahlo’s wardrobe was jammed with hand-painted corsets, luxurious – at times, absurd – piece of jewellery, and stunning saris. Accessories often included her pet eagle, a flower headdress, a cigarette, and her signature eyebrows. The show will also include a focus on her dressing room at the famous house she shared with Diego Rivera – whom she married twice in her lifetime – and will be the first time such personal artifacts and items have been exhibited outside of Mexico.
16 June 2018 – 4 November 2018 at London’s V&A
Michael Jackson is one of the most influential – albeit controversial – figures of the contemporary music world, a fact that will be celebrated at the National Portrait Gallery’s Michael Jackson: On The Wall show in the middle of the year. The exhibition will survey the late pop star’s legacy and how it inspired artists from Andy Warhol to Kehinde Wiley and David LaChapelle. On The Wall is set to coincide with what would have been the icon’s 60th birthday.
28 June – 21 October 2018 at London’s National Portrait Gallery
Titled after the 1789 poem by German poet Friedrich Schiller which asks, “Beautiful world, where are you?”, tenth installment of Liverpool’s biennial will launch in July. While there aren’t many details on artists involved (a little bit here), we’re told there will be more updates soon.
14 July – 28 October 2018 in Liverpool
Lee Miller and Man Ray, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, Mary Reynolds and Marcel Duchamp; these are some of the most influential couples in history. Described as an exhibition exploring “the creative output resulting from the exclusive or polyamorous relationships between artist couples in the first half of the 20th Century”, Modern Couples: Art Intimacy and the Avant-garde will open its doors at London’s Barbican in October. Featuring 40 “principle” artist couples, the interdisciplinary show will spotlight painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, designers, poets, writers, musicians, dancers and performers, and how their relationships helped with “experimentation, creation, and subversion of the status quo”.
10 October 2018 – 27 January 2019 at London’s Barbican
1918 was a seminal year in Austria; it signalled the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as a fleeting creative explosion in the country when artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele both passed away. A century on, the “friendly rivals” (Schiele was also Klimt’s protégé) will be celebrated in a joint show at London’s Royal Academy. Titled Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna, it will explore their influence on one another and bring their most important works on paper into focus.
4 November 2018 – 3 February 2019 at London’s Royal Academy
What did we miss? Tell us below, or email Arts & Culture Editor Ashleigh Kane on firstname.lastname@example.org