Art Beyond London: Unmissable Exhibitions Summer 2017

Beyond London summer 2017

If you’re planning on leaving the capital this Summer, Artlyst has put together a selection of the best UK art exhibitions beyond London. From historical gems like Raphael’s Drawings at the Ashmoleon, to the history of modern ceramics at Tate St Ives, through the Fin de Siecle artworks of Alphonse Mucha and to exhibitions with a burst of colour such as Howard Hodgkin at the Hepworth, recently crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year, and Gillian Ayres at the National Museum Cardiff.  There is something to satisfy all tastes.

Howard Hodgkin The Hepworth
Howard Hodgkin The Hepworth photo Amy Stevenson

Howard Hodgkin: Painting India

Hepworth Wakefield

For an explosion of colour visit the Howard Hodgkin exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield. Hodgkin (1932 – 2017) is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest painters and has occupied a central place in contemporary art for over half a century.  Hodgkin visited India almost annually since his first trip to the country in 1964, over 50 years ago. The show is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the enduring influence of India on Hodgkin’s work. On display are more than 35 works painted over the last 50 years characterising the colour and warmth of India and capturing the artist’s sensory impressions of the country – from fierce blazing sunsets to heavy oppressive rains, landscapes and the cities he visited, and portraits of the people he befriended.

until 8 October 2017, Daily 10-5, Free

Read Sue Hubbard’s Review Here

Tony Cragg Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Tony Cragg Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Tony Cragg

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

The biggest UK exhibition to date by leading sculptor Tony Cragg. New sculptures, drawings and works drawn from nearly five decades of Cragg’s practice will survey and demonstrate the artist’s pioneering and continued mastery of materials in the Underground Gallery and open air.

In addition, take the opportunity to wander around the grounds to see sculptures across the park by James Turrell, Henry Moore, Sol LeWitt, Anthony Caro, Barbara Hepworth, Antony Gormley, Ai Weiwei and more.

There is also the opportunity to see selected works from the Arts Council Collection in the Longside Gallery as curated by Bangladeshi-born artist Rana Begum (see lead photo). Begum has established an internationally respected practice creating immaculately conceived and constructed abstract installations that challenge the distinction between two and three-dimensional practice, sculpture and painting. Begum has selected works from the Arts Council Collection by artists who share a similar viewpoint and those from different generations. Begum’s selection creates an architectural, spatial and playful experience – one that is animated through movement and changing light. Occasional Geometries runs until 29 October 2017.

Tony Cragg Until 3 September 2017, Underground Gallery, Garden Gallery and open air, 10.00–18.00 GALLERIES 10.00–17.00. Free entry Parking charges apply

Susan Hefuna The Whitworth
Susan Hefuna The Whitworth

ToGather: Susan Hefuna and No End to Enderby: Graham Eatough and Stephen Sutcliffe

The Whitworth, Manchester

As part of the Manchester International Festival The Whitworth is showing two very different exhibits. Susan Hefuna’s exhibition takes the form of a ‘mental map’ installed in several rooms. A series of palm wood structures fill the largest room with vistas over the park. They are inspired by boxes seen on the streets of Hefuna’s native Cairo and are joined by a selection of drawings, vitrines and personal objects, all on the theme of migration, separation, gathering and togetherness. The large box cage like structures are reminiscent of the grids of Sol Lewitt but to Hefuna they are more personal representing containers that are used in everyday life in Cairo – baskets, tables, chairs, surfaces.

Hefuna was born to a Catholic German mother and a Muslim Egyptian father, growing up in Egypt before moving to Germany at the age of six to begin her education.  

In another room there is a large carved screen on the wall in which the phrase CON-FESSION  can be seen, mixing a carving technique utilised in North Africa with Catholic sentiments, referencing the confession box. In a third room she appropriates the traditional German masks worn in celebrations in the days before Lent.  Hefuna also displays vitrines filled with items collected from women she encountered representing some special meaning from them. While another displays items of personal value lent by  refugees in the Manchester area. A scarf, a necklace a spatula each item has a story attached to it.

No End to Enderby, a work that blends visual art and film drama, by theatre director Graham Eatough and artist Stephen Sutcliffe, centres on two films and is inspired by Anthony Burgess’ Enderby series. The fictitious poet Enderby, Burgess’ alter ego, has been described as the writer’s greatest character. The first centres on a school trip of the future which through time travel visits Enderby in his dismal 1960s bedsit in order to show the stark reality of the poet’s life compared to his studying his poems as mere set texts.  The sets and props used in the film are displayed in an adjacent gallery.  The second film centres on an historian going back in time to the time of Shakespeare to establish whether it was actually him who wrote the famous plays.  Both films utilise Manchester locations: the Royal Exchange theatre and the old Granada Television studios. Anthony Burgess was one of Manchester’s most original minds and the film marks the author’s 100th birthday.

Susan Hefuna until  3 September. No End to Enderby until 17n September. Monday to Wednesday: 10am-5pm, Thursday: 10am-9pm, Friday to Sunday: 10am-5pm, Free


Artists and Ceramics Tate St Ives
Artists and the Ceramics Studio Tate St Ives

That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio 1920-Today

Tate St Ives, Cornwall

The nature of the ceramics studio has changed across the 20th century with a new generation of UK based artists re-examining the ideas of art and craft. This exhibition explores how ceramics have evolved over this period. Highlights include ceramics from studio potters Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, shining a spotlight on the relationship between Japan and the UK from the 1910s to 40s. Discover the Californian ‘clay revolution’ of the 1950s and 60s, showcasing sculptures from Peter Voulkos, Ken Price, Rudy Autio and Ron Nagle, alongside a new commission by contemporary British artist Jesse Wine.

Discover the work of the leading ceramic artists working in the UK during the 1970s and 80’s. Selected with artist Aaron Angell, these include artworks by Gillian Lowdnes, Richard Slee and other contemporaries of the hand-built movement, which saw the potter’s wheel cast aside. These will be shown alongside work by a number artists – including Anthea Hamilton – made over the last three years at Angell’s London-based Troy Town Art Pottery, which he describes as ‘a radical and psychedelic workshop for artists’. 

Until 3 September 2017Monday to Sunday 10.00-17.20 Price: see website

Phyllida Barlow Turner Contemporary
Phyllida Barlow Turner Contemporary

Phyllida Barlow

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Phyllida Barlow (born 1944) has been making large-scale sculptural works for 5 decades, as well as being an inspirational teacher to many young artists at the Slade School of Art.

This exhibition brings together works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, including untitled:upturnedhouse, 2  (2012) alongside other sculptures and a selection of drawings from throughout her career. One of the art world’s most esteemed international artists, the exhibition coincides with Barlow representing Britain at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Barlow is renowned for her experimental use of materials. Her use of everyday materials such as plywood, scrim, concrete and polystyrene to create seemingly precarious sculptures and installations that invade the gallery space. Resembling things from the real world – houses, awnings, stages, fences – her sculptures are playful, imperfect and unstable looking, with layered, bulky and textured surfaces. Fascinated by the urban environment, by the familiar and the overlooked, Barlow asks us to look at the world differently.  

Sat 27 May – Sun 24 Sep 2017. Free

Alphonse Mucha Walker Art Gallery
Alphonse Mucha Walker Art Gallery

Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Czech-born Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939) is recognised as one of the most prominent artists of the Art Nouveau movement, producing iconic works including Gismonda; the artist’s first poster design for the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty is a major touring exhibition from the Mucha Foundation which explores the work of the artist around the theme of beauty – the core principle underlying his artistic philosophy.Showing around 100 works primarily drawn from the Mucha Trust collection, the exhibition will include drawings, paintings, photographs and some of the artist’s celebrated poster designs, synonymous with the Art Nouveau style of the fin-de-siècle. A number of key ‘aesthetic’ and art nouveau works from National Museum Liverpool’s own collections will also feature within the exhibition.

Until 29 October 2017 £7 Adults

Richard Long Houghton Hall
Richard Long Houghton Hall

Richard Long: Earth Sky 

Houghton Hall, Norfolk

Richard Long is one of the most influential figures of conceptual and land art, part of a generation of distinguished British artists who extended the possibilities of sculpture beyond traditional materials and method. Long’s work is rooted in his deep affinity and engagement with nature, developed during solitary walks.

Long’s new pieces in the grounds of Houghton Hall use a variety of materials, including local carr stone, flint from East Anglia, trees from the Estate and Cornish slate, and accompany the permanent Long sculpture, Full Moon Circle, which was commissioned for Houghton in 2003. There are mud paintings in the colonnades and smaller-scale works in gallery spaces, as well as historic material relating to the artist’s career. The exhibition will be curated by Lorcan O’Neill, in association with the artist, and is accompanied by a specially-produced catalogue.

The show, EARTH SKY, Richard Long at Houghton runs until 26th October 2017 (selected days). It is the largest show since Long’s retrospective at the Tate in 2009, and is a unique opportunity to see new site-specific works set within the historic landscape of Houghton, alongside permanent pieces by a range of contemporary artists, including James Turrell, Zhan Wang, Jeppe Hein, Stephen Cox, Rachel Whiteread, Anya Gallaccio and Phillip King.

Read the Artlyst review Here

11am – 5pm (last admission to house 3.30pm), £18 Adult

John Minton Pallant House
John Minton Pallant House

John Minton

Pallant House, Chichester, Sussex

1 July – 1 October 2017

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Thursday: 10am – 8pm

Sunday/Bank Holidays: 11am – 5pm


A major exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of British artist John Minton (1917–1957). A charismatic and complex artist, Minton was a Bohemian figure in London during the 1940s and 50s who counted Lucian Freud and Keith Vaughan in his circle.

Exploring achievements far beyond his reputation as a leading illustrator and teacher, this exhibition spans evocative landscapes firmly rooted in the Neo-Romantic tradition, exotic subject matter inspired by international travel, figurative work including portraits of young men, book illustrations, posters and lithographs, and ambitious late work that sought a new context for history painting.

Until 1 October 2017 Tuesday-Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Thursday: 10am – 8pm, Sunday/Bank Holidays: 11am – 5pm, £11

Raphael the Drawings Ashmoleon Museum
Raphael the Drawings Ashmoleon Museum

Raphael: The Drawings

Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford

The Ashmolean’s captivating summer show brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of this Renaissance genius.

Aged only 37 when he died, Raphael’s fame in drawing had a transformative effect on European art over centuries. This exciting exhibition focuses on his extraordinary creativity, and shows how exploration and experimentation shaped his breathtakingly accomplished drawings.

The Ashmolean’s unrivalled Raphaels are joined by superb works from the Albertina and loans from other international collections including the Louvre, the Uffizi and Her Majesty the Queen. Drawings include the exquisite Head of a Muse, which broke records when auctioned at Christies in 2009, as well as the sublime Heads and Hands of two Apostles, considered to be the finest drawing Raphael ever made.

Read Edward Lucie-Smith’s review Here

Until 3 September 2017, 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, and Bank Holidays. £13.50

Harold Williamson, Spray,
Harold Williamson, Spray, 1939 © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. Photo credit: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

True to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Bringing together more than 80 paintings by an almost forgotten generation of artists, this exhibition explores the realist tradition in British art between the two World Wars. It focuses on scrupulously detailed realist painting, part of a world-wide trend at the time.

When abstract art became fashionable after the Second World War, these artists became side-lined and largely forgotten. Many artists of the period opted for a new kind of hard-edged, sharp-focussed realist painting, and found new subjects in modern life. This exhibition, showing only in Edinburgh, includes some 80 paintings, of astonishing technical accomplishment and stunning beauty, by more than fifty artists – including Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, Meredith Frampton, Laura Knight, James Cowie and Winifred Knights. Borrowed from public and private collections throughout Britain, this is a unique chance to rediscover a remarkable, but little known period in British Art.

until 29 October 2017. £10

Otto Dix Reclining Woman 1927
Otto Dix Reclining Woman 1927

Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919-1933

Tate Liverpool

The faces of Germany between the two world wars told through the eyes of painter Otto Dix (1891–1969) and photographer August Sander (1876–1964) – two artists whose works document the radical extremes of the country in this period.

Featuring more than 300 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, Portraying a Nationcombines two exhibitions: Otto Dix: The Evil Eye, which includes paintings and works on paper that explore Dix’s harshly realistic depictions of German society and brutality of war, and ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander, which presents photographs from Sander’s best known series People of the Twentieth Century, his attempt to document the German people. In painting and photography, these works from a pivotal point in the country’s history reflect both the glamour and the misery of Weimar Republic.

Read the Artlyst review Here

Until 15 October 2017. £12

Gillian Ayres National Museum Cardiff
Gillian Ayres National Museum Cardiff

Gillian Ayres

National Museum Cardiff

This major exhibition celebrates the bold and colourful work of one of Britain’s most important and internationally renowned abstract artists. Featuring major paintings from across the artist’s career, this is the largest exhibition of Ayres’s work ever seen in the UK.

In the 1950s, Ayres was a pioneer of abstract painting, making work on a vast scale. She explored colour and space by pouring, dripping and staining paint onto the canvas. She was a leading figure in a generation of British artists who were responding to the latest international developments in Paris and New York, including the work of American Abstract Expressionists.

This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to see Ayres’s greatest works from the 1950s to the 1980s. It features loans from major public collections installed alongside rarely seen paintings from the artist’s own collection. 

Until 3 September 2017. Tues – Sun & most Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 5pm. Free

Lead photo: Occasional Geometries, Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

photo by Sara Faith


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