More Out Of London Summer Exhibitions 2021 – Artlyst Recommends

Hastings Contemporary,Out of London Exhibitions Summer 2021

Have you planned your summer staycation away from London? Artlyst has put together a selection of exhibitions throughout the country to satisfy your cultural cravings. 

South / South East

Liliane Tomasko and Sean Scully - Newlands House Exhibition
Liliane Tomasko and Sean Scully – Newlands House Exhibition

From The Real: Liliane Tomasko and Sean Scully

Newlands House Gallery, Petworth, West Sussex

24 July – 10 October 2021

An exhibition of two shows in one. Presenting husband and wife side by side, audiences will have the opportunity to see the work through the eyes of the other, comparing and contrasting the practices of these two art world heavyweights. Both dealing with the idea of Abstraction, each has developed a unique language and voice in their art.


Fifth Folkestone Triennial
Rana Begum, Fifth Folkestone Triennial

Folkestone Triennial

22 July – 2 November 2021

The fifth edition of Creative Folkestone Triennial presents around 27 newly commissioned site-specific artworks by internationally acclaimed artists, inviting you to explore the town and its urban tales.

Curated for the third time by Lewis Biggs, the 2020 Triennial, entitled The Plot, invites visitors to consider urban myths and their relation to verifiable realities: the gap between the story and the actuality. Artists include Assemble, Bill Woodrow, Bob and Roberta Smith, Gilbert & George, Rana Begum, Richard Deacon and Shezad Dawood.


John Nash,Towner Eastbourne
John Nash,Towner Eastbourne

John Nash: The Landscape of Love and Solace
Towner Eastbourne, Eastbourne
18 May – 26 September 2021

Towner Eastbourne presents the most comprehensive major exhibition of work in over 50 years by John Nash, one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the 20th century. In a career spanning more than seven decades, Nash produced work across a range of mediums, from iconic oil paintings, now housed in some of Britain’s most important collections, to accomplished wood engravings, line-drawings, lithographs and watercolours.

Also on show is John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea

William Roberts, Seaside Modern, Hastings Contemporary
William Roberts, Seaside Modern, Hastings Contemporary

Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach.

Hastings Contemporary

27 May 2021 – 26 September 2021

Featuring paintings, photographs, posters and more, dating from 1920 to 1970, Seaside Modern will explore the relationship between artists and the seaside. While some artists, such as LS Lowry and William Roberts, depicted the people who thronged the beaches, others, like Paul Nash and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, explored the coastal landscape itself. Poster designers enticed holidaymakers to the coast with images of glamorous young people in stylish swimwear, as the seaside became both popular and fashionable. Meanwhile, the working life of the quay and the harbour were depicted by artists including Prunella Clough and John Minton.

Social history, artistic relationships, and the importance of the beach in the development of Modern British art come together in a celebratory show.

Ben Nicholson: From the Studio

Pallant House Gallery Chichester
Saturday 26 June – Sunday 24 October 2021

An intimate look at Ben Nicholson’s everyday inspirations
Throughout his career, Ben Nicholson (1894 – 1982) transformed everyday homewares into extraordinary experiments in abstract art.

Nicholson’s studio was filled with objects that inspired him. From patterned mocha-ware jugs and cut glass goblets to spanners, hammers and chisels, these ordinary personal possessions were a source of almost endless inspiration to the artist.

This exhibition brings together for the first time Nicholson’s paintings, reliefs, prints and drawings alongside his rarely seen personal possessions and studio tools. It traces how the artist’s style developed, from his early traditional tabletop still lifes to his later abstract works.

Still life was at the heart of Nicholson’s artistic practice. Through these humble items, he began to experiment with form and colour. His early works in particular owed inspiration to his father, the painter William Nicholson.

The exhibition will also trace the artistic and personal influences on Nicholson’s evolutionary still life style from the 1920s to the 1970s. It will explore his time with Winifred Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, as well as his encounters with other Modernist greats, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian.

Central Southern

Gustave Moreau: The Fables
Gustave Moreau: The Fables

Gustave Moreau: The Fables 

Waddesdon: A Rothschild House & Gardens, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire 

16 June – 17 October 2021

Gustave Moreau (1826-98) was one of the most brilliant and influential artists associated with the French Symbolist movement. This exhibition aims to display some of the most important works he ever made, unseen in public for over a century.


Samson Kambalu: New Liberia 

Modern Art Oxford

22 May – 5 September 2021

Colour, humour and intelligence set the mood for this dynamic new exhibition of works by Samson Kambalu. With vivid and playful imagination, Kambalu brings the dances, cinema and costumes of his childhood in Malawi into conversation with his life as an Oxford University professor.

Tino Sehgal, Blenheim Palace
Tino Sehgal, Blenheim Palace

Tino Sehgal at Blenheim Park & Gardens

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

9 July – 15 August 2021

A major new solo exhibition of live art by Berlin-based artist Tino Sehgal in the Great Hall, Park and Gardens of Blenheim Palace.
Tino Sehgal (b. 1976) is known for artworks composed exclusively using the human body, voice, and social interaction. The exhibition includes a number of Sehgal’s most celebrated works alongside a new, roaming choreography conceived for Blenheim’s Park and Gardens involving over fifty participants cast from the local community.

Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours

Ashmolean Museum Oxford

18 May – 20 June 2021

From sketches on the back of envelopes to grand, elaborate chalk drawings, our upcoming exhibition offers an opportunity to view our internationally-renowned collection of Pre-Raphaelite works on paper. Explore the enormous range of techniques and media used by the artists that made up this movement – as well as the intimate and often complex friendships and love affairs between them.

This Living Hand: Edmund de Waal presents Henry Moore

This Living Hand: Edmund de Waal presents Henry Moore

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens

19 May – 31 October 2021

This Living Hand, curated by acclaimed artist and author, Edmund de Waal, will explore the role of touch and the iconography of the hand in Henry Moore’s art.

Moore believed that ‘tactile experience is very important as an aesthetic dimension in sculpture’. Throughout his career he repeatedly emphasised the importance of experiencing sculpture haptically, and often returned to the hand as a subject in his sculpture and drawings, studying its expressive power and symbolic values as Auguste Rodin and Michelangelo, two of his favourite artists, had done before him.

The exhibition will present a selection of original sculptures and other objects which visitors will be invited to touch, as well as a group of drawings and sculptural works charting Moore’s interest in the hand as a subject, from Reclining Figure: Hand 1979 to the numerous two and three-dimensional studies of his own and other subjects’ hands – including the drawings and lithographs he made in 1978 of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dorothy Hodgkin, who wanted her hands to be used as her portrait.

South West

An Unholy trinity: Lucian Freud, John Minton and Adrian Ryan

Victoria Art Gallery Bath
10 July – 19 September 2021

This unique exhibition will celebrate the life of Adrian Ryan (1920-1998) and his friends John Minton (1917-1957) and Lucian Freud (1922-2011).

In the tight community of the art world of pre-war London, the three artists were colleagues and friends. As ambitious figurative painters with – at first – hopeful and promising career trajectories, all three explored a relaxed intimacy behind closed doors, especially during the war years.

After Minton’s suicide Ryan and Freud drifted apart, which may have contributed towards the significance of the lonely figure in their work. This theme will be explored in the exhibition alongside the three artists’ developing practise, from some of their earliest paintings up to Minton’s death in 1957.

Fran Bowling,Arnolfini

Frank Bowling at Arnolfini
Arnolfini, Bristol
3 July – 26 September 2021

Arnolfini present a major exhibition, Land of Many Waters, with pioneering painter Sir Frank Bowling, OBE RA, as part of their 60th anniversary year celebrations in 2021. The exhibition will feature new and recent work, as Frank continues his exploration and experimentation with the painted surface that has marked his extraordinary career.


Rachel Kneebone YSP
Rachel Kneebone, YSP


Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

10 July 2021 – 24 April 2022

In the unique environment of the 18th century Chapel, this is Rachel Kneebone’s most ambitious sculpture to date, 399 Days — named after the length of time it took to make — is over five metres in height and comprises 63 exterior panels. Monumental in scale yet exquisite in detail, it echoes historic sculptures such as Trajan’s Column, a plaster cast of which is displayed in the sculpture court of the V&A, where 399 Days was also shown from 2017-2019.

Read the review Here

Barbara Hepworth,The Hepworth Wakefield
Barbara Hepworth with the Gift plaster of Figure for Landscape and a bronze cast of Figure (Archaean) November 1964. Courtesy Bowness. Photograph: Lucien Myers

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life
The Hepworth Wakefield

21 May 2021 – 27 February 2022

In summer 2021, to mark The Hepworth Wakefield’s 10th anniversary, the gallery will organise the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.
The exhibition will present an in-depth view of the Wakefield-born artist’s life, interests, work and legacy. It will display some of Hepworth’s most celebrated sculptures including the modern abstract carving that launched her career in the 1920s and 1930s, her iconic strung sculptures of the 1940s and 1950s, and large-scale bronze and carved sculptures from later in her career. Key loans from national public collections will be shown alongside works from private collections that have not been on public display since the 1970s, and rarely seen drawings, paintings and fabric designs. It will reveal how Hepworth’s wide sphere of interests comprising music, dance, science, space exploration, politics and religion, as well as events in her personal life, influenced her work.

Contemporary artists Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan have been commissioned to create new works which will be presented within the exhibition. Each artist will explore themes and ideas that interested Hepworth and that continue to resonate with their own work. Art works by Bridget Riley from the 1960s will also be presented in dialogue with Hepworth’s work from the same period.

West Midlands

2 Tone: Lives & Legacies
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

28 May – 12 September 2021

The 2 Tone sound originated in Coventry’s thriving music scene of the 1970s and the name derives from the legendary 2 Tone record label founded in 1979 by Jerry Dammers of The Specials, referencing a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Britain at that time.

The exhibition will explore the formation of the record label and examine its philosophy, political and social message, design and impact on the music charts of the day. It highlights the bands that were part of the label, focussing on The Specials, The Selecter and other ska-influenced bands such as Madness, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers.

It will look at 2 Tone’s continuing influence on music, fashion, politics and culture. It will include interviews and quotes from original band members and 3rd wave bands from around the world, famous fans and 2 Tone fanatics. It will also bring the story up to date – with band members touring nationally and internationally.

The exhibition will feature fashion items and memorabilia, including the iconic 2 Tone suit, Roddy Radiation’s pork pie hat, Fred Perry polo shirt and the Harrington jacket.

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum will be hosting the 2021 Turner Prize exhibition 29 September 2021 – 12 January 2022

East Anglia

Tony Cragg
Tony Cragg, Houghton Hall

Tony Cragg

Houghton Hall

19 May – 26 September 2021

Major works by the celebrated British sculptor Tony Cragg will go on show in the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall in Norfolk. The exhibition, curated by the artist himself, will include large-scale bronze and steel sculptures sited in the gardens and grounds, and smaller pieces shown in the State rooms and gallery spaces of the house. Several new works have been made specifically for the exhibition.

Lake District

Mark Woods, Cross Lane Projects
Mark Woods, Cross Lane Projects

Mark Woods: Absorption,

Cross Lane Projects, Kendal 

24 July 2021 – 18 September 2021

Cross Lane Projects in Kendal reopens this Summer with an exhibition by Mark Woods. Curated by Vanya Balogh, the exhibition features objects, vignettes & photographs of elaborate artefacts housed in a purposely designed environment that aims to enhance viewers’ disorientation and surprise.

Visitors are invited to peer through small openings to view Wood’s evocative work. Blurring the boundaries between fine art, fetish objects, and items from a cabinet of curiosities, Woods’ art compels viewers to confront their inner feelings and desires.


North West

Lucian Freud Tate Liverpool
Lucian Freud, Tate Liverpool

Lucian Freud: Real Lives

Tate Liverpool

24 July 2021 – 16 January 2022

Lucian Freud’s portraits are an intensely personal record of the time spent with those who he knew best. The artist had the masterful ability to capture the mood and inner essence of his sitters. Visitors to this exhibition will see paintings, etchings and photographs featuring the artist’s most recognised sitters including his first wife Kitty Garman, his friend and studio assistant David Dawson and performance artist Leigh Bowery.


North East

Girl in Blue, 1925, Dod Procter, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK © Courtesy of the Proctor Estate Bridgeman Images Women Artists
Girl in Blue, 1925, Dod Procter, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK © Courtesy of the Proctor Estate Bridgeman Images Women Artists

Challenging Convention 

The Laing Art Gallery,


17 May – 21 August 2021

Before the 20th century, the entire canon of western art was dominated by male artists. True, there had been celebrated female painters, such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and Rosa Bonheur, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that women began to enjoy comparable success with their male counterparts.

The roots of this lay in the Victorian era, when those born, raised and educated in the later decades of the 1800s were able to seize upon the huge changes in society, occurring during a time of burgeoning modernism, transformation and increasing emancipation.

Here in Britain, four female artists exemplified this time of flux against that backdrop of radical change, with their lives and work reflecting the almost constant struggle to challenge the conventions imposed upon them – they were Vanessa Bell, Laura Knight, Gwen John and Dod Procter.

The Laing Art Gallery’s major new exhibition of more than 60 works, Challenging Convention (opening, Government advice allowing, 17 May – 21 August 2021), charts how they made a significant impact on the profile of women artists within traditional institutions and in the public eye.


Archie Brennan Tapestry Parcel
Archie Brennan, Tapestry Parcel 1974, designed and woven by Archie Brennan ©National Museums Scotland

Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop!
Dovecot Studios

26 April – 30 August 2021
Pop artist, weaver, and former Mr Scotland, Archie Brennan changed the course of modern weaving and is considered one of the greatest unrecognised pop artists of the twentieth century. Why unrecognised? Most likely because his medium of choice was tapestry.

Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop! tells the story of Edinburgh native Archie Brennan (1931-2019) in the first major exhibition of his work. Bringing together over 80 tapestries as well as archive material, this is a chance to delve into the world of a master of modern tapestry.

Sharp, witty, and immensely talented, Brennan began his 60-year weaving career at Dovecot and was an innovator and iconoclast who inspired weavers all over the world from Papua New Guinea to Australia. A charismatic character, he dedicated his life to teaching and his influence on weaving can still be felt to this day. Brennan’s contribution to modern art has not been recognised, until now.

Read Clare Henry’s Review Here

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture
V&A Dundee

1 May 2021 – 9 January 2022

the first major exhibition exploring the relationship between club culture and design from the 1960s to today.

Delving into iconic clubs in New York, Paris, Florence, Manchester, London, Beirut, Berlin – and towns and cities across Scotland – the exhibition uncovers the progressive and subversive history of nightclub design, and its far-reaching influence on popular culture.

As spaces for adventure and escape, nightclubs have always encouraged experimental and radical design – from Studio 54 to the Haçienda. Discover how architecture, art, fashion, graphics, lighting, performance and sound all come together to create an immersive sensory experience where design, music and technology meet on the dancefloor.

Michael Armitage, British Art Show 9
Michael Armitage, Ewaso Niro, 2016-17

The British Art Show 9 – Touring Exhibition

Aberdeen Art Gallery

10 July -10 October 2021

British Art Show 9 takes a critical look at art produced in Britain, from 2015 up to the present moment, a period that begins with Britain voting to leave the European Union and closes with the still-unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition was shaped after meeting with over 230 artists in 23 cities in the UK and beyond. Each of the four exhibitions will also adapt to local contexts. In Aberdeen, the exhibition focuses on the effort to develop alternative systems for ethical cohabitation in the world.

Responding to this complex time, the 47 artists in BAS9 look at how we live with and give voice to difference, while also extending our understanding of identity to beyond the human. Artists include Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Oliver Beer, Helen Cammock, Cooking Sections, Sean Edwards, Anne Hardy, Andy Holden, Oscar Murillo, Florence Peake, Heather Phillipson.

After Aberdeen, the exhibition will tour to Southampton, Manchester and Plymouth.



Roger Cecil, Y Gaer Museum
Roger Cecil, Y Gaer Museum


Roger Cecil: A Secret Artist
y Gaer Museum, Art Gallery & Library, Brecon, Powys

3 July – 31 October 2021

Brecon’s newly redeveloped museum, y Gaer hosts a major exhibition of the Welsh artist Roger Cecil who died in 2015.

Some 70 paintings and drawings are on show, ranging from postcard-sized to six feet high, most of them never seen publicly before. The retrospective looks back over Roger Cecil’s career from his first experiments after leaving art college in 1963 to his final works.

During his lifetime Roger Cecil’s work was little-known except by insightful collectors and fellow painters, but he is widely recognised now as one of the most remarkable artists Wales has produced.


Lead photo ©Artlyst 2021