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From David Hockney to Paula Rego – the art exhibitions to see when art galleries and museums reopen

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The Independent
The Independent

As lockdown restrictions ease around the UK and Ireland, a number of public attractions, including galleries and museums, will be permitted to reopen.

From Monday 12 April, commercial galleries in England will open their doors once again, with public galleries and museums set to reopen on 17 May.

For hopeful art fans everywhere, here are some of the exhibitions to look out for.

The Last Bohemian: Augustus John

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, “Coming soon” – 30 August 2021

When government restrictions lift, National Museums Liverpool will launch a brand-new exhibition, The Last Bohemian: Augustus John (1878-1961), which will showcase around 40 works by the controversial portrait artist.

Charles H Mackie: Colour and Light

City Art Centre, Edinburgh, 15 May – 10 October 2021

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are easing a little earlier than in England. In this retrospective of the work of painter and printmaker Charles Hodge Mackie (1862-1920), visitors will see how he embraced a more international outlook to many of his peers, drawing inspiration from as far afield as Japan. His use of various mediums was equally wide-ranging, and comprised everything from block-printing to book design, sculpture and murals. The exhibition – the most comprehensive display of Mackie’s work in more than a century – brings together 50 pieces from both public and private collections.

Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty

London Barbican, 17 May-22 August

The vivid and fantastical works of French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) will be presented in this new exhibition, the first major survey of Dubuffet’s work in more than half a century. Comprising early portraits, statues and huge canvases, plus works of the artists who inspired and were inspired by him, Brutal Beauty looks set to be a provocative and profound experience.

Degas to Picasso: International Modern Masters

Pallant House, 18 May – 13 June 2021

Pallant House Gallery will present an exhibition drawing on its remarkable collection of international paintings, prints and drawing, featuring 40 internationally celebrated artists including Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Vuillard, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse and Le Corbusier. Spanning the major modern art movements of the 20th century, from French Impressionism to American Abstract Expressionism, the exhibit will also recognise the key individuals whose collections were donated to Pallant House.

Richard Hamilton

Pallant House, 18 May – 13 June 2021

The British pop artist will be celebrated in this exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints that reveal the influences of modernism and Marcel Duchamp, the latter whom Hamilton helped to popularise in the UK with his retrospective at the Tate. Included in the collection are Hers is a Lush Situation (1958), Adonis in Y-Fronts (1963), and Swingeing London ’67 (1968).

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life

Hepworth Wakefield, 21 May-27 February 2022

The celebrated sculptor will have her life, interests and legacy explored in this new exhibit, which includes her strung sculptures of the Forties and Fifties, her later bronze sculptures, and her career-launching abstract carvings. Visitors will get to see works that haven’t been displayed to the public since the Seventies, along with brand-new art commissioned by contemporary artists Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan.

David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

Royal Academy, London, 23 May-26 September

The unfailingly prolific artist continues to surprise, now with a new body of 116 works that were “painted” on an iPad before being printed onto paper. Created in spring 2020 at his home in Normandy, these new paintings chart the progression of the seasons. Curators at the Royal Academy hope they will remind visitors of the beauty and renewal of spring.

The Making of Rodin

Tate Modern, London, 17 May-31 October

The rule-breaking 20th-century sculptor is best known for his work in bronze and marble; The Making of Rodin will instead focus on the role more pliable materials such as clay and plaster played in his art. Casts in all sizes demonstrate how his process, involving repetition and fragmentation, influenced the process for those best-known works.

Paula Rego

Tate Britain, London, 7 July-24 October

In this exhibition, curators present Rego as “an uncompromising artist of extraordinary imaginative power”, who helped change the way women were represented in art. It will examine her wide range of references – from comics to historical paintings – with over 100 works on display, from pastels to collages.

Masterpieces in Miniature: The 2021 Model Art Gallery

Pallant House, 26 June – Spring 2021

This charmingly inventive exhibition will present a microcosm of British art within a model art gallery, featuring original works from more than 30 leading contemporary artists. These include Tacita Dean, Magdalene Odundo, Michael Armitage and John Akomfrah; the intricate new paintings range from the size of a pound coin to no bigger than 20cm. Among them is an expressive nude by Maggi Hamling, a spin painting by Damien Hirst, and a collage by Lubaina Himid.

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