This year sees a number of museums and galleries in the UK and further afield stage exhibitions dedicated to Modern British artists. Highlights include: The Scottish Colourist Series: S. J. Peploe at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (until 26 June); two simultaneous exhibitions on Lynn Chadwick at the Blackwell Arts and Crafts House in Windermere and Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (28 March – 15 June); Eduardo Paolozzi at Pallant House in Chichester (6 July – 13 October); Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1900-23 at Dulwich Picture Gallery (23 July – 22 September); and Francis Bacon/Henry Moore at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (12 September 2013 – 5 January 2014).
Doubtless, the Tate’s Lowry: The Painting of Modern Life (25 June – 20 October) will prove to be one of this summer’s blockbuster exhibitions; the painter of everyday spaces and their inhabitants is one of Britain’s best-loved artists. This show will offer those who’ve not yet visited the excellent Lowry Museum in Salford – where the artist spent over forty years of his life – an opportunity to discover both the scale and detail of his industrial landscapes. Additionally, curators T. J. Clark and Anne M. Wagner will use the exhibition to reassess how Lowry’s work relates to that of other artists, in particular the French Impressionists. Also at Tate Britain, Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume (5 June – 1 September) explores the parallels between the oeuvres of these important British artists. In some ways, Hume can be seen as Caulfield’s natural successor, the latter’s probing of painterly possibilities, affiliations with Pop and quotidian focus being revived and revised in the former’s practice. Marco Livingstone’s major monograph on Caulfield’s paintings seeks, in part, to explain their powerful effect on subsequent generations.
In line with the broader art historiographical trend toward the re-contextualization of categories that, until recently, were tethered almost exclusively to Western European and North American art works, several major British institutions will engage this year with so-called ‘alternative’ modernisms. Tate Modern, for instance, is due to present the first UK exhibition of Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair (17 April – 20 October). Featuring over 100 of Choucair’s paintings, sculptures and objects, the show explores both the artist’s position as a pioneer of abstract art in the Middle East and her interest in themes such as science, maths and Islamic art. The gallery’s line-up for 2013 also includes major exhibitions dedicated to the Sudanese artist Ibraham El-Salahi (3 July – 22 September) and Brazilian conceptualist Mira Schendel (26 September 2013 – 19 January 2014).
There’s plenty happening outside the UK to interest fans of Modern British art, too, including: Richard Hamilton: Cut, Pasted and Printed at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (26 January – 9 June); Francis Bacon at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo (8 March – 26 May); Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture at the Norton Simon Museum in Los Angeles (26 April 2013 – 1 January 2014); and Anthony Caro at the Museo Correr in Venice (1 July – 24 November). We’ll have more information about exhibitions being held across Britain and abroad as the year progresses.
Celia Dunne, Publishing Assistant