Whilst we’ve all adapted over the last few months to consuming culture from the comfort of our sofas, there's no doubt we've been missing the real thing. As galleries and museums across London begin to reopen their doors, revealing the blockbuster exhibitions they had to put on hold, we've chosen some of our must-see shows for the summer.
Equally, if it's a summer staycation that's taking you out and about then be sure to check out our interactive map of local Affordable Art Fair galleries that might be closer than you think. As with all small independent businesses, our galleries are doing their best to get back to the 'new normal' and they provide an excellent way of dipping your toe back into the art world, either by appointment or during opening hours.
As always, remember to keep yourself and others around you safe by following the new regulations in place, whether you're visiting one of our recommendations below or an Affordable Art Fair gallery, and always plan your visit in advance.
FOR THE TRADITIONALISTS AT HEART
Titian: Love, Desire, Death
National Gallery | On Until January 2021
First up we have Titian at the National Gallery, which opened for just one day before lockdown but has now reopened to the public to give you a second chance to view six Titian masterpieces that haven’t been viewed together for the first time in 300 years! To discover painting created by the Venetian Master, make sure you book your ticket and timeslot in advance online.
Gauguin and the Impressionists
Royal Academy | On Until October 18
Or how about heading to the RA to begin your coming back to culture with a career-spanning display of Gauguin’s work. This exhibition expands to reveal treasures by the likes of renowned impressionists such as Manet, Monet, Degas and Renoir, many on display for the first time in the UK. You’re bound to stumble upon a work you’ll want to stare at for hours!
Until then, why not have a browse of our impressionist inspired collection of artworks online.
FOR THE PROGRESSIVE POP PUNK IN US ALL
Tate Modern | On Until November 15
If you want something more avant-guarde head to the Tate Modern where you can expect to see Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe screen print series and his unforgettable Campbell’s Soup Cans, alongside a large proportion of prints dedicated to his lesser known portraits of Trans Women and Drag Queens. All Tate exhibitions are free for members, but you’ll still need to reserve your time slot in advance, as this blockbuster is definitely proving popular!
But if you can’t wait until then, Warhol has influenced many of our affordable rostra of artists so pop to it and peruse our selection of pop art.
Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
Barbican Centre | On Until August 23
And then you definitely must stop by the Barbican for this timely display of photography which takes us though a story of how masculinity has been depicted since the 1960s up to the present day, from social constructions to performative identities. But you’ll have to be quick because the exhibit is closing August 23.
Whilst you’re at the Barbican you simply must pay a visit to The Curve gallery to see Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory, a brand new commission of 40 large scale chalk, pastel and charcoal drawings on canvas. Each work depicts a fragment from an ancient myth imagined by Ojih Odutola. The work explores themes of power dynamics, love as transgression and the intersection between history, identity and storytelling. This exhibit is free, but they are encouraging audiences to book ahead to helpfully maintain a safe flow of visitors through the day.
FOR THE NATURE CRAVERS
Among the Trees
Hayward Gallery | Reopening August 1
For a welcome escape from city life and well needed escape many of us have been craving look no further than Hayward Gallery’s Among the Trees. Find out how artists such as Tacita Dean and Peter Doig have explored our relationship with woodlands and forests through sculpture, painting, installation and photography, and see how the wood and the trees have helped shape civilisation.
If you fancy bringing some foliage into your home, we’ve got the collection of art just for you – browse away!
Derek Jarman: My Garden’s boundaries are the horizon
The Garden Museum | On Until September 20
Not forgetting the humble English Garden that has got many people through this period of isolation, you simply must check out The Garden Museum’s new exhibit. Discover the role of the garden in the life and work of Turner Prize nominated artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman as you explore art and film alongside personal artefacts borrowed from inside his cottage in Dungeness. The exhibition is the first to focus on Jarman’s love of gardening and is available on a timed ticket basis, so check The Garden Museum website for more details.
For all the latest updates on museum and gallery reopenings check out the Art Fund’s website here.
Looking to keep it local?
If it's a cultural fix a little closer to home that you're after then search your local area to find Affordable Art Fair marketplace galleries close by and support them by shopping small this summer.
We've created an interactive map of our marketplace galleries to help you find those businesses in your area, or en route to your summer holiday destination, as they reopen in the 'new normal'. As always, contact the galleries directly in advance regarding opening dates, times, or by appointment viewings, and if you can't make it along don't forget you can shop their work online.
Header Image: © National Gallery, London
Images top to bottom:
Titian, Titian (Italian, 1488-1576), Rape of Europa, 1562. Oil on canvas, 178 x 205 cm (70 1/16 x 80 11/16 in.) © Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.
Warhol installation view 12, Installation views © Tate photography, Andrew Dunkley.
Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987), Self Portrait 1986, Tate © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London.
Masculinities : Liberation through Photography Installation view, Barbican Art Gallery, 13 July 2020 – 23 August 2020 ©Tristan Fewings / Getty Images
Yto Barrada, Terrain Vague - Tanger (Vacant Lot - Tangier), 2001, Chromogenic print, 60 x 60 cm, © Yto Barrada 2020, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris.
Jennifer Steinkamp, Blind Eye, 1, 2018, Video Installation, 2.77 minutes © the artist 2020 Courtesy greengrassi, London, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Photo by Jennifer Steinkamp.