This summer London has played host to an array of interesting exhibitions. As many galleries now prepare to open new exhibitions for the autumn season there are several offerings well worth seeing as their closing dates approach.
L.S. Lowry, Ancoats Hospital Outpatients’ Hall 1952, The Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester
© The estate of L.S. Lowry All rights reserved
Definitely not to be missed is Tate Britain’s summer blockbuster exhibition Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life. Displaying a collection of Lowry’s urban landscapes which record 20th century British experiences, the exhibition unites the artist’s essentially British subject matter with international stylistic influences. Inspired by French paintings from the previous century, he represents the rapidly modernising world around him. In doing so national and personal incentives delightfully collide as he preserves otherwise fleeting moments of our history. Paying further homage to great British painters of the 20th century is Dulwich Picture Gallery’s A Crisis of Brilliance. Works by artists including Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and David Bomberg will be on display until 22nd September.
British artists are not the only subject of exhibitions in London this month as Camden Arts Centre’s display of the contemporary Swedish artist Jockum Nordström demonstrates. All I have Learned and Forgotten Again presents drawings, collages and sculptures which seem to yearn for the magic of childhood naivety through the creation of mystical and imagined worlds. It closes at the end of the month on 29th September.
Jockum Nordström, Loppspel / Tiddlywinks © the artist. Collection Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
The BP Portrait Award exhibition also enters its final days at the National Portrait Gallery as it prepares to close on 15th September. The exhibition this year features the work of four of our alumni: Carl Randall, David Caldwell, Fred Clark and Clara Drummond, in addition to one of our tutors, Julie Held, who exhibits a portrait of her father. You can read more about the Portrait Award and The Prince’s Drawing School here.
Also worth mentioning, and sure to be a must see, is this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition. Jerwood Visual Arts will exhibit between 50 and 70 shortlisted works from over 2,000 entries. Among them are pieces by Kristian Fletcher and Kathryn Maple, two of our 2012-13 Drawing Year students, Drawing Year alumnus (Coll McDonnell) and our tutor Jeanette Barnes. Make sure you see it during its relatively short run from 11th September – 27th October.
Staying open for a little longer is The National Gallery’s display of contemporary works by Michael Landy, who has visited The Prince’s Drawing School as a guest tutor and lecturer on our Drawing Year programme. His stint as artist in residence at The National Gallery has brought him much acclaim for his large scale kinetic sculptures which emphasise the brutality of saints’ martyrdoms through their interactive features. However what is often forgotten are his drawings and collages which accompany these pieces. The collages combine fragments of paintings of saints from The National Gallery with the artist’s own observational drawings of pieces of machinery. The resulting works amalgamate saintly bodies and robot-like technology. To many they may simply provide an insight into the artist’s process of realising his grand installations but with closer attention they astound in their own right. Saints Alive will be showing at The National Gallery until 24th November.
Michael Landy at work © Michael Landy, courtesy of the Thomas Dane Gallery London
Also closing in November is Paper at the Saatchi Gallery. This exhibition prompts the viewer to reconsider the artist’s use of this time honoured medium. Miler Lagos, for instance, creates log-like sculptures made entirely from piled and carved newspaper. The medium of paper is not entirely removed from its expected usage however as lithographs by Lisa Wilkens, ink drawings by Jon Kleckner and paintings by Ry Fryan complement this reconsideration of paper as a sculptural material. Paper will be showing until the 3rd November.
Finally, for those based outside of London this month, Peter Doig’s exhibition at The National Gallery of Scotland presents recent works created by the artist over the last decade. Many of these richly coloured paintings were created abroad in Trinidad, as alluded to in the exhibition title No Foreign Lands. Tate Liverpool’s Chagall exhibition, the first UK exhibition of the artist’s work in 15 years, is also reaching the end of its run as it prepares to close on 6th October.
Peter Doig, Pelican (Stag) © the artist
So many exhibitions coming to an end only signals a forthcoming new programme of art for the autumn season. More on this to follow shortly…