Sunday, March 24, 2013

Art Exhibitions in London: March - May 2013

I've decided to create a monthly blog post about Exhibitions - ones on now and ones coming up - broadly covering a three month period.

My posts which review exhibitions I see will continue to be posted in "Who's made a mark this week" and will also be referenced in this post as well.

One of the advantages is that it also allows me to signal in advance those exhibitions which have events, talks and demonstrations.  While they normally happen with the major galleries events at art society exhibitions are a bit more ad hoc.

George Catlin - American Indian Portraits the entrance into a Facsimile of
Catlin's Gallery of Portraits of North American Indians
at the Egyptian Gallery in Piccadilly
Exhibitions highlighted will include:
  • major exhibitions in major art galleries and museums in LONDON.  (Plus other places if I have the time).  The reason I highlight these is because they very often have a good micro-site about the exhibition which enables people to understand more about the subject of the exhibition even if they can't get to see it
  • major art competition exhibitions - typically those which are listed in my page on Major UK Art Competitions in 2013
  • major art society exhibitions - again on a global basis - as and when I become aware of them!  Typically these are national level art societies rather than local ones.  For the UK, these include Major UK Art Society Exhibitions in 2013
ARTISTS & ART BLOGGERS (Solo or Group Exhibitions)
Major Art Galleries and Museums in the UK

I should explain that "the bug" and then "the cough" followed by post viral fatigue has severely limited exhibition visiting since the beginning of the year.  I was fine so long as I didn't move from home! I'm now trying to catch up on all those I missed when they opened.

Courtauld Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Two major exhibitions coming up later in the year which I will definitely want to see - A Crisis of Brilliance and Whistler in London

National Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Royal Academy of Arts
Whoopee!  I've just noticed what's the major exhibition this Autumn - see Australia!  I get to see an Arthur Streeton!

Saatchi Gallery

Tate Britain
  • Until 12 May 2013 - Schwitters in Britain - I'm umming and erring on this one between thinking I ought to go and see it and not finding it very appealing based on what I've seen to date. 
  • Until 2 June 2013 Looking at the View - a thematic display which looks at continuities in the way artists have framed our vision of the landscape over the last 300 years
  • Opens 25 March 2013 Basic Design - about the history and development of Basic Design teaching in art school education.
The big one later this year is Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life 26 June – 20 October 2013. I predict major crowds for this one - they'll be coming in from all over the UK!

Tate Modern

Wallace Collection

Art Society Exhibitions
Sample artwork from the exhibition - as exhibited on the Bankside Gallery website

Bankside Gallery (Open daily 11am - 6pm during exhibitions)

Mall Galleries (10:00 to 17:00 daily)

Central Hall, Westminster
Red Poppies by Ann Swan SBA
RHS Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls, Victoria


  1. Hi Katherine,
    Referencing your earlier post from February 12 2013
    'How can you tell when it's a vanity gallery?'

    They may offer you a link to their website in return to a link to theirs (it's what Saatchi did!)

    Isn't Saatchi a vanity gallery? Because I took from that post you are opposed to them.
    Yet you feature them here.
    Have I misunderstood?

  2. The Saatchi Gallery is a very complex animal.

    The reason the Saatchi Gallery website got traction was because it offered a space to emerging artists to display its work. As a result it got a lot of links from a lot of people and as we know links are what propel a site into high profile. However that strategy was broadly in line with what Charles Saatchi has done in the past - which is buy artwork from final show exhibitions and then display it in his old gallery. In that sense he's a bit like an old fashioned patron.

    One might describe the Saatchi Gallery as the biggest Vanity Gallery in existence - but it's not one which works in the same way as others. It primarily provides him Charles Saatchi with space to exhibit his collection - which otherwise sits in warehouses which have unfortunately caught fire in the past.

    However on the back of that it also manages to attract artwork from public and private collections from all over the world - and, according to some, the exhibitions are good - even if they're not ones I particularly want to see. According to the Art Newspaper's annual survey these exhibitions get a lot of visitors - but I'm always left with a feeling there's another bit of wizardry associated with those numbers.

    The one thing I am very clear about is that there is absolutely no way that the public purse should ever have to fund the costs of the Gallery which Charles Saatchi would now like us to take off his hands.

    He can go the same way as all other owners of heritage and apply to the Treasury and the National Trust to gift his asset wealth to the nation on his death in return for a deal on inheritance tax.

    In the meantime as he chose to purchase and refurbish the Saatchi Gallery, he can keep running it. As somebody who is very conversant with the costs of running large buildings, my guess is that it is very probably rather expensive to run. The capital costs of a gallery of that sort pale into insignificance alongside the revenue required to run it - and just because (I surmise) he made the big mistake of NOT getting a proper costing of running costs, this is not a good reason for the public purse to have pick up that particular mistake.

    Particularly in the current context of organisations like the Arts Council and local councils which are cutting their financial support for publicly funded Art in the UK.

    Finish of rant on the topic of the Saatchi Gallery!


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