11 Must-see Exhibitions for Summer and Autumn

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Illustrator Quentin Blake photographed at his Inside Stories exhibition

The new Tate Modern extension plus 10 other art events to enjoy in 2016

Pictured: Quentin Blake's Inside Stories exhibition comes to Cardiff from July, as part of the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations

1. The unveiling of the new Tate Modern Extension

From 17 June

Created by architects Herzog & de Meuron, the new £260 million extension at the Tate Modern will increase Tate Modern’s display space by more than half. The complete re-hang will present new international perspectives on modern and contemporary art. The existing Tate Modern building, the Boilerhouse, will be the home of new displays exploring different approaches to modern art since 1900.

Tate Modern

2. Quentin Blake: Inside Stories 

National Museum Cardiff
16 July - 20 November (Free)

A collection of work from the great illustrator, best known for his work with Roald Dahl. Now 83, Blake has co-curated this exhibition which features many never-before-seen first drafts and roughs and shows the process by which, in collaboration with Dahl and authors including David Walliams and Michael Rosen, Blake completed his final versions.

National Museum Cardiff

3. Turning to See: From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
May - 4 September (free)

An innovative exhibition of work from some of history’s most celebrated portraiture artists, curated by artist John Stezaker. From Rembrandt and Rossetti to Picasso and Bomberg, celebrated names from art history are here to see, and there’s also the chance to view fragile works on paper not normally on display.

Birmingham Museum

4. Painters' Paintings: From Van Dyck to Freud

The National Gallery
22 June - 4 September

The National Gallery owns one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings, including a significant group of pictures once owned by fellow painters: Van Dyck’s Titian, Reynolds’s Rembrandt, Matisse’s Degas, Lucian Freud’s Corot. This exhibition promises to look for the first time at these great works of art “from the point of view of their illustrious artistic provenance”.   

The National Gallery

5. Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy
13 June- 21 August (£12)

This year’s event will consist of 10 rooms of contemporary art from around the world. Work will be displayed by some of the art world’s most successful artistic duos including Heather and Ivan Morison, and brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman. Most works will be for sale, giving visitors the opportunity to own original artworks. NB: The RA is opening late on Fridays and Saturdays during the run of the Summer Exhibition, so you can visit one of the shows at night then soak up the evening ambience in the Academy Courtyard.

The Royal Academy

6. Light, time, legacy: Francis Towne's watercolours of Rome

The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
Until 14 August (free)

The English artist Francis Towne (1739-1816) was a gifted landscape painter. This free exhibition allows the visitor to experience 18th-century Rome with a formidable series of watercolours not displayed together since 1805.

The British Museum

7. The Scottish National Gallery 

25 June 25 – 2 October (free)

The exhibition examines the role of little known painter Charles François Daubigny, who has never been the subject of a major international exhibition, in supporting and developing the impressionist movement. Also here is a group of major paintings by Bridget Riley spanning over 50 years of the artist’s career (£17.95 entry).

The Scottish National Gallery

8. Augustus John

National Museum Cardiff
Until 30 September  (free)

Not to be missed when visiting the museum this year is a display of work by important Welsh modernist Augustus John, featuring painting, drawings and prints from the museum’s extensive collection.

National Museum Cardiff

9. That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio 1920-today

Tate St Ives
Until 2 October

A major showcase of an international ceramic works, spanning 100 years from St Ives in the 1920s, via Japan and LA through the 20th century, to London in the present day. The exhibition explores the rise of studio pottery in the 1910s to a number of new commissions by a young generation of UK-based artists, focusing on the changing shape of the ceramics studio over the last century. 

Tate St Ives

10. Paul Nash

Tate Britain
October 26-March 2017

Paul Nash, one of Britain’s greatest twentieth century painters, returns to the Tate for a major exhibition from October until Spring 2017.The exhibition will journey from his early symbolism through the iconic works of the First World War, the interwar period and his involvement with Surrealism and his post-war landscape series.

Tate Britain

11. Georgia O’Keeffe

Tate Modern (£17/free for members)
July 6 – October 30

A rare opportunity to see over 100 remarkable paintings by this pioneer of 20th-century art, best known for her paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls and New Mexico desert landscapes. This exhibition brings together some of her most important works, including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction.

Tate Modern

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