It’s time to indulge in some art in 2016! Start off the new year energized by wonderful exhibitions. Check out our recommendations for exhibitions to visit this January for a little bit of inspiration!
Beers London is proud to present Gilded Chaos, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with the London-based Benjamin Murphy. Murphy will spend two weeks prior to the exhibition, transforming the entire gallery space with his trademark aesthetic and techniques to create a totally immersive sensory experience. Murphy has created his most labour intensive and detailed body of work especially for Beers gallery. This includes a gallery-wide installation and two-dimensional, ‘drawings’ that push the boundaries of both scale and subject matter.
Murphy is known primarily for his graphic, time-consuming installations created entirely out of black electrical tape, resulting in a stark recognisable aesthetic. This is borrowed from German expressionism, which in turn creates a subject matter that takes inspiration from Romantic literature and the history of the vanitas in art.
Showing at BEERS London until 15 February 2016
At the peak of his powers, Liotard was commissioned to paint portraits of members of the British, French and Austrian royal families. A master of self-publicity, he was known as ‘the Turk’ — so-called for his adoption of Oriental costume following an extended voyage to the Near East, where he painted expatriate residents as well as scenes of everyday life in the Ottoman Empire.
This is the first retrospective exhibition in the UK to be devoted to Liotard, bringing together over 70 rarely-seen works. Covering the artist’s time in Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Constantinople and London – where he exhibited work at the Royal Academy – this exhibition is a long-overdue celebration of an exceptional artist.
Showing at the Royal Academy of Art until 31 January 2016
Artist Mark Fairnington has spent the last fifteen years taking inspiration from visits to these unseen spaces, making paintings that reflect upon the things he has discovered.
Working with collections at the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Collection and the Horniman Museum and Gardens, he has portrayed large-scale mounted insects the size of humans, birds of paradise specimens, panoramic views of specimens in stores and life-sized prize-winning bulls.
This exhibition is about the strange and the unexpected, it presents paintings made by the artist alongside some previously un-exhibited material from the Horniman’s collections.
Showing at Horniman Museum and Gardens until 24 January 2015
On display will be the whole range of impressive and innovative works spanning Gear’s long and productive career. The exhibition will trace his influence through his association with CoBrA in the 1940s, the radical monochrome abstractions of the 1950s, to the exuberance of his mature style from the 1960s to his death in 1997.
A new book written by Andrew Lambirth will accompany the show, which will place Gear’s work in the international context. William Gear (1915-1997): The Painter that Britain forgot is a partnership with the Towner in Eastbourne, where Gear was curator from 1958 to 1964 and where it will be on display earlier in the summer.
Showing at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until 14 February 2016
Coinciding with the centenary of Roland Barthes’ birth, Castlefield Gallery’s annual Head to Head exhibition sees artist Magnus Quaife re-examining the French philosopher and literary theorist’s lasting influence. As a variation on an exhibition format which has previously brought together living artists at different stages in their career, this posthumous pairing has Quaife exploring lesser-known fragments of Barthes’ legacy.
Showing at Castlefield Gallery until 31 January 2016
In 21st century Britain, ‘empire’ is highly provocative. Its histories of war, conquest and slavery are difficult and painful to address but its legacy is everywhere and affects us all. Artist and Empire will bring together extraordinary and unexpected works to explore how artists from Britain and around the world have responded to the dramas, tragedies and experiences of the Empire.
Showing at Tate Britain until 10 April 2016
Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of work by British artist Fiona Banner. Ikon represents key early projects alongside recent and unseen works that span a period of 25 years.
Banner came to prominence in the 1990s with her wordscapes, written transcriptions of iconic films retold in her own words. THE NAM (1997) is a 1,000 page book that details, scene-by-scene, six Vietnam War films — including Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now — in such a way that they blur into each other. The outcome is, in the artist’s words, the literary equivalent of a “gutting 11 hour supermovie”.
Showing at Ikon Gallery until 17 January 2016
Developed in collaboration with Viola, Kira Perov, Executive Director, Bill Viola Studio and Clare Lilley, Director of Programme, YSP, it is the most extensive exhibition in the UK by the artist for over 10 years. The immersive exhibition in YSP’s Chapel and Underground Gallery features installations from the last 20 years of Viola’s career and premieres a new work, The Trial.
Showing at Yorkshire Sculpture Park until 10 April 2016
Big Bang Data explores the issues surrounding the datafication of our world through the work of artists, designers, journalists and visionaries. As the data explosion accelerates, we ask if we really understand our relationship with data, and explore the meaning and implications of data for our future.
Showing at the Somerset House until 28 February 2016
This exhibition brings together some of Calder’s most important creations from museums around the world, showing how motion, performance and even theatrics helped to establish Calder as one of modernism’s key figures.
Showing at the Tate Modern until 3 April 2016