Here you can find all of our recommended art exhibitions that are on in September. Below is a list of our 7 must-see art shows for the month, along with a navigation that can take you to smaller weekly listings that are worthy of note. This section is updated with new shows every week. If you want to see exhibitions in London or in your area simply go to our Artist Calendar – let us know about an exhibition using the form at the bottom of that page for the chance to be included in one of our Art Exhibitions on Now posts!
7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions on in September
This month’s not to miss choices include ground-breaking group shows and three-dimensional abstracts, as well as exhibitions that show innovative artists in ways the public might not have seen them before.
1. Elizabeth Murray: Flying Bye
This landmark exhibition, the first of its kind in the UK, will focus on Elizabeth Murray’s monumental multi-panel and three-dimensional paintings, as well as innovative works on paper from the 1980s and early 1990s.
Murray’s work blurs the distinction between abstraction and representation, a style that caused her to be central to the art scene of 1980s. Her shaped canvases and multipart supports challenge traditional conventions of painting and paved the way for a revival of the medium that included Julian Schnabel, David Salle and Anselm Kiefer.
Using bold colours with striking forms, figures, and everyday objects, Murray introduced a dynamic sense of movement and the everyday to her imagery. She transformed modernist abstraction by redefining the sculptural dimensions of the medium and exploring layered planes of the canvas.
With influences from Arp to Kandinsky, as well as her contemporaries including Andy Warhol and the Chicago Minimalists, Murray was part of a group of like-minded artists who rejected the hard-edged painting style of the previous generation in late 1960s New York.
This exhibition is showing at the Camden Arts Centre until 15 September 2019.
2. Henry Moore Drawings: The Art of Seeing
Henry Moore’s significance to twentieth-century art was remarkable and, although best known as a sculptor, Moore was also an exceptionally talented draughtsman. He produced a body of nearly 7,500 drawings, all of which have a fascinating relationship with his sculptural practice.
This exhibition explores the many different ways in which Moore used drawing. He found drawing an ideal medium for a wide range of purposes, from a tool to study natural forms to a means for the development of new sculpture, or as a way to experiment with new shapes and techniques.
However, drawing was not merely a means to an end for Moore. Drawing was also a medium for finished artwork in its own right – so much so that he was sometimes referred to as a ‘sculptor and painter’.
‘Drawing, even for people who cannot draw, even for people not trying to produce a good drawing, it makes you look more intensely … Just looking alone has no grit in it, has no sort of mental struggle or difficulty. That only happens when you are drawing.’
This exhibition includes examples of preparatory studies and ideas for sculpture, prints, studies and copies of works by artists Moore admired, such as Picasso, El Greco, Rembrandt and the French Impressionists. Visitors can also see studies of the human figure, animals, the landscape and the weather, portraits, designs for textiles and magazine covers, and some of Moore’s more famous drawings – the two series in which he chronicled wartime Britain.
This exhibition is showing at the Henry Moore Studios & Gardens until 27 October 2019.
3. Turner Prize 2019
The Turner Prize is one of the best known visual arts prizes in the world and this year it’s being hosted at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. Every other year the prize leaves the Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside London. This year is particularly exciting as it’s the first time that the venue has had a direct connection with JMW Turner.
The art gallery in Margate, Kent, opened in 2011 and has acted as a catalyst for the regeneration of the seaside town. It celebrates the association of the town with Turner, who went to school there and visited throughout his life. The gallery stands on the site of the artist’s lodging house and enjoys views of the skies that Turner felt were ‘the loveliest in all Europe’.
The Turner Prize is awarded annually to an artist born, living or working in Britain, for an outstanding exhibition or public presentation of their work anywhere in the world in the previous year.
The four shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2019 are:
This exhibition is showing at the Turner Contemporary until 12 January 2020.
4. William Blake
This exhibition shows William Blake’s visionary art in ways only dreamed of by the artist. Blake was a painter, printmaker and poet who went largely unrecognised during his lifetime. Born in London in 1757, Blake went on to produce some of the most iconic images in British art. His poetry also inspired later generations – it was in the Modernist period that his work began to influence a wider set of writers and artists.
Blake’s personal struggles came in a period of political turmoil and oppression and yet, through his technical innovation, he worked to bring about a change both in art and the social order. Blake would report seeing visions throughout his life, including angels and spirits walking through the world. Inspired by them, he created transcendent art and poetry.
Inside the exhibition is an immersive recreation of the small domestic room in which Blake showed his art in 1809. Visitors can experience the impact these works had when they were shown for the first time. In another room, Blake’s dream of showing his works at enormous scale is made a reality using digital technology. With over 300 original works, including his watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years.
This exhibition is showing at the Tate Britain until 2 February 2020.
5. Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary
Born in Italy during World War II, Anna Maria Maiolino travelled and worked before moving to Rio de Janeiro in 1960. Here she joined the independent studio run by printmaker Ivan Serpa at the Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition explores the notions of subjectivity, belonging and place, themes that come to light through her experience of exile, deprivation and survival under authoritarian and patriarchal regimes.
Her work perfected a dialogue with contemporary movements in Brazil at the time, such as New Figuration. Given her eclectic background and its relationship with contemporary movements, one of the strengths of Maiolino’s works is their reflection on the negotiation of identity.
Maiolino also explores concerns about the effects of mass culture on the realm of domesticity and the subjectivity of women. This is achieved by using simple materials like clay, paper and ink. Through these materials, she constructs a fascinating world rooted in human conditions such as longing, fragility and resistance. Visitors can see hundreds of simple shapes made of clay – gestural forms that evoke baking, housework and objects of ritual.
This exhibition is showing at the Whitechapel Gallery until 12 January 2020.
6. Worlds Beyond Words
‘Worlds Beyond Words’ will show an eclectic mix of contemporary original paintings, illustrations and sculptures. The group exhibition will feature 15 established and emerging artists from London, Brighton, Kent, Cornwall, Hastings, and Lisbon.
Multi-award winning Carolina Piteira will be displaying large-scale portraits that take viewers on a journey into the emotional and spiritual lives of communities that are slowly disappearing. Carolina’s work has been placed in numerous private collections internationally, including Luciano Benetton’s art collection. In 2014 she was nominated by the Ministry of Economy of Portugal to represent and support the Portuguese market as an emerging artist abroad.
Since she finished her studies, Piteira has won several prizes including the DegreeArt Signature Art Award and has exhibited in Lisbon, Malaga, Cyprus, Athens and London with various group and solo shows.
Catharine Armitage’s striking organic forms also feature. The landscapes and light of Cornwall have been an invaluable source of inspiration for Armitage’s simplified forms – her approach has been described as modernist due to her work inhabiting a characteristic two-dimensional plane.
Other artists featuring in this exhibition includes Simon Chinnery, Sandy Dooley, Cecil Rice, Beatriz Uva, Tamsin Pearson, Lesley Beaupré, Emma Haines, Lindsey Light.
7. Vuillard: The Poetry of Everyday Life
Jean-Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) was a French painter and rebellious co-founder of the avant-garde group ‘Les Nabis’. Vuillard was known for his paintings which assembled areas of pure colour, as well as interior scenes that were influenced by Japanese prints. He also was a decorative artist, painting theatre sets, panels for interior decoration, and designing plates and stained glass. After 1900, when the Nabis broke up, he adopted a more realistic style, painting landscapes and interiors with rich detail and vivid colours.
This exhibition focuses on the first 10 to 15 years of Edouard Vuillard’s mature career, exploring the artist’s emotionally charged interior scenes. Vuillard shows off beautiful decoration and ornate surfaces while also exploring the pathos of the intimate interior. Through this he also focused his attentions on suppressed or unstated emotions.
Work by Félix Vallotton, another member of Les Nabis, is currently on display at the Royal Academy of Art until 29 September 2019.
This exhibition includes prints, works on paper and oil paintings, many of which are from major private collections and have rarely been seen.
This exhibition is showing at the Holburne Museum until 15 September 2019.
Interesting Upcoming Artist Shows on this Month:
This is a selection of UK art exhibitions, including group, solo, artist-led and gallery curated shows, that we think are interesting or unusual in some way. We update this section every week so you know the exhibitions to see now. If you want to submit your own, follow the link at the bottom of this section.
Exhibitions on at the Start of September
Anno’s Journey: the World of Anno Mitsumasa
22 August – 27 October 2019
Explore the remarkable work of Anno Mitsumasa, one of Japan’s most beloved and prolific artists. Since the 1960s, Anno has illustrated hundreds of books. Inspired by the traditions of Europe and Japan, his varied works are characterised by a sense of curiosity, warmth and playful sense of humour, and have appeared in children’s publications for over the last 50 years.
101-111 Kensington High St
Alice Wilson: Gated Community
14 August – 13 September 2019
For the final installment of their 2019 summer exhibition series, painter and sculptor Alice Wilson presents new works in ‘Gated Community’ in the windows of the Camden Peoples Theatre.
Glass Cloud Gallery
Camden Peoples Theatre Windows
58 – 60 Hampstead Road
That’s Entertainment! – Drawings by Stella Tooth
20 August – 15 September 2019
Fascinated by performers both on the street and on the stage, Stella Tooth presents a vibrant selection of her latest drawings of entertainers in action.
Oxo Tower Wharf
Barge House Street
Pop-Up Abstract Art Show by Oliver Needs
21 August – 29 September 2019
A pop-up abstract expressionist influences art show by Oliver Needs. Oliver studied an Art Foundation at Chelsea School of Art completed in 2001 later studying BA Fine Art at East London University completed in 2004.
2b Devonshire Road
Between the Dog and the Wolf | Max Wade
30 August – 21 September 2019
Max Wade (b. 1985, London) studied Fine Art Painting at Brighton University, following a Foundation at City of Bath College. Wade has exhibited extensively.
Sid Motion Gallery
24a Penarth Centre
Made Routes: Mapping and Making
30 August – 26 September 2019
‘Made Routes: Mapping and Making,’ curated by acclaimed academic and art historian Tamar Garb, brings together the work of two South African artists: Vivienne Koorland and Berni Searle.
The encounter between them speaks to their shared artistic concerns and their participation in the landmark exhibition ‘Trade Routes: History + Geography’ at the 1997 2nd Johannesburg Biennale under the artistic directorship of the late Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) to whom this exhibition is dedicated.
In ‘Trade Routes,’ Enwezor and his curatorial team explored the way in which contemporary art interrogates and negotiates national boundaries and cartographic hierarchies, as well as the global movement and flow of people and commodities across modernity’s variegated landscapes.
Richard Saltoun Gallery
41 Dover Street
Exhibitions on in the Middle of September
Peter Brook RBA
7 September – 5 October 2019
Peter Brook was the Pennine Landscape Painter. His iconic depictions of Yorkshire landscapes, often featuring himself and his dog, have attracted followers for decades. Since his passing in 2009 demand for his work has continued to grow.
This annual exhibition has become a ‘must see’ event for all fans of Peters work, along with art lovers generally.
11 Byram Street
From Where I Stand | Sarah Spackman
7 September – 28 September 2019
Oxford-based artist Sarah Spackman returns with a solo exhibition at Sarah Wiseman Gallery this September. Painterly logic and order, along with Sarah’s studied approach to her work, form the core themes of her new exhibition ‘From Where I Stand’.
Sarah Wiseman Gallery
40 – 41 South Parade
Giuseppe Santomaso: Animated Painting
6 September – 26 October 2019
Giuseppe Santomaso (Venice, 1907-1990) is one of the main figures of the art of the second half of the 20th century; he has been able to combine the millennial pictorial and luministic tradition of the Venetian painting with the most radical solicitations of the great international Avant-gardes of the 20th century.
This exhibition at the Cortesi Gallery, curated by Francesca Pola, is the first solo show ever presented in London and in the United Kingdom after his death. It takes place sixty-six years after his unique solo exhibition presented in this city, while he was still alive, in November 1953 at the Hanover Gallery, accompanied, at that time, by a critical text by Herbert Read.
41 & 43 Maddox St
A Printmaker’s London
5 September – 29 September 2019
‘A Printmaker’s London’ features never-before-seen new works from 60 of the leading contemporary British printmakers, covering the full breadth of techniques from linocut to screenprint, woodcut, etching and collagraph.
Each printmaker has chosen his or her own twist on the city, and the finished works capture London in all its depth and variety – from its architectural landmarks to icons such as the Tube and Routemaster and idyllic visions of its green spaces and waterways. There are also more esoteric glimpses of its history and character, such as Sonia Rollo’s canine ‘East End Boy and West End Girl’ and Anna Marrow’s celebration of an Ealing Studios legend.
For Arts Sake
45 Bond Street
6 September – 28 September 2019
The artists in this exhibition explore an idea of play and time and in particular, play in time. The works presented engage a concentrated field of activity, their singularity proposing an intimate address with the viewer, one where intensity and expression are allowed to co-exist with pre-formed strategies.
45 Grange Road
Yigal Ozeri | Insistently Real
6 September – 6 October 2019
Born in 1958, Yigal Ozeri is an Israeli artist based in New York City. His emphatically romantic subjects mine a seam of closely-related female characters. They allude to an art-historical cast list of classical nymphs, dryads, Botticelli goddesses and Pre-Raphaelite muses. His sylph-like models are contemporary iterations of such enduring archetypes, strategically placed in evocative settings.
43 Cadogan Gardens
David Surman – Sirens
13 September – 26 October 2019
Sim Smith is delighted to present ‘Sirens’, the debut exhibition by British artist David Surman and the first solo presentation at the gallery.
The artist will present new works that peer into the non-human world. By rethinking the importance of art history to our anthropocentric worldview, Surman questions the role of animals in life and art.
149 Camberwell Road
New Artist Fair
13 September – 15 September 2019
New Artist Fair, one of the best art fairs in London returns to the iconic Truman Brewery in London’s E1 art district for the 9th consecutive year. Many artists who begin their careers with them go on to exhibit and sell with some of the UK’s top galleries, so come and invest in artists of the future whilst their creations are still affordable.
Old Truman Brewery
91 Brick Ln
13 September – 19 October 2019
Aguilar’s haunting portraiture addresses issues that arise from the social facade of community and habitual modes of human behaviour within them. Aguilar is a self-taught painter born in Nicaragua and now living in Miami, Florida. Recent exhibitions include Cleansing, Lyles & King, New York, US (2019); We are the people. Who are you?, Edel Assanti, London, UK (2019); Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art, The Mennello Museum, Orlando, US (2018) and Temporary Autonomous Zones, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, US (2015).
74a Newman Street
Dominic Shepherd | Downstream
13 September – 12 October 2019
Charlie Smith London is delighted to present ‘Downstream’, Dominic Shepherd’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.
Shepherd is known for his all-over symbolic painting, seen most emphatically from his early career psychedelic phase until circa
2014. Since then, Shepherd has painted singular scenes that are advertently more subtle, but which retain the ongoing core
interests of the artist: mythology, dream, nostalgia, the occult and Englishness.
Charlie Smith London
336 Old Street
NOW: New Original Work
12 September – 5 October 2019
Gerald Moore Gallery presents NOW: New Original Work, an exhibition of artwork by 2019 London Art school graduates handpicked to showcase their latest work.
Artists include Alexandra Searle, (The Slade School of Fine Art), Jung Min Park (Chelsea College of Arts), Susan Rocklin and Joseph Yaeger (Royal College of Art). The exhibition will include paintings, sculpture and installations.
Gerald Moore Gallery
Marc Bauer, Mal Ȇtre / Performance
12 September – 17 November 2019
Marc Bauer’s Mal Ȇtre / Performance is a new body of work commissioned jointly by Drawing Room and De La Warr Pavilion and is the artist’s first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery.
Mal Ȇtre / Performance features the motif of people on boats throughout history, from ancient Greece to contemporary media footage. All of the works are drawn in graphite, and images range from those inspired by fifteenth-century Catholic ex-voto paintings, to Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa, up to Aquarius, the boat that rescued migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in 2018. Using the slow and cumulative process of drawing and erasing, Bauer’s project brings the past into the present in his investigation of humanity.
1-27 Rodney Place
If you want to find out about more exhibitions that are on near you, or if you are feeling inspired to try something new, search our Exhibition and Artist Opportunity Calendar by region to find an event for you.
Let us know about your exhibition by filling out the form at the bottom of the page and we may include it in one of our Art Exhibitions on Now posts.
all images are copyright of the artist unless otherwise stated