The permanent collections of London's art museums hold many of the world's greatest art treasures and thus rewarding artistic experiences for visitors. However, each summer, many of the major venues offer temporary exhibitions as further enticement to visit. In this article, we note some of the exhibitions that will be highlighting this season.
Continuing from this Spring until 7 July, the National Gallery presents “Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light.” Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida was one of the most famous artists in Europe during his lifetime and remains quite celebrated in Spain. In this exhibition, 58 of his works are presented, which reflect the influence not only of the Impressionists but of the traditional Spanish masters.
The National Gallery will also look at another Spanish painter in “Bartolomé Bermejo: Master of the Spanish Renaissance” (12 June – 29 September 2019). This exhibition brings together two of Bermejo's masterpieces on loan from cathedrals in Spain and presents them with the National Gallery's own “Saint Michael Triumphs over the Devil,” which has recently undergone conservation.
“Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life” (until 19 May) looks at some 20 works by Louis-Léopold Boilly reflecting life during the turbulant years of the French Revolution. It includes works drawn from a private collection never previously displayed.
National Portrait Gallery
Around the corner from the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery will continue its exhibition “Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver” until 19 May. As the title indicates, this is an exhibition of Elizabethan and Jacobean minatures by the masters of this field Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver.
Beginning 13 June and running until 26 October, the National Gallery will host The BP Portrait Award exhibition, one of the most prestigious international exhibitions of contemporary portrait painting.
Other exhibitions at the National Portrit Gallery this season will include “Only Human: Martin Parr” (7 March - 27 May), an exhibition of works by the well-known Britsh photographer and “Cindy Sherman” (27 June - 15 September), a retrospective of works by the contemporary artist.
“Edvard Munch: Love and Angst” (11 April – 21 July) explores the life and work of the creator of “The Scream.” Developed in cooperation with the Munch Museum in Oslo, this exhibition presents one of the largest collection of prints by this rebellious Expressionist.
“Manga” (23 May – August 26) considers original Japanese manga and its influence across the globe, from anime to “cosplay” dressing up.
The British Museum's exhibition “Rembrandt: thinking on paper” will continue until 4 August. It includes 65 prints and drawings by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn
Speaking of drawings, the Queens Gallery will present “Leonardo Da Vinci, A life in Drawing” (24 May – 13 October). The Royal Collection holds some 550 works on paper by the Italian Renaissance master. To mark the 550th anniversary of Leonardo's death, the Royal Collection is displaying various examples of his works in exhibitions around the UK. These works will then be brought together to London at the Queen's Gallery for one of the largest exhibitions of Leonardo's drawings.
Likely to be one of the most popular exhibitions in London this summer is “The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain,” which begins this Spring and continues to 11 August. As a young man, Van Gogh visited Britain and was influenced by its art and culture. This exhibition brings together a large number of Van Gogh's works that reflect this influence. In addition, it presents works by British artists who have been influenced by Van Gogh.
Tate Britain will also be offering two exhibitions by contemporary artists. “Art Now: Joanna Piotrowska: All Our False Devices” (31 May – 26 August) presents photograpic and film works by the Polish-born artist. “Frank Bowling” (31 May – 26 August) offers large-scale paintings that combine abstraction and personal memories.
The Tate Modern explores German art in the period between the World Wars in “Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33” (until 14 July). Utilizing both works on loan as well as from the Tate's own collection, the exhibition examines the evolution of art during this time of increasing political extremism.
Exhibitions at the Tate Modern focusing on individual artists include: Franz West (until 2 June); Dorothea Tanning (until 9 June); Natalia Goncharova (6 Jun – 8 Sept) and Takis (3 July – 27 Oct.)
The centerpiece of the Royal Academy's summer calendar is, of course, the Summer Exhibition. (10 June – 12 August). Held each summer since 1769, the Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission art show. It brings together prints and paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more – by leading artists, Royal Academicians and household names as well as new and emerging talent.
Prior to the Summer Exhibition, the Royal Academy is showing “The Renaissance Nude” (until 2 June). This exhibition considers the change in European art brought about as a result of artists' renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art. It includes full scale paintings, illustrations, statuettes and anatomical studies.
“Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet” (30 June — 29 September) surveys the work of the Swiss artist. Vallotton worked in Paris at the end of the 19th century and was associated with the artist group Les Nablis, which also included Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. The exhibition will include some 80 paintings and prints.
The Royal Academy will also look at the work of Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (20 July — 27 October). Through 60 portraits, landscapes and still lifes done in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, this exhibition surveys her work from her early naturalistic studies to her later abstract portraits.
On exhibition at the Wallace Collection until 23 June is “Henry Moore: The Helemet Heads.” It explores the influence of traditional armor on the work of the 20th century modernist sculptor. Over sixty sketches, drawings, maquettes and full-sized sculptures in plaster, lead and bronze, have been assembled and are juxtaposed with the Renaissance armour that inspired them.
Until 19 May, the Serpentine Galleries will present “Emma Kunz: Visionary Drawings.” This exhibition features more than 40 drawings by the late Swiss visionary artist.
This year's Serpentine Pavilion (June 20 to October 6) will be the work of the Japanese architect Junya Ishigami.
Barbican Art Galleries
“Lee Krasner: Living Colour” (30 May – 1 September) presents more than 100 works by the American artist, a key figure in post-war Abstract Expressionism.