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Blockbuster exhibitions in the South

Lynda Benglis, Recent Sculptures, 2024 Installation View

Planning an art excursion in the South of England? From a celebration of the Windrush Generation to a deep-dive into a leading abstract artist, don't miss out on the biggest exhibitions.

The South of England is brimming with cultural hotspots, from visitor favourites such as Tate St Ives and The Holburne Museum to historic houses like artists' haven Charleston and literary retreat Chawton House.

And there's plenty to see and do with a rolling programme of must-see exhibitions running throughout the year. Whether you're a history buff or fascinated by the new, you're bound to find an exhibition you'll love.

Here's our guide to some of the biggest blockbuster exhibitions in the South open now.


Don't forget to pack your National Art Pass to get great benefits at every venue, and check out our full listings for more upcoming exhibitions.

Discover some of the best exhibitions in the South with an Art Pass

01
Alford Gardner by artist Chloe Cox

Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation

Ten portraits by leading contemporary artists, including Sonia Boyce and Amy Sherald, celebrate the achievements of the Windrush Generation. Learn about each sitter's personal story, resilience and their impact in this exhibition marking 75 years since Windrush arrived in the UK. During your visit, make sure to also explore RWA's two other exhibitions, Rasheed Araeen: Conscious Forms and Valda Jackson: Miss Polly.

02
Ed Clark in his New York studio, 1975 © The Estate of Ed Clark. Photo: Dwight Carter.

Ed Clark

Don't miss the first European institutional exhibition dedicated to Ed Clark, an influential abstract artist who used painting and drawing to explore his pioneering 'big sweep' technique. Through his changing colour palettes, trace Clark's travels across the globe which in turn sparked his fascination with, and sensitivity towards, the representation of light. And once you're done, don't miss Lynda Benglis: Recent Sculptures, in the Sunley Gallery.

03
ABBA win Eurovision, 6 April 1974

ABBA: One Week in Brighton

Throw on your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie your way back to Brighton in 1974, when Swedish supergroup ABBA charmed the world with their Eurovision-winning pop hit 'Waterloo' at the Brighton Dome. Marvel at memorabilia and hear from the people who worked backstage and lined the streets during this electric week. Once you're done, check out National Treasures: Rembrandt in Brighton, where you can get close to an iconic masterpiece and see how young photographers have responded to it.

04
Dorothy Hepworth, Girl in Blue, undated

Dorothy Hepworth and Patricia Preece: An Untold Story

The secret artistic and romantic partnership between Dorothy Hepworth and Patricia Preece is unveiled in this colourful and personal exhibition, revealing the duo's clever schemes to sell and exhibit artworks. Alongside Hepworth's bold paintings (which they pretended were produced by Preece), get a deeper insight into the couple's life together through archival photographs and private letters.

05
Henry Moore working in his maquette studio, c.1968

Henry Moore in Miniature

In the first exhibition of its kind, get up close with 60 of Henry Moore's miniature mock-ups of his celebrated sculptures, with nothing on display over 30cm in size. Moore was a celebrated English sculptor, known for his monumental abstract recreations of the human form, often working in bronze or stone.

06
Edward Wadsworth, Bright Intervals, 1928

The Shape of Things: Still Life in Britain

Whether you're a still life stan or sceptic, have your preconceptions challenged in this huge group exhibition showcasing 100 artists. Discover how they've used different approaches to reimagine the traditional genre of still life in order to understand the human condition. Journey through art history, from 17th-century vanitas paintings, which use symbolism to convey ideas of mortality and vanity, through to contemporary conceptual works of art.

07
Elias Sime, Tightrope Evolution 1 (detail), 2017

Elias Sime: Eregata እርጋታ

Discover Elias Sime, a leading Ethiopian contemporary artist, who weaves everyday items into intricate craft-making to create lyrical and abstract compositions, exploring key issues on both a local and global scale, including sustainability and the impact of technology. And while you're there, why not also check out Quentin Blake: A Hundred Portraits.

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

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