The exhibitions you must see this April
From Andy Warhol’s textiles and Impressionist paintings to a sensory journey into the heart of Naples, it’s raining exhibitions this April.
April is a month known for its juxtapositions – one minute it could be warm and sunny, the next it could be cold and pouring with rain.
The exhibitions we’re spotlighting this month are as varied as the changeable April weather. At the V&A Dundee a major exhibition shines the spotlight on tartan, exploring the fascinating story behind this divisive material, and in London, the Wallace Collection present portraits of dogs through the ages. Grab your raincoat, dodge those April showers and soak up some art and culture instead.
And don’t forget, the 22 April marks a major moment for museums nationwide as they celebrate Earth Day as part of The Wild Escape – where children and families have been discovering the amazing wildlife in museums. Their contributions to a huge collective artwork will be unveiled on Earth Day itself, and it’s not too late to get involved yourself.
Step inside the material world of Kaffe Fassett, known for his vivacious use of colour and vast 50-year career. Displays include knitting, needlepoint, mosaic, quilting, textile designs, paintings and drawings, demonstrating how Fassett is one of the most beloved contemporary crafters of today and an inspiration to other designers around the world.
Did you know, textile design is a virtually unrecorded part of Andy Warhol’s repertoire? The artist is best-known for his enigmatic pop art creations, but his textile work is now considered an important part of his overall body of work. The designs featured here represent the artist’s first opportunity to be creative away from the demands of his professional clients and include an array of vibrant objects sure to make you smile, from ice cream sundaes and toffee apples to colourful buttons and pretzels.
Contemporary photographer Chris Killip was particularly influential in the field of post-war documentary photography. His entire career is on display in this exhibition, but a major highlight is his images of life in Northern England, where powerful shots taken in the heart of communities in the 1970s and 80s demonstrate the economic and political shifts occurring across the country at the time.
Women have made incredible contributions to sculpture in Britain, but their careers haven’t always been easy. This exhibition brings together 30 outstanding sculptors, including Kim Lim, Phyllida Barlow, Veronica Ryan, Cornelia Parker and more, to explore the challenges generations of women have faced working in the medium.
Humans and dogs have been the very best of friends for centuries – here you can explore our enduring devotion to our four-legged companions through paintings and sculpture dating as far back as the 17th century. There are a number of highlights here, including the endlessly charismatic Dog of the Havana Breed painted by Jean-Jacques Bachelier in 1768, and a portrait of one of David Hockney’s beloved Dachshunds painted in 1995.
The image of tartan is one of oxymoron – it has both divided and united, embraced tradition and inspired rebellion. The V&A Dundee brings together a staggering 300 items in this exhibition, showcasing tartan’s many varied personas. Designs by Chanel, Dior and Vivienne Westwood will sit alongside a varied collection of art, furniture, photography, product design and more, demonstrating tartan’s universal and enduring appeal.
Bringing to life the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Naples, this exhibition offers the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Italian city. Historic works of art will be combined with thrilling interaction to transport you back in time as Versuvius smoulders on the horizon and the sweet scents of orange blossoms fill the air.
Defying social norms in the 20th century, founding Impressionist Berthe Morisot became one of the movement’s most influential figures. The exhibition contains a number of delicate domestic scenes and depictions into contemporary life at the time that the artist was so well-known for, as well as works by 18th-century artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds that served as Morisot’s inspiration.
The more you see, the more we do.
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