Five art exhibitions to see this summer

  • 30 April 2014

A season of celebration: the best in digital creativity, masterpieces by Mondrian and British folk art in the spotlight.

1. Mondrian and Colour, Turner Contemporary, Margate, 24 May to 21 September/Mondrian and his Studios, Tate Liverpool, 6 June to 5 October

50% off entry with National Art Pass

This summer marks a season of Mondrian with concurrent shows in Margate and Liverpool illuminating two distinct stages of his career. Turner Contemporary starts with a display focused on his early figurative paintings, charting how his work evolved from pictures of Dutch windmills and landscapes into geometric abstraction. Tate Liverpool picks up from the artist's move to Paris in 1911, looking at how the studio he inhabited there – and later in New York – influenced the art he produced. Included is a life-size reconstruction of Mondrian's work space at 26 Rue du Départ.

2. British Folk Art: The House that Jack Built, Tate Britain, London, 10 June to 31 August 

50% off entry with National Art Pass 

While folk art is a well established genre in many countries, it has struggled to find any serious recognition in Britain. This exhibition brings together examples by a number of prominent individuals – such as George Smart, the tailor of Frant, embroiderer Mary Linwood, and Cornish painter Alfred Wallis – in order to reevaluate the important role it has played in shaping British culture. The first significant exhibition of British folk art at a national gallery, it includes nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, textiles and other objects drawn from regional collections across the country, many of which have never been displayed in an artistic context before.

3. Making Colour, National Gallery, London, 18 June to 17 September 

50% off with National Art Pass

Drawing on the expertise of the gallery’s scientific department, this display explores the range of materials that have been used to create colour in paintings and other works of art over a 700-year period. As well as tracing the origins and developments of the physical materials themselves, it delves into the technical challenges artists faced in achieving their painterly ambitions. Each room in the exhibition is dedicated to a particular colour from the spectrum, plus gold and silver.

4. GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, from 28 June

Free to all

A multi-venue series of exhibitions celebrates the very best art to have emerged from Scotland in the last quarter of a century. At Scottish National Gallery, brand new commissions are shown alongside the restaging of significant exhibitions from the last 25 years – such as Martin Boyce’s 2002 Tramway show, Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours. Meanwhile at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. works by Victoria Morton, Alison Watt, Charles Avery and Jonathan Owen demonstrate the continuing vitality of painting and drawing in Scotland, with sculpture, collage, video and printmaking also represented in the display.

5. Digital Revolution, Barbican, London, 3 July to 14 September

Reduced price entry with National Art Pass

What to expect from an exhibition featuring commissions by participatory-art duo Umbrellium, global music star Will.i.am and the Oscar-winning VFX team behind Inception? Barbican’s festival-style celebration of digital creativity is the most comprehensive of its kind, bringing together artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using the latest technologies. Interactive laser sculptures, the first website created by Tim Berners-Lee and examples of wearable technology are among the items on display.

With so many art exhibitions to see this summer, opening in June, July and August across the UK, there is no better time to fill your diary, and get out your National Art Pass.