Five exhibitions for Father’s Day

  • 14 June 2017

From sci-fi to Superman via cutting-edge sculpture, we've selected five great shows to visit this Sunday.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977. Part of Into the Unknown at Barbican Courtesy the Roger Grant Archive

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977. Part of Into the Unknown at Barbican

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Easy Rider, 1969

California: Designing Freedom

Succeed in peeling your family from their smartphones with this eye-popping show, which explores the extent to which Californian design and the output of Silicon Valley has influenced our worldview. From political posters to portable gadgets, more than 200 items tell a story that starts with 60s counterculture and brings us up to our present tech moment. The central premise of the exhibition is that Golden Coast innovators have pioneered tools of personal liberation – but should we question how much they are shaping our lives? Decide for yourself as you browse displays including a self-driving car, an original Apple 1 computer and even some LSD blotting paper.


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Batman and Robin Issue 1 cover

Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics

Perhaps you know Superman or just a super man – either way, if they’re into comics they’ll appreciate this show of work by Frank Quitely. The Glasgow-based DC Comics artist is responsible for some of the most iconic images of Clark Kent, Batman, Captain America and many other well-loved characters, and this exhibition is the largest collection of his work ever staged – meaning fans and newcomers alike can get a comprehensive look at his style. Original work by other titans of the scene including Frank Millar and Batman creator Bob Kane is also on display, and audiences are invited to consider the impact of heroic myths on the comic book genre. 


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Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction

From dystopia to utopia and back again, this huge display charts the influence of science fiction on art, literature, film, architecture and pop culture. Appropriately vast in scope, the ‘festival-style’ layout transports the viewer from the infinity of space to the minutiae of human consciousness – and the journey is signposted by some fascinating items, such as Sam Rockwell’s space suit from Moon, HR Giger’s concept illustrations for Alien and a number of advanced AIs (look out for an installation around Ava, the android featured in Ex Machina). If you fancy making a day of it, you could also pop over to the Science Museum for Robots, which plots 500 years in our attempt to recreate ourselves.


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Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains

Pink Floyd were always about more than the music, with a psychedelic visual identity and ambitious staging. The full legacy of the band’s output is explored and celebrated in this show, which is more a feast for the senses than an exhibition, spanning mind-bending art, equipment the band experimented with and many items donated personally by remaining members. Father’s Day coincides with the V&A Pink Floyd Weekender, two days of events, talks and performances including guitar workshops focused around three of Pink Floyd’s classic albums and a discussion with artist Gerald Scarfe, who created the animation for seminal LP The Wall.


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Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1936. The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection). Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield.

Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson Curates The Hepworth Wakefield

Lastly, if you’re feeling active we’d recommend taking the whole weekend to tour the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle. It’s the final day of fashion designer JW Anderson’s curation of The Hepworth Wakefield on Sunday, while you can also take in the largest UK exhibition to date of Tony Cragg’s monumental work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and discover more about one of the region’s most celebrated artists with Becoming Henry Moore at the Henry Moore Institute. Don’t miss the tactile ‘jumper jungle’ at the Anderson show, while for an in-depth experience at YSP you could join one of their guided Art & Landscape walks and learn about the relationship of sculpture to this 18th-century estate.