Five exhibitions to see this May
- 27 April 2018
This month’s must-see exhibitions are all about making connections and telling stories: from a meeting of two artists who never knew each other, to a history played out through objects.
Tacita Dean working on The Montafon Letter, Los Angeles, 2017
Photo: © Fredrik Nilsen Studio / Artwork: © the artist; Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland; Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris.
Major international showcases jostle with secret histories for your attention this month. Take your pick from our full exhibition listings or let us guide you towards five that stand out this month – all are free or 50% off with a National Art Pass.
The third of Tacita Dean’s three distinct exhibitions across three venues – the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and now the Royal Academy – Landscape is a multimedia show celebrating and revolutionising a genre central to the RA’s history. Ideas around landscape are explored through found objects, an immense blackboard drawing and cloudscapes on slate, created especially for the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries. One of the highlights of the show is a spectacular new 35mm film, Antigone, featuring writer/poet Anne Carson and actor Stephen Dillane.
Explore the fruits of three decades of support in an exhibition celebrating Art Fund’s contribution to the Wiltshire Museum. A truly eclectic mix of objects and works of art acquired by the museum with Art Fund support are on display, all of which play a part in telling the story of the county. Highlights include the Stanchester Hoard of gold and silver Roman coins discovered by a schoolboy in 2000, medieval floor tiles from Bradenstoke Priory and a collection of 19th-century druid medals. An 18th-century watercolour by Joshua Gosselin is the earliest painting of Stonehenge in the collection and, for the first time, visitors can see the etching Apollo Pythion by Joe Tilson, one of the leading figures of the Pop Art movement.
Commemorating the centenary of women first gaining the right to vote, six contemporary artists including Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid explore the stories of women who lived at Knole and helped to shape its history. From Vita Sackville-West, who was prevented from inheriting the house because of her gender, to Grace Robinson, possibly the only black servant working in the laundry, the exhibition examines the evolution of equality through often hidden lives. The artists explore themes of relationships, ownership and identity through different media, including sculpture, film, sound, performance, a website and interventions across the site.
This mid-career survey is the first major exhibition in London of celebrated Korean artist Lee Bul. Taking over the entire gallery, and enveloping a part of the exterior with a new site-specific installation, the show explores the body and its relationship to architectural space. Much of Bul’s work has used the body to examine the role of women, identity, technology and class, and pieces from throughout her 30-year career are exhibited here including early performances, sculpture, paintings and studio drawings. Further new work is also featured in the form of large-scale, immersive installations.
Tate Liverpool takes a look at two artists from different eras who were both known for their striking and uncomfortable portraits. Expressionist Egon Schiele was the protégé of Gustav Klimt and captured the intense energy of often twisted bodies with sharp, minimal lines. By contrast, photographer Francesca Woodman, born 40 years after Schiele died, used blurred long exposures to portray the same inner force in torturously arranged models. Viewing their work side by side reveals resonances between two fascinatingly different artists and their common interest in the expressiveness of the human form.