Five exhibitions to see this April
Be no one’s fool this April with our guide to some of the most exciting exhibitions opening across the UK. Browse our full listings, or, if you’re in a hurry, here are five that particularly caught our eye – all free or 50% off with a National Art Pass.
From the financial crisis to the US election, this exhibition follows the turbulent events of the last decade through the use of graphic messaging. Public engagement with politics has changed radically since 2008, and Hope to Nope explores how the powerful and marginalised alike have tried to sway opinion through graphic design. Over 160 items including political posters, protest placards and internet memes trace a journey through Occupy Wall Street, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution and the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Meanwhile, the ongoing social media conversation around political leaders unfolds on dynamic displays in real time.
Contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Yanzi has explored the universal human search for wellness in a series of shows across the world. For this exhibition, her works directly respond to the objects and character of the Surgeons’ Hall Museums. Inspired by her visits last year, she uses diverse materials to explore ideas around medicine and healing. A parallel exhibition by the artist at the Museum of East Asian Art, A Quest for Wellness, explores similar themes in traditional Chinese medicine and opens on 5 May.
When French sculptor Auguste Rodin visited the British Museum for the first time in 1881, he experienced an epiphany that would revolutionise his work and create a new genre of art – the headless, limbless torso. The weathered classical beauty of the Parthenon sculptures inspired him by the powerful expressiveness of their bodies alone. For the first time, a selection of Rodin's works, including The Thinker and The Kiss, are displayed alongside the sculptures that captivated him, creating a fascinating insight into a master’s artistic vision.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see 12 stunningly crafted standing cups depicting notorious leaders of Rome, reunited and correctly configured for a limited time only. Made in the 16th century, the Aldobrandini Tazze are shrouded in mystery – no one knows who the craftsmen were or why they were made, although there’s a whiff of royalty surrounding them. Taken apart and dispersed across the globe, they turned up in a London dealer’s shop in the 19th century, and were then sold to different owners around the world. This is the first time you can see them together as a group again in the UK.
Italian cinema experienced a resurgence in the 1930s, but its surprising influence on architecture has been largely overlooked. Aided by a Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grant from Art Fund, this exhibition explores the role played by Italian architects in the development of a Modernist style for film sets, particularly in a number of inter-war romantic comedies. A selection of vintage photographs, film clips, sketches and contemporary periodicals reveal how the aesthetic was adopted by film-makers internationally and helped popularise modern architecture.