Five exhibitions to see this January

Mary Annie Sloane, May Morris in the Tapestry Room at Kelmscott Manor, 1912

There’s no need for January to seem quiet and blue when there’s a host of exhibitions across the UK offering rich, involving experiences. From a foray into virtual reality at Tate Modern’s Modigliani show, to illuminating portraits of underappreciated artists at Brighton Museum and William Morris Gallery, there's plenty to delve into this month.


1
Amadeo Modigliani, Reclining Nude, 1919

Modigliani

Not only is this major show at Tate Modern the most comprehensive Amedeo Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK, but it also offers the opportunity to step back in time to 1900s Paris with a virtual reality experience that brings his final studio to life. Containing more than 60 objects meticulously modelled by 3D artists, the VR studio is a dazzling addition to an already in-depth experience.


2
Gluck, The Pleiades, 1940-03

Gluck: Art and Identity

Gluck wasn't just an artist; railing against both artistic and gender norms at the turn of the 20th century, they were a rebel. As well as their work, this exhibition examines their remarkable life, presenting clothing, accessories and other personal ephemera alongside their paintings. A contemporary of the Newlyn School of artists who lived near Penzance, Cornwall, Gluck turned their hand to a range of subjects – but all their output shares a common intensity.


3
Andreas Gursky, Amazon, 2016

Andreas Gursky

German photographer Andreas Gursky has the honour of being the first artist to exhibit at the newly reopened Hayward Gallery – an apt choice, as his dizzying vistas of contemporary life and man's interventions in the environment are as epic as the occasion demands. From vast crowds to monolithic architecture, Gursky's scenes have all the sublimity and horror of 19th-century landscape paintings – but are all the more affecting for showing us the world as we know it.


4
May Morris, detail of embroidery, worked on by May Morris and Theodosia Middlemore for Melsetter House, Orkney,  c1900

May Morris: Art & Life

January is your last chance to see this celebration of Arts and Crafts pioneer May Morris, which closes at the end of the month. Long overshadowed by her more famous father, William, May Morris was pivotal to the Arts and Crafts movement and fought to promote the work of women artists at a time when they were overlooked. While particularly influential in her use of embroidery, she also produced wallpaper, jewellery and other textiles, all of which are given proper recognition in this exhibition enabled by an Art Happens campaign.


5
Hinton Christ

Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions

The centrality of imagery to how we understand religion can't be underestimated – but how did these images emerge? This fascinating exhibition examines how we ‘picture’ the world’s major faiths, considering how, for example, we arrived at an idea of Buddha as cross-legged, or of Jesus Christ as a bearded young man rather than a classical god. Highlights include the first known depiction of Christ north of the Alps, and some of the first surviving Qurans.


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