Five free exhibitions

Published 13 May 2015

From Turner's quaint Wessex landscapes to Warhol's pioneering Pop prints, these shows won't cost a thing with your National Art Pass.

1. Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Free with National Art Pass

While you may not typically associate the socialist Victorian textile designer with the star of the 20th-century Pop Art phenomenon, this exhibition sets out to prove that they actually have rather a lot in common. Curator is artist in his own right, Jeremy Deller, who cites these two men among his greatest inspirations. Drawing together examples of their prints, tapestries, publications and sketches, Deller reveals the startling parallels in their aesthetics, ideologies and practice (until 6 September).

2. Turner's Wessex: Architecture and Ambition, The Salisbury Museum

Free with National Art Pass

Turner's career started in Salisbury; he made frequent rips to the town during his early years as an artist to paint the cathedral, abbey, Stonehenge circle and the Wessex plains. In fact it was here he received his very first commission. This exhibition charts his work recording the local landscape – encompassing Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Included is Salisbury from Old Sarum, the rainy sky of which bewitched art critic John Ruskin. He wrote: 'It is the rain of blessing – abundant but full of brightness; golden gleams are flying across the wet grass, and fall softly on the lines of willow in the valley...' (until 27 September).

3. Creative Genius of Stanley Spencer, Stanley Spencer Gallery

Free with National Art Pass

Although remembered for his work as an official war artist, Spencer's oeuvre was far more diverse. In this exhibition, passionate, spiritual pieces are joined by those reflecting his interest in the natural world – particularly the rural surrounds of his beloved hometown, Cookham, which he described as 'a village in heaven'. There are also examples inspired by his personal life, depicting loved ones, neighbours and local villagers (until 1 November).

4. Henry Moore: From Paper to Bronze, Waddesdon

Free with National Art Pass

Moore was foremost a sculptor, but – as this exhibition tells – his talents as a draughtsman should not go unrecognised; drawing allowed him to hone his observation skills and develop ideas for his three-dimensional creations. This exhibition spans his career on paper, from the figure drawings he made as a student in Leeds to the sheep drawings he produced in the 1980s and a selection of his rarely-exhibited final works. They are shown alongside two of Moore's iconic bronzes. (17 June – 25 October).

5. Anselm Kiefer, Tullie House

Free with National Art Pass

For German-born Anselm Kiefer, art is an attempt to 'get to the centre of the truth' – although he also acknowledges 'it never quite can'. This goes some way to explain why he has produced pieces such as the photographic series Heroic Symbols (Heroische Sinnbilder); captured re-enacting the Nazi salute in locations across Europe, Kiefer proves he is unafraid of confronting the dark and difficult aspects of his nation's history. Tullie House is showing a selection of works spanning 45 years of Kiefer’s career, as well as two brand new pieces never publicly display before. The exhibition is part of the Artist Rooms touring programme (until 7 June).

To get free entry to these and other exhibitions across the UK, buy a National Art Pass.

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