The exhibitions you must see this November
It's fireworks every day with our pick of this month's shows. Be dazzled by Bridget Riley, colour-drenched by David Hockney, wowed by riotous Soho and much more.
Pioneering artists and radical subjects head our list of must-see exhibitions for November.
Explore the design revolution that was ignited by the Arts and Crafts movement and rekindled by the Bauhaus at William Morris Gallery, and celebrate the rebellious spirit of an entire neighbourhood – London's Soho – at the Photographers' Gallery.
Trailblazers are everywhere. Op art pioneer Bridget Riley is given a major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery; early works by Alan Davie and David Hockney steal the show at the Hepworth Wakefield; and Jessica Dismorr's extraordinary contribution to several avant-garde art movements is rescued from unjust obscurity at Pallant House Gallery.
Meanwhile, the robots of the future are already blowing minds at V&A Dundee.
Don't forget – nearly all of our must-see exhibitions this November are free or 50% off with a National Art Pass, and there are plenty more amazing shows for you to discover in our full exhibition listings.
You can also check out our guide to autumn's biggest blockbuster exhibitions.
The Hayward Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland worked closely with Bridget Riley herself to organise this exhibition celebrating her dazzling 70-year career as a major practitioner of op art. Through her mastery of optical illusion, Riley questions the fundamental nature of perception – how we see. Highlights include her iconic black-and-white abstract paintings from the 1960s, expansive canvases in colour, and new wall paintings made especially for the Hayward.
- The Photographers' Gallery, London
- 18 October 2019 – 9 February 2020
- Reduced price entry with National Art Pass
London's Soho has long been known for its unorthodoxy, diversity, tolerance and defiance. Celebrating this vibrant community and its history at a time of great transformation and commerical development, this exhibition presents images and photo essays from outstanding photographers including William Klein, Anders Petersen and Corinne Day. A new commission by Daragh Soden explores Soho as a place of connection, performance and the pursuit of love.
- The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield
- 19 October 2019 – 19 January 2020
- Free to all
Alan Davie and David Hockney were both key players in the radical British art scene of the 1960s. This exhibition looks at the impact that Davie's first solo show at the Wakefield Gallery in 1958 had on the younger Hockney, tracing the parallel development of the artists' early works as they moved from figuration to abstraction. Around 45 paintings and works on paper are featured, many of which have not been on public display for decades.
Bringing back to prominence a leading light of early 20th-century avant-garde movements, this exhibition explores the work of Jessica Dismorr alongside contemporaries such as Winifred Nicholson, Helen Saunders and Barbara Hepworth. The artists' contribution to the campaign for women's suffrage and involvement with anti-fascist organisations are highlighted through paintings, sculptures, graphic art and archival materials.
- William Morris Gallery, London
- 19 October 2019 – 26 January 2020
- Free to all
Although he was working half a century before the Bauhaus school of art opened its doors in 1919, William Morris’s ideas about art, craft and community had a profound influence on the seminal German design school. Through more than 60 objects, this exhibition explores links between the two, throwing new light on both the Bauhaus and Morris's legacy. The exhibition was made possible thanks to 328 funders through Art Fund's crowdfunding platform Art Happens.
Robots already play key roles in our lives, from industry to fashion, and this exhibition asks what the future holds as the boundaries between human and machine become increasingly blurred. Over 200 objects are on display, including a robot designed to comfort the dying, a manifesto-generating machine and a specially commissioned architectural project that explores ideas of collaboration between ourselves and our own creations.
If you can't resist poking about in someone else's wardrobe, don't miss this exhibition of the largest collection of one person's clothing and accessories held by a UK gallery. Emily Tinne belonged to a wealthy Liverpool family and her dedication to fashion reflects the changing styles between 1910 and 1939, as well as the city's abundance of quality department stores and higly skilled tailors, milliners and shoemakers at the time.
In the first exhibition oustide London dedicated to the Italian Baroque master Guido Reni (1575-1642), the Bowes Museum puts the focus on his female heroines and lyrical depictions of female beauty. The Death of Lucretia, owned by the museum since 1840, is at the centre of a cast of historical characters including Cleopatra, Porzia and Mary Magdalene, all drawn from public and private collections, such as the National Gallery and the Royal Collection.