Friday, 26 October 2012

Art Shows in London and Beyond, 2012-13

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge
Winifred Nicholson: Music of Colour
29 September-21 December
Winifred Nicholson was married to Ben, the British modernist famous for his architectural line drawings, Cubist-inspired landscapes and Art Deco white-on-white reliefs. Winifred liked stronger colours, and painted landscapes, flowers and many views through windows. If you like Mary Fedden, you'll like her work (like The Gate to the Isles, above).

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Snow Country: Woodcuts of the Japanese Winter
2 October 2012-13 January
Prints by artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, including stories from poetry and myth, travellers ploughing through snowdrifts, people indoors gazing out at new-fallen snow, empty white landscapes.

Grand Palais, Paris
Edward Hopper, October 10-January 28
Hopper (1882-1967) studied in Paris as a young man, turning out moody scenes of naked women in dingy hotel rooms, the attics across the street, and the usual suburban bridges over the Seine. Back home in New York City, he studied with Robert Henri, founder of the Ashcan School. He worked as a commercial artist for a time, and learned how to construct the scenes of alienation he is famous for. Who are those singles hanging out in Philly's? The jaunty name of the café is hardly readable in the dark that crowds round its electrically lit interior. The forest beside the lonely road with its one gas station stands waiting like Burnham Wood. The exhibition takes in his watercolours of Victorian houses, and his etchings. Here's a piece I wrote about him in 2004.

Louvre, Paris
The new Islamic gallery opened 20 September, and on 22 September a gallery devoted to The East Mediterranean in the Roman Empire.

British Museum, London
Life and death: 
Pompeii and Herculaneum
28 March-29 September 2013
Art and artefacts preserved by the volcanic eruption of AD79. The exhibition will showcase the way the Romans lived. Furniture includes a linen chest, a stool, a garden bench and a baby’s cradle that still rocks.

Later in the year the BM will bring us the long-awaited display of art from the European Ice Age.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 Years of Nature and Nonsense
20 September–6 January
Edward Lear did more than draw cartoons and write nonsensical poetry (When awful darkness and silence reign/over the great Gromboolian Plain), he was a skilled topographical and natural history painter. He travelled extensively in the Middle East, and his landscapes have some of the haunted atmosphere of his poetry. All aspects of his work can be seen here.


  1. I love a good round-up of exhibitions. Especially if two of these are in my home town. :-) And the others inspire me to go a-travelling. The gate by Nicholson is lovely; I hadn't realised she made such beautiful art. It reminds me of the picture of a gate by Theodore Rousseau in the Fitzwilliam Museum: