As the colder weather increasingly forces to spend more time indoors, the UK’s galleries have us covered with some of the best and most interesting exhibitions to be shown this year. It’s an eclectic mix, from artists’ reactions to Brexit and the election of Trump to the White House, to spotlights on lesser-celebrated yet influential sections of society. Here are the art exhibitions you need to see this winter.
Beazley Designs of the Year, Design Museum
The annual Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition returns to London’s Design Museum, showcasing the best in design until 28 January 2018. Unsurprisingly, this year’s biggest political and social events are represented a lot throughout, including the anti-Trump Pussyhat, the Refugee Nation Flag used at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and a virtual reconstruction of a Syrian detention facility. Expect projects that detail advancements made in tech, transport, architecture and graphics too, featuring the best from around the world. Visit the Design Museum website to see more.
North: Fashioning Identity, Somerset House
After a successful exhibition in Liverpool, the Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray-curated North: Fashioning Identity is coming to Somerset House, opening 08 November 2017 and running until 04 February 2018. Highlighting the culture and style of the north of England and its impact on a global scale, the exhibition will feature photography, film, clothing and art from the likes of Corinne Day, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Peter Saville, Jamie Hawksworth and more. Expect a true representation of society, culture, music and northern grit quite unlike anything that’s come before it. Visit the Somerset House website to see more.
Culture Shifts: Local, Open Eye Gallery
As part of a long-term Culture Shifts project, Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery presents an exhibition featuring eight projects from across the city, all of which are using photography to help communities define themselves and highlight the issues they face. Ranging from a dementia network group and Granby Four Streets (which you may recognise from the Turner Prize-winning Assemble project), to youth groups dedicated to LGBT+ support, the exhibition is able to communicate the various pockets that make up Liverpool’s society. Culture Shifts: Local will run until 22 December 2017. Visit the Open Gallery website to see more.
Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters & Bellboys, The Courtauld Gallery
It’s the early 1920s and a new social class of service personnel has arrived from Paris, moving from the aristocratic households to the new hotels and restaurants now dominating the French capital. Struggling artist Chaïm Soutine – a Russian immigrant – becomes fascinated with this new group of cooks and waiters in their bold uniforms and paints them, casting light on the people behind the scenes at some of Paris’s most famed establishments. For the first time in 35 years, Soutine’s paintings are being exhibited in the UK at London’s the Courtauld Gallery, until 21 January 2018. Visit the Courtauld Gallery website to see more.
Words by Angharad Jones