The end of summer and the last bank holiday before it’s back to business as usual is the perfect time to indulge in a spot of culture and visit an art exhibition (after all, the British weather is known for nothing if not its temperamental nature, so no doubt you’ll need to spend at least some if it indoors). It’s not just London either that showcases all the best art; here are five of the best current art exhibitions in the UK.
Martin Parr: Work and Leisure at Firstsite, Essex
British photographer Martin Parr has been chronicling British society for over 40 years through his lens. This exhibition at Colchester’s Firstsite includes more than 300 images that span his career, from his Yorkshire-based black and white photographs that made up the bulk of his early work, to the iconic series The Last Resort documenting Merseyside seaside town New Brighton in the 1980s, and everything in between. Martin Parr: Work and Leisure will run until 2 October 2016. For more information, visit the Firstsite website.
Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern
American artist Georgia O’Keeffe created iconic works throughout the twentieth century, her abstract paintings of nature making her one of the most celebrated female painters of her generation – and still today. This exhibition is the first in the UK to showcase her work in 20 years and with none of her paintings displayed here in public galleries, this one is not to be missed. Georgia O’Keeffe will run until 30 October 2016. For more information, visit the Tate Modern website.
Maria Lassnig at Tate Liverpool
Austrian artist Maria Lassnig is known for her painted self-portraits and portrayals of body consciousness using bright colours and abstract techniques. This exhibition features 40 large scale paintings from her career that spanned more than 50 years, exploring the body and how she saw it throughout that time. Maria Lassnig will run until 18 September 2016. For more information, visit the Tate Liverpool website.
Martin Creed: What You Find at Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Best known for his Turner Prize-winning Work No. 227: The lights going on and off, British artist Martin Creed creates work that is often laced in controversy – with many questioning whether it’s ‘art’ at all. This exhibition presents a whole new body of work from Creed, ranging from paintings and films to music, sculpture and performance. Martin Creed: What You Find will run until 11 September 2016. For more information, visit the Hauser & Wirth website.
William Eggleston Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
American photographer William Eggleston is famed for bringing complexity to the everyday and the mundane. This exhibition showcases 100 works from Eggleston, starting in the 1960s and reaching to the present day, and will include never-before-seen black and white prints from the beginning of his career. William Eggleston Portraits will run until 23 October 2016. For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
Words by Angharad Jones