The best art exhibitions to see in galleries in the North East during 2014

By Richard Moss | 30 December 2013

High fashion, great paintings and the career of Marilyn Monroe are a few themes for the year in the north-east. We've picked a few of the best art exhibitions to look out for in 2014

a photo of two stooped figures walking along a road
Norman Cornish, Pit Road. Part of a busy season of exhibitions at the Bowes Museum© Courtesy of Gemini Collection
The 21st century museum residing inside a 19th century mansion, Durham’s Bowes Museum will be illuminating its gallery in 2014 with the neon artworks of Gavin Turk – Neons (January 25 – April 21). The National Gallery’s The Execution of Maximilian (March 22 – May 18) then drops in as part of a tour and there’s a beautiful exhibition of work by the Pitmen Painters (May 17 – September 21).

Summer brings Julian Opie: Collected Works (May 22 – September 14), which as well as including new and unseen works, features pieces from his private collection. The year closes with Fenwick Lawson – Sculptures (11th or 18th October 2014 – Feb/March tbc) including two major installations; Weeping Women and the Risen Christ.

The Bowes’ fashion gallery plays host to Lulu Guinness Handbags (summer – dates tbc) and Henry Poole & Co Founder of Savile Row, The Art of Bespoke Tailoring and Wool Cloth (September 21 2013 – May 11 2014).

Middlesbrough’s MIMA blows away the late winter cobwebs with Art and Optimism in 1950s’ Britain (February 21 – June 29) featuring works by Anthony Caro, Wyndham Lewis, Francis Bacon and Eduardo Paolozzi.

Hot on its heels, the AV Festival (March 1 – 31) delivers a group show exploring the idea of “metal as the material of global power”, featuring Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Simon Starling, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, among others. The elemental power of extracted materials will also be the theme of an exhibition at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland.

The summer at MIMA brings Louise Bourgeois’ Artist Rooms (July 18 – October 12), fresh from a successful run at Scottish National Gallery and the Tate St Ives exhibition St Ives International Collaboration (October 24 - January 25) for the autumn.

An eventful year at MIMA closes with Derek Eland: Diary Rooms (November 11 2013 - February 26 2015), which recreates the official war artist's installation of cards filled out with the thoughts of serving soldiers in Afghanistan.

At the time of writing, BALTIC is yet to reveal its 2014 programme, so check back soon. But The Hatton is looking backwards and forwards with Pre-pop to Post-human: Collage in the Digital Age (January 25 – May 17), with the old school magazine collages of Eduardo Paolozzi's Bunk! (January 25 - May 17) running alongside.

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair (January 25 - May 17) also looks at the British photographers who worked with the screen goddess between 1947 to 1962 via a fascinating haul of magazine covers and photographs.

The Laing Art Gallery takes delivery of Compton Verney’s Turner and Constable, Sketching from Nature (March 1 – June 29), then opens Paintings of World War One (May 10 – October 19) for the First World War centenary and Jeremy Deller’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (July 12 – October 26) for the summer.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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