The top painting exhibitions of 2013 according to Culture24 readers

By Richard Moss | 29 December 2013

2013 was another vintage year for painting exhibitions in UK museums and galleries - here's ten of the best from the last year, informed by Culture24 readers...


1. Hurvin Anderson's stunning paintings take over Birmingham's IKON gallery 


a detail of a large painting by Hurvin Anderson of ornate white metal gates against a green background
Hurvin Anderson, Double Grille (2008)© Collection Janet de Botton
The Birmingham gallery was the apt venue for this first major retrospective of a rising star in contemporary British painting.


2. The Fine Art Society celebrates the lost art of British Twentieth Century Murals


a mural painting featuring various figures in landscape including rustic figures and a reclining nude
Colin Gill (1892-1940), Allegro, 1921.© Private collection
Long-forgotten murals by Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Peter Lanyon, Frank Brangwyn and a cast of mid-century moderns made this show one of the painting exhibitions of the year. 


3. Edwin Butler Bayliss: Poet Painter of the Black Country at Wolverhampton Art Gallery


a painting of an industrial landscape of slag heaps and chimneys
Edwin Butler Bayliss, Tipping the slag.© Christopher Bayliss/ artist’s estate
One of the region's finest galleries revealed how the Black country's very own LS Lowry captured the drama, beauty and bleakness of the industrial West Midlands.


4. The poetic landscapes of Jeffery Camp: The Way to Beachy Head at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings

a landscape painting full of swirling figures
Jeffery Camp, South Downlands (1990)© the artist, courtesy Art Space Gallery, London
A showcase of the poetic landscape paintings of Jeffery Camp in an exhibition focusing on his beautifully dramatic interpretations of the East Sussex coastline.


5.
Edinburgh Art Festival 2013: Peter Doig at Scottish National Gallery

Peter Doig, House of Pictures (Carrera) (2004)
Peter Doig, House of Pictures (Carrera) (2004)© Courtsey of private collection
The first major retrospective of Peter Doig showcased his hot and hazy landscapes of Trinidad.


6. Lowry at Tate Britain delivers the goods in show of twists and turns


a painting of an industrial scene with a lake surrounded by winding gear and chimneys belching black smoke
LS Lowry, River Scene (Industrial Landscape) (1935)© The estate of L.S. Lowry All rights reserved, DACS 2013
The welcome rehabilitation of the painter of matchstick men seemed complete with this major retrospective at Tate Britain.


7. A talent cut short - the tragic journey of Christopher Wood at Kettle's Yard


a still life of flowers in a vase
Christopher Wood, Flowers, 1930© Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge
Kettle's Yard offered up the paintings and drawings of Christopher Wood; one of the most precocious talents of 1920s British painting.


8. The Hepworth Wakefield and Jerwood Hastings celebrate the genius of William Scott


a still life with a plate and three pears
William Scott, White, Sand and Ochre (1960–1). Tate© Wakefield Permanent Art Collection © 2013 estate of William Scott
The Wiliam Scott Centenary year began with a major exhibition at Tate St Ives, evolving into these two absorbing shows in Hastings and Wakefield.


9. Elena Fortescue-Brickdale: the last Pre-Raphaelite at Watts Gallery

A painting of a girl dressed as a medieval page cutting her long hair beneath a tree
The Little Foot-page, 1905© National Museums Liverpool
When it comes to British gallery exhibitions, the Pre-Raphaelites are never far away. Here was an intriguing artist who continued the tradition into the 1940s.


10. Tate Modern's Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective

a painting of a cartoon panel with a woman on the phone saying "Oh Jeff... I love you, too... but..."
Roy Lichtenstein, Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But… 1964.© Collection Simonyi © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2012
Tate Modern offered a "rip roaring" showcase of the work of The master of American Pop Art.

More popular painting shows from 2013:


Kurt Schwitters: The master of collage and connections at Tate Britain   

Julian Opie's winter landscapes fuse technology and tradition at Alan Christea

Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901. The Courtauld captures the magic of Picasso's pivotal year 

The Cutting Edge of Modernity: Grosvenor School Linocuts at Osborne Samuel London 

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