The Culture24 Crystal Ball: The top UK Art exhibitions beyond London in 2013

By Richard Moss | 31 December 2012

a painting of a man and a woman in an interior with a white cat
David Hockney is featured in two shows in Liverpool in 2013, including GLAM! Art and the Performance of Style at Tate Liverpool© David Hockney

Make a visit to a gallery exhibition in 2013 your New Year Resolution. Richard Moss takes a look at some of the top UK art exhibitions beyond London in 2013...


The Scottish National Gallery starts the year in time-honoured tradition with the Vaughan Bequest Turner in January (January 1 – 31), and Rodin’s world-famous celebration of erotic love, The Kiss, arrives for a year-long residency on February 2.

a sculpture of a kissing couple
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), The Kiss, 1901-4.© Tate
Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch, arrives after its stretch at the National Gallery in London (May 11 – September 8).

Over at the National Gallery of Modern Art, they serve up one of the most intriguing shows of the summer with Witches and Wicked Bodies (July 27 – November 3).

Looking at how witches and witchcraft have been depicted by artists during the past 500 years, it includes works by Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya and William Blake, plus pieces by 20th century artists such as Paula Rego and Kiki Smith.

A packed programme at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery includes the searing black and white photographs of Edith Tudor Hart: In the Shadow of Tyranny (March 2 – May 26), the V&A’s House of Annie Lennox (March 23 – May 26), Man Ray Portraits (June 22 – September 8) and a series of new figurative paintings courtesy of Ken Currie (July 20 – September 22).


National Museum Cardiff are promising a major new exhibition in collaboration with a “leading UK artist” as a curtain-raiser for the Dylan Thomas centenary.

Pop and Abstract (March 9 – September 1) meanwhile will look at the way the ‘swinging sixties’ transformed British art with people like Hockney, William Blake and Bridget Riley mixing it up with Welsh artists like Ken Elias, Mali Morris, John Selway and Ernest Zobole.

Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin (July 27 – November 3) arrives in summer with more than 100 paintings dating from around 1500-1850, culled from the painter’s private collection.

Keith Vaughan’s Figure Studies (July 13 – November 24) continues the gallery’s absorbing In Focus display series, and the Arts Council/Tate touring show Land Art: The New Art of Landscape in Britain 1967-79 (October 13 – January 2014) arrives with some of biggest British artists including Tony Cragg, Anthony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Derek Jarman and Richard Long.

South East

a detail of a painting of a woman cutting her hair
Little Foot-Page by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale
Watts Gallery in Surrey starts the year with A Pre-Raphaelite Journey: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (February 5 – June 9).  A painter, designer and book illustrator, Fortescue-Brickdale kept the embers of Pre-Raphaelitism glowing well beyond the Edwardian period.

Also look out for The Big Issues: Celebrating Art for All (February 5 - March 17), a project working with offenders, homeless and those with mental health issues, inspired by GF and Mary Watts’s vision of ‘Art of All’ and their belief in the transformational powers of art.

A varied and interesting programme at Woking's gallery/museum The Lightbox includes an Elisabeth Frink Retrospective (February 19 – April 21) with works from Tate, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Henry Moore Foundation.

The Ingram Collection: The Colourful lives of Artists (July 17 – September 15) explores some complicated and colourful private lives. With a cast list including Dora Carrington, Eric Gill, and Stanley Spencer, it should be quite an eye opener.

Touring show Land Art: New Art of Landscape in Britain 1967 – 81 begins its long tour at Southampton City Art Gallery (May 9 – August 4),
and Margate's Turner Contemporary continues its combination of contemporary and historic art with Carl Andre: Mass & Matter (February 1 –  May 6), featuring his sculptures and typed poems from the 1960s and 1970s.

a photo of a projector in front of a screen
Rosa Barba, Coro Spezzato: The Future Lasts One Day (2009). Five 16-mm colour films.
Accompanying these is the southern arm of a split site show (see Cornerhouse Manchester) featuring the locally shot sculptural film works of Rosa Barba: Subject to Constant Change (February 1 – May 6).

In summer, the menagerie that is the Arts Council touring exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing (May 25 – September 15) arrives. The autumn ushers in Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature (October 2013 – January 2014), bringing together 50 works by Turner, Constable and their contemporaries.

Brighton Royal Pavilion also celebrates Turner – and the city’s acquisition of the Turner watercolour Brighthelmston, Sussex (1824) – with Turner in Brighton (November 1 – February 28), which reveals how Turner and his mates perceived the town at the height of its development in the 1820s.

At the De La Warr Pavilion, in nearby Bexhill, there are mutterings of “techno-animism”, “fabulous hybrid creatures” and “the hyper-rationalism of modern technology” as Mark Leckey arrives with his Universal Addressability of Dumb Things (July 13 – October 20).

a painting of a figure and a deck chair
R.B.Kitaj, Priest, Deckchair and Distraught Woman, 1961© The Estate of RB Kitaj
In Eastbourne, the Towner opts for the immersive, hyper-real landscape installations of video artist Kelly Richardson (February 2 – April 14), before late spring welcomes the paintings of Fiona Rae, who ponders: Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century (April 27 – June 23).

Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery has bagged Barbara Hepworth: Hospital Drawings (February 16 – June 2), fresh from its critically acclaimed spell at the Hepworth Wakefield, and there’s a joint showing of the major Berlin retrospective R.B. Kitaj: Obsessions (February 23 – June 16).

The autumn-winter exhibition, British Artists and the Spanish Civil War (October 26 – February 9 2014) is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of Pablo Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting Guernica (1937).

Knock Knock: Seven Artists in Hastings (February 2 - April 17) sees the Jerwood Art Gallery showcase seven artists: Fiona Banner, Mario Rossi, Jane Hilton, Martin Maloney, Alessandro Raho, Becky Beasley and Stephen Buckley. All of them hold strong affiliations with Hastings.

The gallery also weighs in with their own William Scott centenary exhibition William Scott: Divided Figure (April 27 - July 10), which investigates the painter’s rarely seen figure works.

an abstract figurative painting
Francis Bacon, Lying Figure.© Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
At The Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green, in Hertfordshire, Moore Rodin (March 29 –October 27) is a major exhibition which compares the work of Moore with one of the pioneers of modern sculpture – Auguste Rodin

Moore is paired again in Henry Moore | Francis Bacon (September 12 – January 5) at the Ashmolean Oxford, which shows 20 works each by these two giants of 20th century British art who exhibited together from end of the Second World War into the 1960s when both were represented by Marlborough Fine Art.


The Hepworth’s 2013 programme begins with Alice Channer, Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Linder (February 16 – May 12), who all engage with the legacy of Barbara Hepworth as part of the process of making new works for their exhibitions.

The 2011 Northern Art Prize Winner Haroon Mirza (May 25 – September 29) arrives for the summer with a bold plan to convert the Emley Moor Mast into a sound and light artwork that will transmit an audio visual composition of LED lights and sound into the gallery space.

Tate St Ives’ William Scott exhibition arrives at the same time (May 25 – September 29), and the WA Ismay Collection (October 12 – January 30) of 650 pots (from his collection of 3,500 at the time of his death) arrives from its home at York Art Gallery for a thorough investigation of 20th century European ceramics.

a photo of a mannequin dressed as a fox holding a gun
Yinka Shonibare, Revolution Kid (Fox Boy). Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery.© Courtesy YSP. Photo Jonty Wilde
The ambitious outdoor sculpture programme at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire continues apace with William Turnbull at Chatsworth (March 10 – June 30).

A few miles north, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the major show for 2013 is Yinka Shonibare: FABRICATION (February 2 – September 9), taking place in three of YSP’s indoor galleries and the open air.

Not far behind, the geometric, asymmetrical forms of sculptor Garth Evans – selected by Richard Deacon (March 22 –  April 28 2013) take up residence in YSP’s Longside Gallery.

The National Media Museum in Bradford celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema with Indian Cinema 100 (March 8 – June 16). There will – of course – be screenings and a raft of themed events. March also sees the arrival of Tom Wood: Photographs 1973 – 2013, which is the result of four decades photographing the people of Merseyside.

One of the most intriguing shows of the year pops up at Sheffield's Millennium Gallery where Inside The Circle of Fire: A Sheffield Sound Map by Chris Watson (AUtumn 2013 dates tbc) offers an immersive, spatialised sound map of the city. Promising a journey of "songs and rhythms" from the city's moorland via its arterial rivers and waterways through to the "wild, urban and commercial medleys" in the heart of the city, it has been specially created by electro pioneer Watson who founded Cabaret Voltaire.

North East

BALTIC’s spring season opens with the epic series of films created by Croatian David Maljkovic (March 15 – July 7). The summer welcomes a massive overview of the painting, sculpture and works on paper of German artist Thomas Scheibitz (July 26 – November 3).


Walsall Art Gallery’s The Nature of the Beast (April 26 - June 30) brings together Polly Morgan, Mat Collishaw, Mark Fairnington, Tessa Farmer, Olly & Suzi and Patricia Piccinini for a look at how they make us engage the animal kingdom.  

From dead fauna to flora, Nottingham Contemporary opens its 2013 programme with Piero Gilardi & John Newling (January 26 – April 7), an exciting mix of Arte Povera and public art dealing with the natural world and our environment.

Land Art premieres at Compton Verney in Warwickshire (July 13 – September 22), where the programme also includes Bellini, Botticelli, Titian...500 years of Italian Art (March 23 - June 23) and Outside In: Central (March 23 - December 15) showcasing new and innovative work by marginalised artists in the central regions of England. 

a film still of two men fighting with fluorescent tube light bulbs
Workplace at Mead Gallery
Mead Gallery, at Warwick Arts Centre, kicks off the year by exploring the place most of us trudge back to wearily in January. Workplace (January 9 – March 9) is a group show that explores the universal experience of work through contemporary art.

The Herbert in Coventry is partnering with Wolverhampton Art Gallery for Caught in the Crossfire (January 25 – July 7), exploring how artists grapple with the brutality of war and the desire for peace.  A “challenging journey” is promised in this wide ranging group show that journeys from the home front to the frontline and back again.

In Derby, the dynamic arts space QUAD is once again the central hub for the Format International Photography Festival (March 7 - April 6), which takes the theme of The Factory.

Included in the multi-site programme is a commission by Brian Griffin and Mob Format (an online mass participation project). There is also the Exposure award and a major exhibition from Erik Kessels.

North West

Cornerhouse in Manchester unveils their collaboration with Turner Contemporary, Rosa Barba: Subject to Constant Change (January 26 – March 17), a dual exploration of the end of the industrial age, with films specially made in Manchester and Margate.

March brings Yoshua Okón: Octopus (March 9 – April 1), in which the Mexican artist takes the US tradition of American Civil War re-enactments for a Deller-esque, sociological art performance presentation of the Guatemalan Civil War staged in a Home Depot parking lot in Los Angeles.

There’s a massive show for Manchester Art Gallery, where Jeremy Deller's touring show All That is Solid Melts Into Air (October 10 - January 19 2014) rolls into town for an exploration of the roots of working-class musical culture, from 19th century industrial folk to glam and heavy rock music.

It then tours to Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Mead Gallery at the University of Warwick and Laing Art Gallery throughout 2014.

It’s an impressive year at the Manchester Gallery. February unveils La Nuit d’Amour, (February 15 – May 27) the largest solo exhibition to date by feted Anglo Indian painter Raqib Shaw.

British Art between the Wars (March 2 – 2014) brings together painting, sculpture, prints, book illustration, industrial design and studio pottery from the inter war years in Manchester Art Gallery and the ’s public collections.

Home, Land and Sea, Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800 (May 24 – 2014) presents around 50 of the galleries’ most important 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish paintings.

a photo og GRayson Perry next to one of his tapestries
Grayson Perry, The Upper Class at Bay (2012). Wool, cotton, acrylic, polyester and silk tapestry© Photo: Rii Schroer
Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences (October 2013 - January 2014) sees Grayson’s celebrated series of six tapestries tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class.

In Liverpool, FACT celebrates 10 years of innovation in Film, Art and Creative Technology with a lively programme which includes The Art of Pop Video (March 14 –  May 26), featuring more than 70 video clips telling the story of the pop video from the 1920s to the present.

Turning FACT Inside Out (June 13 – August 25) promises to “perforate the building”, taking visitors on a journey inside and outside of the gallery in an attempt to create an alternative experience of the building.

In December, The Art of Science Fiction (December 12 - February 25 2014) reveals how contemporary artists are exploring a “futurism of resilience, insurgence and aggressive fights for freedom”.

Walker Art Gallery starts the year by showing the new acquisitions it has made. New Works at the Walker (opens February 2) features an impressive haul including works by Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Yoko Ono, Paula Rego, and Haroon Mirza.

David Hockney's early work (October 11 – March 2014) comes under the spotlight in the autumn with prints, drawings and paintings. The show reunites Hockney with the gallery where he won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1967 for ‘Peter getting out of Nick’s Pool’, which goes on display once again.

The Lady Lever is upholding a British tradition of Pre-Raphaelite themed exhibitions with their Drawings of Edward Burne-Jones: A Pre-Raphaelite Master (June 14 – January 2014).

a film still of a person in exotic dress
Jack Smith Archive, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels© Jack Smith Archive, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Tate Liverpool
’s lively programme includes a look at the uncompromising nudes and figurative work of overlooked painter Sylvia Sleigh (February 8 – May 3). The summer ushers in Chagall: Modern Master (8 June – 6 October 2013), featuring more than 60 of his paintings.

Perhaps with one eye on the V&A’s Bowie blockbuster, Glam! The Performance of Style (February 8 – May 12) looks at the art school-inspired glam rock explosion of the early seventies through the work of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and many more.

Mark Leckey heads to The Bluecoat in Liverpool for The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things (16 February – 14 April 2013 and then touring).

In the Lakes Abbott Hall in Kendal begins its programme with a beautiful exhibition of paintings by Swiss painter Uwe Witter (January 18 – March 16), before progressing through an impressive programme that includes British sculptor Lyn Chadwick (March 28 – June 15 – a split site show also at Blackwell Art and Crafts House) the surreal landscapes of Graham Sutherland (June 29 – September 15) and another welcome look at the Radev Collection of British and International Art (September 27 – December 21).

South West

Down at Tate St Ives the British painter William Scott (1913–1989) opens the year with a centenary retrospective (January 26 –  May 6). At Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, they show Henry Moore’s sculptures and works on paper (April 13 – June 23).

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum continues its series of shows exploring the work of British artists with links to the locality with Rex Whistler: A Talent Cut Short (May 24 – September 29) will look at Whistler’s many links and artworks in the Salisbury locality.

East of England

a drawing of the three graces
A design by Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden for Morley College based on The Tempest inscribed to Charles Mahoney.© Fry Art Gallery
The Fitzwilliam hosts Quentin Blake: Drawn by Hand (February 12 – May 12). Lincoln’s Usher Gallery has The World is Almost Six Thousand Years Old Contemporary Art and Archaeology from the Stone Age to the Present (February 2 – May 7) brings together objects from Lincolnshire’s archaeological holdings, with works by more than 20 emerging and established contemporary artists.

The show extends across five venues in the city of Lincoln and features a massive crop of artists including Anthony Caro, Gillian Carnegie, Keith Coventry, Matthew Darbyshire, Sarah Lucas, Jeremy Millar, Roger Hiorns and Jacob Dwyer.

At the Fry Art Gallery, in Saffron Walden, An Outbreak of Talent (March 31 – June 30) takes Paul Nash’s 1935 description of an “Outbreak of Talent” at the Royal College of Art, where he encountered Edward Burra, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman, Eric Ravilious, Enid Marx, William Chappel and Barbara Ker-Seymer.

Including work by Paul Nash and the eight artists he named, it’s another reason to head to Saffron Walden this spring.

Norwich Castle benefits from the Hayward touring show Curiosity: Art & The Pleasures of Knowing (25 May – 15 September 2013 and 28 September – 5 January 2014) with another chance to explore obsession, monstrosity and invention via the works of Gerard Byrne, Tacita Dean, Laurent Grasso and many others.

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