7 must-see art exhibitions Autumn 2021 in the UK

In 2020, something we missed was visiting galleries in person, seeing the work of our favourite artists and discovering new talents all across the country and world. With life returning back to something like normal, we are once again looking forward to visiting galleries.

But what are the must-see exhibitions that you won’t want to miss this autumn? We have collected seven that you should add to your list right now - prepare to be inspired.

Paula Rego at Tate Britain

Until 24th October 2021

Dame Paula Rego may be eighty-five years old, but her paintings are as current as ever. The Portuguese artist bases her artworks on storybooks but focuses on decidedly feminist, politically inspired themes. This Tate Britain retrospective of her long body of work showcases her as the contemporary genius she is, with over one hundred works on display.

There is something for everyone to enjoy, from pencil sketches to collage to sculpture and pastels.

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Mend Piece by Yoko Ono at Whitechapel Gallery

Until 2nd January 2022

Yoko Ono’s chops as an artist have been more than proven over the past fifty years. Today, she is an icon, and she is bringing her Mend Piece exhibition to London. Featuring fragments of broken pottery, the instruction you will receive upon entering this interactive display is “Mend carefully. / Think of mending the world at the same time.” Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi (in which broken pottery is repaired with gold), you will be invited to “mend” the broken pieces with glue, twine and more. Your mended items will then be put on display to show the possibility of healing through community.

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Milton Avery at Royal Academy of Arts

Until 16th October 2022

You have a little extra time to catch this cheerful exhibition from one of the 20th century’s leading colourists. Similar in spirit and style to David Hockney, Milton Avery’s work is collected in a comprehensive exhibition for the first time in Europe. With seventy or so paintings on display, the images will give you the feeling of travelling to Maine and beyond. These great paintings are the perfect way to discover an American master.

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Sculptures (2001-2021) by Karla Black at Fruitmarket Gallery

Until 21st November 2021

Head north of the border to discover incredible art in Edinburgh. This installation in a freshly reopened Fruitmarket Gallery is an impressive retrospective of Karla Black’s sculptures over the past twenty years. The Turner Prize nominee has constructed an amazing array of sculptures in materials as wide ranging as cardboard, cellophane, thread, powder paint, cosmetics, sugar paper and more.

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Infinity Mirror Rooms by Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern

Until 12th June 2022

This work is based around the theme of immersion. Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms have already received great acclaim, and here you can visit two of them. Combining mirrors with water and light, you will experience the sensation of endless space, creating an almost kaleidoscopic experience.

While Kusama may be ninety-two, she remains a current and brilliant voice on the contemporary art scene - don’t miss this chance to encounter her work in person.

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Frans Hals: The Male Portrait at The Wallace Collection

22nd September 2021 until 30th January 2022

This autumn, Frans Hal will be celebrated by The Wallace Collection. Most well known for his portrait, The Laughing Cavalier, there are many other works to discover by this artist. In this exhibition, they are collected with his most beloved work in a display of paintings that highlight great male portraits. Spanning from Europe to America, this exhibit reveals the truly revolutionary nature of Hals’ work, and is sure to inspire those who love their portraits to be a little less traditional.

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Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery

Until 31st October 2021

Did you watch Grayson’s Art Club? The show aired on Channel 4 and became a bright light for artists and art lovers during lockdown. Work your way north to Manchester to explore this long-running exhibition which showcases personal, artistic representations of Britain as it was during this isolating period. It is a fascinating record of a strange and challenging time, with art created by established artists, celebrities, and ordinary people. A fascinating document, and well worth a visit before it closes.

Find out more>>

We hope that you get to visit at least one of these great exhibitions this autumn. Which one are you most excited to explore?


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