10 art exhibitions to see in August

Published 1 August 2019

From a look at Sigmund Freud’s fascination with ancient Egypt to Grayson Perry RA’s tapestries in Edinburgh, here are 10 shows across the UK that we recommend this month.

    • Hans Feibusch, The Dance

      Hans Feibusch, The Dance, 1950.

      Gouache on paper. © Hans Feibusch estate.

      1. ART-EXIT: 1939 – A Very Different Europe

      Ben Uri, 12 Star Gallery, London, 17 July – 11 September 2019
      Comprised of energetic brush strokes, Hans Feibusch’s joyous painting The Dance (1950) presents a scene of dynamism and delight. However, as a new show by Ben Uri suggests, the idea of movement has a darker meaning when we consider the German-Jewish artist’s forced migration to Britain in 1933. Tracing the journeys taken by some of Europe’s most celebrated artists in the lead up to the second world war, including Frank Auerbach, Oskar Kokoschka and Lucian Freud, this exhibition promises to remind us of the ‘fascinating, important topical stories’ their art still has to tell.

    • 2. Vivian Maier: Colour Photographs

      Huxley Parlour, London, 31 July – 14 September 2019
      Capturing shop windows, wall mirrors and strangers in the streets, this intriguing series of photographs gives little away of its author. Except, that is, for their insatiable curiosity about urban life. The person behind the lens was Vivian Maier, a nanny and amateur street photographer who left behind a body of work consisting of more than 100,000 negatives, acquired by chance shortly before her death. Focusing on works made in the last 30 years of her life, Huxley Parlour shows a selection of her lesser known photographs shot in colour.

      Vivian Maier, Self-Portrait, Chicagoland

      Vivian Maier, Self-Portrait, Chicagoland, 1975.

      © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

    • Sonia Boyce RA OBE, Installation view of Devotional

      Sonia Boyce RA OBE, Installation view of Devotional, 1999 - present.

      Courtesy of the artist, New Art Exchange Nottingham and York Art Gallery. Photograph by Chris Streek..

      3. Sounds Like Her: Gender, Sound Art and Sonic Cultures

      York Art Gallery, York, 13 July – 15 September 2019
      Looking and listening is required at the York Art Gallery this summer, with its latest show amplifying the voices of those who sometimes struggle to be heard. Amongst the six contemporary female artists showcased is Royal Academician Sonia Boyce, who expands her ongoing project Devotional (1999–present), celebrating the contribution of Black British women to the nation’s musical history, and Ain Bailey, who presents The Pitch Sisters (2012), an immersive sound piece comprised of female voices pitched to the supposed ‘preferred level’, highlighting the way gendered ideals infiltrate different aspects of our lives.

    • 4. Between Oedipus and the Sphinx: Freud and Egypt

      The Freud Museum, London, 7 August – 13 October 2019
      With angular human features and the haunches of a lion, the iconic ancient image of the Sphinx represents love and devotion, and held a particular fascination for Sigmund Freud. This August, the Freud Museum explores the significant Ancient Egyptian collection of the Austrian psychoanalyst, drawing parallels between his interest in archaeology and Egyptology, and his attempts to dig beneath the surface of the human psyche, providing examples from some of his most famous theories.

      Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Reproduction print of Oedipus and the Sphinx

      Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Reproduction print of Oedipus and the Sphinx.

      © Freud Museum London.

    • Holly Coulis, Lemon Sun, Pyramid, Waterfall

      Holly Coulis, Lemon Sun, Pyramid, Waterfall, 2019.

      oil on linen. 127 x 152.4. Courtesy of the artist, Simon Lee Gallery and Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery. Photo by Prudence Cumming.

      5. En Plein Air

      Simon Lee Gallery, London, 19 July – 31 August 2019
      Holly Coulis’ vibrant canvas Lemon Sun, Pyramid, Waterfall (2019) has a loose grip on realism, preferring instead to capture the essence of what it is to be outside on a summer’s day. Playing with a flat perspective and a dreamlike arrangement of citrussy forms, the painting recalls a picnic on a sweltering afternoon, at once familiar and yet strange. In its reimagining of the popular mid-19th century ‘en plein air’ approach, Simon Lee Gallery presents Coulis as one in a group of artists who deal with different mediums, but each bring the tradition of working outdoors into the present day.

    • 6. Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud

      Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria, 12 July – 5 October 2019
      Inspired by their respective trips to the Alps, JMW Turner and John Ruskin depicted mountainous landscapes which shift in mood between serenity and the intensity of the sublime. Centuries later, Emma Stibbon RA retraces the Alpine journey of these artists to create a new series of work which contemplates a landscape changed by glacial melts, shown here alongside Ruskin, Turner and other modern and contemporary names.

      Emma Stibbon RA, Aiguilles

      Emma Stibbon RA, Aiguilles, 2018.

      Indian ink, ground oyster shell on paper. 1520 x 214cm. © Emma Stibbon courtesy of Alan Cristea Gallery.

    • Grayson Perry RA, A Perfect Match

      Grayson Perry RA, A Perfect Match, 2015.

      Courtesy the Artist, Paragon Press, and Victoria Miro, London.

      7. Julie Cope’s Grand Tour

      Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, 25 July – 2 November 2019
      Grayson Perry RA presents a series of large-scale tapestries telling the fictional tale of Essex everywoman Julie Cope at Dovecot Studios, transforming tapestry’s traditional association with status and wealth to foreground instead a story about the shapes that real lives take. Julie Cope’s Grand Tour is one in a multitude of exhibitions that are part of The Edinburgh Art Festival this month, with appearances by leading artists such as Cindy Sherman Hon RA, who shows early works at Stills: Centre for Photography (until 6 Oct), and late US choreographer Trisha Brown, whose output is celebrated at Jupiter Artland (until 29 Sept).

    • 8. Lois Dodd

      Modern Art London, 6 July – 24 August 2019
      Lois Dodd is given her first survey exhibition in the UK by Modern Art London, which showcases the artist’s admired landscape and architectural paintings, spanning the last 60 years of her career. Dodd often creates an unnerving sense of detachment in her work. In Night House with Lit Window (2012), we become a voyeur, peering at a lit window in the darkness, its secretive glow subtly enhanced by the soft grey cladding of the house and the khaki of the midnight foliage.

      Lois Dodd, Night House with Lit Window

      Lois Dodd, Night House with Lit Window, 2012.

      oil on linen. 121.9 x 182.9 cm. © Lois Dodd. Courtesy Modern Art, London & Alexandre Gallery, New York. Photo by Ben Westoby.

    • Wong Ping, Stills from Who's the Daddy

      Wong Ping, Stills from Who's the Daddy, 2017.

      Single channel video animation, 9 minutes. Courtesy of Edouard Malinque Gallery and the artist.

      9. Wong Ping: Heart Digger

      Camden Arts Centre, London, 5 July – 15 September 2019
      Pixellated in structure and sour in both colour and mood, Wong Ping’s animations use the neon-pop aesthetic of a 1980s video game to present scenes and habits from contemporary life, such as the dedicated dating app ‘swipe’ of left and right in Who’s the Daddy (2017). As he enacts characters that sit somewhere between animal and alien, Ping’s monotone Cantonese narration and use of overt sexual humour brings to life stories that play on our own anxieties as humans in the 21st century, not least the loneliness we feel in a technology-suffused, ever-connected society.

    • 10. Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity

      The Whitworth, Manchester, 17 August 2019 – 5 July 2020
      Birds and pomegranates burst forth from the walls in a wallpaper designed by Walter Crane, just one of those to have remained ‘unreformed’ by the Victorian Design Reform movement. Crane’s formidable rejection of the movement, which railed against the ornate detail enabled by the mechanisation of the design industry, joins other Victorian, modern and contemporary wallpaper designs at the Whitworth this August, in a new show exploring the limits and legacies of the movement’s influence.

      Walter Crane , for Jeffrey and Co., Cockatoo & Pomegranate

      Walter Crane, for Jeffrey and Co., Cockatoo & Pomegranate, 1899.

      block printed wallpaper. © The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.