The 2021 exhibitions to look forward to

Installation view of Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern

Installation view of Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern featuring One Hundred Live and Die 1984. Photograph by Tate Photography (Matt Greenwood). Artwork (c) Bruce Nauman / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

 

Like much of the arts industry, the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s galleries and museums has been catastrophic. With the rollout of the vaccine, we’re hoping 2021 will be very different. Here are some of the exhibitions we’re allowing ourselves to get excited about.

Bruce Nauman

Tate Modern, until 21 February 2021

Bruce Nauman’s first major exhibition of work in London in more than 20 years promises to be ‘obscene, violent, vulgar, intense and somehow totally mundane’. And if that doesn’t grab your attention, its immersive installations, poetic sculptures and neon pieces certainly will. Since the late 1960s, the American artist has continually tested what an artwork can be, by reshaping old forms and creating new ones and this exhibition brings his groundbreaking use of sound, film, video and neon together.

Bruce Nauman   Falls, Pratfalls and Sleights of Hand (Clean Version) 1993

Bruce Nauman Falls, Pratfalls and Sleights of Hand (Clean Version) 1993  Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg  © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020

 

Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul

Royal Academy, until 28 February 2021

You can get two legends for the price of one in the RA’s latest exhibition – although they were born 100 years apart. Tracey Emin has been a key figure in the contemporary art world for the past 25 years and Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch is known for pioneering the style’s emotional intensity. In this landmark meeting of minds, Tracey Emin selects masterpieces by Munch to show alongside her most recent paintings.

Tracey Emin, It - didnt stop - I didnt stop, 2019.

Tracey Emin, It - didnt stop - I didnt stop, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 183.5 x 3.7cm. Xavier Hufkens © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2020

 

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms 

Tate Modern, 29 March 2021 to 27 March 2022

Originally scheduled to open in 2020 to celebrate Tate Modern’s 20th anniversary, the eagerly awaited Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms is now scheduled to open to the public in March 2021. The year-long exhibition will be a rare chance to experience two immersive mirror room installations by one of the most celebrated artists working today alongside early documentation of Kusama’s experimental performances and events – some on display for the very first time.

Yayoi Kusama  Chandelier of Grief 2016/2018  Tate  Presented by a private collector, New York 2019  © YAYOI KUSAMA

Yayoi Kusama, Chandelier of Grief 2016/2018 Tate. Presented by a private collector, New York 2019 © Yayoi Kusama

 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League with the Night 

Tate Britain, until 9 May 2021

This exhibition is the most extensive survey of British artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s career to date. One of the most important painters working today – she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013 – this exhibition brings together around 80 works from 2003 to the present day. Her enigmatic portraits are of fictitious people, which she creates from found images and her own imagination, and raise important questions of identity and representation.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night at Tate Britain 2020. Photo: Tate (Seraphina Neville)

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night at Tate Britain 2020. Photo: Tate (Seraphina Neville)

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