Over the 12 days of Christmas, Apollo contributors and invited guests select their anticipated highlights of 2015
In 2015 I am looking forward to several exhibitions exploring the development of Pop Art beyond its accepted history. Firstly, the exhibition ‘The 1960s: BOOM’ at the newly renovated Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, which opens on 14 February and is due to feature familiar British artists such as Peter Blake, Allen Jones and Colin Self, and later in the spring the exhibition ‘International Pop’ which opens at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (11 April–6 September), and tours to the Dallas Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art. I’m pleased that this major exhibition in the USA will be considering the pivotal contribution of British artists to Pop: Pallant House Gallery has a significant collection of British Pop Art and we will be lending Richard Hamilton’s iconic Hers is a Lush Situation (1957) to the exhibition, which will also consider the global emergence of Pop from the 1950s to the 1970s (including Nouveau réalisme in France, Neo-Concretism in Brazil and Neo-Dada in Germany). It will be interesting to compare the approach with ‘The World Goes Pop’ at Tate Modern in the autumn (17 September–24 January 2016), which will present how the spirit of Pop continued and developed globally from Latin America to Asia.
At the Venice Biennale (9 May–22 November), I am looking forward to seeing how Okwui Enwezor approaches the huge thematic show in the Giardini and Arsenale to be entitled ‘All the World’s Futures’. In terms of national pavilions, of course I am keen to see Sarah Lucas in the British Pavilion, but also Heimo Zobernig in the Austrian Pavilion, and my friend Christodoulos Panayiotou for Cyprus. But perhaps most encouraging is the news that India and Pakistan will be presenting a joint pavilion.
Closer to home, 2015 is going to be a busy year of exhibitions for Pallant House Gallery, starting in January with a small exhibition of ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’ that I’m curating at the London Art Fair – of which the gallery is the Official Museum Partner 2015 (21–25 January). The display will feature highlights from our collection including figure studies and portraits by Sickert, Bomberg, Freud, Auerbach, Coldstream, Vaughan, Hockney, Hamilton, Rego and their contemporaries. In March, our exhibition ‘Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War’ tours from Chichester (closing 15 Feb) to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.
During the spring we will be presenting a retrospective of the British artist Leon Underwood (1890–1975), who has been described as ‘the father of modern British sculpture’ (7 March–14 June). The exhibition explores how Underwood drew on the influence of non-Western art from Africa and Mexico in the 1920s and ’30s to create striking paintings, life drawings, wood engravings and sculptures that responded to the rhythm and form of the human figure. Later in the year we will continue our reappraisals of Modern British artists with the exhibitions ‘Sickert’s Dieppe: The Art of Modern Life’ (4 July–4 October) and ‘David Jones: Vision and Memory’ (dates tbc), as well as contemporary sculpture installations by the Indian artist Nek Chand. We’ll be also working with the wonderful Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden to present a Centenary exhibition of Kenneth Rowntree (5 April–12 July), and a show of lost works by the female War Artist Evelyn Dunbar (dates tbc). It should be an exciting year.
Simon Martin is Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester