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12 Days: Highlights of 2015

1 January 2015

Over the 12 days of Christmas, Apollo contributors and invited guests select their anticipated highlights of 2015

View the 12 Days series here

It looks like 2015 will be Manchester’s year. July sees the return of the innovative Manchester International Festival, and not only is the Whitworth Art Gallery reopening on 14 February following a major redevelopment project, but a new cultural centre launches in the city in May. HOME merges two of Manchester’s arts venues, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, offering the best in contemporary visual art, theatre and film. The largest combined arts centre outside London, it will be interesting to see whether the £25 million HOME can take root as part of Manchester’s wider cultural regeneration.

Another eagerly anticipated opening in May, albeit much further afield, is New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, which moves downtown and gets a new Renzo Piano-designed building. Staying in New York, I’m looking forward to the New Museum’s Triennial, ‘Surround Audience’ in February, this year organised by curator Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin. With its international focus on early-career artists, the event is one of the institution’s most original attempts to outline the current shape of contemporary art.

Rendering of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new building in downtown Manhattan, from the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

Rendering of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new building in downtown Manhattan, from the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets. Image courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners

Interesting new perspectives are promised in the Hayward Gallery’s ‘History is Now’ (opening 10 February), which considers Britain’s recent past curated by seven UK-based artists, and Turner Contemporary’s examination of the relationship between risk and art in October. Elsewhere, Charles Avery’s unique imaginative world is displayed in his most ambitious show to date at the Gemeentemuseum den Haag. Finally, I’ll be looking out for Nathaniel Mellors’ no-doubt surreal film centred around Preston’s controversial ‘60s concrete bus station, scheduled for late-2015. Mellors was the recipient of this year’s Contemporary Art Society prize, and this work was commissioned in collaboration with Preston’s Harris Museum and Art Gallery. Another boon for the regions.

Event details

The Manchester International Festival runs from 2–19 July.

The Whitworth Art Gallery reopens on 14 February.

HOME, Manchester, opens on 21 May.

The Whitney Museum of American Art reopens on 1 May.

The New Museum Triennial, ‘Surround Audience’, runs from 25 February–24 May.

‘History is Now’ is at the Hayward Gallery, London, from 10 February–26 April.

‘Risk’ is at Turner Contemporary, Margate, from 7 October–17 January 2016.

‘Charles Avery: What’s the matter with idealism?’ is at the Gemeentemuseum den Haag from 14 February–7 June.

Nathaniel Mellors is working in partnership with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery on a new work, scheduled for completion in late 2015.

View the rest of the 12 Days series here.