1. Art

London’s Major Museums And Galleries To Reopen From July 2020

Museums and galleries may officially reopen from Saturday 4 July, providing they follow Covid-19 secure guidelines that include measures like hand sanitizer stations at the entrances, wearing of masks, social distancing and timed visits. In anticipation of reopening, the following museums and galleries have released details.

The National Gallery’s main exhibition spaces will all reopen 8 July to visitors who’ve pre-booked timeslots, along with the blockbuster Titian exhibition (until 17 January 2021). This must-see show that closed in March, after being open for only three days, includes a group of six paintings showing Classical myths primarily taken from the Roman poet Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’ seen together for the first time in over 400 years.

Also reopening 8 July, The Foundling Museum will present “Portraying Pregnancy: from Holbein to Social Media,” the first exhibition to explore the representation of the pregnant female body in portraiture, over 500 years.

Royal Academy of Arts is opening 9 July to members and from 16 July to all. Visitors will have a last chance to see the tremendous Picasso on Paper exhibition (until 2 August). This major exhibition spans the artist’s 80-year career and features 300 works, including studies for the world’s most important anti-war painting “Guernica.” A blockbuster Gaugin & the Impressionists exhibition will open after that on 7 August (until 18 October).

Barbican Art Gallery will welcome visitors back to Masculinities: Liberation through Photography from 13 July 2020, with the show’s run being extended until 23 August 2020. Examining depictions of masculinity from behind the lens, the exhibition brings together the work of over 50 international artists, photographers and filmmakers including Laurie Anderson, Sunil Gupta, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Isaac Julien and Catherine Opie. A Countervailing Theory, the first-ever UK commission from Toyin Ojih Odutola, will open in The Curve gallery on Tuesday 11 August 2020.

In anticipation of reopening 14 July, The Whitechapel Gallery is taking prebookings for the permanent collection and the ticketed painting show, Radical Figures. Making it clear that painting is a thriving and popular medium, this show features the powerful works of Daniel Richter (b. 1962, Germany) Cecily Brown (b. 1969, UK) and Michael Armitage (b. 1984, Kenya), among others.

The Photographers’ Gallery from 14 July is reopening with The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2020 and Jan Svoboda: Against The Light (both until 20 September). Now in its twenty-fourth year, the Deutsche Borse Prize has become one of the most prestigious international arts awards. The work of the four shortlisted artists, Mohamed Bourouissa, Clare Strand, Mark Neville and Anton Kustersis is displayed over all five floors. Previous winners have included Trevor Paglen, Juergen Teller, Rineke Dijkstra, Richard Billingham and John Stezaker.

Both Tate Galleries will reopen to the public 27 July 2020 with timed tickets required for the permanent exhibitions and paying exhibitions. At Tate Modern visitors will be greeted by Kara Walker’s monumental, timely sculpture, on view until 8 November in the turbine hall. A thoughtful critique of the British Empire, Fons Americanus is a 13-metre tall working fountain inspired by the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Andy Warhol opened at Tate Modern on 12 March and closed five days later on 17 March. So it’s good news that this new look at the life and work of the world’s best known Pop artist runs until 6 September. Tate Britain has extended the run until 20 September of the extraordinary Aubrey Beardsley exhibition. Although he died tragically young at the age of just 25, Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) was incredibly prolific, producing hundreds of illustrations for books, periodicals and posters in a career spanning just under seven years. His fascinating, detailed black-and-white images have continued to shock and delight for over a century. Bringing together 200 of Beardsley’s works, some rarely seen, the Tate Britain exhibition shows his unrivalled skill as a draughtsman in minute detail. 

Serpentine Galleries will have a phased reopening beginning with the exhibition Cao Fei: Blueprints on 4 August at the Serpentine Gallery (until 13 September). Prebook free timed tickets. Formafantasma: Cambio opens in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery on 29 September (until 2021). All visitors will need to book a free time slot in advance. Free tickets will be available to reserve from early September.

Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum are yet to announce precise reopening dates and details of exhibitions.

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