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Best Exhibitions to See This Spring 2021

Spring has never been so anticipated here at Willard, and there are so many fantastic exhibitions coming up to plan into our ever growing, and hopeful diary. Discover our pick of 10 must-see exhibitions from across the globe, which one are you most looking forward to visiting?

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

Where: Royal Academy of Arts

When: 23 May – 26 September 2021

A perfect reintroduction to art exhibitions after this extraordinary year is Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020. During the first lockdown in 2020, David Hockney captured the unfolding of spring on his iPad, creating 116 new works celebrating the nature around him .

As Hockney himself notes: "working on the iPad requires the ability to draw and paint. Each work – which has been printed far larger than the screen on which it was created – allows you to see every mark and stroke of the artist’s hand."

Image: David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 artwork images.

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You

Where: Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art

When: Dates to be confirmed

The Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to announce Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, a major solo exhibition devoted to the work of renowned artist Barbara Kruger. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to reconsider Kruger’s work in a powerful retrospective spanning four decades in the largest and most comprehensive presentation of Kruger’s work in twenty years.


Where: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

When: Spring (opening date TBC) -30 May 2021

Here, for the first time the focus is on slavery in the Dutch colonial period and takes the form of personal and real-life stories rather than abstract concepts. The exhibition tells ten true stories surrounding slavery, giving a unique and personal perspective of the time.

Image: Enslaved man working on the fields (around 1850) by an unknown artist

Liverpool Biennial

Where: Across Liverpool

When: Until 6th June 2021

The Liverpool Biennial is great way to finally reintroduce yourself to the city in the most creative way possible. Ideal for residents and visitors alike to celebrate this multifaceted city. "Liverpool Biennial is the largest festival of contemporary art in the UK, with free exhibitions taking place across the city’s public spaces, galleries, museums and online from 20 March – 6 June 2021. The 11th edition of the Biennial, The Stomach and the Port, looks at the body and ways of connecting with the world."

Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now

Where: National Gallery of Australia

When: PART 1: 14 NOV 2020 – 4 JUL 2021

As we seek to raise up and empower women in all areas of society, this is the most creative celebration of women artists we've found for this Spring. "Drawn from the National Gallery’s collection and loans from across Australia, it is the most comprehensive presentation of art by women assembled in the country to date.

Told in two parts, this exhibition tells a new story of Australian art. Looking at moments in which women created new forms of art and cultural commentary such as feminism, Know My Name highlights creative and intellectual relationships between artists across time."

Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules

Where: Somerset House

When: 21 October 2021 – 6 March 2022,

A must for any comic enthusiast, Somerset House’s major 2021 autumn art exhibition will celebrate the world’s longest running comic, Beano, on its 70th anniversary. "Launching this October, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules is set to feature original comic drawings alongside works from leading artists and designers such as Heather Philippson, Bedwyr Williams and Hardeep Pandhal."

Image: Bash Street Kids, 1982, courtesy of Beano

Portable Sculpture

Where: Henry Moore Institute

When: Opening 17 May 202

After a year of changed perspectives, and new normals, this exhibition seeks to transform your perception of traditional static sculptures with a world of Portable Sculpture. "While we tend to associate sculpture with large, immobile objects, the art form can also be agile and adaptable. This is explored in a new exhibition launching at the Henry Moore Institute this spring, which focuses on sculpture that is deliberately designed to move. A must-see for anyone with a passion for sculpture."

Image: Alexander Calder, Chicago Black, 1949

Deana Lawson

Where: The Guggenheim, New York, US,

When: May to autumn 2021

"The first artist working in photography to win the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize, Deana Lawson’s staged and stately evocations of intimate daily life will be celebrated in a solo exhibition in the spring. Lawson has said she conceives her beguiling images as “a mirror of everyday life, but also a projection of what I want to happen. It’s about setting a different standard of values and saying that everyday Black lives, everyday experiences, are beautiful, and powerful and intelligent.”

Kara Walker A Black Hole is Everything A Star Longs to Be

Where: Kunstmuseum Basel

When: 5th June - 19th September 2021

"Throwing open the doors to her personal archive that she has closely guarded for the past twentyseven years, Kara Walker (b. 1969) presents hundreds of drawings from her studio. The Kupferstichkabinett Basel displays these treasures together with brand-new works by the world-famous American artist in her first extensive solo exhibition in Switzerland."

Image: Kara Walker, Barack Obama as Othello “The Moor” With the Severed Head of Iago in a New and Revised Ending, 2019. © The Joyner Guiffrida Collection, San Francisco, USA © Kara Walker

Rachel Maclean: Mimi

Where: Jupiter Artland

When: TBC

If escapism is what you’re looking for, (and who would blame you) then this new commission by Scottish multi-media artist Rachel Maclean to be unveiled in the woods of Jupiter Artland is just the ticket. Marking the opening of their 13th season in 2021, this will be the artist’s first permanent outdoor artwork.

"Using film, sculpture, printmaking and photography, she creates outlandish characters and fantasy worlds which she uses to delve into politics, society and identity. Her baroque, hyper-real worlds are made using green-screen video technology and computer animation, with the artist herself playing many of the extravagantly costumed characters."


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