The Week’s pick of the big exhibitions of 2022

Raphael, Cézanne, Sickert, Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois: this year promises plenty of big art shows

1. National Gallery: Raphael

Room of the Fire in the Borgo

Room of the Fire in the Borgo by Raphael
(Image credit: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

9 April-31 July

Originally scheduled to take place in autumn 2020, the National Gallery’s hotly-anticipated Raphael exhibition (9 April-31 July) is set to open in the spring. The show is one of the first to examine the Renaissance master’s entire career, bringing together a host of first-class loans from museums around the world. It will take in paintings, drawings and tapestries as well as architectural plans, designs, prints and poetry to cover the full scope of Raphael’s extraordinary oeuvre. Expect queues.

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2. Tate Modern: Cézanne

Tate Modern: Cézanne

6 October-12 March 2023

Likely to prove similarly popular is Tate Modern’s Cézanne (6 October-12 March 2023), which will chart the post-impressionist artist’s career from the fairly conventional canvases he produced in Paris in his 20s to the astonishing experiments in colour and form with which he would revolutionise painting towards the end of his life (The Basket of Apples [c.1893]). Featuring many works that have never previously been shown in the UK, it will seek to demonstrate how Cézanne doggedly pursued his own vision, transforming ideas of what art could be.

3. Tate Britain: Walter Sickert

Tate Britain: Walter Sickert

28 April-18 September

Tate Britain, meanwhile, will hold the first major retrospective in 60 years of the work of Walter Sickert (28 April-18 September). German-born Sickert was one of the most influential British artists of the late 19th and early 20th century, who used his experience as an actor to give a dramatic spark to his bleak and radical compositions.

4. The Art of Wallpaper: Morris & Co.

The Art of Wallpaper: Morris & Co.

28 January-11 June

Even more influential, in this way, was William Morris, whose interior designs will be the subject of The Art of Wallpaper: Morris & Co. at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios (28 January-11 June). Morris, a poet, draughtsman, printer, craftsman and socialist who advocated art for all, was renowned for his inventive and relatively inexpensive wallpaper patterns, many of which will be on show here.

5. Laing Art Gallery: Lindisfarne Gospels

17 September-3 December

The Lindisfarne Gospels – the most spectacular surviving manuscript from the Anglo-Saxon period – are usually housed in the British Library. But this year they will travel back to their region of origin for an exhibition at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery (17 September-3 December). These richly illustrated Gospels were probably created by monks on Holy Island between AD687 and AD715; monks later inserted the oldest translation of the Bible into English between the lines of the Latin version.

6. British Museum: The World of Stonehenge

British Museum: The World of Stonehenge

17 February-17 July

Another historical highlight will be the British Museum’s The World of Stonehenge (17 February-17 July). This major exhibition will seek to shine a light on England’s most famous stone circle, and the culture that created it. Covering the period from 4000BC to 1000BC, it will incorporate a wealth of stunning exhibits, from jewellery and ornamental metalwork to tools and ritual objects.

7. Holburne Museum: The Tudors – Passion, Power and Politics

Holburne Museum: The Tudors – Passion, Power and Politics

28 January-8 May

Bath’s Holburne Museum will host The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics (28 January-8 May), a landmark exhibition exploring the royal portraiture of the Tudor period. It will feature 25 famous portraits from the era, with likenesses of all five Tudor monarchs: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I (including the “Darnley” and “Armada” portraits of the Virgin Queen). The show will chart the dynasty’s rise from provincial obscurity to absolute power, taking the visitor through Tudor times, from the Wars of the Roses to the defeat of the Armada.

8. Royal Academy: Francis Bacon – Man and Beast and Kyosai

A visitor admires Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962

A visitor admires Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962
(Image credit: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images))

29 January-17 April

At the Royal Academy, the postponed Francis Bacon: Man and Beast (29 January-17 April), focusing on the artist’s fascination with animals, will go ahead. And the RA’s major Kyosai retrospective (19 March-19 June) will give the Japanese master painter a rare outing in this country. Drawing on the Israel Goldman collection, one of the world’s finest, it will show that, though dwarfed by Hokusai and Hiroshige in terms of reputation, Kyosai was every bit as inventive.

9. Tate St Ives: Barbara Hepworth – Art and Life

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth in 1967

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth in 1967
(Image credit: Potter/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

26 November-1 May 2023

Meanwhile, at Tate St Ives Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life (26 November-1 May 2023) will demonstrate how the sculptor’s life in Cornwall, and the region’s landscape, fed into her work.

10. Hayward Gallery: Louise Bourgeois – The Woven Child

A Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture in Hamburg

A Louise Bourgeois sculpture in Hamburg
(Image credit: Christian Ohde/McPhoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

9 February-15 May

For fans of contemporary art, there are two major shows in London to look out for this year. In February, the Hayward Gallery will present Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child (9 February-15 May). In the last two decades of her career, the influential French-born artist began to incorporate fabrics and textiles into her work, using them to mine the themes of identity and sexuality, trauma and memory, which were central to her body of work.

11. Royal Academy: William Kentridge

24 September-11 December

And the Royal Academy will celebrate the South African artist William Kentridge (b.1955) with the largest exhibition of his work yet held in the UK. Widely regarded as one of the most important artists working today, Kentridge works in a broad range of media, including drawing, film, animation and dance, and often addresses his home country’s turbulent present and past. The exhibition (24 September-11 December) will provide an overview of his 40-year career, mixing old works with new, and serving as an introduction to a singular artistic voice.

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