With the temperature across the UK set to soar, we take a step back – or rather in – to exhibitions that provide an alternative to watching Wimbledon and the inevitable barbeques. Combined, these shows represent the variety of individuals understood by the term “artist” – including not only 20th century greats but those along the spectrum ranging from the unrecognised to the excluded.
1. The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London
This show brings together the visions of 22 individuals who have thought up another world, or new perspectives on this one. Featuring contributions from self-taught artists and unlicensed architects, fringe physicists and visionary inventors; hardly any of the contributors appear to have been working with a view to exhibiting to a specific audience, particularly one expecting art. If you’re looking to expand your mind then visit “the most far out show in recent memory” (The Guardian).
2. Not the Royal Academy 2013 – A Salon des Refusés, Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London
Inspired by the original Salon Des Refuses held in Paris in the 19th century, the gallery is showcasing the cream of the crop of art that was rejected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. One for lovers of painting.
3. Hilma af Klint, Eine Pionierin der Abstraktion, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
This is the first comprehensive retrospective of a woman who was truly ahead of her time, the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) who was creating abstract works as early as 1906. In her will she left instructions that her abstract works should not be made available to the public until twenty years after her death, believing that her contemporaries would not be able to appreciate their significance fully. Since the 1980s, her abstract works have only been featured in a small number of exhibitions. As a result, despite her major contribution to the history of abstract art, the majority of her works are still unknown to a broader public. Prepare to be amazed!
4. Mobile Homestead Videos, Site Gallery, Sheffield
Time is running out to catch the European premiere of three videos by Mike Kelley (1954 – 2012) who is considered to be one of America’s most influential artists of the past 25 years. Mobile Homestead Videos follows the journey of a mobile home – a replica made by the artist of his Detroit family home.
5. Henry Moore exhibition, Rijksmuseum gardens, Amsterdam
Arranged in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, the exhibition comprises twelve sculptures, many of which are debuting in the Netherlands. The exhibition marks the opening of the Rijksmuseum’s new ‘outdoor gallery’ a huge space which houses many original features including sculptures, ponds and lawns – the siting of the Moore’s works amongst these and against the 19th century façade of the museum is both dramatic and magnificent.
1. Thanaton III, 1989, Paul Laffoley. Courtesy Kent Fine Art/Paul Laffoley
2. ‘I Think Therefore I’m Spam’, Trinidad Ball
3. Der Schwan Nr. 17, Gruppe IX. Serie SUW, 1914–15 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk, Photo courtesy of Moderna Museet / Albin Dahlström
4. Mobile Homestead, 2010, Mike Kelley. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Corine Vermeulen.
5. Large Two Forms, 1966, Henry Moore. Photo by John Lewis Marshall.