The best art exhibitions in Bristol and the Westcountry this month – selected by the Friends of the RWA…
Here’s our pick of the best art exhibitions and events happening in and around Bristol and the south west in January- including ‘Last chance to see’ shows and a look ahead to upcoming features….
AT THE RWA
168 Annual Open Exhibition – 2 January 20 to 7 March 21
The Open returns! A little delayed due to Covid, but all the more welcome for that. The Friends will once again be sponsoring The Floating Circle Prize for best work by a student.
A planned private view day for Friends had to be cancelled when Bristol went into Tier 3, but check the RWA website in case another is made available. Details here.
Compiled by Sue Quirk and Laurel Smart
1) GRAYSON PERRY, THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS
UNTIL 3 JANUARY: HOLBURNE MUSEUM, BATH
The first exhibition to survey Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world re-introduces the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994. These ground-breaking ‘lost’ pots are reunited for the first time to focus on the formative years of one of Britain’s most recognisable artists.
2) LEE LOZANO, NICOLE EISENMAN
UNTIL 10 JANUARY: HAUSER & WIRTH SOMERSET, BRUTON
LEE LOZANO (1930–1999): was a key figure and pioneer within the New York art scene of the 1960s and early 1970s. A shrewd observer of urban culture, Lozano created work in response to the constraints of constitutional systems, disrupting dynamics of gender, power, money and politics.
NICOLE EISENMAN: having established herself as a central figure in American painting throughout the 1990s, Nicole Eisenman has since expanded her practice into the third dimension with international acclaim in recent years. For her inaugural exhibition with Hauser & Wirth, Eisenman will bring together a diverse multidisciplinary language through mixed media works on paper, sculpture and painting.
3) HANNAH MOONEY, RICHARD HOARE ‘ALCHEMY OF LIGHT’
UNTIL 10 JANUARY: MESSUMS WILTSHIRE, TISBURY
HANNAH MOONEY: Born in Ramelton, Donegal in Ireland in 1995. Mooney began painting en plein air in her third year at the Glasgow School of Art. When she began this new technique, she says ‘I found a subject matter I identified with and a release like no other. It was as though I discovered an appetite, I never knew I had.’ Constantly varying her technique through adjusting scale, subject and working tools, Mooney’s work retains a very identifiable atmosphere. Perhaps the root of this is her enduring return to the vitality and elemental nature of Ireland.
ALCHEMY OF LIGHT: Richard Hoare’s work is always moving forward, evolving, a reflection of a pilgrimage. This is despite the apparent paradox of his regular return to stand on the same spot in the same locations seen in his work, year after year. The journey begins, rests and then continues with every step, enriched by his experience of Light. In this exhibition Hoare explores the landscapes of Wiltshire, where he now lives, Dorset and South Cornwall.
4) MIXED ART SHOW
UNTIL 10 JANUARY: TINCLETON, DORCHESTER
This show has a significant body of work from London-based guest artist Chloe Fremantle who is exhibiting at Tincleton Gallery for the first time. Her works are presented alongside most of our gallery artists, including new work by Philippa Headley, Kim Pragnell, Jane Chapman and Mary Gillett. Guest artists Diana Croft has some interesting linocuts and Imogen Bittner has some very major new pieces.
5) COLOUR AND LIGHT
UNTIL 17 JANUARY: SLADERS YARD, BRIDPORT
At the darkest time of the year, colour and light in good paintings lift the heart day after day in ways we can hardly put into words. Art can bottle time bringing insight and deep comfort. Like great music, paintings communicate mind to mind, heart to heart, stirring in us the wonder the artist felt, encouraging us to look with new eyes.
6) BRING ART TO LIFE
UNTIL 19 JANUARY: LYME BAY ARTS
This open exhibition is about bringing art to life and will focus on a celebration of colour and form. The show builds on the successful Natural Forms exhibition with over 80 participants. This exhibition will feature many local artists and has attracted artists from further afield, including Bristol and Bath.
7) NEW PAINTINGS – RUTH BROWNLEE
UNTIL 23 JANUARY: BEAUX ARTS BATH
Ruth Brownlee is one of Shetland’s best-known artists. She paints Shetland’s ever changing, dramatic conditions, exploring the relationship with land, sea and sky. A range of subtle tones of bruised blues, greys and greens depict waves, cliffs, skylines, shifting stormy light, glimpses of light on waves, and altogether, an exploration of movement and change within Shetland’s unpredictable weather and landscape.
8) HUHTAMAKI WAB
UNTIL 7 FEBRUARY: EXETER PHOENIX
A solo exhibition of recent work by Devon-based artist Huhtamaki Wab who works across painting, sculpture, video and performance. This sculptural and performative installation presents a series of gongs, which will be played by the artist at various stages throughout the exhibition. These will sit amongst new paintings and fabric banner works. Huhtamaki Wab’s practice operates within an animistic and non-anthropocentric world, whereby objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence and humans are not automatically regarded as the most important element of existence.
WATCH OUT FOR…
GO CREATE ART IN ISOLATION EXHIBITION UNTIL 31 DECEMBER Community Exhibition curated by Go Create. THE BREWHOUSE, TAUNTON https://www.thebrewhouse.net/
JAKE CLARK UNTIL 3 JANUARY New paintings focussing on figures and recreational architecture. NEWLYN ART GALLERY, PENZANCE https://newlynartgallery.co.uk/
BONE, SKIN, SPIRIT UNTIL 30 JANUARY A presentation of three separate solo exhibitions, from Richard Nott, Jim Carter and Massimo Angei. ANIMA MUNDI, ST IVES https://www.animamundigallery.com/
TELLING OUR STORIES FINDING OUR ROOTS UNTIL 6 FEBRUARY A community heritage and oral history project. BURTON AT BIDEFORD https://www.burtonartgallery.co.uk/
If you would like an exhibition or artist to be listed please email email@example.com for consideration.