Exhibitions

Face to Face

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Select Exhibition

07/07/17 - 03/09/17

This exhibition brings together 33 works from 20 award-winning, contemporary British artists from the Arts Council Collection alongside rare and visionary works from Pre-Raphaelite artists from the Torre Abbey Collection.

Journey through 300 years of portraiture from pencil to paintings, and photography to film; as you follow the art through the historic corridors and intricate spaces of this mesmerising museum and Ancient Scheduled Monument.

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Roger Hiorns Seizure

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Sculpture at Longside

Open weekends and school holidays

Faced with the demolition of the South London housing block in which it was originally situated in early 2011, Seizure was acquired by the Arts Council Collection, thanks to a gift by the artist, Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Art Fund, with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation.

The work, weighing over 31 tonnes, was successfully extracted from the property in February 2011, following meticulous planning which saw one wall of the flat removed before the whole structure was pulled out and subsequently transported to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where it is presented within a new concrete structure commissioned from Adam Khan Architects.

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Occasional Geometries

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National Partners Programme

15/07/17 - 29/10/17

Rana Begum is guest curator of a new exhibition from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme. Born in Sylhet, Bangladesh, in 1977 and now living in London where she studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Slade School, Begum has established an international practice creating immaculately conceived and constructed abstract installations, which challenge the distinction between two and three-dimensional practice, sculpture and painting. With an exceptional understanding of composition, form and colour, Begum will curate a unique selection from the 8,000 works held in the Arts Council Collection alongside work by exciting young artists active in the UK. An artist book will accompany the exhibition.

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Now, Today, Tomorrow and Always

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National Partners Programme

21/07/17 - 27/09/17

This exhibition of works selected from the Arts Council Collection will explore visual art's ongoing engagement with popular culture and how its ability to entertain, seduce but also confound us forms part of its continuing appeal to artists. Featuring work by artists including Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Mario Rossi and Anthea Hamilton the exhibition will consider highly idiosyncratic manifestations of how popular culture, its surprising combinations of images, materials and words, have influenced recent contemporary art.

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Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender, Identity

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National Partners Programme

27/07/17 - 05/11/17

The Walker Art Gallery will mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act) with a major exhibition drawn from the Arts Council Collection and its own collections.

Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity will bring together a diverse range of artists who have used their work to explore sexuality and gender identity since 1967.The exhibition will reveal the findings of over two years of research by the Gallery into LGBT history, visual culture, its collection and the Arts Council Collection, revealing hidden queer histories and institutional blind spots that will be addressed through the exhibition’s programme of events and performances. 

The exhibition will include artists David Hockney, Steve McQueen, LINDER, James Richards and Sarah Lucas among others, as well as new acquisitions to the Walker’s collection, generously funded by the Art Fund New Collecting Award scheme.

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Tread Softly

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National Partners Programme

27/05/17 - 03/09/17

Tread Softly presents works from the Arts Council Collection in which artists explore childhood experience and familial relationships, revisiting and reassessing pivotal moments and people within their lives.

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Totality

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National Partners Programme

27/05/17 – 01/10/17

Katie Paterson, Totality is made up of 10,000 images of solar eclipses, illuminated and sparkling from a rotating mirror ball.

Totality is a 70th Anniversary Commission for the Arts Council Collection.

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I Want! I Want! Art & Technology

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National Partners Programme

This exhibition features work by artists made over the last 20 years who have all been influenced by the rapid development of technology. The approach of each of the 26 artists and collectives to their practice is different, resulting in a rich and contrasting view of the world and the culture that surrounds us.

The artists have used computer animation, video, computer graphics, audio, photography, drawing and gaming technology to create films, moving image, sculptures, paintings, interactive games and small and large scale drawings. The artworks themselves tackle a range of themes such as human relationships and behaviour, surveillance and the habits of modern society.

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A Certain Kind of Light: Light in Art Over Six Decades

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ACC Touring Exhibition

27 May 2017 - 23 September 2017

A Certain Kind of Light: Light in Art Over Six Decades is a major exhibition exploring how artists have responded to light, its transience and effect. Encompassing paintings, sculpture, photography, and installation, it features artworks created from the 1960s to the present day by fifteen leading artists.

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Drawn from Life

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ACC Touring Exhibition

 The show brings together work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st century British art, including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and LS Lowry.

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Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art

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ACC Touring Exhibition

15/07/17 – 24/09/17

Bringing together outstanding examples of painting and sculpture from the Arts Council Collection and other major UK collections, Kaleidoscope examines 1960s visual art through a fresh and surprising lens, bringing into view the relationship between colour and form, rationality and irrationality, order and waywardness.

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CORPUS: The Body Unbound

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Exhibition Loan

15/06/17 - 16/07/17

CORPUS: The Body Unbound is an exhibition curated by students of the Courtauld’s MA Curating the Art Museum programme. It explores how artists past and present have engaged with the body – the corpus – to interrogate, analyse and reimagine fundamental aspects of the human condition.

Drawing from the historic Courtauld Collection and more contemporary Arts Council Collection, it responds to the gallery’s Special Display Bloomsbury Art & Design currently on display.

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Paul Nash

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Exhibition Loan

07/04/17 – 20/08/17

Spanning a lifetime’s work from his earliest drawings to his iconic war time paintings, the exhibition will explore Nash’s central role in the development of modern British art. 

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In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy

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Exhibition Loan

13/05/17 – 28/08/17

Curated by Elizabeth Price, winner of the 2012 Turner Prize, this exhibition is the latest in a series of Hayward Touring shows curated by an artist and features works by over forty artists.

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John Armstrong: Dream and Reality

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Exhibition Loan

05/06/17 - 03/09/17

Although John Armstrong ARA (1893 – 1973) studied briefly at St John’s Wood School of Art he was essentially self-taught. His one-man exhibition in 1928 established him in avant-garde circles, including that of Unit One with Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash and others.

He later became deeply involved in theatre and film, designing sets for the Royal Ballet and costumes for ten of Alexander Korda’s epic films.

His diverse work shows the influence of Surrealism, but he was never a Surrealist; instead he forged a very personal style that attacked conventional ideas and beliefs with ironic wit and personal symbolism.

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Finding Lines

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Exhibition Loan

15/07/17 – 03/09/17

An exhibition of loaned works, from Henry Moore to David Shrigley, Ben Nicholson to Frank Auerbach, along with commissioned works by five exciting artists who are playing with repetitive lines, marks, sounds and the notion of drawing as a tool to improve health.

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Gillian Ayres: A Sublime State

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Exhibition Loan

08/04/17 – 03/09/17

This major exhibition celebrates the bold and colourful work of one of Britain’s most important and internationally renowned abstract artists. Featuring major paintings from across the artist’s career, this is the largest exhibition of Ayres’s work ever seen in the UK.

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Ghika, Craxton, Leigh Fermor: Charmed Lives in Greece

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Exhibition Loan

06/06/17 - 04/09/17

The exhibition presents the friendship of three significant figures, the artists Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (1906-1994) and John Craxton (1922-2009) and the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011), from the early years of their acquaintance in the mid-1940s to the end of their lives.

Through the display of works of art, extracts from texts, photographs, letters, manuscripts and publications, we follow their relationship and their artistic and literary careers, with their love of Greece always a common denominator. As well as giving a chronological account, the exhibition plays on the theme of the places which inspired them – Hydra, Kardamyli, Crete and Corfu – and where they found hospitable settings to live and create.

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The Place is Here (London)

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Exhibition Loan

23/06/17 - 10/09/17

The starting-point for The Place is Here is the 1980s: a pivotal decade for British culture and politics. Spanning painting, sculpture, photography, film and archives, the exhibition brings together works by 25 artists and collectives across two venues: the South London Gallery and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. The questions it raises about identity, representation and the purpose of culture remain vital today. 

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Winifred Nicholson: Liberation of Colour

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Exhibition Loan

24/06/17 - 16/09/17

The exhibition examines the key creative periods of this significant British artist with a particular emphasis on the way she treated light and colour.

It brings together an important selection of works created throughout her career, including her visit to Pill creek on the Fal, and features landscapes, still life, portraits, experiments with abstraction and the previously unseen prismatic pictures.

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John Virtue: 40 Years

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Exhibition Loan

03/07/17 - 24/09/17

John Virtue is one of the most distinguished painters working today in the United Kingdom. Since 2009 he has lived in North Norfolk, regularly walking along the beach at Cley next the Sea. He has regularly exhibited in London starting with the Lisson Gallery in 1985, and his many solo museum shows include major solo exhibitions with the Tate St Ives, Yale Center for British Art, and the National Gallery.

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Every Day is a New Day

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Exhibition Loan

26/05/17 – 24/09/17 

For 5 decades Phyllida Barlow has been making playful, large-scale sculptures that physically transform gallery spaces, using everyday materials such as plywood, cement, plasterboard. This exhibition brings together works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection alongside other sculptures and a selection of drawings from throughout her career.

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John Minton: A Centenary

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Exhibition Loan

01/07/17 - 01/10/17

A major exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of British artist John Minton (1917–1957). A charismatic and complex artist, Minton was a Bohemian figure in London during the 1940s and 50s who counted Lucian Freud and Keith Vaughan in his circle.

Exploring achievements far beyond his reputation as a leading illustrator and teacher, this exhibition spans evocative landscapes firmly rooted in the Neo-Romantic tradition, exotic subject matter inspired by international travel, figurative work including portraits of young men, book illustrations, posters and lithographs, and ambitious late work that sought a new context for history painting.

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From Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception

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Exhibition Loan

08/07/17 - 01/10/17

Compton Verney’s summer exhibition will take you on a fascinating and stimulating journey that looks at the ways in which our visual perceptions have been explored by artists.

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Painting Pop

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Exhibition Loan

14/07/17 – 07/10/17

The summer exhibition is a celebration of British Pop, focused on the period around 1962. The exhibition willl feature works from national collections by artists including Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Adrian Henri and Allen Jones.

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Howard Hodgkin: Painting India

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Exhibition Loan

01/07/17 - 08/10/17

Howard Hodgkin (1932 - 2017) is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest painters and has occupied a central place in contemporary art for over half a century. This exhibition presents the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the enduring influence of India on Hodgkin’s work, a place he returned to almost annually, since his first trip to the country in 1964, over 50 years ago.

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The Place is Here (Middlesbrough)

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Exhibition Loan

17/06/17 - 08/10/17

The Place is Here, shown across Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and the South London Gallery (SLG info here) presents work by over twenty black artists and collectives working in the UK during the 1980s. The exhibition spans painting, film, photography and archival material from this pivotal decade in British culture and politics.

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Rose Finn-Kelcey: Life, Belief and Beyond

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Exhibition Loan

15/07/17 – 15/10/17

Modern Art Oxford presents Life, Belief and Beyond, the first posthumous exhibition of works by the highly acclaimed and influential artist Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945–2014). Life, Belief and Beyond focuses on Finn-Kelcey’s explorations of power, performance, political commentary, and perceptions of the self, belief and spirituality.

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David Hockney

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Exhibition Loan

21/06/17 – 23/10/17


In collaboration with London’s Tate Britain and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Centre Pompidou is to present the most comprehensive retrospective ever devoted to the work of David Hockney. The exhibition celebrates the artist’s 80th birthday, retracing his entire career through more than 160 works (paintings, photographs, engravings, video installations, drawings and printed works), including his most iconic paintings (swimming pools, double portraits and monumental landscapes) and some of his most recent creations.


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Lines of Flight

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Exhibition Loan

26/07/17 - 28/10/17

This exhibition is part of a new collaboration between the School of Museum Studies’ MA Art Museum & Gallery Studies (AMAGS) and the Arts Council Collection.

The eight artists exhibited range from experimental pioneers of the 1960s to a generation who made their names in the 1990s. The works are all exceptional, but highlights include three rarely exhibited works by the celebrated Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, and a spotlight on American-born and London-resident artist Liliane Lijn, a pioneer of kinetic art. This spotlight on Lijn features additional works loaned to the students by the artist herself.

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Art Now: Simeon Barclay: The Hero Wears Clay Shoes

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Exhibition Loan

07/07/17 - 05/11/17

Simeon Barclay is a Leeds-based multimedia artist who seeks to understand how we identify and situate ourselves within culture and tradition. His work combines personal memories with appropriated images from advertisements, fashion magazines, sports journalism and the music industry. Barclay explores the cultural significance of these images and the ways in which they are used to both seduce and provoke, presenting a portrait of British society and popular culture.

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A Masked Ball

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Exhibition Loan

09/06/17 - 26/11/17

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Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War

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Exhibition Loan

23/06/17 – 01/01/18

Discover the art and story of Britain's original rebel artist in the largest UK retrospective of Wyndham Lewis' work to date. Marking one hundred years since Lewis was first commissioned as an official war artist in 1917, Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War will comprise more than 160 artworks, books, journals and pamphlets from major public and private, national and international collections and will be IWM's largest visual arts exhibition to date.

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Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi

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Exhibition Loan

23/06/17 – 07/01/18

A comprehensive overview of rare and never-before-seen great paintings and other works by Guyana-born British artist Frank Bowling. Born in Bartica in British Guiana in 1934, he left his homeland at nineteen, and in 1953 came to London in the wake of the great migrations of the English-speaking population of West India and the Caribbean after the Second World War. He studied painting at the Slade School, University College London and the Royal College of Art. In 1962, he was awarded the silver medal for painting, alongside David Hockney, who won the gold medal.

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Why Look at Animals

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Exhibition Loan

20/05/17 – 11/03/18

This exhibition looks at our relationship with animals. John Berger argued in his 1977 essay Why Look At Animals?, that humanity has lost its contact with nature since moving into town and cities. We now tend to think of animals only as Zoo creatures, pets or food source. Artists from the early Victorian period to the present day have been aware of this change in perception and this exhibition presents a wide range of responses.

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Daughters of Penelope

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Exhibition Loan

20/07/17 – 20/01/18

The story of women’s work in both the textile industry and in textile art and tapestry is a complex one and the history of Dovecot intertwines with both. This exhibition will look at the work of key women weavers and artists who have contributed to Dovecot’s history and present. Some key pieces in tapestry will be shown alongside work by contemporary women artists who are exploring the history and cultural identity of women expressed in their work in textile.

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Current Exhibitions

Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity at the Walker Art Gallery

This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales.
Now, Today, Tomorrow and Always at Towner Art Gallery

Now, Today.. investigates how popular culture, and its vast compendium of imagery, words and materials has influenced recent contemporary art.
Face2Face at Torre Abbey House and Gallery

The Face2Face exhibition will for the first time bring together and quite literally ‘face off’ 33 works from 20 award winning, contemporary British artists.
Drawn from Life: People on Paper at Leamington Spa, Art Gallery & Museum

Part of a national tour to celebrate the Collection's 70th Anniversary, the exhibition includes some of the finest drawings in the Collection.
Occasional Geometries at Longside Gallery

Rana Begum is guest curator of a new exhibition from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme.
Tread Softly at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Tread Softly presents works in which artists explore childhood experience and familial relationships, revisiting and reassessing pivotal moments and people within their lives.
A Certain Kind of Light at The Exchange

A Certain Kind of Light explores how artists have responded to light, its materiality, transience and effect. Including David Batchelor, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor and Katie Paterson.
I Want! I Want! at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

This exhibition features work by artists made over the last 20 years who have all been influenced by the rapid development of technology.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Kaleidoscope at Mead gallery

Kaleidoscope tours to Warwick examining 1960s visual art through a fresh and surprising lens.
In My Shoes at Longside Gallery

Self portraiture maintains an enduring presence throughout art history; in recent years artists have revolutionised and extended the genre by incorporating action, performance, narrative and explorations of identity.
On Paper at Gallery Oldham

Paper will become the subject of this exhibition, rather than the often overlooked support for drawings.

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyondThis website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.