Exhibition Guide: Summer 2014

In the past months I have seen most of the major exhibitions on in London this summer. Some are more suited to those well-versed in art history whereas others presume no knowledge on the part of the visitor. But what sort of visitor are you and which exhibition should you see?

For the Novice


Matisse: The Cut Outs‘ is the big summer exhibition at the Tate Britian this year, and it certain lives up to the hype. Spanning the years after Matisse’s operation, known as his second life, the exhibition explores the artists use of decoupage to create his final masterpieces. Much attention is dedicated towards the techniques used and includes accounts from his assistants. As with all of the Tate’s exhibitions the blurbs and information given is well written and gives the vital information to give context to the pieces. Only one issue, the exhibition seemed a little over subscribed and was quite noisy so I listened to my own music to block out others discussions.

For information to support this exhibition please see ‘Matisse: A Second Life’ by Alistair Sooke last weeks blog post ‘London’s Most Famous Works of Art: The Snail‘ and ‘The Culture Show- Matisse: A Cut Above the Rest’

For the Art lover


Making Colour‘ is the beautifully composed exhibitions at The National Gallery which explores the development and use of colour through-out art. Each room covers 1 colour, giving details of how pigments are created in addition to displaying paintings and ceramics which use such pigments. Fantastic for art lovers to support existing knowledge and help to further analyse works of art.

For further information to support this exhibition please see ‘A History of Art in 3 Colours’ on BBC4

For the Amateur Historian


Ancient Lives: New Discoveries‘ at the British Museum explored the lives of 8 different people who all lived in ancient Egypt. Using innovative technology to scan the mummies and coffins, each section presents a different person, from a young girl to chief door keeper at the temple of Ra, and the life they may have lead. The amount that can be learnt from so little information is astounding and the subjects are approached delicately yet honestly. The exhibition assumes an interest and small amount of knowledge of ancient Egypt and helps the visitor to sympathise with the lives of the mummies.

For the Fashion Conscious


The V&A has been on top from over the past few years for fashion exhibitions and ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion: 1945 to 2014’ is no exception. The exhibition looks at key trends and fashion designers, in addition to the textiles industries. Mirrors allow a full 360 degree view of each garment with detailed account of techniques and fabrics on the blurb. Both women’s and men’s wear is displayed, with pieces from iconic film and Hollywood starlets taking centre stage. ‘Wedding Dresses’ also at the V&A would also satisfy any budding fashion designer or clothing addict, however you get more for your money at ‘Italian Fashion’ and I feel the exhibition is better composed and the pieces more interestingly exhibited.


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