The pandemic has forced some wonderful shows to never see light of day. From Titian to Warhol, the shutters are slowly being lifted on some of the year’s otherwise most-anticipated exhibitions.
Edward Hopper: The Master of Urban Isolation, Riehen
Sun-bleached landscapes gleam in the Edward Hopper show at the Beyeler Foundation in Riehen, near Basel: from the eerie “Cape Ann Granite” (1928), to the polarity of inner/outer space in “Cape Cod Morning” (1950) where Jo Hopper is featured leaning forward while gazing out of a window.
The Beyeler exhibition goes beyond the picturesque Hopper revered by many, and highlights Hopper’s less popular works on paper, which he rarely ever showed or sold, like his charcoal drawings. In “Road and Rock”, Hopper perfectly captures a huge boulder on the corner of a highway in manner as though it was glimpsed while speeding past it. He perfectly contrasts the fleeting sight with the solidity of the rock, and his slow sketching.
Perfectly capturing an urban experience of loneliness, separation and distance, it’s no surprise that Hopper has always been admired — few shows have ever reached higher visitor numbers at Tate Modern than Hopper’s 2004 retrospective.
Extended to September 20, fondationbeyeler.ch/en/
Radical Figures, The Whitechapel Gallery, London
Long shunned by the most innovative artists, figurative painting has in recent years made a comeback. Radical Figures at the Whitechapel Gallery brings together ten of the most interesting contemporary painters from around the world for a closer look at where painting is headed today.
Central to the curation of the show, are many of the core concerns of the 21st century: social ills and complex identities, seen in a number of cases by bodily distortion and fragmentation.
Extended to August 30, whitechapelgallery.org/
Titian: Love, Desire, Death, The National Gallery, London
The long-planned, highly anticipated, once in a lifetime show, Titian: Love, Desire, Death had to close after being open for just three days when the lockdown forced the National Gallery to shut on March 18th. Originally set to close in June, it was recently extended until January 2021. The show brings together the artist’s epic series of large-scale mythological paintings, known as the poesie, in its entirety for the first time since the late 16th century.
These are unprecedented works, heralding not only the Baroque but changing the course of painting in their secular expressiveness. Titian remains, as the Venetian artist Marco Boschini wrote four centuries ago, “the dispenser of all emotions and the plenipotentiary of the senses”.
Extended to January 17 2021, nationalgallery.org.uk
Andy Warhol, Tate Modern, London
The Tate’s new Warhol retrospective is perhaps the most autobiographical and personal ever exhibited in Europe. Focusing on Warhol’s work as the expression of anxieties regarding his family, background, sexuality, aspirations and fears connected to religion and mortality, Tate presents the man, not the market. It reveals, as the curators say, “an artist who both succeeded and failed”.
Extended to November 15, tate.org