The exhibition of the year is here, plus we have South Korean pop culture, a Sudanese women’s champion, decoded Egyptian hieroglyphs, Zaha Hadid’s ‘yonic stadium’ and a rare showing for the ‘American Turner’
Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics
The first survey of US artist Carolee Schneemann’s (1939-2019) work in the UK, the show celebrates a radical artist and feminist agent-provocateur, tracing her development from early paintings and assemblage to confrontational performances using her body as primary medium and subject, and her later films and multimedia installations. AS
Barbican Art Gallery, London, 8 September-8 January.
Winslow Homer: Force of Nature
This great US artist lived and painted through the American civil war and went on to paint seascapes that are mysterious allegories of history. His masterpiece The Gulf Stream, in which a man on a broken boat waits for the sharks, suggests a country doomed by racism. The American Turner. JJ
National Gallery, London, 10 September-8 January.
The most beautiful manuscript of Anglo-Saxon England returns to the north-east where it was created in about AD700. It was written out and sumptuously illustrated with holy portraits and Islamic-style abstract patterns by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne, nearly a century before the Vikings raided this sacred island. JJ
Laing Gallery, Newcastle, 17 September-3 December.
Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals
The viewer becomes the performer in Abramović’s Gates and Portals, based on her recent residency at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, which will also feature drawings and a film by the artist, as well as works selected from its collection. Modern Art Oxford, meanwhile, “will become a site of passage where visitors move between different states of consciousness”, we are told. JJ
Modern Art Oxford/Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, 24 September-5 March.
A full-scale retrospective for South Africa’s multi-talented visionary artist. Apartheid haunts Kentridge but he transposes his country’s troubled story on to an epic global canvas of history, philosophy and science. His films and theatre works all grow out of a gift for drawing, and intensely beautiful charcoal studies underpin everything. AS
Royal Academy, London, 24 September-11 December.
Hallyu! The Korean Wave
How often can you see images from Squid Game alongside 19th-century Korean paintings of courtesans? This survey of South Korea’s world-conquering pop culture looks back into history as well as spanning everything from Gangnam Style to Parasite, with art including Gwon Osang’s kitsch painted sculpture of a mythical dragon fight. JJ
V&A, London, 24 September-25 June.
Hollow Earth: Art, Caves and the Subterranean Imaginary
Delve deep in this exploration of what lies beneath. Everyone from René Magritte to Robert Smithson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Jeff Wall and Brassaï are here, along with doomsday bunkers, places of magic and horror, refuge and entombment. A portable underworld, the show will travel to Cork and Exeter in 2023. AS
Nottingham Contemporary, 24 September-22 January.
Forrest Bess: Out of the Blue
The beautiful, queer, semi-abstract paintings of Forrest Bess are as enigmatic and strange as the Texas painter’s life. Laden with private symbolism, and driven by a yearning to achieve a state of immortality by becoming a hermaphrodite, Bass’s art is as inventive and rigorous as his story is alarming. AS
Camden Arts Centre, London, 30 September-15 January.
Lucian Freud: New Perspectives
It is a century since Lucian Freud was born in Berlin. This exhibition tries to stand back from his fame to see his art in the bigger picture of art history and so, maybe, allow us to judge his achievements. How do his paintings look alongside the Titians and Corots he loved? JJ
National Gallery, London, 1 October-22 January.
The exhibition of the year. Paul Cézanne invented modern art by looking hard at mountains, ruins, rocks and apples. He looked beyond the impressionists to find abstraction inside appearances. His art is about the struggle to see in restless, endless glances and gazes that grasp fragments of truth in the heat. JJ
Tate Modern, London, 5 October-12 March.
Kamala Ibrahim Ishag
A vociferous champion of women’s rights and artistic freedom, Kamala Ibrahim Ishag has lived and painted in her home city of Khartoum for most of her career, after studying at London’s Royal College of Art in the mid 1960s. Now in her 80s, she has been influenced by Sudanese folklore and spiritualism, by William Blake and Francis Bacon, as well as contemporary political events. Her ambitious paintings are dynamic and unexpected. AS
Serpentine South Gallery, London, 7 October-29 January.
Cerith Wyn Evans
Winner of the 2019 Hepworth sculpture prize, the Llanelli-born artist returns to Wales for his largest UK show to date. With his complex works using sound and light, neon, music and language, Wyn Evans makes startling environments and situations. A kind of romantic conceptualist, Wyn Evans has always gone his own way with his dazzling, delicate, rich and immersive art. AS
Mostyn, Llandudno, 8 October-5 February.
From bold early paintings that portray radical heroes to installations that use textiles and thread on an enveloping scale, this Chilean artist has campaigned for new ways of seeing the world since the 1970s. Her installation in Britain’s biggest art space is likely to be a magic realist eco-feminist spectacular. JJ
Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London, 11 October-16 April.
Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt has always inspired awe and wonder. Renaissance popes put up Egyptian obelisks and Shelley marvelled at the colossus of Ramses the Great. But what did it all mean? This blockbuster centred on the Rosetta Stone reveals how it helped decipher hieroglyphs and decode Egypt’s fascinating mythology and history. JJ
British Museum, London, 13 October-19 February.
Sculpture, moving image, photography, the voice and the image come together in what should be a real humdinger of a Turner prize, returning to Tate Liverpool this year. The shortlist, with Heather Phillipson, Veronica Ryan, Ingrid Pollard and Sin Wai Kin, makes for a show as entertaining as it is serious, affecting as it is spirited. AS
Tate Liverpool, 20 October-19 March.
Belfast-born photographer Hannah Starkey has long deserved a major museum survey. Her carefully staged images have, throughout her career, sought to portray the relationships between women and the environment. Often monumentally scaled, and moving between public and private spaces, from reflective moments to street protests, Starkey reveals dramas and stillness, witnessing tension and curiosity, the unguarded and the vulnerable. AS
Hepworth Wakefield, 20 October-30 April.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League With the Night
This engrossing survey of work by a highly original painter was so cruelly closed by the pandemic that it’s getting a relaunch. Yiadom-Boakye creates imaginary portraits of Black people. Her intimate, haunting closeups bloom into epic history paintings. She is making up for centuries of exclusion with her counterfactual art museum. JJ
Tate Britain, London, 24 November-26 February.
Architecture and design
Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924-Today
A lobster telephone, bicycle saddle chair and sofa shaped like a big pair of red lips will descend on the Design Museum this October, showing how surrealist art has influenced the world of design from the 1920s to the present – culminating in gloopy 3D-printed furniture, sketched out in mid-air using motion capture. OW
Design Museum, London, 14 October-19 February.
Plastic: Remaking Our World
From revolutionary wonder material to dastardly scourge of the planet, the meteoric rise and fall of plastic will be charted in this new exhibition that examines its 150-year history. Bakelite telephones will rub shoulders with trainers made with plastic harvested from the oceans, alongside a glimpse of the fungal future of bioplastics grown from mycelium. OW
V&A Dundee, 29 October-5 February.
Al Janoub stadium, Qatar
After decades of cities being assaulted by phallic towers, now comes the great yonic monument to swallow them all. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the Al Janoub stadium rises out of the Qatari desert in a magnificent vulvic bulge, its rooftop sculpted in sinuous labial lips that sweep open to frame the football pitch, cradled womblike within. Will sports correspondents struggle to find the press box? OW
Horror in the Modernist Block
Move over, gothic haunted house! The modernist block is where horror truly lies, according to a new exhibition in Birmingham, a city that’s no stranger to the terrifying power of modernist urban planning. Here, contemporary artists will explore how modernism in architecture, fiction, film and art has been used to tap into our deepest fears. OW
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 25 November-1 May.
Battersea Power Station
After lying derelict for the past 40 years, Battersea’s majestic brick temple of electricity will finally reopen its doors this autumn, now stuffed full of shops, bars and restaurants. It will be crowned with a “chimney lift experience”, whisking visitors 100 metres up for a perfect view of the surrounding car crash of luxury flats. OW
London SW8, autumn.