Perhaps it’s too soon for this attention-grabbing headline, but don’t worry – this is something positive coming out of America in the wake of the Trump inauguration. Despite everything that’s happening on that side of the pond, over here in London, American history and culture will be at the forefront of a series of world class exhibitions due to go on display in London this year.
Three of London’s most famous cultural institutions will shine a fabulous spotlight on American art. And brilliantly, it’ll be focussing on all that makes America so diverse – the greatest queer, female and African American artists will feature over the next 12 months, encompassing five exhibitions of America’s most celebrated artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Grant Wood, Robert Rauschenberg and Alice Neel.The exhibitions will cover a range of artistic movements from the 20th century, from Regionalism to Surrealism and from Abstraction to Pop Art. and will feature iconic works of art such as Rauschenberg’s Monogram 1955-59 and others which have never been seen before in the United Kingdom like Wood’s famous piece American Gothic.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ February exhibition, America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s, will examine how American artists’ chronicled the unsettled economic, political and aesthetic climate that dominated the decade following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In the autumn, the institution will present a survey of one of the most influential living US artists, Jasper Johns – bringing together the artist’s paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, from his innovations in sculpture to his use of collage in paintings.
In March, the British Museum will stage The American Dream: pop to the present, an exhibition charting the creative momentum of the print across five decades of turbulent and dynamic US history. The show will include works by American greats such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Chuck Close and Louise Bourgeois, alongside more recent works from artists such as Kara Walker, Willie Cole and The Guerrilla Girls.
Later in the year, Tate Modern’s major summer exhibition, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (12 July – 22 October 2017), will explore how ‘Black Art’ was defined, rejected and redefined by artists across the US in the period between 1963 – 1983. Many works will be on display in the UK for the first time and will introduce UK audiences to American artists such as Norman Lewis, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar.