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Must-see exhibitions in Liverpool during 2018

We’re lucky here in Liverpool and the surrounding areas to have some world-class museums and galleries.

And while some plans are still currently under wraps, it looks like 2018 is going to be another fascinating year of exhibitions and displays.

From China’s famed Terracotta Warriors to Viking hoards and classic to contemporary art, there’s enough to tickle anyone’s cultural tastebuds over the next 12 months.

And if that wasn’t enough, 2018 is also a Biennial year, with dozens of artists set to create new and provocative work and installations both at recognised venues and in unusual spaces.

Here are some of the goodies that have been announced so far – get the dates in your diaries now.

Unsettled - Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

January 13-March 4

Artist Steve Des Landes’ solo exhibition, Unsettled, has been five years in the making.

His work reflects his emotional journey from a childhood in coastal Southport and the significant influences of an urban adulthood in Liverpool and Birkenhead

Gallery bosses at the Slatey Road, Birkenhead, venue describe the busy Des Landes as “one of the most significant artists painting in the North West at the moment” but despite that his work remains unknown to many – until now that is.

Slaves of Fashion – Walker Art Gallery

January 19-May 20

Liverpool’s The Singh Twins kick off the year at the Walker with their beautiful artwork being showcased in this new exhibition.

They have been inspired by works in National Museums Liverpool’s own collections, some of which will be on display alongside newly-created art by the internationally-renowned duo.

The exhibition focuses on the relationship between Britain and India, hidden details of Europe’s colonial past and its legacies are uncovered, including current debates around ethical trade and responsible consumerism.

New Perspectives – Victoria Gallery & Museum

January 20-October 27

Liverpool University’s Victoria Gallery & Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018, and there will be a specific programme around the landmark.

Separate to that, this exhibition, opening on January 20, will showcase new work by contemporary artists who have drawn inspiration from the unseen collections that VG&M holds, giving these works a ‘new perspective’.

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors - World Museum

February 9-October 28

The Terracotta Warriors are making their first visit to the UK outside London for a generation, and they’ve chosen Shanghai’s twin city as a destination.

Fascinating members of this ancient army of soldiers, all modelled with unique features, will be on show alongside objects that have never been on show in the UK before including material from museums and institutes from across Shaanxi Province, excavated over the last 40 years from the Imperial Mausoleum and selected tombs.

These artefacts will shed light on Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s pursuit of immortality and show how he prepared for the afterlife, as well as help us to understand more about everyday life in China more than two thousand years ago.

Tickets from the website HERE

Kaleidoscope – Walker Art Gallery

February 24-June 3

This touring exhibition of works from the Arts Council Collection brings together bold and colourful paintings and sculpture from the Swinging Sixties, examining the radical transformation of British art during the decade.

Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art features works by artists including Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Anthony Caro and Joe Tilson, including some large scale pieces.

Ken’s Show: Exploring the Unseen – Tate Liverpool

March 30-June 17

Tate Liverpool celebrates its 30th birthday in 2018, and to celebrate it has turned to its longest-serving member of staff to curate a special show named after him.

Ken Simons has been art handling manager at the Albert Dock gallery for three decades, and has worked for Tate for 43 years.

The show in the ground floor Wolfson Gallery will feature some of his favourite works from the collection, including art by Rothko, Turner, Hepworth, Mondrian and Turner Prize winner Mark Wallanger.

Vikings: Rediscover the Legend – The Atkinson

March 31-May 7

The Vikings are coming to Southport – but there’s no need to run and hide.

The Atkinson is the only venue in the North West which will be showcasing this touring exhibition of exciting artefacts and significant Viking treasure hoards, displayed together for the first time.

Exhibition pieces come from the British Museum collection along with world-class items from the Yorkshire Museum, along with the Vale of York Viking Hoard, Cuerdale Hoard and Bedale Hoard.

Tickets from the website HERE

Euphonia – Bluecoat

April 26-June 24

Artists Emma Smith will showcase her new sound art exhibition Euphonia at the Bluecoat this spring.

The show will transform the School Lane centre’s gallery in to a sonic chamber for collective singing.

Smith believes when we interact with others, our speech and ‘chat’ creates its own kind of music, with interlocking pitch, rhythms and tones, and she’s working with world experts on psychology, music and the brain to create her interactive soundwork.

Egon Schiele/Francesca Woodman – Tate Liverpool

May 24-September 23

Tate Liverpool marks the centenary of Austrian artist and Klimt protégé Egon Schiele’s untimely death (from Spanish Flu) with a summer blockbuster exhibition of his work.

Life In Motion: Egon Schiele/Francesca Woodman pairs his work, including rarely-seen drawings, with that of the late American photographer who, like Schiele, created daring images using the naked human form.

The show forms part of the Tate’s 30th birthday celebrations.

Tickets from the website HERE

John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition – Walker Art Gallery

July 14-November 18

It’s the UK’s most prestigious painting prize and John Moores returns in its 60th year with an exhibition of shortlisted artists at the Walker Art Gallery to coincide with the 2018 Liverpool Biennial.

The first prize is a not-to-be-sniffed at £25,000 which encourages thousands of anonymous submissions.

This year’s judging panel included 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, sculptor Bruce McLean and multimedia artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd who exhibited at the last Biennial.


November 22-March 3 2019

Marking both the FACT organisation’s 30th birthday and 10 years since Capital of Culture, COLLIDE also celebrates a three-year partnership with Geneva’s CERN (and the team behind the Large Hadron Collider).

It will showcase artwork which have come out of the COLLIDE Artists Residency Award, on display alongside pieces that explore the relationship between art and science.

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