The Twentieth Century Society

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Christopher Wood, Fair at Neuilly, France, 1923, oil on hardboard Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

What’s on in July and August: the best C20 architecture, art and design

As the summer holidays get under way, there are some fascinating new C20 exhibitions to see. You can explore the world of WWII camoufleurs at the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, while Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery and the Compton Verney Art Gallery delve into different aspects of the C20 home. We’ve also highlighted some free exhibitions.

A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath from 11 June to 4 September
Decorative schemes by the artists and designers of the Bloomsbury Group – including Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant – are recreated in this new exhibition. Bringing together furniture, paintings and objects, this is a rare chance to see fashionable interiors from the inter-war period. More.

Christopher Wood – Sophisticated Primitive
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester from 2 July to 2 October
The short but influential career of artist Christopher “Kit” Wood (1901-1930) is explored through more than 80 of his paintings, set designs and drawings. Working in Cornwall with the Nicholsons and Alfred Wallis, Wood’s “faux-naïve” style was also influenced by his exposure to Picasso, Van Gogh and Cezanne. More.

Georgia O’Keeffe
Tate Modern from 6 July to 30 October
A major retrospective of the artist dubbed the “mother of modernism” and best known for her series of flower paintings. Tate Modern has brought together more than 100 O’Keeffe works, covering her New Mexico landscapes and still lifes, and you can learn how photographic techniques (she was married to Alfred Stieglitz) influenced her painting. More.

Britain in the Fifties: Design and Aspiration
Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park, Warwickshire from 9 July to 2 October
If you want to see how post-war British design affected an average British couple of the period this new exhibition will take you back to the 1950s. As well as paintings, posters and textiles by Edward Bawden, John Piper and Enid Marx, visitors can find out about fashion, cars and holidays and see a recreation of a 1950s allotment. More.

Dorothy Bohm Sixties London
Jewish Museum from 28 April to 29 August
Dorothy Bohm (b. 1924) moved to Britain from Lithuania in 1939 and she is now an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, who has worked all over the world. Her pictures reflect the diversity of life in the capital during the 1960s. More.

Free exhibitions

Concealment and Deception: the Art of the Camoufleurs of Leamington Spa 1939-45
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, from 22 July to 16 October
Work by Dorothy Annan, Stephen Bone, Mary Adshead and Edwin La Dell features in this fascinating exhibition about the vital role of the Civil Defence Camouflage Establishment during the Second World War. Watercolours, paintings, drawings and period artefacts help to tell the story of how the civil camouflage team protected Britain’s strategically important installations from aerial bombardments. More.

Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design
V&A until 6 November
The V&A Engineering Season explores the design philosophy of Ove Arup (1895-1988), whose projects included the Sydney Opera House and the Barbican Estate. More.

20 years of the RIBA Stirling Prize
The Architecture Centre, Bristol, from 29 April to 21 August
On tour from RIBA, this show is a chance to see photos and models from projects that have won the Stirling Prize during its 20-year history to date. Find out more about the 2015 winner, Burntwood School (AHMM Architects). More.

The Aylesbury Estate
Geffrye Museum, London from 5 April to 18 September
This free exhibition tells the story of this modernist highrise estate in Southwark, from its utopian beginning in the late 1960s to its current demolition and regeneration. More.

Still showing

Willem Sandberg from type to image
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, from 30 April to 4 September
As director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum (1945-63), Willem Sandberg’ designed posters, catalogues, magazines and cards, championed new artists and curated an important collection of modern art. This free exhibition, showcasing his work up until the 1980s, is the first UK survey of this icon of graphic design. More.



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