The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

A Battery Shelled by Wyndham Lewis © IWM Art.IWM ART 2747

What’s on in May & June 2017: the best C20 architecture, art and design

Our round-up of exhibitions for late spring and summer covers work by Eric Ravilious, Wyndham Lewis, Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla, and the versatile Jean Cooke.

Futures Found: The Real and Imagined Cityscapes of Post-war Britain
Royal Academy, London, until 29 May FREE ENTRY

Park Hill in Sheffield and London’s Aylesbury Estate are two of the six case studies in this exploration of post-war architecture and shifting attitudes to public space. The exhibition includes music, film, art and contributions from residents and social activists, and forms part of the London Festival of Architecture 2017. More

Jean Cooke: Delight in the Thing Seen
Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, from 24 May to 10 September

Renowned as a colourist and for her self-portraits, Jean Cooke RA (1927-2008) found her artistic inspiration in the everyday. Cooke focused on painting (she was married to John Bratby), but she was also trained in pottery, textile design and sculpture. More

Ravilious and Co: The Pattern of Friendship
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, from 27 May to 17 September

Marking the 75th anniversary of the death of artist and designer Eric Ravilious, this exhibition explores his relationships with contemporaries like Paul and John Nash, Enid Marx and Edward Bawden. Key works by Ravilious are included, as well as prints, illustrations and fabric designs by other artists. More

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, from 23 June to 1 January 2018

The largest UK exhibition of paintings to date by Wyndham Lewis, the founder of Vorticism and an official artist during the First World War artist. IWM North celebrates the work of this ‘rebel artist’ through more than 160 artworks, books and journals. (Above: A Battery Shelled, Wyndham Lewis © IWM Art.IWM ART 2747) More

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, until 25 June

Futurist Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) was a leading figure in European Modernism, whose work encompassed figurative painting and drawing, as well as abstraction. The 116 works in this exhibition are on loan from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection in Rome. More

Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls’ House
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, until 25 June

From a country mansion to a high-rise flat – this fascinating collection of 12 dolls’ houses covers 300 years of architectural styles and social history. More

Plywood: Material of the Modern World
V&A, London, from 15 July FREE ENTRY

The V&A’s Porter Gallery hosts this free exhibition, showcasing the versatility and beauty of plywood in architecture, design and leisure. Highlights include chairs by Alvar Aalto and Charles and Ray Eames, ice-skating shelters, and a 1930s house. More.

Last chance

Vanessa Bell 1879-1961
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 4 June

Approximately 100 paintings, ceramics, fabrics and photographs arranged thematically reveal the pioneering work of Vanessa Bell in the genres of portraiture, still life and landscape. More.

Still showing

Mies van der Roh and James Stirling: Circling the Square
RIBA, London, from 8 March to 25 June FREE ENTRY

A chance to compare James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates’ No 1 Poultry with Mies van der Roh’s unbuilt 1960s scheme for Mansion House Square.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Barbican Art Gallery, London, from 23 March to 25 June

How Japanese architects tackled the challenges of post-Second World War reconstruction and changes in society.

Susannah Straughan


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