The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Spray, Harold Williamson, 1939 © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is in 'True to Life'

What’s on in July and August 2017: the best C20 architecture, art and design

Our round-up of exhibitions for late summer includes the first exhibition at RIBA North in Liverpool, a Giacometti retrospective at Tate Modern and the Barbican’s exciting and terrifying visions of future cities.

Reyner Banham: America
Architectural Association, London, until 28 July FREE ENTRY

The AA Photo Library has a huge collection of slides taken by architectural critic and writer Peter Reyner Banham (1922-88) during his years in the USA. This selection of photos includes houses, car lots and industrial landscapes. More

Into the Unknown: A Journey though Science Fiction
Barbican Centre, London, until 1 September

Architecture fans will be particularly interested in the Brave New Worlds section of this blockbuster sci-fi exhibition. Explore visions of future cities and civilisations through the works of Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood and George Orwell. More.

Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-taker
RIBA North, Liverpool, until 9 Sepember FREE ENTRY

The inaugural exhibition at Liverpool’s new national architecture centre celebrates the city’s long history of ambitious and risk-taking schemes. It includes unbuilt proposals for Liverpool’s Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals and Graeme Shankland’s 1960s plans for a new skyline. More.

Tate Modern, London, until 10 September

More than 250 works by the Swiss sculptor, painter and draughtsman, renowned for his elongated figures. This major retrospective covers Giacometti’s work from the 1920s to the 1960s, including Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] and Walking Man. More.

Artist Rooms: Phyllida Barlow
Turner Contemporary, Margate until 24 September FREE ENTRY

Phyllida Barlow’s colourful and ambitious installation folly is part of this year’s 57th Venice Biennale. This exhibition at the Turner Contemporary includes large-scale works like untitled:upturnedhouse, 2 and smaller works that highlight her fascination with the urban environment and everyday materials. More.

True to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 30s
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, from 1 July to 29 October

A chance to see more than 80 British paintings in the realist style from the period between the two World Wars. Works by James Cowie, Winifred Knights, Gerald Leslie Brockhurst and Harold Williamson (above, Spray of 1939) highlight this fascinating but little-known period in British art. More.

Plywood: Material of the Modern World
V&A, London, from 15 July to 12 November 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.

Still showing

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

Renowned as a colourist and for her self-portraits, Jean Cooke RA (1927-2008 focused on painting but was also trained in pottery, textile design and sculpture. More.

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

Marking the 75th anniversary of the death of artist and designer Eric Ravilious, this exhibition includes his key works and explores his relationships with contemporaries like Paul and John Nash, Enid Marx and Edward Bawden. More.

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, 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. More.

Susannah Straughan


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