Fancy a break from the beer gardens and football? Here’s a small guide to point you in the direction of the best upcoming art galleries and exhibitions in the North West that you will definitely want to visit this summer.

These Passing Things | Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal | From 10 Jul | £17 adult, £8 child

Artist Steve Messam injects bursts of colour and a hit of contemporary art into the historic and Grade I listed grounds of North Yorkshire’s Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. ‘These Passing Things’ is a series of temporary installations that include a giant inflatable artwork bursting through the pillars of the site’s Temple of Piety. Entitled Spiked – this eye-catching artwork will be on display for the exhibition’s opening weekend (10 July) before returning from Saturday 21 August. Other notable works include 12 floating pyramids drifting across the venue’s canal and inspired by long-lost plans to construct a pyramid folly and a scarlet contemporary bridge sat across the river Skell. Learn more by following the link below.

Poet Slash Artist | HOME | Fri 2 Jul - Fri 16 Jul | Free

From gallery walls to city streets, this multifaceted group show featuring work by Tracey Emin, Adonis and Jay Bernard, to name a few, seeks to bring together the two worlds of words and art. This far-reaching project demonstrates that in exploring the connection between poetry and visual art – new links are created between these two mediums while also highlighting further connections between them that transcends cultures, continents, languages and generations.

2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester
Louise Bourgeois in Focus | Tate Liverpool | Sat 24 Jul - Sun 16 Jan | Free

Coming to the iconic venue of the Tate Liverpool is the work of one of the most important figures of modern and contemporary art, Louise Bourgeois. From large-scale sculpture and installation, to painting and printmaking – this exhibition brilliantly illustrates Bourgeois’ growth and evolution as an artist through the display of her 70-year career. With a rich biographical focus centring around the themes of childhood, birth, loss, motherhood and gender identity, Focus is an exhibition you don’t want to miss this summer.

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB
Peter Liversidge: Topsy-Turvy | Pavement Gallery | Sat 26 Jun - Fri 30 Jul | Free

Perfectly embodying Pavement’s unusual exhibition space – a window suspended between the outside and the inside, that up-ends traditional expectations of an art gallery experience – is Topsy-Turvy. Completely redefining common forms of visual communication, this exhibition proves itself as a wider comment on the use of both functional and commercial signage in the city. The connotations of the term “topsy-turvy” expose a sense of confusion while perfectly capturing the sense of flux we all seem to be in right now.

Corner of Higher Ormond Street & Cavendish Street, Manchester M15 6BG
Grayson’s Art Club | Manchester Art Gallery | Wed 23 Jun - Sun 29 Aug | Free

Coming to the Manchester Art Gallery after a number of lockdown-delays is an exhibition of works selected by Grayson Perry during Grayson’s Art Club, the popular Channel 4 TV series that saw the artist inspire the nation to get creative. Acting as a way to bring people together through art, this exhibition is a powerful social commentary that chronicles a new life under lockdown. This unique record of an international experience shows the skill, creativity and resilience of the public as well as demonstrating the therapeutic aspects of art in everyday life.

Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL
Lothar Götz: Pool | Holden Gallery | Wed 14 Jul - Sat 21 Aug | Free

Painter Lothar Götz will unveil a new, immersive site-specific wall painting, transforming the Holden Gallery into a vibrant, colourful receptacle and completely altering the viewer’s experience of the space. Götz is known for his use of abstract geometric forms and abundance of colour, while intimately responding to a space and its architectural characteristics and features. After visiting the gallery and equating it to an empty swimming pool, he was inspired by the sense of vast space and, like the urge to fill an empty pool, had the desire to fill the space with colour.

Manchester Metropolitan University, Grosvenor Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester M15 6BR
The Naming of Things | Castlefield Gallery | Sun 22 Aug - Sun 3 Oct | Free

A brilliant mix of the political and the artistic, this exhibition highlights language as being in a perpetual state of flux with a self-conscious awareness of how new media platforms dramatically change the way language is written, read and understood. With a wide range of works involving text, audio, sculpture and film, these artists explore the semiotic relationships between images, sounds and words as they embrace the unreliability and misuse of language.

2 Hewitt Street, Manchester M15 4GB
Thu 24 Jun
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Sun 11 Jul 2021