We have perused the press releases and wandered the web to bring you some of the best art exhibitions that are taking place in the coming months. There’s not just shows from established figures at major galleries but also those from up-and-coming artists at independent spaces. They are not all in the Manchester area; there’s a few that are a little further afield – but plenty for all to enjoy. Let’s take a look!

Manchester Open | HOME | Sat 18 Jan – Sun 29 Mar | Free

Everybody was free to contribute to this exhibition, including people who would not normally call themselves artists. HOME’s gallery will be filled with many different kinds of artworks, created by over 500 Greater Manchester residents and selected by a panel of art experts and community representatives.

2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
Theaster Gates: Amalgam | Tate Liverpool | Until Sun 3 May | £10.50

Chicago-based Gates is known for exploring the complex issues of race and inequality in the USA. This collection was inspired by the small island of Malaga, off the coast of Maine, which was once home to a community of ethnically mixed people who were forcibly removed to the mainland.

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB, Tel: 0151 702 7400
The Artistry of Japan | Salford Museum & Art Gallery | Sat 18 Jan – Sun 19 Apr | Free

On display will be a range of Japanese works from different genres that all place emphasis on highly skilled techniques, ingenious concepts and perfectionism. Using elaborate craft pieces from the Meiji era (1868 – 1912) as a starting point, the exhibition also showcases numerous contemporary works, including toy figures and food samples.

Peel Park, The Crescent, M5 4WU, Tel: 0161 778 0800
Thumbs Up | Castlefield Gallery | Fri 24 Jan – Sun 8 Mar | Free

Four artists have worked together to use the Gallery as a place of research and conversation. They have found common themes in their work and a warm and welcoming experience for the Winter, where visitors experience artworks in new and unexpected ways. Read our full preview here.

2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, M15 4GB, Tel: 0161 832 8034
Mandy Barker: Our Plastic Ocean | Waterside, Sale | Until Sat 7 Mar | Free

At first glance, Mandy’s images look like creatures deep in the ocean but closer inspection reveals a more disturbing reality. They are, in fact, created from debris found on shorelines across the world. Using footballs, fishing nets and coffee-cup lids, Barker shows the state of pollution in our seas.

1 Waterside, Sale, M33 7ZF, Tel: 0161 912 5616
LS Lowry – The Art & the Artist | The Lowry | Permanent | Free

The venue’s gallery is, somewhat unsurprisingly, home to the world’s largest public collection of paintings and drawings by the Matchstick Man himself. The selection also includes works on loan from private collections across the UK. Free 20-minute tours run every day at noon and 2pm.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
#MagicCarpet | Manchester Craft and Design Centre | Thu 30 Jan – Sat 4 Apr | Free

A large-scale tapestry piece by Dr. Kai Syng Tan explores how both scientists and artists view a common symptom of ADHD: mind wandering. In psychiatry, this is viewed as something that needs treatment but daydreaming has long been celebrated as part of the creative process.

17 Oak Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 5JD, Tel: 0161 832 4274
Utopias | The Whitworth | Fri 31 Jan – Sun 27 Sep | Free

In his seminal book, Thomas More gave name to an idea that captured the human imagination: Utopia. This exhibition will bring together historic and contemporary works to examine how ideas for creating a better world have been imagined, represented and tested.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER, Tel: 0161 275 7450
Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here | Manchester Art Gallery | Fri 27 Mar – Sun 23 Aug | Free

Lacy is an American artist who works in a wide range of media. Her art is centred on conversations with people about social issues, through a feminist lens. The exhibition explores nearly five decades of her work, from her earliest performances and photographs, to her latest immersive video installations.

Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL, Tel: 0161 235 8888
Linda McCartney Retrospective | Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool | Sat 25 Apr – Mon 31 Aug | £9

A major collection, it will showcase McCartney’s iconic captures of the 1960s music scene and her family life with Paul. The 200 images, some of which have never been on display before, show her love of the natural world, her sense of humour and her eye for capturing the spontaneous.

William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EN, Tel: 0151 478 4199
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 20 Jan 2020