Entertainment & Arts

Art in 2014: A look-ahead

What are the cultural events to look forward to in 2014? The BBC's arts and entertainment team picks some of the big books, films, TV series, albums, exhibitions and shows for the new year. Click on the links or use the tabs above to navigate.

Image caption Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum is sending its copy of his Sunflowers painting to London

Start the New Year with a trip to the National Gallery in London to witness a reunion 65-years in the waiting: Free to see from 25 January will be two versions of Vincent van Gogh's famous Sunflowers paintings, one owned by the National Gallery, the other by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

They mark a time when Vincent was at the top of his game artistically and emotionally. He'd just moved down to Arles in Southern France and was excitedly anticipating Paul Gauguin's arrival from Paris at which point they would establish a new artists' commune: A "studio of the south".

He painted the series of Sunflowers pictures to hang on Gauguin's bedroom wall, to offer his chum a warm and friendly welcome. It didn't work out, but the paintings did - as you will see.

Just down the road in Aix was the hermit-like Paul Cezanne who, like Van Gogh, was taking art in a new direction and creating history under the bright light of Provence.

From 13 March, Oxford's Ashmolean will present an exhibition called Cezanne and The Modern, in which his oil paintings, watercolours, and drawings form the centerpiece of a show that also includes work by Gustave Courbet, Amedeo Modigliani, and a certain Vincent Van Gogh.

Image caption Matisse's colourful paper collage La Gerbe was one of his last works

And then, in April, with your appetite now whetted for Post-Impressionist art, comes Tate Modern's exhibition of Henri Matisse late 'cut-outs'. These are large colourful works made by the father of Fauvism towards the end of his life when he could no longer paint.

Instead, he cut out or tore sections of pre-painted sheets of paper that were then applied by onto a larger white sheet by an assistant following meticulous Matisse's instructions to the millimeter. This show has all the makings of a blockbuster.

As does the British Museum's Vikings: Life and Legend. No institution does didactic so entertainingly, nor mounts such a coherent programme.

Expect the BM's usual experiential exhibition, in which, on this occasion, will transported you back to Scandinavia in the year 800 and the dawn of the Viking Age, just as the bearded buccaneers set forth on their two-hundred year journey to build an international network of interconnecting cultures.

There'll be swords, axes, hoards and amulets. And a 37-meter-long scene-setter in the shape of a Viking Warship, the longest ever found.

One of the Vikings firsts ports of call was Scotland - as it will be for tourists, artists and television crews seeking fine art, top sport, and ancient history.

Preceding September's Independence Referendum will be an eventful summer with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games, Gleneagles the Ryder Cup, Stirling the 700th anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn, and Edinburgh the world's biggest arts festival.

Add to that GENERATION - a vast, multi-site exhibition of contemporary art made by artists either living in, or from Scotland including work by Turner Prize winners, Douglas Gordon, Simon Starling and Richard Wright.

Image caption The V&A promises to "reveal the hidden stories" of how Constable created some of his best-loved works, such as The Hay Wain

The autumn sees a clash between two titans of British Art. Constable: The Making of a Master at the V&A seeks to reveal the hidden stories behind some of Constable's most famous works by hanging them alongside landscapes painted by old masters such as Ruisdael and Claude.

Meanwhile, a couple of miles down the road, Tate Britain is presenting Late Turner: Painting Set Free.

The show is the first major survey the work JMW Turner produced from the age of 60 onwards which, the Tate argues, was something of a purple patch for the painter and saw him produce paintings of "exceptional energy and vigour", such as Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway. (There is the potential of an added autumnal treat for Turner enthusiasts in the shape of Mike Leigh's biopic with Timothy Spall playing the great man).

It could be that neither Turner nor Constable wins the battle of autumn the blockbusters, with the accolade and income going instead to the National Gallery for its show of paintings by another great artist produced towards the end of his life.

Rembrandt: The Final Years looks like a cracking show with loans coming in from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, The Mauritshuis in The Hague and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

All the above are likely to be excellent, but the show I'm most looking forward to is Marina Abramovic at the Serpentine Gallery, London in June. The Belgrade born performance artist is a genuine modern master.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites