TREASURE TROVE: Following an eight month campaign which included hanging ten replicas across Oxford to raise awareness and which inspired public donations ranging from £1.50 to £10,000, the Ashmolean have raised enough funds with their appeal to keep Manet's Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus here in the UK. With a nationwide tour planned for next year, the acquisition of this portrait by one of the greatest painters of the 19th century confirms the Oxford museum as a leading centre for the study of Impressionist painting; it's the result of great effort by the museum's dynamic team.

Current exhibitions at the Ashmolean include a collection of art, books and antiquities accumulated by Grand Tourists on their travels through Italy and captured by the French in 1779, The English Prize; and two large drawings by Jenny Saville, inspired by Michelangelo and Da Vinci, are installed as 'interventions' amongst the Renaissance collection.

You can find more information on this exhibition and others by clicking on the gallery links below. Our compilation of nearly 400 exhibitions is searchable by region and provides an overview of what's happening across the UK; for our full list please click here.

In Edinburgh, the outstanding arts programme during festival month ranges from Van Gogh to Picasso, plus Dieter Roth's diaries at Fruitmarket, a new film by Melvin Moti at the National Museum and Edinburgh Printmakers laughing in the face of the apocalypse.

This vital creative spirit fans out across the UK in small galleries and public collections alike. Here is a cross-section of some of the unmissable highlights.


artexhibition: highlights

Clinton De Menezes - Passage 2012

Bicha Gallery, London

03/08/2012 to 26/08/2012
Open Tuesday - Sunday: 11am to 7pm

Clinton De Menezes continues his investigation into the politics and poetics defining contemporary landscape, and the conceptual, physical and metaphoric processes of regeneration and degeneration. Through installation, painting and multi-media works De Menezes renders a world on the verge of collapse.

Elizabeth Price - THE TENT

Bloomberg Space, London

Until 12/08/2012
Open Monday-Saturday: 11am - 6pm

Nominated for this year's Turner Prize, Elizabeth Price creates immersive environments by video installation. The Tent (2012) is derived from a single book which is the video's primary visual subject; its text is the source for the narration. The copy-stand on which the book is filmed is occasionally visible, as are Price's hands turning the pages; and the live-sound of the studio is audible: the radio, passing traffic and planes overhead.

Atsuo Okamoto - Turtle pieces

Art First, London

Until 18/08/2012
Open Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 11am - 2pm

Art First Project: 'wari modoshi' is a traditional Japanese method of stone carving in which larger blocks are split into portions then to be fused into a single sculpture. Okamoto entrusts his fragments of stone to selected people around the world for 5 years. During this time the stones absorb their environment and take on a unique colour before they're returned to be meticulously reassembled into his 'Turtle' pieces.

Fiona Rae - Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century

Leeds City Art Gallery

Until 26/08/2012

Over the last 25 years Fiona Rae has established herself as one of the leading painters of her generation with a distinctive body of work, full of restless energy, humour and complexity, which has set out to challenge and expand the modern conventions of painting.

Janet Cardiff - The Forty Part Motet

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gatehead NE8 3BA

Until 14/10/2012
Open 10am-6pm, except Tuesdays 10.30-6pm. 

A reworking of the renaissance choral work for forty voices 'Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui' (1573) by Thomas Tallis, The Forty Part Motet consists of 40 separately recorded voices played back through 40 individual speakers grouped in eight choirs of five singers. The work allows the audience to experience the voices weaving in and out of each other.

print it - Coracle Press 1989-2012

Site Gallery, Sheffield

11/08/2012 to 08/09/2012
Open Tues- Sat: 11am - 5.30pm

Inspired by the pioneering work of Coracle Press, who for over 35 years have collaborated with artists and poets from Kurt Schwitters to Richard Tuttle to expand the creative possibilities of publishing, Site Gallery presents print it. Drawing its title from Charles Olson’s call to DIY action, print it is an exhibition, workshop series, residency space for artist collective COPY and pop-up international bookshop with experimental publishers world-wide.

Richard Long

Hepworth Wakefield

Until 14/10/2012

Extending the gallery’s continuing interest in debating the relationship between art and the rural and industrial landscape, the exhibition consists of works from the collection of Anthony d’Offay and loans from Tate and the National Museum of Wales as well as two new site-specific commissions for The Hepworth inspired by Wakefield’s locality on the banks of the River Calder.

Francis Bacon to Paula Rego - summer exhibition

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

Until 16/09/2012
Open Mon-Sat: 10.30am-5pm; closed Sundays

Abbot Hall’s summer exhibition explores the work of some of the most significant British painters from the last 50 years including Michael Andrews, Euan Uglow, Francis Bacon, Paula Rego, Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Christopher Le Brun. The exhibition also features contemporary artists including Carol Rhodes, Simon Carter and Turner Prize nominees Gillian Carnegie (2005) and George Shaw (2011).

Cheer Up! It’s not the end of the world…

Edinburgh Printmakers

02/08/2012 to 08/09/2012
Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm

Fascination with the end of time is nothing new. For some it represents a spiritual transformation, second coming, or return of the old gods. For others it will be the collapse of capitalism, the new world order or even an elaborate hoax to hoodwink us all. Whatever the truth of these claims, themes of apocalypse have always provided a fertile source of ideas and images for visual artists. Including prints by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gordon Cheung, Damien Hirst, Warhol, plus a range of historical images.

Melvin Moti - One Thousand Points of Light

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Until 21/10/2012
Open daily: 10am-5pm; free admission

Dutch artist Melvin Moti has created a new film Eigenlicht, meaning ‘intrinsic light’, that captures the spectrum of vibrant colours minerals emit under UV light. The film is shown alongside a selection of specimens and artefacts chosen from across the collection, ranging from fluorescing fossils and scorpions to uranium scent bottles.
Showings of Eigenlicht take place in the exhibition gallery at 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 12:30, 13:15, 14:00, 14:45, 15:30 and 16:15. The film runs for 18 minutes.

Jenny Saville - Mother and Child

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Until 16/09/2012
Open Tues-Sunday: 10am - 6pm

Concurrent with a major exhibition of her work at Modern Art Oxford, the Ashmolean is displaying two new works by Jenny Saville on the theme of ‘mother and child’, taking inspiration from Leonardo and Michelangelo. Two of Saville’s large drawings are displayed in the Renaissance gallery as an 'intervention' within the Ashmolean’s permanent collections.

Presence - The Art of Portrait Sculpture

Holburne Museum, Bath

Until 02/09/2012
Open Mon-Sat: 10am -5pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm

Bath’s transformed Holburne Museum presents Presence: the Art of Portrait Sculpture including astonishing heads from Ancient Greece and Rome, 18th century masterpieces, works by some of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors including Giacometti and Brancusi, the waxwork of Henry Moore once at Madame Tussaud’s and sculptures by major contemporary artists such as Marc Quinn, Daphne Wright, Don Brown and Ron Mueck.
Please note that their Picture Gallery displaying the Gainsboroughs is closed 22 Aug - 3 Sept.

Summer Salon

View Art Gallery, Bristol

Until 02/09/2012
Open 11-6pm: Wednesday to Sunday

A rotating exhibition introducing many new artists, dabbling again in the international art market, and including some very special events. Most significantly, we’ll be introducing new work in this changing exhibition every week. Image,  left, by Beth Carter.

Click here to see the full list