Image: Art exhibitions in London and around the UK this weekend
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Art exhibitions in London and around the UK this weekend Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall

July 30, 2021

Our ultimate guide to the best UK and London art exhibitions for your post-lockdown summer 2021 diary

Summer has arrived, and – persistant rain aside – the sun has risen on London’s long-fallow art scene.

Though many countries are still in the throes of lockdown restrictions, UK art galleries and museums can now open their doors to physical visitors. For many, these will be the first in-person art experiences in more than a year. For others, it will be months of show postponements and uncertainty coming to an end. Ultimately, this will provide an alternative to viewing art via pixels, which – bar recent NFT dramas – just hasn’t quite offered the same thrills.

As our diaries begin to rapidly fill, these are the shows, in the city and around the UK, worth pencilling in.

Exhibition: ‘Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall’
Location: Houghton Hall, Norfolk
Dates: Until 26 September

Those craving an alfresco art experience need look no further than the palatial Houghton Hall estate in Norfolk. There, British sculptor Tony Cragg is currently dominating its grounds with a self-curated survey exhibition spanning a decade of work with a particular focus on new pieces, some of which have been created specifically for the show. The artist is well versed in turning the great outdoors into his gallery. In 2008, he founded Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden in Wuppertal, Germany, where he lives, works and exhibits, recently staging a joint show with fellow sculptor Sean Scully. Cragg has the distinctive ability to simulate motion in motionless forms – his imposing outdoor works, created in bronze, stainless steel, fibreglass and polyester swirl, drip and spill over like liquid. Cragg will also display more than 20 smaller pieces in the state rooms and gallery spaces inside Houghton Hall. As Cragg succinctly describes his feelings about his discipline: ‘Sculpture gives us new forms, new ideas and new emotions. It literally gives things meaning and opens new perspectives.’

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