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Francis Bacon to Women Modernists: introducing our 2022 exhibitions

Published 1 September 2021

From Francis Bacon’s eerie reflections on man and beast, to South Africa’s most celebrated living artist William Kentridge, our 2022 programme gives everyone something to look forward to.

  • Upcoming exhibitions

    There’s a lot of art to look forward to in 2022

    Our galleries will be bursting with art, from the annual Summer Exhibition in the Main Galleries to blockbuster shows exploring the work of Francis Bacon, James McNeill Whistler, Kawanabe Kyōsai and many more.

    Become a Friend of the RA and see all our exhibitions for free.

  • Our 2022 exhibitions at a glance:

    • Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944 (detail)

      Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944 (detail), 1988.

      Oil and acrylic on 3 canvases.. 198 x 147.5 cm (each). Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd..

      Francis Bacon: Man and Beast

      29 January – 17 April

      This powerful exhibition will focus on Bacon’s unerring fascination with animals: how it both shaped his approach to the human body and distorted it; how, caught at the most extreme moments of existence, his figures are barely recognisable as either human or beast.

    • James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (detail)

      James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (detail), 1862.

      Oil on canvas. 213 x 107.9 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Harris Whittemore Collection.

      Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan

      26 February — 22 May 2022

      This exhibition is the first to shine a light on the critical role Joanna Hiffernan played in establishing James McNeill Whistler’s reputation as one of the most influential artists of the late 19th century.

    • Kawanabe  Kyōsai, Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū), dancing Ikkyū and skeletons (detail)

      Kawanabe Kyōsai, Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū), dancing Ikkyū and skeletons (detail), 1871-1889.

      Painting/hanging scroll: Ink, colour and gold on silk. 137.1 x 69.3 cm. Israel Goldman Collection, London. Photo: Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

      Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection

      19 March – 19 June 2022

      Drawing from one of the finest collections of the artist’s work in the world, this exhibition brings together Kyōsai’s highly finished paintings, woodcut prints and illustrated books, as well as impromptu paintings (sekiga) created at sometimes raucous calligraphy and painting parties (shogakai).

    • Gallery III, Summer Exhibition 2019

      Summer Exhibition 2022

      21 June – 21 August 2022

      Our annual celebration of art and creativity continues in 2022. The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission art show and brings together art in all mediums by leading artists, Royal Academicians and household names as well as new and emerging talent.

    • Milton Avery, Little Fox River (detail)

      Milton Avery, Little Fox River (detail), 1942.

      Oil on canvas. 91.8 x 122.2 cm. Collection Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York. Gift of Roy R. Neuberger © 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2021. Photo © Jim Frank.

      Milton Avery: American Colourist

      15 July — 16 October 2022

      This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Milton Avery’s work in Europe. It brings together a selection of around 70 paintings from the 1930s – 1960s that are among his most celebrated. These works typically feature scenes of daily life, including portraits of loved ones and serene landscapes from his visits to Maine and Cape Cod.

    • William Kentridge, Video still from Notes Towards a Model Opera

      William Kentridge, Video still from Notes Towards a Model Opera, 2015.

      Three channel HD film; 11 minutes 14 seconds. © William Kentridge.

      William Kentridge

      24 September — 11 December 2022

      This ambitious exhibition – the biggest Kentridge exhibition in the UK to date – spans all 12 rooms in the RA’s Main Galleries, spilling out into our public spaces, and includes new work created in response to the galleries.

      Presenting a sweeping overview of Kentridge’s 40-year career, it includes rarely seen works from the 1980s up to the present day, revealing an artist at the height of his creative powers.

    • Paula Modersohn-Becker, Girl with Child (detail)

      Paula Modersohn-Becker, Girl with Child (detail), 1902.

      Oil on cardboard. 45.3 x 50.5 cm. Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

      Making Modernism: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin

      12 November 2022 — 12 February 2023

      Making Modernism is the first major UK exhibition devoted to the women who pioneered German Modernism: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kӓthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter, Marianne Werefkin, Erma Bossi and Jacoba van Heemskerk.

      It reframes the movement through the experiences and perspectives of these ground-breaking artists who – although less familiar than their male counterparts Kandinsky, Beckmann and Kirchner – were no less central to the development of Modernism.

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