Top 5 of 2018

Here we are again; end of another year of travels with my art… really must think of a new name for this!

Another great year of art, with old favourites and new artists arriving at art galleries I made my way to.  With visits to Oslo, Belgium, Berlin and Vienna, this year, there were more art gallery visits than actual exhibitions so this countdown will also incorporate individual works of art.

Top 5 Exhibitions


Bomberg at the Ben Uri

This was so exciting.  Not having been to the Ben Uri before and only roamed their online collection, the thought of rooms filled with Bomberg’s painting certainly put a huge smile on my face on the tortuous train travel that often accompanies trips to London.

Tate Modern- Picasso 1932

When I wrote about this, I felt it had the potential to be the standout exhibition of the year, and in many ways it was.  Picasso, Marie- Thérèse, one year, one summer and more curves than was decently possible!  It felt good to see these works together, just as with the Munch exhibition, but by the end you did feel that it was more than enough.


Lakeside Art Centre, Nottingham – Mandy Payne: Out of Place

The smallest exhibition I went to and one I looked forward to enormously having spotted Mandy’s work at the John Moore’s prize in Liverpool a few years ago.  Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet Mandy.


Tate Britain – Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One

Three areas are up there for me: Bleak industrial landscapes, American Precisionism and War Art.  Trying to decide which will be my top exhibition of 2018 was more difficult than I thought.  I went twice to this and was so moved by the variety of depictions of war and its aftermath as well as the different styles the artists employed to show the effects that war has on individuals and nations.  A stunning exhibition.

And the winner is…

America’s Cool Modernism at The Ashmolean, Oxford

It had to be!  The one I wanted to see was in San Francisco (I have the catalogue!), so with this here in the UK I was thrilled to not only get to see the exhibition but to attend a lecture as well.  The one thing I love to do is the research, but if you don’t have the opportunity to get out there and see the things you read about, it becomes a purely academic exercise.

This exhibition took my breath away, made me smile, made me cry (damn you Georgia O’Keeffe!) and made me wonder at the sheer brilliance of the artists on display.

Top 5 works of 2018


I’m going to put a painting I bought by David Barnes!

The nearest I’ll get to owning something reminiscent of Kyffin Williams, I reckon!!


This is a bit of a cheeky one!!  The Willendorf Venus from the Natural History Museum in Vienna. This has significant meaning for me and to actually stand in that tiny space with this tiny, but voluptuous girl, was an absolute joy!



The Allegory of Painting by Artemesia Gentilischi at the Royal Gallery


There is now doubt that this is a self portrait by the wonderful Artemesia, but who cares!  Finally seeing a painting by such a woman was a real highlight of an exhibition that was all about splendour and grandeur!


CRW Nevinson ; The Strafing, MSK in Ghent:


Another surprise to find our wonderful Mr Nevinson in an unexpected venue!

And the winner is:

The Bad Mothers, Giovanni Segantini at the Belvedere, Vienna

When I walked into the room and this hit me, it was a pity there wasn’t a chair near by as I went quite weak at the knees.  Having no idea that this was at the Belvedere was the highlight of my trip to Vienna.  I had to leave the room and walk back in again with the goofiest smile on my face.  I desperately wanted to tug on sleeves and point it out – talk about giddy schoolgirl!