A painting of the houses of parliament with a purple sky and orange sun

The Courtauld Gallery announces 2024 exhibition programme including major exhibitions of Claude Monet and Frank Auerbach

7 Sep 2023

The Courtauld announced today its programme of major exhibitions and displays for 2024.

Monet and London: Views of the Thames will reunite for the first time in 120 years an extraordinary group of Claude Monet51ݶ Impressionist paintings of London. Begun over three stays in the capital between1899 and 1901, the series – depicting Charing Cross Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament – was unveiled at a landmark show in Paris in 1904 and has never been the subject of a UK exhibition. Opening on 27 September 2024, this major exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery will realise Monet51ݶ unfulfilled ambition of showing this extraordinary group of paintings in London, on the banks of the Thames just 300 metres from The Savoy Hotel where many of them were created.

This spring, a remarkable series of hauntingly beautiful, large-scale drawings by Frank Auerbach (b. 1931), produced in post-war London in the 1950s and 1960s will be presented together for the first time. Auerbach created these portrait heads in charcoal and chalk, spending months reworking them during numerous sessions with his sitters. The drawings will be shown together alongside a selection of closely related paintings he made of the same sitters. Today, these works are considered some of his early masterpieces.

In the summer, The Courtauld Gallery will present a rich array of shows across its spaces. An exhibition of works by acclaimed British photographer Roger Mayne (1929-2014) will open a new chapter in The Courtauld‘s programming by including photography as one of its exhibition strands. This exhibition will explore Mayne51ݶ evocative black and white images of childhood and youth culture in London and elsewhere from the 1950s – 1970s, which captured an energy that embodied both the scars and new beginnings of post-war Britain.

In the Drawings Gallery, at the same time, a focused exhibition staged in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation will consider Henry Moore51ݶ celebrated Shelter drawings as the point of departure for a new reading of the artist51ݶ fascination with images of the wall, during and immediately after World War II. A display in the Project Space will focus on The Courtauld51ݶ rich collection of work by avant-garde British artist Vanessa Bell, one of the leading artists of the Bloomsbury Group in the early 20th century.

Other focused displays in the Project Space at The Courtauld in 2024 will include a significant series of prints from the collection by the pioneering American artist Jasper Johns. A selection of new acquisitions of works on paper will be shown in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery.

The Courtauld 2024 Exhibition Programme

Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads
9 February – 27 May 2024
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries

During his early years as a young artist in post-war London, Frank Auerbach (born 1931) produced one of his most remarkable bodies of work: a series of hauntingly beautiful, large-scale portrait heads made in charcoal. Auerbach spent months on each drawing, working and reworking them during numerous sessions with his sitters. The marks of this prolonged and vigorous process of creation are evident in the finished drawings, which are richly textured and layered. Sometimes, he would even break through the paper and patch it up before carrying on. Auerbach51ݶ heads emerge from the darkness of the charcoal as vital and alive, having come through a lengthy period of struggle – the image repeatedly created and destroyed. The character of the drawings speaks profoundly of their times as people were remaking their lives after the destructions and upending of war.

This exhibition will be the first time Auerbach51ݶ extraordinary post-war drawings, made in the 1950s and early 1960s, have been brought together as a comprehensive group. They will be shown together with a selection of paintings he made of the same sitters; for him, painting and drawing have always been deeply entwined. The exhibition will be a unique opportunity to see some of the first great works by one of the world51ݶ most celebrated living artists.

This exhibition is supported by the Huo Family Foundation and The Garcia Family Foundation.

Recent acquisitions of works on paper: from the Baroque to Today
23 February – 27 May 2024
The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery

This display will present a selection of drawings and prints acquired by The Courtauld since 2018. Highlights include a 17th-century Florentine drawing which will be here reunited for the first time with its left half from which it was cut at some point in its history. Female artists are significantly represented, the selection includes works by Mary Cassatt (the first by the Impressionist painter to enter the collection), Maliheh Afnan, Deanna Petherbridge and Susan Schwalb, as well as earlier watercolours. Prints by Sir Grayson Perry and Sir Frank Bowling will also feature.

The programme of displays in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery is generously supported by the International Music and Art Foundation, with additional support from James Bartos.

Jasper Johns: The Seasons
28 February 12 May 2024
Project Space

From 1984 to 1991, pioneering American artist Jasper Johns (b.1930) produced a significant body of paintings, drawings, and prints inspired by the four seasons. The Seasons are complex and distinctive works, weaving together themes of artist creation, the passage of time, and the artist51ݶ own biography, with Johns’ shadow appears prominently in each composition. Printmaking is one of Johns’ major preoccupations, and this display will reveal Johns’ application of an array of techniques to create a collaging of imagery that is both evocative and mysterious. The Courtauld was fortunate to be given the series of nine prints by Johns in 2016 by Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, the widow of John51ݶ long-term dealer Leo Castelli, and is the only museum in the UK to have the series in its collection.

Vanessa Bell: A Pioneer of Modern Art
25 May – 6 October 2024
Project Space

Vanessa Bell (1879 –1961) was one of the leading artists associated with the Bloomsbury Group, the avant-garde group of artists, writers and philosophers who pioneered literary and artistic modernism in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century.

This focused display in the Project Space will be the first devoted to The Courtauld’s significant collection of Bell51ݶ work. It will include paintings such as her masterpiece A Conversation, as well as the bold, abstract textile designs she produced for the Omega Workshops, led by influential artist and critic Roger Fry in London, which aimed to abolish the boundaries between the fine and decorative arts and bring the arts into everyday life. The exhibition will highlight one of the most cutting-edge artists working in Britain in the early 20th century.

Henry Moore: Shadows on the Wall
8 June – 22 September 2024
The Gilbert andIldiko Butler Drawings Gallery

This focused exhibition considers Henry Moore51ݶ (1898 – 1986) celebrated Shelter drawings as the point of departure for a new reading of the artist51ݶ fascination with images of the wall, during and immediately after World War II. From the London Underground, where Moore drew figures sheltering from the bomb raids, the walls of these spaces came to absorb his attention in an altogether new way, becoming scene-setters, and key components of his drawings. This fascination with the bricks and the presence of walls, their texture, mass and volume, became especially important after his project to illustrate the wartime radio play The Rescue, based on Homer51ݶ Odyssey.

Henry Moore: Shadows on the Wall, a collaboration with Henry Moore Foundation, suggests for the first time that the walls in his drawings offer a new way to understand some of his most individual and monumental Post-War sculpture projects.

The programme of displays in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery is generously supported by the International Music and Art Foundation, with additional support from James Bartos.

Roger Mayne: Youth
14 June – 1 September 2024
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries

Acclaimed British photographer Roger Mayne (1929 – 2014) celebrated the lives of young people growing-up in his evocative documentary images in the 1950s and early 1960s. Self-taught and widely influential in the acceptance of photography as an art form, he was passionate about photographing human life as he found it – most famously the working-class communities of West London. Capturing children at play and the emerging phenomena of the swaggering teenager, Mayne discovered in the young a defining energy that perfectly embodied both the scars and radicalism of post-war Britain.

This exhibition of around 50 photographs focuses on this central thread in Mayne51ݶ work, bringing together his iconic street scenes of London with little-known intimate images of his own family at home in Dorset from the late 1960s and 70s.

While the two bodies of work, street and family, have a different tenor, they are united by a radical empathy with his subject and the desire to create a photographic image with lasting impact, sensitivity and artistic integrity. With Mayne51ݶ post-war subjects now in their more senior years and a new generation faced with myriad crises, Mayne51ݶ deliberations on growing up, childhood, adolescence and family feel especially poignant and timely.

Monet and London: Views of the Thames
27 September 2024 – 19 January 2025
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries

Claude Monet (1840-1926) is world renowned as the leading figure of French Impressionism. Less known is the fact that some of Monet51ݶ finest Impressionist paintings were made not in France but in London. They depict extraordinary views of the Thames as it had never been seen before, full of evocative atmosphere, mysterious light, and radiant colour.

Begun over three stays in the capital between 1899 and 1901, Monet51ݶ ‘Thames series’ – depicting Charing Cross Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and the Houses of Parliament – was unveiled at a landmark exhibition at his dealer51ݶ gallery in Paris in 1904. Monet fervently wanted to show them in London the following year, but plans fell through. To this day they have never been the subject of a dedicated UK exhibition.

Monet and London: Views of the Thames will realise Monet51ݶ unfulfilled ambition of showing this extraordinary group of paintings in London, on the banks of the Thames a mere 300 metres from the Savoy Hotel where many were painted. By presenting the paintings Monet himself selected for his public, the exhibition will provide visitors with the unique experience of seeing the show Monet curated and the works he felt best represented his artistic enterprise – reunited for the first time 120 years after their unveiling.

This exhibition is supported by the Huo Family Foundation.

Drawn to Blue: Artists’ use of blue paper
2 October 2024 – 26 January 2025
The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery

This display will present a selection of drawings on blue paper from The Courtauld51ݶ collection, ranging from works by the Venetian Renaissance artist Jacopo Tintoretto to an Indian landscape by German-born artist Johann Zoffany.

Made from fibres derived from blue rags, blue paper first appeared in Northern Italy in the 14th century. It became a popular drawing support for artists, and its use spread across Western Europe by the late 16th century; it was widely used in England and France in the 18th century. Blue paper provided a nuanced mid-tone which allowed the creation of strong light and dark contrasts, an effect much sought after by draughtsmen.

This exhibition project brought together a team of curators and paper conservators at The Courtauld and the J. Paul Getty Museum to explore the technical aspects and artistic richness of the use of blue paper.

The programme of displays in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery is generously supported by the International Music and Art Foundation, with additional support from James Bartos.

The Courtauld Lates
9 Feb 2024; 24 May 2024; 14 June 2024; 30 Aug 2024; 27 Sept 2024
The Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery will be open for late-night access until 22:30 on the first and last Friday of each of its temporary exhibitions as part of its Courtauld Lates series – giving visitors the chance to enjoy an evening of world-class art, cocktails, music, and performances surrounded by The Courtauld51ݶ collection of masterpieces at Somerset House. Tickets to be announced soon.

Tickets for Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads go on sale later this year. Tickets for other exhibitions at The Courtauld in 2024 go on sale next year.

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