If you find yourself in Yorkshire on your summer holidays, it might be hard to miss the eight impressive sculptures by Damien Hirst – flayed unicorns and preserved sheep among them. They’re installed around the historic county as part of the Yorkshire Sculpture International, a new arts festival celebrating sculpture with exhibitions and special programming. In Florence, meanwhile, the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace are honouring the first grand duke of Tuscany, Cosimo de’ Medici, with their own series of exhibitions, while the New York Botanical Garden is hosting a special tribute to Roberto Burle Marx, the famed landscape architect – and force of nature – responsible for shaping many of Brazil’s public spaces. Finally, Harlem-born artist and activist Faith Ringgold exposes social inequalities with her groundbreaking works made during the Black Power movement. These will be installed all summer at London’s Serpentine Galleries.
Yorkshire Sculpture International
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire
22 June–29 September
The inaugural edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International, a free 100-day festival and the UK’s largest event to celebrate sculpture, will take place this summer. Including work by over 15 international artists, YSI 2019 will present a programme of events and exhibitions across The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Building upon Yorkshire’s prominent sculptural heritage as the birthplace of groundbreaking artists Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, the event will celebrate and showcase contemporary sculpture practice and examine the many and varied forms it takes today. Highlights will include two major public commissions of new work – one by Pakistani-American sculptor Huma Bhabha and another by Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen, an exhibition of work by Abstract-Expressionist David Smith, and eight impressive sculptures by Damien Hirst.
Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 is on view at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 22 June–29 September.
Omaggio a Cosimo I: Cinquecento 1519 - 2019
Galleria degli Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti, Florence
6 June–29 September
In Florence, a trilogy of exhibitions are marking the 500th anniversary since the birth of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo ‘il Primo’ de’ Medici. Set within symbolic areas of the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti, this celebration of Cosimo I’s life and deeds is proof just how much the Grand Duke was, and is, adored by the Florentines. Three exhibitions will individually examine a key characteristic of Cosimo’s reign: his military exploits, his diplomacy and his patronage.
The Hundred Lanzi of the Prince will tell the story of the Medici family's traditional personal guard corps; A Woven Biography of Cosimo will explore Cosimo’s life and government through a series of eight tapestries, and Peasant with a Barrel will examine the Pitti’s own history under the Grand Duke and his consort, Eleonora of Toledo, as they created the Boboli Gardens and installed great sculptures within them, rendering them the envy of every aristocrat in Europe.
Omaggio a Cosimo I: Cinquecento 1519 - 2019 will be on view at Galleria degli Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti from 6 June–29 September.
Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx
New York Botanical Garden
8 June–29 September
This month the New York Botanical Gardens will be overrun by a posthumous exhibition of "living art" by Roberto Burle Marx. The Brazilian modernist artist, landscape architect and polymath, was a force of nature whose approach to design encompassed his passion for architecture, aquatics, botany, conservation, ecology, music, painting and printing.
Famous for his distinctive landscape designs featuring curved walkways, water features, exotic flora, and the use of striking abstract patterns, he not only shaped parks, gardens, and iconic public spaces, but is credited with bringing modernist landscape architecture to Brazil, and making impressive and notable contributions to plant exploration and conservation.
In this first-ever exhibition to combine a large-scale horticultural tribute and a curated gallery of his work, visitors will walk through Burle Marx’s verdant imagination.
The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx is on view at The New York Botanical Garden from 8 June–28 September.
Serpentine Galleries, London
6 June–8 September
In London, The Serpentine is surveying the illustrious ‘patch-work quilt’ career of 88 year-old American artist, Faith Ringgold - and is the first European institution to do so.
Born in 1930’s Harlem, activist, author, educator and atist, Faith Ringgold has worked tirelessly to campaign against injustice and challenge out-moded perceptions of identity, race, class, sex and power in America.
This exhibition will showcase the different media Ringgold has used over the past 50 years, including many of her painting series such as American People, with which she aimed to take on the American Dream and expose social inequalities, as well as narrative quilts, soft sculptures and political posters made during the Black Power movement. Even today, Ringgold’s work and mission remain pertinent and vital.
Faith Ringgold will be on view at Serpentine Galleries from 6 June–8 September.