Theaters across the UK reopened to the public on May 17, for the first time since last year. There are still security restrictions in place, including social distancing and the use of masks (keep up to date with the latest rules here), but the cultural world is coming back to life. In this guide, our reviewers pick the must-see summer exhibitions – May through August – and recommend the hottest tickets.
Best art exhibitions to visit when galleries reopen
Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty
The first major British exhibition in over half a century for the provocative post-war French artist, who attacked conventional ideals of beauty and mixed paint with pebbles, coal dust and shards of glass.
Barbican Art Gallery, London EC2 (barbican.org.uk), May 17 – August 22
The making of Rodin
The French sculptor is associated with bronzes and marbles, but this show highlights his creative process, focusing on his enthralling talent in modeling plasticine and terracotta.
Tate Modern, London SE1 (tate.org.uk), May 18 to November 21
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms
Pray, borrow or steal a ticket for the chance to snap a spectacular selfie in one of the 92-year-old Japanese artist’s two mirrored rooms, renowned for his obsession with peas.
Tate Modern, London SE1 (tate.org.uk), May 18 – June 12, 2022
Discover the eminent sculptor’s monumental forms in bronze and steel, like natural monoliths aged over millennia, within the grounds of a majestic Palladian mansion built for Britain’s first Prime Minister.
Houghton Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk (houghtonhall.com), May 19 to September 26