Cindy Sherman, National Portrait Gallery, 27th June to 15th September
Since the mid-1970s, the American artist Cindy Sherman has drilled deeply into the gap between who we are and how we portray ourselves. In New York in her twenties, Sherman began her groundbreaking series, Complete Untitled Film Stills (1977-80), 70 black and white images of herself in poses taken from 1950s and 1960s B-movies and arthouse films, uncannily adopting the appearance of stereotypical female characters. This major retrospective will also include key works from Sherman’s Rear Screen Projections, Sex Pictures and Society Portraits. Utterly original, funny and disturbing.
Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet, Royal Academy of Arts, 30th June to 29th September
Aged just 16, in 1882, the precocious Swiss painter Félix Vallotton enrolled at art school in Paris. Admiring the clean lines of Goya, Ingres, Manet and Dutch Old Masters, but drawn, like Vuillard and Bonnard, to depicting bourgeois life in fin de siècle Paris, he evolved a unique style. This comprehensive show is the first in London since 1976 to showcase Vallotton’s unsettling art, which ranges from satirical prints to eerily beautiful dream landscapes.
Last Supper in Pompeii, Ashmolean, Oxford, 25th July to 12th January 2020
You do not need to have toiled through Petronius to understand the significance of food and extravagant dining for Roman society. When Etna erupted in 79AD, Pompeii was caught in the midst of life, its fertile orchards and lush vineyards devastated but its food, pans (see below), restaurants, its kitchens and latrines, preserved for ever. This exhibition reconstructs, with loans from Italy, the splendours and less glamorous realities of Roman food.