Linkiamo by Jac Leirner, 1982. Picture courtesy of the artist, Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel, and White Cube

From Rembrandt to revolution: the art exhibitions to see this month

The best exhibitions in July, from London to Edinburgh
June 20, 2017
Jac Leirner: Add it up

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 1st July to 22nd October

As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, this leading Scottish not-for-profit contemporary art gallery is showing the work of renowned Brazilian artist Jac Leirner. Her work circles obsession and addiction, with many pieces constructed from the ordering and reordering of objects, from rulers and spirit levels to cigarette papers and Sudoku. Leirner’s work draws on Arte Povera and minimalism, with the transformation of banal and everyday materials into compelling sculptures. Alongside will be a series of beautiful, multi-layered watercolours.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 

Tate Modern, 12th July to 22nd October

Between 1963 and 1983, the Civil Rights movement inspired a generation of African American visual artists. This exhibition displays the work of over 60, from Harlem murals to Romare Bearden’s powerful photomontages to Jack Whitten’s cool, abstract black triangle, Homage to Malcolm, (1970). Abstract expressionist paintings by Norman Lewis, Betye Saar’s feminist assemblages—these artworks forged an idea of black art and created its audience.

The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt

National Portrait Gallery, 13th July to 22nd October

A drawn portrait, perhaps more than its painted equivalent, is the record of a moment of connection. The National Portrait Gallery’s first ever exhibition of old master portrait drawings shows vivid examples ranging from a study of a male nude by Leonardo da Vinci, to a sheet of miscellaneous figure studies by Rembrandt. What marks them is the intensity of the encounter between artist and sitter.