2020 exhibitions programme revealed for Aberdeen

The programme of special exhibitions for the coming year at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Aberdeen Maritime Museum has been announced.

Working with local, national and international partners, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums are bringing must-see exhibitions to the city, giving local people opportunities to see world-class art and design close to home, and driving tourist visits to the Granite City.

Notable highlights of the special exhibitions programme at Aberdeen Art Gallery include the first major solo exhibition in Scotland by internationally acclaimed artist Haroon Mirza, who brings his exploration of waveforms in sound and light to Aberdeen, a celebration of iconic British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes in the year of her 80 th birthday and a welcome return for the popular BP Portrait Award.

In 2020, three major exhibitions will be presented in the BP Galleries at Aberdeen Art Gallery:

Haroon Mirza: Waves and Forms, Saturday 21 March – Sunday 7 June 2020

The first major solo show in Scotland by the acclaimed artist Haroon Mirza, Waves and Forms highlights the artist’s ongoing exploration of waveforms: how they are perceived, the emotional and physical responses they create and the various ways in which we relate to them.

The galleries will feature new and reconfigured artworks that test the interplay and friction between sound waves, light waves, water and electric current. Mirza’s artworks are united by an enduring preoccupation and engagement with diverse disciplines including physics, shamanism, artificial intelligence and astrology. Presented in partnership with hrm199, the studio founded by Haroon Mirza and the John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton.

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous, Saturday 4 July – Sunday 20 September 2020

Celebrating five decades of iconic design, Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous is the largest ever exhibition dedicated to British design legend Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Her unique use of bold prints, fiercely feminine and instantly recognizable patterns and theatrical colour palettes have sealed Dame Zandra’s place in design history.

Her pink hair, statement makeup and wearable art jewellery continue to stamp her personal identity on the international world of fashion. This comprehensive exhibition explores 50 years of a fascinatingly varied career, presenting influential looks, original textiles and archive material. Organised by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.

BP Portrait Award, Saturday 10 October 2020 – Sunday 23 January 2021

The BP Portrait Award is the world’s most prestigious portrait painting competition. For over 40 years the Award has encouraged artists to develop portraiture in their work, attracting some 40,000 entries from artists in more than 100 countries.

Aberdeen Art Gallery has a long relationship with the National Portrait Gallery and BP, having hosted the BP Portrait Award exhibition in the city since 1993. Its return to Aberdeen is keenly anticipated. Organised by the National Portrait Gallery.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: ‘Following the successful re-opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery, we are thrilled to be announcing this exciting programme of special exhibitions for 2020.

‘As well as offering local people a range of opportunities to see world-class art in their home city, these high-profile exhibitions will be an important driver for tourist visits to Aberdeen, by people who want to experience the city’s vibrant year-round calendar of exhibitions, festivals and other cultural events.’

In addition to the BP Galleries, the recently completed redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery has created a further two special exhibition spaces. Gallery 2 will present work by local schools, groups and societies. Gallery 3 is a flexible space which will be used in a variety of ways including hosting Artist-in-Residence opportunities as well partnerships with national organisations featuring both historic and contemporary loans, work by local artists, and new media, textiles and works on paper from the collections.

Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: ‘After such a major redevelopment, we’re delighted that the new special exhibition spaces at Aberdeen Art Gallery will be filled by an exciting and eclectic programme of exhibitions over the next year.

‘Visitors from near and far will have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful array of local and international art and design in what is now a world-class setting.’

Aberdeen Art Gallery re-opened on 2 November 2019 following a landmark £34.6m redevelopment. The project has dramatically increased the amount of display space for the nationally-recognised collection, with the number of galleries increasing from 11 to 19, and a further three galleries presenting a programme of regularly changing special exhibitions.