5 new exhibitions to look forward to in 2022

Edgar Degas Before the Performance About 1896 - 1898

A Taste for Impressionism: Modern French Art from Millet to Matisse

30 July 2022 — 13 November 2022   
Royal Scottish Academy  
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL  
Tickets: £12/10 Mon-Fri, £14/12 Sat-Sun and £15/13 August

A Taste for Impressionism will focus on the pioneering nineteenth-century Scottish collectors who had the foresight to invest in the avant-garde, with a stellar cast of artists represented including Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

While today a work by any of these names will fetch millions at auction, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries these artists were pilloried by the press and the prices for their paintings were surprisingly low. Many collectors were ‘new money’; individuals who had made their fortune from industry and were keen to acquire edgy works by modern and contemporary artists. Among them were several Scots who collected pieces by Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Cézanne well before their English counterparts. As the market for Impressionism began to thrive, a more sinister side industry in ‘fakes’ took hold. A Taste for Impressionism will include a few of these counterfeit works, each of which will remain unidentified to test visitors’ powers of discernment. 

Barbara Hepworth Wave 1943 - 1944 © Bowness for works by Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life

9 April 2022 – 2 October 2022 
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) 
Tickets: £12/10 Mon-Fri, £13/11 Sat-Sun and £15/13 August

This major retrospective will chart the development of the artist’s practice, her involvement with multiple avant-garde art movements, and the events in her personal life which shaped her work. It will be the largest exhibition of the Hepworth’s work in Scotland.

On display will be some of her most celebrated works, including the modern abstract carvings that launched her career in the 1920s and 1930s, her iconic strung sculptures of the 1940s and 1950s, and later large-scale bronze and carved sculptures. Comprising more than 120 works including rarely seen drawings and paintings lent from public and private collections, the exhibition will bring insight to Hepworth’s wide-ranging interests, such as dance, theatre, music, religion, politics and science, showing how they infused her artistic practice. Running from 9 April 2022 to 2 October 2022, Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life is curated by Eleanor Clayton and organised by The Hepworth Wakefield in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate St Ives. 

Arpita Shah Sari from the series Purdah, The Sacred Cloth Image made 2013; printed 2019 © Arpita Shah, from the series Purdah - The Sacred Cloth

Counted: Scotland’s Census 2022

12 March 2022 – 25 September 2022 
Scottish National Portrait Gallery 
Admission free

Counted will consider the varied make-up of past and present Scottish society. Drawing on the Galleries’ rich photographic collections, the exhibition will, in the year of Scotland’s Census, consider the complexities around the notion of identity, taking into account ethnicity, sexuality, occupation, and health.

Works on show will range from portraits of individuals, single parent families, Pakistani and Polish communities, refugees living in Glasgow and people living in Eigg, the first Scottish island to become owned by the local community through a buyout. Several new acquisitions from thought-provoking projects by contemporary photographers working in Scotland such as Arpita Shah, Danny North and Kieran Dodds will be presented alongside arresting nineteenth-century works by Thomas Annan and Hill and Adamson, offering comparisons between the experiences of past and present generations of Scots. 

Iain Mackenzie Man Reading Newspaper, Glasgow 1975 © Iain Mackenzie

You Are Here 2022

5 February 2022 – March 2023 
Scottish National Portrait Gallery 
Admission free

You Are Here 2022 will celebrate and share recent and ongoing collaborative projects between the Galleries and partner organisations across the country. They include place-based initiatives with groups of young people in former mining towns, and life-affirming public art schemes in North Ayrshire. 

This exhibition will explore the various ways that people can engage with art to bring benefits to their health and wellbeing, and explore their sense of identity and belonging. Coproduced artworks and other forms of content will be displayed alongside works from the Galleries’ permanent collection to amplify new voices and offer fresh views on contemporary Scotland.

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Piazzetta, Venice About 1835

Turner in January

1 January – 31 January 2022 
Scottish National Gallery 
Admission free but advance booking required

The final upcoming programme highlight is the return of a wonderful tradition: the opening of Turner in January, an exhibition of the outstanding collection of Turner watercolours bequeathed in 1900 by Henry Vaughan (1809-1899). This much-loved annual display will open on New Year’s Day 2022 and run throughout the month of January.


Once again it promises a special chance to experience the artist's genius through a range of works, from subtle and meticulous ‘Monro School’ watercolours of the 1790s, such as Rye, Sussex and Lake Albano, to the spectacular Venetian views of 1840, such as The Piazzetta, Venice and Venice from the Laguna, which capture the drama and explosive skies of late summer Adriatic storms.

14 December 2021