Summer 2019: the 10 essential art exhibitions

Olafur Eliasson's Stardust Particle (2014) will be part of his exhibition at Tate Modern from July
Olafur Eliasson's Stardust Particle (2014) will be part of his exhibition at Tate Modern from July Credit: Jens Ziehe

From Taki to Tal R, Christianity to the Moon, our critic picks 10 unmissable shows for July and August

Takis

The biggest ever British exhibition for the 93-year-old Greek pioneer of sound art and electronic art, whose electro-magnetic sculptures evoke “the sounds of the universe”.

Tate Modern, London SE1 (020 7887 8000), from July 3 to Oct 27

Manchester International Festival

A rich array of new work including mass bell-ringing devised by Yoko Ono, a journey into the mind of film director David Lynch and the first major UK exhibition from Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama.

Various venues, Manchester (0333 320 2890), from July 4 to July 21

Tal R/Roy Oxlade

The seafront Jerwood Gallery relaunches as Hastings Contemporary, with exhibitions from two quirky contemporary figurative artists: Danish oddball Tal R, and underrated English painter Roy Oxlade.

Hastings Contemporary, East Sussex (01424 728377), from July 6 to Oct 6

Emma in Drawing Room (2018, detail) by Tal R will be at the newly reopened Hastings Contemporary gallery Credit: Tal R

A Tea Journey

This exhibition tells the story of how a few leaves with hot water have permeated social interaction the world over, inspiring ceramics, paintings and poetry from the Tang dynasty to the present day.

Compton Verney, Warwickshire (01926 645500), from July 6 to Sept 22

Olafur Eliasson

Best known for making the sun come out in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with his spectacular 2003 work The Weather Project, the Danish-Icelandic artist returns with an exhibition of ambitious, large-scale installations, most never seen in Britain before.

Tate Modern, London SE1 (020 7887 8888), from July 11 to Jan 5

The Moon

Our age-old obsession with the Moon is explored in a major show celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, featuring objects from Mesopotamian tablets of a lunar eclipse to Nasa equipment that has been to the Moon and back.

National Maritime Museum, London SE10 (020 8858 4422), from July 19 to Jan 5

Helene Schjerfbeck

From sentimental naturalism to enigmatic expressionism, the iconic Finnish painter’s long artistic journey (1862-1946) is chronicled in her first major British exhibition.

Royal Academy, London W1 (020 7300 8090), from July 20 to Oct 27

A Tea Journey showcases tea-related paraphernalia from the Tang dynasty to today Credit: Matthew Lock

Edinburgh Art Festival

This year’s highlights include Grayson Perry tapestries, deconstructed 19th-century wallpaper by Scottish artist Nathan Coley and a show on the seminal New York artist and choreographer Trisha Brown.

Various venues, Edinburgh (0131 226 6558), from July 25 to Aug 25

Last Supper in Pompeii

Everyday life in the ancient Roman city is examined through what its citizens ate and drank, with a wealth of objects on loan from Naples and Pompeii. Luxurious dining-room furniture sits next to leftovers straight off ancient plates preserved in volcanic ash.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (01865 278000), from July 25 to Jan 12

Art, Faith & Modernity

Early British modernism’s fascination with Christian imagery is explored in works by 73 artists, including Winifred Knights and Stanley Spencer.

Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool (0151 709 6271), from Aug 6 to Aug 30