GALLERIES by Leigh Hatts
THE provinces are clearly hosting an increasing number of important exhibitions in 1993 and even the Tate Gallery is supplementing a busy London programme with more outreach.
This year will see a significant exhibition exploring Christian iconography in British painting and sculpture since 1900. The Birth, the Death and the Resurrection is being assembled to look at 20th-century Christian art now rather than in seven years' time because this is the centenary year of St Matthew's. Northampton.
On its 50th anniversary the rector. Walter Hussey. commissioned a Madonna and Child from Henry Moore. This year's exhibition is a tribute to Canon Hussey, who went on to fill Chichester Cathedral with modem art and be described by Kenneth Clark as "the last great patron of art in the Church of England".
The show will be based at Northampton Art Gallery in the spring before moving to St Paul's Cathedral in the summer. Naturally the list of artists will include Stanley Spencer and John Piper but also featured are David Hockney and the recently discovered Churton Fairman.
This year the Society of Catholic Artists is holding an exhibition of members' religious work in Westminster Cathedral during Holy Week and the Easter Weekend. The society is also contributing to the Brighton Festival's visual arts programme in May.
The Royal Academy's main spring show opening next week is The Great Age of British Watercolours 1750 1850. which follows the development of the medium from Paul Dandby who recorded Windsor to Constable on Hampstead Heath.
Most influential was JMW Turner, 'whose Final Years will be examined in the Tate Gallery's sixth and final Turner Decades exhibition in February. This summer the evolution of his painting will be explored at the Tate with Turner's Painting Techniques. The Tate Gallery has an impressive and extensive 1993 programme. Next month the entire collection will be rearranged for the fourth successive year to offer fresh insights. In June, Art and Liberation focuses on artists in Paris after the last war and in the autumn the centenary of Ben Nicholson is celebrated with works borrowed from all over the world.
Meanwhile the Tate Gallery in Liverpool is celebrating Roy Lichtenstein's 70th birthday by showing 30 examples of his pop art. Soon afterwards, the much awaited Tate Gallery at St Ives opens in Cornwall.
Pop Art is part of The Sixties at the Barbican, London, which may prove to be one of the year's most popular shows. In March over 200 paintings, sculptures and installations will be part of a look at the London art scene 30 years ago.
In the same month another long-running exhibition is launched when the Queen's Gallery at the side of Buckingham Palace presents A King's Purchase.