Best of 2014: Visual art preview

Adrian Hamilton picks this year's must-see visual art
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First World War Celebrations

Plenty of happenings around the country with the Imperial War Museum taking the lead with the opening of its multi-million pound new WWW1 galleries in London on 28 June, a major exhibition of the art of the conflict and an extensive display of its meaning for the North West in IWM North, while the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich will bring together French and British artistic responses with the seminal theme of monuments. Truth and Memory, IWM London, 28 June to March 2015; From Street to Trench, IWM North, 5 April to 2015; Monument: Aftermath of War and Conflict, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 29 March to 27 July

Giorgio de Chirico: Myth and Mystery

A rare chance to see the sculpture and preparatory drawings of an artist who is increasingly seen as one of the most influential figures of the modernist movement. Estorick always comes up with fresh and well thought-out shows. This should one of his best. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, 15 January to 19 April  

The Colourful World of Kaffe Fassett

Out with the knitting needles, on with the dark glasses as the American Museum in Bath celebrates half a century of knitwear and textile designs by the Californian artist, the man who made woollen jumpers and warm scarves modern and vibrant. Just the ticket to lighten your mood as spring comes to the West Country. The American Museum in Britain, Bath, 22 March to 2 November


While its voters prepare for the independence celebration, Scotland launches an ambitious and extensive programme of art of the last 25 years and today. A total of 60 galleries will take part, with major shows by Glasgow Life and the National Museums of Scotland. If only ever-complacent and London-centered England showed the same courage. Locations throughout Scotland, March to November

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude

In any showing of Austrian art, Schiele always comes out the strongest. Nowhere more so than with his nudes, which he painted with an unequalled intimacy and fierceness. Be prepared to be shaken but also stirred. The Courtauld Gallery, London, 23 October 2014 to 18 January 2015

Rembrandt: The Final Years

At a time when late works are becoming the subject of more shows – Matisse’s late cut-outs at Tate Modern and Late Turner at Tate Britain to name but two – the big daddy of them all will be this Rembrandt exhibition. Poor, widowed and oppressed, the greatest painter of humanity grew ever more daring in style and ever looser in brush stroke. Book early and book often. National Gallery, London, 15 October to 18 January

Ursula von Rydingsvard

If you’re going to make art with wood, then cedar is the tree. Its hard, warm, patterned and smells. Von Rydingsvard, one of America’s leading sculptors, has made a special practice of taking cedar beams and turning them into assemblies of deep textures and personal expression. Her first major survey in Europe. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 5 April to 4 January 2015

Anselm Kiefer

On the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, the RA is holding a major a retrospective of the post-war artist who has done more than any other to confront its past and wrestle with its moral inheritances. Huge paintingsa nd photography by a giant. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 27 September to 14 December

2014 Comedy preview

2014 Film preview

2014 Theatre preview

2014 Pop preview