Visual art preview of 2013: Just the ticket

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Schwitters, Manet, Vermeer ... it's set to be a vintage year for art shows, big and small

A Happy New Year? It certainly looks that way, and from the get-go. The brightest spot of the winter comes courtesy of the Royal Academy, whose Manet: Portraying Life (26 January – 14 April) is, astonishingly, the first British show ever of the French master's portraiture. For three months from the end of January, you can rest your eyes on Berthe Morisot, Zola and Mallarmé, Georges Clemenceau and the long-suffering Mrs Manet, all painted by clever Edouard as actors in that drama of everyday life championed by his friend, Baudelaire, as the proper subject for a modern artist. The RA will also offer a first London outing for Mademoiselle Claus since she was bought by the Ashmolean in Oxford in August.

If your tastes tend more to the recent, then you're multiply in luck. Four days after Mlle Claus's London debut, Kurt Schwitters makes his at Tate Britain (30 January – 12 May). That's right: it was Britain I said, not Modern. When the well-known critic A Hitler declared his art to be Entartete – degenerate – Schwitters fled to England, in 1940. After stays on the Isle of Man and in London, the madcap German washed up in Ambleside, where he died in poverty in 1948. Between times, he continued to work on the one-man sort-of-Dada movement he called Merz. The name, typically, was lifted from the word Commerzbank: Schwitters was a great one for making art where he found it – "the archaeologist of the present", he called himself. His famous collages having no market in Britain, he painted portraits for money – £1 for a face, a guinea hands included. Examples of all these will be on show at the Tate, along with work inspired by Schwitters's last great project – the so-called Merzbarn, still mythically standing in a wood near the village of Stile Bridge.

At Tate Modern, 2013 kicks off with a Whaam! Yup, that's Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective (21 February – 27 May) – the first major show of the pixellated Pop-artist for 20 years, and the most comprehensive ever. Using previously unseen works on paper, the show will set out to rewrite the Lichtenstein we all think we know. As precisely what remains to be seen.

Not, one assumes, as a Minimalist, the word usually applied to Carl Andre, the subject of Mass & Matter at Turner Contemporary in Margate (1 February – 6 May). If you're of a certain age, you'll recall the mouth-frothing over the Tate's acquisition, in 1976, of Andre's Equivalent VIII, by some way the world's most infamous firebricks. Mass & Matter will include another floor work, Weathering Piece, alongside sculptures made of seaside-y planks and beams. And what are these doing in a gallery named for J M W Turner? "My ambition as an artist is to be the Turner of matter," Andre says. So there you have it.

Andre's bricks look Baroque next to the work in Light Show at the Hayward Gallery (30 January – 28 April), the subject of this being, as its name suggests, art made of light. All the big lighties will be there – Dan Flavin, Olafur Eliasson, etc – offering, at the very least, a welcome dose of vitamin D to us sun-starved Northeners.

Skipping forward by month and back by century, we arrive at what is likely to be the year's most over-subscribed show: the National Gallery's Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure (26 June – 8 September).

Mere mention of the Dutchman's name may have you logging on to nationalgallery.org.uk, although, truth to tell, the show is light on Vermeers. (There are not many of them, and owners are loth to lend.) The National's own musical pair, of ladies standing and sitting at the virginal, are joined in trio by The Guitar Player from Kenwood House; alongside these will be 17th-century sheet music and a selection of instruments, all there to encourage us to meditate on the meaning of music to the Delftish master in the Dutch Golden Age. Alternatively, you can just admire his way with fur and secrets.

There are so many goodies on offer in 2013 that it is difficult to list them all: the Courtauld's Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 (14 February – 26 May) promises to be typically clever and tight; the Fruitmarket's Edinburgh Festival show of the work of Gabriel Orozco (1 August – 20 October) a timely reminder of the Venezuelan's brilliance.

For no good reason, though, I'm particularly looking forward to two. At Pallant House in Chichester, British Artists and the Spanish Civil War (October) will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the showing in London of Picasso's Guernica and the part played by British painters in the fight against Franco. And back in London, Painting Now at Tate Britain (12 November – 9 February 2014) will decide whether its title isn't, as it sometimes appears, a contradiction in terms – whether there isn't life left in British painting after all. I do hope the answer is yes.

Face to watch

Broadly speaking, old British artists have been shown by old British gallerists, young ones by the new. That all changed last June when the Piper Gallery opened in London's Newman Street. Run by Megan Piper, it shows those with careers of 40 years or more: Tess Jaray, Paul de Monchaux ... not too late to teach new dogs old tricks.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering