BY Chris Waywell in Frieze London | 11 JUL 24

Great Art Day Trips from London for Summer 2024

Out-of-town shows in the UK over the next few months – from Barbara Karsten’s disorientating acrylic sculptures in Bexhill to Mohammed Sami’s intense paintings at Blenheim Palace 

BY Chris Waywell in Frieze London | 11 JUL 24

‘Phyllida Barlow. unscripted’ at Hauser & Wirth Somerset (until 5 January 2025)

The expansive landscape around Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset outpost is the striking setting for Phyllida Barlow’s final sculpture series, ‘PRANK’, shown alongside more weather-dependent indoor works in this show. An Odradek-like avatar pops up against the lush pastures of the West Country atop wonky metal assemblages, while big things droop and loom in the galleries, including her work Folly for the 2017 Venice Biennale, and the megalithic untitled: 21 arches. Unseen maquettes and drawings offer insight into the practice of the artist, who passed away in 2023. Barlow’s ‘GIG’ inaugurated the gallery in 2014, so this intense and playful survey is both a 10th anniversary celebration and a career valedictum in a wonderful location.

Ed Clark at Turner Contemporary, Margate (until 1 September)

Ed Clark, Locomotion, 1963
Ed Clark, Locomotion, 1963. © The Estate of Ed Clark. Courtesy the Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Visceral and dynamic, Ed Clark’s take on abstract expressionism included pushing paint around his canvases with a four-foot-wide broom. Born in New Orleans, Clark was influenced by his travels to Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, China, Japan and the Mediterranean. Though under-appreciated during his career, his pivotal position as a pioneering African-American painter is increasingly acknowledged (one of his works was acquired at Frieze New York 2019 by the Brooklyn Museum) and this is his first solo survey in Europe. Despite his muscular technique, Clark’s paintings are full of light and delicacy, as well as a meaty engagement with pigment, and Margate’s Turner Contemporary is a great place to appreciate their power and subtlety.

While you’re in Margate: Vanessa Raw, ‘On Earth We Weren't Meant to Stay’ at Carl Freedman (30 June – 8 September).

Barbara Kasten, ‘Site Lines’ at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (22 June – 1 September 2024)

Barbara Kasten, Intervention, 2018
Barbara Kasten, Intervention, Creative Chicago: A Hans Ulrich Obrist Interview Marathon, 2018. Courtesy of Bortolami, NY; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, LA; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Kadel Willborn Gallery, Düsseldorf. Photo: Kindler

Barbara Kasten was born in 1936, the year after Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion was built, so her show there this summer is a true meeting of modernist icons. ‘Sight Lines’ responds to the building’s ground-floor gallery and its view of the Channel, leaning coloured acrylic beams against the windows to interrupt the seaside panorama. Within the gallery, mirrored screens respond to the ever-changing light and meteorological conditions outside, alongside Kasten’s seminal ‘Architectural Sites’ series (1986–89). The DLWP is also presenting Tschabalala Self: Seated (until 29 September), a joyously monumental figure taking a load off on the sunny lawn outside.

While you’re on the South Coast: Lucy Evetts, ‘The Voice Inside My Head’ at Flatland Projects, Bexhill-on-Sea (until 14 July), Elias Sime, ‘Eregata እርጋታ’ at Hastings Contemporary (until 8 September), Maria Amidu, ‘In the perpetual back and forth’ (until 8 September) and Emma Stibbon, ‘Melting Ice | Rising Tides’ (until 15 September) at Towner, Eastbourne. 

Megan Rooney, ‘Echoes and Hours’ at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (until 6 October)

Megan Rooney, Rehearsals
Megan Rooney, still from a performance in collaboration with Temitope Ajose, Leah Marojevic and tyroneisaacstuart, 2024. Photo: Camilla Greenwell

Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge has given over its spaces to Megan Rooney, who is spending three weeks this summer painting a mural directly on to the gallery walls, while adjacent spaces show a group of new works by the artist. Rooney describes her works as ‘family groups’, with the scale of her canvases determined by the reach of her outstretched arms. So while her work remains vibrantly abstract it is always grounded in the body and its environment. To emphasize this dimension, there is a new accompanying performance work in the gallery space.

While you’re in Cambridge: ‘Paris 1924: Sport, Art and the Body’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum (until 3 November).

Mohammed Sami, ‘After the Storm’ at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (until 6 October)

Mohammed Sami, The Grinder, 2023. Mixed media on linen 290 x 350 cm
Mohammed Sami, The Grinder, 2023. Mixed media on linen, 290 × 350cm

To mark 10 years of Blenheim Art Foundation’s programme of contemporary art at the palace, Mohammed Sami has created a complete new body of work, drawing on both recurring themes in his practice and the history of Blenheim. Shown in one of the UK’s most important Baroque buildings (not to mention the birthplace of Winston Churchill), Sami’s enigmatic paintings with their embedded narratives of personal trauma and cultural displacement cannot help but challenge assumptions about the political and historical role of art.

While you’re in Oxford: Pio Abad, ‘To Those Sitting in Darkness’, Ashmolean (until 8 September), Albion Fields sculpture park (summer season).

Magdalene Odundo at Houghton Hall, Norwich (until 29 September)

Magdalene Odundo at Houghton Hall, 12 May – 29 September 2024
Magdalene Odundo, installation view at Houghton Hall, 12 May – 29 September 2024

There’s another intriguing confrontation at Houghton Hall near Norwich (built by Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole), where works by Dame Magdalene Odundo are being shown throughout the house’s opulent state rooms this summer. Notably, there is a new piece from Odundo’s residency at the Wedgwood porcelain factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Odundo fuses historical and contemporary influences to explore identity and the symbolic significance of objects, and one Houghton Hall highlight is a monumental ceramic sculpture created using historic Wedgwood moulds to address slavery and modern activism.

While you’re in Norwich: Jeffrey Gibson, ‘No simple word for time’ at Sainsbury Centre (until 4 August), Roger Ackling, ‘Sunlight’ at Norwich Castle (until 22 September)

Igshaan Adams, ‘Weerhoud’ at Hepworth Wakefield (until 3 November)

Credit: Igshaan Adams, Jaime-Lee, Dustin, 2023. Cotton twine, polypropylene and nylon rope, mohair wool, plastic, glass and semi precious stone beads, silver-linked chain and tiger tail wire. 198 x 290 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mario Todeschin
Credit: Igshaan Adams, Jaime-Lee, Dustin, 2023. Cotton twine, polypropylene and nylon rope, mohair wool, plastic, glass and semi-precious stone beads, silver-linked chain, and tiger-tail wire, 198 × 290 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mario Todeschin

‘Weerhoud’ means ‘withheld’ in Igshaan Adams’s native Afrikaans, suggesting a reluctance to reveal or disclose, and an idea of something being retained or kept back – both key concepts for someone who has had to navigate personal identity and the racial classification of apartheid in his life. For Hepworth Wakefield, the Cape Town-born artist is presenting three new commissions created for the exhibition: two tapestries and one of his large immersive ‘cloud’ installations, plus a selection of existing sculptures and textile pieces. These works are encrusted with gorgeous detail, but also symbolically devoured and riddled with holes. The Hepworth is concurrently showing ‘Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity’, the first institutional survey in Europe of the venerable African-American artist.

While you’re in Yorkshire: Leilah Babirye ‘Obumu (Unity)’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (until 8 September).


Further Information

​​For all the latest news from Frieze, sign up to the newsletter at, and follow @friezeofficial on Instagram, Twitter and Frieze Official on Facebook.

Main image: Phyllida Barlow, PRANK: jape, 2022–2023. Installation view, ‘Phyllida Barlow. unscripted’, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2024. Steel, fibreglass, lacquer, 360.7 × 264.2 × 215.9 cm. © Phyllida Barlow Estate. Courtesy Phyllida Barlow Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Ken Adlard

Chris Waywell is Senior Editor of Frieze Studios. He lives in London, UK.