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The team at Sir John Soane’s Museum are delighted to share our 2023 exhibition and events programme.
Over the coming year, the Museum will host an exhibition of acclaimed artist Bouke de Vries’ response to Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, a celebration of five architects’ houses in London, and a display of Georgian illuminations, which will also see the façade of the Museum on Lincoln’s Inn Fields illuminated by light artist Nayan Kulkarni.
The Architecture Drawing Prize winners and shortlisted entries will be exhibited at the Museum in February. Later in the year, the recipient of the sixth Soane Medal will be announced, following the announcement of Peter Barber as the 2022 recipient at a ceremony and lecture earlier in November. A fourth season of By Design talks, hosted by Alice Rawsthorn and Will Gompertz, will also celebrate and explore the connections between contemporary artistic practice and Soane.
As this year’s restoration works draw to a close, 2023 will mark the opening of Soane’s architectural Drawing Office, the oldest surviving example of its kind. Artists and makers will be able to take inspiration from the architectural design and collection as part of two three-month residencies, during the Spring and the Autumn. Further details about the Drawing Office will be announced in early 2023.
Architecture Drawing Prize
8 February - 7 May
Currently in its sixth year, the Architecture Drawing Prize continues to celebrate the art of drawing in three categories: hand-drawn, hybrid and digital. Sir John Soane’s Museum will be exhibiting the prize winners and shortlisted entries for the 2022 Prize, which attracted 138 entries, and a strong majority of hand-drawn entries. As ever, the submissions are from around the world, attesting to the truly international nature of the Prize and the great skill and originality of entrants. The Architecture Drawing Prize is sponsored by Iris Ceramica and is co-curated by Make Architects, Sir John Soane’s Museum and World Architecture Festival (WAF).
Bouke de Vries: A Rake’s Progress
7 June - 10 September
An acclaimed artist working with ceramics, Bouke de Vries’ latest work will respond to William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, and displayed in the Museum’s Foyle Space. Inspired by Hogarth’s series of original paintings at the Soane Museum, de Vries will draw on his love of storytelling, and talent for symbolism through ceramics, with eight newly created porcelain vases presented in various states of (dis)repair. Starting with an immaculate celadon vase, de Vries treats the following seven increasingly deteriorating vases with a variety of restoration processes and glazes, which parallel the moral and physical degeneration of Hogarth’s anti-hero Tom Rakewell. Cracks appear in the surface, the vessels slump and implode – with obvious and drastic methods of repair failing to save the vase or Rake from their ultimate demise.
7 June - 10 September
This exhibition celebrates five London houses, all of which, like the Soane Museum, have been designed by the architects who lived – and in some cases still live – in them. Through the use of drawings, photographs, models and other 3D objects, this visually stimulating exhibition will be an opportunity to showcase the Museum’s connection to modern and contemporary architectural practices, presenting the Soane as part of a larger conversation about the impact of architects’ houses. The featured houses are designed by major figures from the history of British architecture.
4 October - 7 January
In October, the Soane will mount Georgian Illuminations, an exhibition of works on paper focusing on the spectacular illuminations which were popular in the Georgian period. This exhibition will concentrate on specific, well-publicised light shows of the period and the impressive and the elaborate temporary architectural structures created for them, often designed by leading architects and artists, including Soane. Royal entertainments, pleasure gardens, national celebrations, and illuminations by Soane will all feature, demonstrating that these ephemeral cultural practices were drivers of architectural and technological innovation.
Newly discovered vast linen transparencies, which were back lit in Georgian windows as patriotic decoration during the Napoleonic Wars, will be placed on lightboxes and displayed for the first time in the Foyle Space.
Additionally, the Soane has commissioned a contemporary equivalent of the illuminated architecture explored in the exhibition. The light artist Nayan Kulkarni is developing a new work to illuminate the façade of the Museum on Lincoln’s Inn Fields, reinforcing how light was a central element of design for Sir John Soane.
We look forward to welcoming you to Sir John Soane's Museum in 2023.
For press queries, please contact Tom Smeeton at Brunswick Arts via email or call 07467 650396