What January blues? Here are eight cultural reasons to get excited about 2014 – and a few things we loved last year

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus' exhibited 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839
Oil on canvas
support: 914 x 1219 mm frame: 1230 x 1530 x 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

View the main page for this artwork

Matisse (and a crash course in modernism) 

This is going to be a big one, folks! Focusing on the iconic artist’s late works, Tate Modern’s spring exhibition will be the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Matisse’s late paper cut-outs. Plus, over the following months, a tour of the Tates could give you a proper crash-course in the history of modernism; St Ives and Modernism in May, Piet Mondrian at Tate Liverpool in June and a restrospective on Kazimir Malevich, the Russian abstract painter, coming up at Tate Modern in July. In fact, July is the month you can catch them all at once; make a proper British holiday of it?
Tate Modern, 16 April –7 September

Turner’s late work at Tate Britain

Another focus on a master painter in his later life, this show starts with Turner at age 60 and explores the period in which some of his most celebrated works were created. However, if you’re a Turner nut (and let’s face it - who isn’t?) and can’t wait until September, the National Maritime Museum’s Turner and the Sea show is on until April, and there’s the Scottish National Gallery’s annual Turner display – exhibited every January in accordance with the wishes of the collector who bequeathed it - open from New Year’s Day. You can always see the Turners in the Tate collection at Tate Britain, too.
Tate Britain, 10 September – 25 January 2015

Louise Bourgeois hits Edinburgh and Middlesbrough

Following its display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until May, ARTIST ROOMS – a series of monographic exhibitions shared with museums across the UK – arrives in Middlesbrough. Including spiders, spirals and other motifs of the American artist, this exhibition particularly focuses on Bourgeois’ exploration of womanhood in the roles of daughter, wife, mother and lover.
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 18 July – 14 October

Reflections on the Great War

100 years since the First World War, a ‘global commemoration’ offers the chance to reflect through a year-long series of events. Art makes its contribution in a series of exhibitions, including a photography display of conflict sites over time at Tate Modern, an exhibition on Stanley Spencer at the Pallant House Gallery, The Great War in Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and more.
Various venues, event details at www.1914.org

The return of the Turbine Hall

It’s been sealed up since May, while a link bridge is built between the current Tate Modern and the new extension (due to open in 2016), but in October Tate’s cavernous Turbine Hall returns with a project by the American artist, Richard Tuttle. Exploring a fascination with textiles and fibres, it coincides with an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Tate Modern, 14 October – 6 April

Commonwealth culture in Scotland

To coincide with Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games, a Scotland-wide culture programme (‘Culture2014’) runs throughout 2014, and an extra dose of arts festival hits Glasgow runs during the games. Look out for a new film by the artist Phil Collins, shown in an open-air summer screening in Glasgow’s Queen’s Park.
Various venues across Scotland 

Liverpool Biennial

The ten-week art bonanza – the UK’s largest international contemporary art festival – returns in Liverpool, with a summer of events and exhibitions across the city. Tate Liverpool is a host venue, but also look out for events at the BluecoatFACT and more.
Various venues across Liverpool, 5 July – 26 October

Two great Richards

The first retrospective of Richard Hamilton – the founding figure of British pop art – runs at Tate Modern almost concurrently with a show of work by the Turner Prize winner Richard Deacon, who will be filling Tate Britain’s halls with his huge serpentine structures. Anytime between 13 Febraury and April 27, you could take the boat between them and make a day of it.
Richard Hamilton, Tate Modern, 13 February – 26 May; Richard Deacon, Tate Britain, 5 February – 27 April

…And eight things we loved in 2013