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What’s happening in the world of photography and art for 2013

It always seems to be the case that, as spring appears round the corner, so the world of the creative arts bursts into life too. Spring of 2013 is no exception, with a number of exhibitions about to launch as well as line-ups being confirmed for the major festivals later in the year.

One of the most popular art and photography exhibitions over the last few years has been the Royal College of Art’s Secret Postcard Sale. An annual event now since 1994, the series of exhibitions has, to date, raised over £1M for young and emerging artists. The premise is simple; established artists, from stellar names such as Maggie Hambling and David Bailey to less well known practitioners, are invited to donate postcard size images which are sold anonymously for £45 apiece Potential buyers can view the 2700 postcards which will be on sale by visiting the RCA or online at the RCA’s website.

The Royal Academy has a retrospective exhibition of 20th century American artist George Bellows. Although comparitively little known today, Bellows was more famous than his friend and contempory Edward Hopper. His images are often stark, disturbing and violent with a style which sems to prefigure Francis Bacon and have been described by RA co-curator Ann Dumas as “Amazing, energetic and visceral”. The exhibition, “Modern American Life”, runs from 16th March to 19th June at the RA.

A painting stored for decades at Bowes museum in north east England, and thought to be a copy after Van Dyck has been identified as a genuine 17th Century work by the master himself. Valued at £1M, the portrait is believed to be of Olivia Boteler Porter, lady in waiting to the wife of Charles I.

Although it’s only March, The line-up for this year’s Edinburgh Festival, in August, has been announced. Among this year’s highlights are an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci sketches of human anatomy, many of which have never before been published and which display a remarkable degree of accuracy. Patti Smith and Philip Glass combine to present a homage to 60’s poet Alan Ginsberg and a Beijing theatre company production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus featuring two Chinese heavy metal bands.

Speaking of Chinese heavy metal, artist Ai Wewei has announced his heavy metal debut with a nine track album of metal, punk and power-pop. Ai is credited with all lyrics and lead vocals. The surviving members of Led Zep. are, however, not reported to be losing any sleep.