LS Lowry Going to the Match
LS Lowry's Going to the Match was in the top ten pieces selected for the exhibition (Art Everywhere)

The world's largest art show has opened in the UK, with pieces from the nation's public collections scattered across poster and billboard sites around the country.

Art Everywhere will run between 12 and 25 August and was funded by thousands of individual donations from people all over the world.

In total, 22,000 poster sites were chosen for the exhibition, with cities, towns and villages in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland putting art works for adverts for two weeks.

Organisers predict they will have an audience of 90% of the UK's adult population. Art will be displayed at train stations, supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas, bars and busses.

Lucian Freud
22,000 posters will be shown in locations across the UK for the exhibition (Art Everywhere)

The images were picked from a long list of the public collections. Among the top 10 pieces in the final list are Lowry's Going to the Match, Turner's The Fighting Temeraire and Lucian Freud's Man's Head (Self Portrait I).

Other artists in the top ten include John William Waterhouse, John Everett Millais, Francis Bacon, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Wallis and James Whistler.

Art Everywhere is a collaborative project between Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, Tate, the Art Fund, the poster industry and 101 creative agency.

John Everett Millais
Art Everywhere was a collaborative effort initiated by Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks (Art Everywhere)

Reed, who initiated the idea for the exhibition, said: "This is a joyful project with no agenda other than to flood our streets with art and celebrate the creative talents and legacy of the UK."

Cornelia Parker, the only living artist to have a piece in the top ten, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the British public have voted my work Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View into the top ten. It's a fantastic project and to see my work reproduced on posters across the UK is fulfilling a long-held fantasy."

The posters in the exhibition are interactive, so members of the public can point their phones at the art to find out information about each piece and share their favourites.

Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud Man’s Head (Self Portrait I) is among the artworks replacing adverts across the country (Art Everywhere)

Turner prize-winning artist Damien Hirst said: "Art is for everyone, and everyone who has access to it will benefit from it. This project is amazing."

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, added: "Tate is delighted to have partnered with Art Everywhere to reach audiences across the UK with much-loved art from public collections. It is a huge achievement made possible by the generosity of the poster advertising industry and the enthusiasm of Richard Reed.

"This ambitious project has given everyone the chance to take part in a national celebration of British art."