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This post was most recently updated on January 29th, 2018
When it comes to London art exhibitions, it’s safe to say that Londoners are spoilt for choice with an array of amazing exhibitions or arty events to suit anyone’s tastes.
Whether you’re a local, or visiting London from another country, soak up the rich artistic culture with our top 20 exhibitions running in the coming months.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Balenciaga at the Victoria and Albert Museum
- 2. Basquiat: Room for Real at Barbican Art Gallery
- 3. Dali and Duchamp at the Royal Academy of Arts
- 4. Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy of Arts
- 5. Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern
- 6. Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern
- 7. Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy of Arts
- 8. Cézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
- 9. Louise Bourgeois at Tate Modern
- 10. World of Anna Sui at the Fashion and Textile Museum
- 11. Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at the National Portrait Gallery
- 12. Frieze Sculpture 2017 in Regent’s Park
- 13. Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the Victoria and Albert Museum
- 14. Sargent: The Watercolours at Dulwich Picture Gallery
- 15. Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace
- 16. Canaletto and the Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery
- 17. Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines at The Photographers Gallery
- 18. Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction
- 19. Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent at Somerset House
- 20. The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London at the Tate
1. Balenciaga at the Victoria and Albert MuseumFashion and art lovers unite because Balenciaga’s first UK exhibition is coming to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Visitors will find over 100 items of clothing and 20 hats from the renowned designer who has worked alongside icons like Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.
The clothing exhibition will also feature exclusive sketches, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage.
You can visit this exciting event until 18 February 2018 and can purchase tickets online, or on the day at Kensington’s historic Victoria and Albert Museum.
2. Basquiat: Room for Real at Barbican Art Gallery
Basquiat made his mark on the art world from 1978 with his graffiti pieces that were scattered around New York. He was self-taught and experimented with diverse art styles and materials including painting clothing, collaging baseball cards, murals and paintings on large canvases and public places.
This tribute to the late artist will showcase more than 100 pieces from his entire collection, with an array of paintings, photographs, films and personal notebooks on display for the first time in the UK.
Basquiat: Boom for Real will take place at Barbican Art Gallery from 21 September, 2017 to 28 January, 2018.
3. Dali and Duchamp at the Royal Academy of Arts
These two great artists are renowned for their unique artworks that revolutionised the way people perceived art. Dali and Duchamp were conceptual and surrealist artists who developed a friendship over the years, inspiring established and emerging artists until this very day.
The exhibition will take place at the Royal Academy of Arts from 7 October, 2017 to 3 January, 2018 and will display more than 80 paintings, sculptures and intriguing films that helped shape the surrealist movement.
4. Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy of ArtsPerhaps one of the most exciting exhibitions of the year, Matisse in the Studio will showcase 65 of this great artist’s striking works including paintings, sculptures, prints and cut-outs.
His work is known for its rich colour and depth. Matisse incorporated many influences in his pieces, including African masks and Chinese porcelain. Alongside his art, the exhibition will display 35 of Matisse’s most significant personal objects.
Matisse at the Royal Academy of Arts is on show until 12 November 2017.
5. Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern
German artist Gerhard Richter is known for his vibrant works, made from a variety of different materials and techniques, that catch the eye instantly with their textural qualities.
Richter’s exhibition at the Tate Modern is free and comprises six paintings made using a squeegee and named after composer John Cage.
Visit Richter’s display of paintings until 31 December 2017 at the Tate Modern.
6. Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate ModernSpanish painter Pablo Picasso is known as one of the greatest artists of all time, especially for his striking Cubist works which revolutionised this pivotal art movement.
The Tate Modern will host this major exhibition showcasing over 100 paintings, sculptures and other works which Picasso created during 1932.
Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy will head to the Tate Modern from 8 March, 2018 to 9 September, 2018.
7. Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy of Arts
Another exciting artist to grace the Royal Academy of Arts is Jasper Johns, who is renowned for his vibrant artworks that fuse abstract-expressionism with pop art. In this exhibition, you can expect paintings, collages, sculptures and prints that span Johns’ six-decade career.
Something Resembling Truth will showcase more than 150 works at the Royal Academy of Arts from 23 September, 2017 to 10 December, 2017.
8. Cézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
Paul Cezanne’s most important works will be on show at the National Portrait Gallery in London for the first time, celebrating his unique portraiture style and influence on generations of artists.
With more than 50 works on display, this exhibition will take place from 26 October 2017 to 11 February 2018. Cezanne Portraits is a must-see, taking visitors on a personal journey through the 19th century post-impressionist’s artistic life.
9. Louise Bourgeois at Tate ModernIf you’ve never see Louise Bourgeois’ works, now is your time. This exhibition is free for all and includes a great selection of late works including sculpture, drawings and writing, as well as a few pieces from the artist’s early career.
Her work is provocative, interesting and unique, and is a pivotal event of the art calendar. Bourgeois’ works are on show until 31 December 2017.
10. World of Anna Sui at the Fashion and Textile Museum
Celebrating Anna Sui’s imprint on the fashion scene, this exhibition showcases over 100 looks from the American designer’s archive.
Anna Sui is known for her colourful and quirky designs that have stunned fashionistas all over the world. The World of Anna Sui is on show until 1 October 2017.
11. Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at the National Portrait Gallery
This exhibition celebrates some of the greatest names in classical art, featuring 50 stunning works and rare pieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci and Hans Holbein, among others.
It shines a spotlight on the beauty and craftsmanship of the influential Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at National Portrait Gallery concludes on 22 October 2017.
12. Frieze Sculpture 2017 in Regent’s Park
Just before the warmer season ends, head to the Frieze Sculpture outdoor exhibition in Regent’s Park’s English Gardens. This collection comprises 25 public sculptures by well-known 20th century and contemporary artists including John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Gary Hume, Michael Craig-Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi and Ugo Rondinone.
You can visit the sculpture trail by joining a guided tour or take it all in at your own pace. Frieze Sculpture ends on 8 October 2017.
13. Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Music lovers should head to the Victoria and Albert Museum to check out Pink Floyd’s audio-visual exhibition showcasing their music, design and staging with over 350 artefacts from their five-decade journey.
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at Victoria and Albert Museum is on show until 1 October 2017.
14. Sargent: The Watercolours at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Anglo-American artist, John Singer Sargent was well known as one of the leading portrait painters of his generation, creating around 900 oil paintings and over 2000 watercolours. His stunning art encapsulates the luxurious Victorian and Edwardian eras.
This exhibition will be on show until 8 October 2017, showcasing 80 watercolours from private and public collections – the first UK exhibition devoted to watercolours by Singer in nearly 100 years.
15. Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace
This heartfelt exhibition explores the evolving style of Princess Diana, a woman who continues to fascinate people years after her untimely death. Featuring an extraordinary display of Diana’s most iconic outfits, guests will take a closer look at glamourous gowns from the 1980s and stylish pieces from the 90s. The tribute to the Princess marks 20 years since her passing.
A temporary White Garden, complete with white roses and a surrounding reflective pool will be put together at Kensington Palace to celebrate Diana’s life. Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace concludes on 28 February 2018.
16. Canaletto and the Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace is the perfect spot for this historical exhibition, running until 12 November 2017. See stunning works by Venice’s greatest painter Canaletto, as well as an incredible collection of more than 200 paintings, drawings and prints by artists Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Pietro Longhi and Giovanni Battista Piazetta.
The works were acquired by George III in 1976 and feature Canaletto’s representations of the exquisite piazzas and waterways of beautiful 18th century Venice.
17. Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines at The Photographers Gallery
Crewdson creates a real sense of atmosphere in his works, being known for his in-depth production process that includes a large working crew. His photos resemble film, captured in one moment and giving the impression that life will go on after the photo is taken.
The result are uncanny and uncomfortable images that depict a sense of isolation or buried human emotion. His latest series, Cathedral of the Pines, explores human relations within a natural environment, delving into the disconnection he suggests we have with our natural surroundings and with each other.
Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines at The Photographers Gallery runs until 8 October 2017.
18. Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science FictionThis exhibition explores a genre that has influenced the way we think about the world around us.
Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction brings together a collection of more than 800 works, including spacesuits from blockbusters such as Star Trek and Interstellar.
Be sure to visit this exhibition at Barbican Centre soon as it concludes on 1 September 2017.
19. Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent at Somerset House
This unique multi-sensory exhibition features ten perfumes by renowned creators who have changed the way we perceive fragrance over the last 20 years, giving visitors an insight into the intricate processes of perfumery.
In Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent, you’ll be taken on a stimulating journey to find out how the scents we adore have been created, with inspiration ranging from travels to exotic locations to romantic encounters.
Head to Somerset House to experience this exclusive exhibition, concluding 23 September 2017.
20. The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London at the Tate
The exhibition tells the story of the artists who fled to the UK during the Franco-Prussian war in France. This created an incredible impact on the British art scene, influencing English and French artists who adopted different ideas and techniques via friendships built over the years.
This exhibition is not to be missed, starting on 2 November 2017 and concluding 7 May 2018. It will feature astounding works by iconic Impressionists including Monet, Tissot, and Pissarro.