No Time to Die – Behind the Scenes

The Best Art Exhibitions in London

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From the Tates to the Royal Academy and the galleries of Mayfair and the Barbican, London is bursting with exciting art exhibitions at any time of year. Now that cultural institutions are allowed to reopen with safety measures in place, here are the shows not to be missed.

The Best Art Exhibitions in London


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No Time to Die – Behind the Scenes

No Time to Die – Behind the Scenes

Leica Gallery

The new Bond film was initially due to be released in April 2020, but it’s been pushed back multiple times. This September, though, the wait is over – and to celebrate, Leica is launching a new Q2 “007 Edition” camera alongside a photography exhibition at the Leica Gallery London. The show brings together behind-the-scenes photographs shot on Leica cameras, taken by long-time producer Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and photographers Nicola Dove and Greg Williams.

10 September – 15 October 2021,

Image: Nicola Dove, NO TIME TO DIE is an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film. © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Art in Mayfair

Art in Mayfair

This autumn Mayfair will be transformed into an open exhibition spanning art, fashion and culture. Running in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, Art in Mayfair sees many of the area’s top stores – including Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Bugari – creating art-inspired window installations in celebration of the Royal Academy of Arts’ 253rd Summer Exhibition. British artist Gary Hume, meanwhile, has been commissioned to design a series of flags, which will be suspended above Bond Street throughout the show. A number of cultural and art-led in-store events, plus showcases and pop-ups will also be taking place around Mayfair.

2 September – 17 October 2021,

Oluwole Omofemi: In Our Days

Oluwole Omofemi: In Our Days

Signature African Art

Nigerian artist Oluwole Omofemi brings his second solo exhibition to Signature African Art gallery this September, featuring 15 large-scale portraits of women and children, plus a selection of smaller pieces. The show explores how life has changed for African women over the past few generations, with works created in Omofemi’s signature vibrant colour palette.

1 – 30 September 2021,

Image: Oluwole Omofemi, Seduction, 2021

Derek Boshier, K Pop, 2021

Icarus and K Pop

Gazelli Art House

Works from LA-based pop-art pioneer Derek Boshier are going on show at Mayfair’s Gazelli Art House this autumn, featuring two series made of vibrant acrylic paintings on canvas as well as black and white drawings on paper. Launching to coincide with Frieze London, the show blends Greek mythology with South Korean mainstream entertainment.

7 October – 13 November 2021,

Image: Derek Boshier, K Pop: King of Mask Singers, 2020

Eye of the Collector

Eye of the Collector

Two Temple Place

A new addition to London’s buzzing art fair scene is Eye of the Collector, which will bring together galleries from all over the world in an engaging, unique environment. The inaugural fair will take place amid the grand settings of Two Temple Place, a historic mansion located on the banks of the River Thames, commissioned in 1892 by American businessman William Waldorf Astor. Within this impressive space, collectors will have the chance to browse a mixture of paintings, sculpture, furniture and studio ceramics spanning 6,000 years of history. Galleries taking part include Thomas Gibson Fine Art, Tornabuoni Art, Ariadne, Modernity and Gazelli Art House, among many others, with a digital viewing room running alongside the in-person exhibition.

8 – 11 September 2021,

Image: Pair of easy chairs designed by Brockmann Petersen for Louis G. Thiersen & Søn, Denmark, 1951. Courtesy of Modernity.

Elton John, Andy Gotts


Maddox Gallery

Photographer Andy Gotts is renowned for his ability to capture intimate portraits of stars. He attends shoots alone, forging personal relationships with his subjects and using the basic principles of lighting he was taught at college, creating revealing, stripped-back images. Over the years he’s snapped everyone from Kate Winslet to Elton John, Robin Williams to Kylie Minogue. You can see some of his best works in a new exhibition at Maddox Gallery, launching this September.

2 – 19 September 2021,

Image: Elton John by Andy Gotts, courtesy of Maddox Gallery

Amy In The Light

Amy In The Light

Brownsword Hepworth Gallery

To mark 10 years since the passing of Amy Winehouse, her good friend and photographer Phil Griffin is showcasing never-before-seen artworks of the musician in a new exhibition. Speaking about the show, Griffin said: ‘These new works – often in mirror or dual format – each image very slightly different from the next, allow me to look at Amy as though she is both Present & Absent in the same moment, it reminds me that whilst we lost her too soon, we have her forever in so many other ways.’

Until 14 September 2021,

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Exhibition Hub

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Missed out on tickets to the Van Gogh experience in Kensington Gardens? Fear not: another immersive show dedicated to the artist is opening at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. A 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular, the exhibition is designed to bring you into the world of Van Gogh, complete with a unique VR interaction which guides you through a day in the life of the artist.

Opens 29 July,

Image: Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Exhibition Hub

Marcus Hodge

Marcus Hodge

Osborne Studio Gallery

A new collection of works from Marcus Hodge will explore the world of the horse, inspired by the artist’s travels around the world. The paintings are unified by a common theme: festivals and religious gatherings where animals either play a part or stand by as part of the spectacle – from the Marwari horses of Rajasthan to the international circus horses of Monaco.

5 – 27 October 2021,

Image: Marcus Hodge, Bay Horse in Jodhpur

Sophia Oshodin, While We Wait, 2021

Mother of Mankind

HOFA Gallery

Works from 18 emerging female artists are being brought together in new exhibition at HOFA Gallery in partnership with ADA \ contemporary art gallery. The timely show focuses on Black female identity, with each artist investigating perceptions of gender, sexuality, family and society, drawing on their own personal experiences. Participating artists include Jamilla Okubo, Emma Prempeh and Sola Olulode, among others.

22 July – 31 August 2021,

Image: Sophia Oshodin, While We Wait, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, ADA and HOFA.

Sophie Tea lies in front of her paintings

Sophie Tea: Love Doesn’t Stop

ME London

Known as the artist who broke down the traditional gallery route after selling thousands of paintings over social media, Sophie Tea is launching her residency at ME London with her latest show Love Doesn’t Stop. The artist will be showcasing a collection of ‘Hearts’ to the public, acting as a reminder to those who have struggled during the pandemic that there is always love around them.

8 July – 6 September 2021,

Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life

The Design Museum

A new exhibition at the Design Museum shines a light on French designer Charlotte Perriand, who championed the belief that good design is for everyone. She was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, but was – and still is – often overlooked by her male contemporaries. The show will allow visitors to sit back on iconic Perriand designs – including the chaise longue basculante – and get to know the artist’s playful and independent spirit through her personal notebooks.

Until 5 September 2021,  

Image: Photography by Felix Speller

Chiswick House & Gardens

Bring Into Being

Chiswick House & Gardens

This year will see Chiswick House & Gardens transform from public space into cultural hotspot, thanks to a new programme of eclectic artist commissions and events. Head there this spring to see three new art installations: an eight channel site-specific soundscape by Ghanaian-British electronic musician and sound artist Peter Adjaye, a durational installation by Jaimini Patel and an artwork from Mark Wallinger titled British Summer Time. The programme has been curated by Mariam Zulfiqar as a way of inviting new and pre-existing audiences to connect with the iconic venue.

27 May – 31 October 2021,

Secret World of Plants

Secret World of Plants

Kew Gardens

What do plants mean to you? asks a new London art exhibition at Kew Gardens, launching on 1 May. Browse six large-scale ‘plantscapes’, tune into musical symphonies created by the natural sound of trees and learn more about biodiversity.

1 May – 19 September 2021,

UK Art Exhibitions 2021 - Van Gogh Experience

Van Gogh Alive

Kensington Gardens

A multi-sensory experience designed to immerse you in the life of Vincent van Gogh is coming to Kensington Gardens this summer. Set to be unlike anything we’ve seen before, special technology will display the artist’s works in a kaleidoscope of colour, set to a classical score of music delivered via a high-fidelity 3D sound system. Sounds, visuals and aromas will transport visitors into Van Gogh’s world, giving the sensation of walking right into his paintings. Create your own souvenirs in a walk-in representation of his Bedroom in Arles painting and take a snap in the mirrored selfie room, an Instagrammer’s dream complete with hundreds of sunflowers.

4 June – 26 September 2021,

Sheila Legge, Phantoms of Surrealism

Phantoms of Surrealism

Whitechapel Gallery

On a summer’s day in 1936, a mystery woman dressed in a wedding dress paraded around Trafalgar Square with her head covered in red roses as a tribute to Salvador Dali. It was later revealed as artist Sheila Legge, appearing as ‘the phantom of Surrealism’ to launch the London International Surrealist Exhibition. Now, Whitechapel Gallery is bringing together works, press cuttings and scrapbooks from the original exhibition in a new archive show. It features artists such as Eileen Agar, Ruth Adams, Claude Cahun and Sheila Legge herself.

19 May – 12 December 2021,

Image: Sheila Legge as Surrealist ‘Phantom’, 1936. Photographed by Claude Cahun.

Beano exhibition, Somerset House

Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules

Somerset House

Somerset House’s major 2021 autumn art exhibition will celebrate the world’s longest running comic, Beano, on its 70th anniversary. Launching this October, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules is set to feature original comic drawings alongside works from leading artists and designers such as Heather Philippson, Bedwyr Williams and Hardeep Pandhal.

21 October 2021 – 6 March 2022,

Image: Bash Street Kids, 1982, courtesy of Beano

Lewis Carroll and Alice, Eileen Agar

Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy

Whitechapel Gallery

Surrealist women came into the spotlight in 2020 – and it looks like momentum is set to continue into 2021, with Whitechapel Gallery poised to showcase the largest exhibition of Eileen Agar’s work to date.

19 May – 29 August 2021,

Image: Eileen Agar, Alice with Lewis Carroll, 1961. Courtesy of a private collection.

Art of Banksy

The Art of Banksy

50 Earlham Street

Following tours everywhere from Tel Aviv to Miami, the world’s largest touring exhibition of Banksy artworks is coming to Seven Dials, featuring a vast array of prints, canvasses and sculptures from the mysterious political activist.

Image: Art of Banksy London Ltd.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 artwork images

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

Royal Academy of Arts

During the first lockdown, David Hockney created a series of artworks on his iPad at his home in Normandy. The 116 works – which Hockney ‘painted’ on the iPad then printed onto paper – chart the unfolding of spring from beginning to end, a celebration that nature continues to blossom in the darkest of times. Almost exactly a year later, the collection is being displayed as part of a new exhibition at The Royal Academy, standing as a reminder of the constant renewal and wonder of the natural world.

23 May – 26 September 2021,

Image: David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 artwork images.

Alice in Wonderland exhibition, V&A

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

The V&A

After being postponed last summer, one of the most anticipated art exhibitions in London is set to debut this month. This is the V&A’s Alice in Wonderland-themed exhibition: an immersive show that takes visitors on a trip down the rabbit hole with an extravaganza of Alice-related fare – from the original concept art for Disney’s 1951 animated version to Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter outfit.

22 May – 31 December 2021,

Image: Johan-Persson, 2011.

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Room

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms

Tate Modern

Prepare to be dazzled at Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, another highly anticipated London art exhibition of 2021. Going on display at Tate Modern this May after being postponed from its original date last year, the exhibition will feature two spectacular installations. The first is Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled With The Brilliance of Life, which was showcased in the Tate’s Kusama retrospective back in 2012. The second is Chandelier of Grief, a room which creates the illusion of a boundless universe of rotating Swarovski crystal chandeliers. You can expect queues round the block for this one – but it’s on display for a year, so there’s time for everyone to experience the magic.

18 May 2021 – 12 June 2022,

Image: Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled With The Brilliance of Life, Yayoi Kusama.

Image: Johan-Persson, 2011.

Helen Frankenthaler, Freefall

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Opening ten years after her passing, a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery will showcase the woodcuts of abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler. Works range from her first woodcut East and Beyond (1973), created on multiple blocks to avoid negative space, and her later triptych Madame Butterfly (2000), which measures over two metres in length and will occupy an entire room in the exhibition.

15 September 2021 – 17 April 2022,

Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Freefall, 1993. Courtesy of 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / DACS / Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, NY.


Main image: Greg Williams, NO TIME TO DIE is an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film. © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK / Virtual Art Exhibitions