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 gradually re-opening with safety measures in place, here are the shows not to be missed. The Best Art Exhibitions in London
Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
This December, 65 paintings that usually hang in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace will be brought together in a gallery exhibition, titled Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace. The collection includes renowned works from the likes of Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Dyck and Canaletto, with visitors being encouraged to consider the artists’ intentions and reflect on why we consider the pieces to be ‘masterpieces’.
4 December 2020 – January 2022.
Image Credit: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020
Delve into the fantastical world of Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern’s highly anticipated 2020 retrospective, thankfully extended until November. From his iconic pop images dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, to the
Ladies and Gentlemen series (exhibited for the first time in 30 years) and an array of unseen pieces, this is an eclectic must-see showcase for Warhol enthusiasts world-wide. Daniella Saunders. Until 15 November 2020, tate.org.uk
Photo: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych
Vacheron Constantin Haute Horlogerie
The worlds of haute couture and fine watchmaking collide in this exhibit of Maison Vaucheron Constantin’s private collection. In keeping with the discipline, traditions and, above all, the creativity of haute couture, the luxury watchmaker is showcasing two centuries of exquisite creations, from whimsical 19th century brooches to intricate Art Nouveau timepieces and sparkling jewellery watches. Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watchmaker, in continuous production for over 265 years.
Until 9th October. Vacheron Constantin, 37 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4AB , vacheron-constantin.com
Louisa Risch: Nuance in Nature
Studio F, Chelsea Studios
From florals and delicacies to purple fields, Louisa Risch’s inspiring still life and landscape paintings will be showcased in a new exhibition,
Nuance in Nature, at Chelsea Studios next month. Influenced by the likes of Sorolla, Manet, and further impressionist artists, Risch’s vivid works highlight beauty in the ordinary – a delicious treat for the eyes. 18-24 September 2020. Studio F, Chelsea Studios, SW61EB. calendly.com
Gauguin and the Impressionists
Royal Academy of Arts
Copenhagen’s Ordrupgaard Collection is full of Impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Gauguin, Monet, Cézanne and more. Now, 60 pieces from the collection are on display for a limited time at the RA, some of which have never before been seen in the UK. Closing the exhibition on a high note is a career-spanning series of works by Gauguin, showcasing the artist’s development in use of colour and form, and inspiration from travels. Due to its status as one of the hottest art exhibitions in London and current social distancing measures, ticket release is limited, so keep an eye on the RA website.
7 August–18 October, royalacademy.org.uk
Image: Paul Cézanne, Women Bathing, c. 1895. Oil on canvas, 47 x 77 cm © Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. Exhibition organised by Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen and the Royal Academy of Arts
Turner’s Modern World
Tate Britain, London
Though Turner is often remembered for his turbulent seascapes, this exhibition highlights the artist’s interest in the technological and societal changes of the Industrial Revolution, which was at its peak in his lifetime. While Turner’s luminous, hazy landscapes and historical paintings might seem tame by today’s standards, in his own lifetime the artist was seen as a controversial and anti-establishment figure for his unusual brush work and ‘modern’ subject matter.
28 October 2020 – 7 March 2021, tate.org.uk
Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch
Royal Academy of Arts
“I’ve been in love with this man since I was eighteen” – so said Tracey Emin of Edvard Munch, the Norwegian expressionist painter most famous for
The Scream. In a highly personal show, 25 of Emin’s paintings – some displayed for the first time – explore the loneliness of the soul, alongside a careful selection of watercolours and oil paintings of Munch’s drawn from Oslo’s Munch Museum, showing both the latter’s influence on Emin and how intersecting themes of loneliness, longing and grief inform the highly evocative work of both. 15 November 2020 — 28 February 2021. royalacedemy.org.uk
Image: Tracey Emin, It – didnt stop – I didnt stop, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. 152 x 183.5 x 3.7 cm. Xavier Hufkens © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2020.
Titian: Love, Desire, Death
C&TH’s culture columnist Ed Vaizey marked this landmark exhibition as one of
2020’s unmissable shows – and it’s easy to see why. Six artworks by the Italian master – a commission by Prince Phillip of Spain in 1551 – are exhibited together for the first time in over four centuries: they portray Titian’s sensuous interpretation of scenes from classical mythology, inspired mainly by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Until 17 January 2021. nationalgallery.co.uk
Image: Titian, The Death of Actaeon, 1559–1575. Courtesy of The National Gallery
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Royal Academy of Arts
Raised in Ireland as a horse-breeder’s son, Francis Bacon retained a fascination with animals for the duration of his career, creating visceral and at times disturbing images, not quite human or animal in their characterisation, which propelled him to the heights of the 20th century art world. Spanning the 50 years of Bacon’s career, the exhibition will feature some of his most recognisable artwork, including
Head IV (one of the iconic screaming popes), his last-ever triptych and a trio of bullfight paintings, exhibited together for the first time. 30 January — 18 April 2021. royalacademy.org.uk
Image: Francis Bacon, Study for Bullfight No. 1, 1969. Oil on canvas. 197.7 x 147.8 cm. Private collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers
Tracing the history and cultural impact of the ever-evolving music genre, this exhibition promises to evoke the much-missed London club experience. From the underground to the mainstream, visitors will travel to dance floors from Detroit to Chicago, Paris, the UK and – of course – Berlin in a series of mesmerising installations and displays. Highlights include a 3D experience of pioneering German electronic band Kraftwerk, who famously popularised electronic music with hits like
Das Model and Autobahn. Fans of the genre are in for a treat, with the likes of Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills, Ellen Allien, Jean-Michel Jarre and the seminal BBC Radiophonic Workshop all featuring. Until 14 February 2021. designmuseum.org
Lisa Sanditz: Mud Season
Renowned for her vibrant and evocative landscape paintings, American artist Lisa Sanditz, whose works comment on humanity’s calamitous environmental effects on the planet, will showcase eighteen new pieces created during lockdown at Mayfair’s Huxley-Parlour Gallery this Autumn. These new works explore, as Sanditz states, “the ways the marketplace and the wilderness intersect, overlap, and inform each other,” through the dramatic use of saturated colour, irony and thought-provoking analogies.
22 September – 24 October 2020. huxleyparlour.com start the slideshow
Featured image: Lisa Sanditz, Mud Season
The Best Art Exhibitions in the UK / Virtual Art Exhibitions