The Biggest Exhibitions To See In London This Winter

Our decide of the most effective exhibitions to see in London’s galleries and museums this winter. We have break up the listing into geographical areas to make planning simpler. There’s additionally a cheeky addition from outdoors London.

Additionally try our prime reveals to see in November.

Exhibitions in west London

© Thomas J Worth. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria and Albert Museum, London. {Photograph}: Mishko Papic

STATUESQUE: Sprinkled among the many classical sculptures of the V&A — principally representing white women and men — we are able to now see busts and statues of Black every-men and ladies by Thomas J Worth. They’re composites of a number of people. Worth doesn’t need them to memorialise people the best way statues have executed traditionally. The artist visited the museum as a toddler, however now, he and numerous others can really feel seen. A strong assortment of works within the excellent setting.  

Thomas J Worth on the V&A. Till 27 Might 2024, free. ★★★★★ (Open each day)

© V&A

CHIC COUTURE: In relation to trend blockbusters, no person does it higher than V&A. At Gabrielle Chanel: Style Manifesto, there are glam outfits galore; double peak vitrines filled with Chanel numbers, whereas different swish clothes parade down a staircase. Chanel’s type was all the time about magnificence, and that is mirrored on this exhibition’s design; whereas the Dior and Alexander McQueen went large, this feels extra restrained and tailor-made to the couture-savvy viewers. Nonetheless, it is mightily spectacular. Tickets are onerous to return by (it bought out on day 1), however be careful for infrequent further ticket releases.

Gabrielle Chanel: Style Manifesto at V&A. Till 25 February 2024, £26. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Photograph: Andy Stagg

REBELLIOUS FASHION: Chanel is not the one main trend present on the town. If you happen to’re searching for the other finish of the type spectrum, head to the Design Museum for Insurgent: 30 Years of London Style. It is full of punky, flamboyant designs that flaunt the anarchic (or ought to that be anar-stylish?) creativity of the metropolis’ designers. That is trend at its edgiest and most revolutionary — together with Sam Smith’s inflatable latex swimsuit and Bjork’s swan costume, plus a mirror that means that you can apply filters to present your self a daring new look.

Insurgent: 30 Years of London Style at Design Museum. Till 11 February 2024, £18. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

© RBG Kew

NATURE & TECH: The skeletal define of an 800-year-old English Oak that now must be supported by scaffold mirrors the present state of England. A sixteenth century print is animated in order that it sways within the breeze. Bower birds carry out their courtship dances whereas spinning beneath strobe lighting. Mat Collishaw combines applied sciences previous and new to supply a view of how they work together with nature, however might also be the tip of it. A thought-provoking exhibition.

Mat Collishaw: Petrichor at Kew Gardens. Till 7 April 2024, £12-16 (consists of admission to the gardens) ★★★★★ (Open each day).

© Sarah Lucas. Photograph © Tate (Lucy Inexperienced)

FAGS & BREASTS: A mechanical arm stroking a phallus that is not there. A dangling chair manufactured from breasts. A wrecked automotive lined in cigarettes. Delicate this present isn’t. It is leery and sexually charged at each flip, and there is not a white wall in sight. Trying again throughout Sarah Lucas’ extraordinary profession, Joyful Gasoline leans totally into the irreverence of her world.

Sarah Lucas: Joyful Gasoline at Tate Britain. Till 14 January 2024, £17.  ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

© Tate (Larina Fernandes/Maddeline Buddo)

ANGER & ACTIVISM: Girls in Revolt! whisks us by means of 20 years of artwork created by girls, exploring how they battled sexism and protested for equal rights. It additionally seems to be on the associated, however separate, combat for ladies of color within the UK. There’s kickboxing, there’s punk, and a hell of numerous banners are waved. It is offended, it is celebratory — it is important.

Girls in Revolt! Artwork and Activism within the UK: 1970-1990 at Tate Britain. Till 7 April 2024, £17. ★★★★★ (Open each day).

Copyright RBKC. Photograph: Jaron James

MINI CREATURES: Taking inspiration from conventional South Asian miniature work, Maha Ahmed has created golden realms populated by fantastical beasts, together with a couple of who’ve damaged free and could also be noticed on the partitions by sharp-eyed guests. These are stunning and skilfully executed work.

Maha Ahmed: The place Worlds Meet at Leighton Home Museum. Till 3 March 2024, free. ★★★★☆ (Wednesday-Monday)

Photograph: Andy Stagg

GRIEF & COLOUR: Towers of vibrant orbs that look able to topple over, and phrases overlaid to such an extent that they turn out to be illegible. What unites the works of husband and spouse pairing Annie Morris and Idris Khan is that they’re each united by grief — Morris for her unborn baby and Khan for his mom. With work scattered all through what was John Soane’s household dwelling, it is a becoming setting for an exhibition about home life and loss.

Annie Morris & Idris Khan: When Loss Makes Melodies at Pitzhanger. Till 7 January 2024, £9. ★★★★☆ (Wednesday-Sunday).

© Historic Royal Palaces.

INDIAN ARMY: Traditionally, the story of Indian troopers serving within the British Military isn’t typically instructed, and definitely one thing I used to be by no means taught at school. A regiment of Indian troopers had been stationed within the grounds of Hampton Court docket and sometimes went on parades by means of the streets of London. This exhibition brings collectively archival images, medals of former troopers and tales instructed by their descendants, for a small however vital exhibition.

The Indian Military on the Palace at Hampton Court docket Palace. Till 3 March 2024, £26.30-£29 (consists of admission to the palace). ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Photograph: Jérémie Souteyrat. Courtesy Japan Home London

HIDDEN CULTURE: The Ainu are an indigenous individuals largely dwelling within the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, who’ve suffered a lot discrimination and erasure of their tradition. This exhibition celebrates their language, ceremonies and beliefs in a take a look at a individuals most within the UK won’t have been conscious of.

Ainu Tales: Modern Lives by the Saru River at Japan Home London. Till 21 April 2024, free. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Exhibitions in north London

The Magnificence Sensorium set up within the exhibition. © Wellcome Assortment, Benjamin Gilbert

BEAUTIFUL?: Wellcome takes an interesting (if data dense) take a look at magnificence beliefs, from beauty ointment slabs from Historic Egypt to Shirin Fathi’s critque on the Iranian obsession with beauty nostril surgical procedures — in addition to the function of race and gender in what’s traditionally been considered as conventional magnificence. It is that mix of historic perception and modern artwork that the Wellcome Assortment does so properly.

The Cult of Magnificence at Wellcome Assortment. Till 28 April 2024, free. ★★★★★ (Tuesday-Sunday)

© The British Library.

NOUGHTS & CROSSES: Step into the world of Malorie Blackman, creator of the collection Noughts and Crosses, imagines a world the place Africa colonised Europe, and the way that will manifest in society right this moment. You needn’t know Blackman’s books to take pleasure in this present; you will find out about her life rising up in a homeless shelter, how vital the native library was to her, and the various rejection letters she obtained earlier than she lastly obtained a guide deal. This present pans out to have a look at race and politics, making for a stronger expertise. Tie this free present right into a go to to the British Library’s wonderful Fantasy exhibition.

Malorie Blackman at The British Library. Till 25 February 2024, free. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Exhibitions in central London

Photograph: David Parry / PA

BLACK FASHION: Trendy outfits, an excellent soundtrack — and even a functioning nail salon — are a part of The Lacking Thread, an exhibition celebrating black British trend. It does not draw back from the abhorrent racism confronted by the Black group, together with  {photograph} from Balham in 1974 of graffiti that claims ‘Preserve Britain White’. This is a significant celebration of Black British tradition, and the way it’s reshaped trend from high fashion to trainers and hoodies.

The Lacking Thread: Untold Tales of Black British Style at Somerset Home. Till 7 January 2024, £12. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

Photograph: David Parry.

PERFORMANCE PERFECTION: Squeeze between a unadorned couple to enter one other room, watch the artist scream till she loses her voice and prepare to flinch as an arrow is pointed at Marina Abramović’s coronary heart at full rigidity — totally reliant on her associate not letting go. It is intense, unsettling, admirable — efficiency artwork at its best and most unforgettable.

Marina Abramović at Royal Academy of Arts. Till 1 January 2024, £25.50. ★★★★★ (Tuesday-Sunday)

© The Property of Sylvia Sleigh and © Maria Lassnig Basis / 2023 DACS, London. Courtesy Foundling Museum and Ursula Hauser assortment.

MATERNAL ART: Primarily based across the theme of motherhood, The Foundling Museum brings collectively a powerful assortment of artworks by feminine artists together with Louise Bourgeois’ pink and fleshy drawings of childbirth, and a settee with palms for cushions symbolising how girls are sometimes handled as objects. The works hold alongside the everlasting assortment so you will have 18th century portraits adjoining to a up to date self-portrait by Sylvia Sleigh the place she faces the viewer confidently, her husband within the distant background.

The Mom & The Weaver: Artwork from the Ursula Hauser collections at The Foundling Museum. Till 18 February 2024, £9.50 (consists of admission to the museum). ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

© Musée du Louvre, Paris, Division of Work

SMIRKS APLENTY: It’s all concerning the facial hair in the case of Frans Hals, the Dutch golden age painter who captured the upturned moustaches and manicured beards of many a dapper gents. He was a deft contact at showcasing the lighter facet of life; a smirking gent or a jovial lute participant — a really completely different painter to his moodier peer Rembrandt. And boy, however may he nail a fleeting facial features.

The Credit score Suisse exhibition: Frans Hals at The Nationwide Gallery. Till 21 January 2024, £20. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photograph: Stephen James.

EROTIC ABSURDITY: Mannequins flex in eroticised poses whereas holding a pram or sitting over an electrical hearth, throughout all 4 flooring of this spectacular gallery tucked away in a Bloomsbury mews. This eye-catching work is a critique of the unattainable place of girls who’re continually pressured to be seen as each domestically succesful and sexually interesting. These sculptures are creepy and absurd, and so they need to be.

Anna Uddenberg: Residence Wreckers at The Perimeter. Till 22 December 2023, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Copyright Claudette Johnson, courtesy arts council assortment.

BIG, BLACK & BOLD: Assured Black individuals drawn at giant scale with sparing use of color on their clothes and background make for stunning figurative work by Claudette Johnson. Their type attracts the attention to the tender facial options of every larger-than-life sitter. It is a putting distinction to the largely white faces in the remainder of the Courtauld’s assortment.

Claudette Johnson: Presence at The Courtauld. Till 14 January 2024, £13 (consists of entry to the gathering). ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

© trustees of The British Museum.

ASIAN HISTORY: A serious exhibition tells the historical past of Burma/Myanmar over the centuries as a buying and selling superpower to the current protests in opposition to the regime. It is full of treasures together with a shocking carved teak chair, silk pages of a guide sure inside a large seashell, and a gilded lacquer providing vessel — proper by means of to an elaborate ceramic python by modern artist Soe Yu Nwe, who incorporates each Burmese and Chinese language symbolism to focus on the persevering with prejudice in opposition to combined ethnic marriages within the nation.

Burma to Myanmar at The British Museum. Till 11 February 2024, £16. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Picture courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.

IMMERSED IN CERAMICS: These ornate porcelain sculptures might seem like one thing from centuries in the past, however get nearer and there is a spray bottle right here, a pair of trainers over there. Francesca DiMattio’s artwork mashes up cultures so the classical is tossed along with the modern. Full with customized wallpaper and flooring Wedgwood is an exhibition to get misplaced in and benefit from the depth of all of it.

Francesca DiMattio: Wedgwood at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. Till 23 December 2023, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photograph: Alex Delfanne

HAUNTING: Strolling into this gallery is like strolling right into a foyer, and that is no coincidence — it is based mostly on the artist’s reminiscences of coming into the foyer of the World Commerce Heart earlier than it was destroyed in 2001. It feels eerie and unsettling as you stroll by means of a recreated workplace atmosphere with giant scale pictures of individuals created utilizing synthetic intelligence. It makes you query what you bear in mind of these occasions, and in life normally.

Avery Singer: Free Fall at Hauser & Wirth. Till 22 December 2023, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

A more moderen self-portrait included on this model of the present. Copyright David Hockney. Photograph: Jonathan Wilkinson.

HOCKNEY’S BACK: Cruelly lower brief by the pandemic, the Hockney drawings exhibition is again at Nationwide Portrait Gallery for a second run — now together with plenty of extra works he is made since, even when all the eye is on his relatively drab tackle Harry Types (there, I stated it). Fortunately the remainder of the works are far stronger and I can fortunately persist with the 4 star evaluation I gave it the primary time round.

David Hockney: Drawing From Life at Nationwide Portrait Gallery. Till 21 January 2024, £21. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Exhibitions in south London

© Tate (Larina Fernandes)

CARTOONISH KLANSMEN: Realism, summary, and the cartoonish; this is not an exhibition of a number of artists however of 1 very versatile one — Philip Guston. He is most well-known for his work of Klansmen doing on a regular basis issues equivalent to driving a automotive, drawing our consideration to the truth that racism and prejudice exist within the day after day. It is a message that is much more related many years after it was painted. Guston might not be a family identify however he ought to be, and this main exhibition reveals us the complete breadth of his inventive brilliance.

Philip Guston at Tate Trendy. Till 25 February 2024, £20. ★★★★★ (Open each day)

Copyright Tate images (Lucy Inexperienced)

CASCADING BOTTLE TOPS: A big art work cascades down the complete peak of the Tate’s Turbine Corridor, whereas one nearly as large blocks off its view on the entrance. These immense items are constructed from woven collectively bottle tops in Nigeria and reference colonial commerce routes by means of the awe-inspiring artwork of El Anatsui. The huge house of the Turbine Corridor is all the time a frightening clean canvas, however right here now we have works that really feel like even this cavernous house can solely nearly include. If you wish to see El Anatsui’s smaller scale works, prints and a sculpture, a few of his works are on present at October Gallery in Bloomsbury.

Hyundai Fee – El Anatsui: Behind the Purple Moon at Tate Trendy. Till 14 April 2024, free. ★★★★★ (Open each day)
El Anatsui: Timespace at October Gallery. Till 13 January, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

© IWM London.

SPYCRAFT: A match for writing secret messages and a blade contained inside a pencil; this is not a James Bond film however precise proof of spy craft. Spies, Lies and Deception opens our eyes to the whole lot from dazzle camouflage used on warships ships in WWI, by means of to the Salisbury poisonings.

Spies, Lies and Deception at IWM London. Till 14 April 2024, free. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

© IWM John Nash’s ‘Oppy Wooden’ within the Blavatnik Artwork, Movie and Pictures Galleries at IWM London

THE ART OF WAR: Whether or not the newly restored John Singer Sargent portray of blinded troopers being led away after a mustard fuel assault, or Steve McQueen’s sheets of postage stamps memorialising British troopers killed within the Iraq battle, these new everlasting galleries at IWM are full of highly effective and transferring artworks. It does not make for simple viewing and nor ought to it. One other improbable addition to the museum.

Blavatnik Artwork, Movie and Pictures galleries at IWM London. Free. ★★★★★ (Open each day)

Photograph: Mark Blower.

BEAUTY IN BLACK & WHITE: A black and white picture break up completely between the ocean under and the sky above, and cinemas snapped by means of lengthy publicity so the movie on display screen is just white, which means we get to understand the structure of those nice theatres: Hiroshi Sugimoto is the grasp of black and white images and this refined and exquisite exhibition reveals us why.

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine at Hayward Gallery. Till 7 January 2024, £18. ★★★★☆ (Wednesday-Sunday)

© Antony Gormley. Photograph © White Dice (Theo Christelis

BODIES EVERYWHERE: Antony Gormley is an artist who usually wows us with recreations of the human type, or extra particularly his type. This newest exhibition warms you up with figures leaning in opposition to partitions in a single gallery, nevertheless it’s all to arrange you for the ultimate gallery that is a ‘cityscape’ of over 150 our bodies mendacity in several poses manufactured from bricks. It is totally spectacular — a improbable set up to get misplaced inside and (fastidiously) stroll amongst.

Antony Gormley: Physique Politic at White Dice, Bermondsey. Till 28 January 2024, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

Exhibitions in east London

© Emissive-Excurio.

VIRTUAL PYRAMIDS: Digital Actuality and immersive experiences appear to be popping up all over the place, however that is essentially the most spectacular use of the know-how in artwork we have seen thus far. Pop on a backpack and a headset and stroll round a tour of the good Pyramid of Giza that feels so actual that the excessive viewpoints are positively vertiginous. It is household targeted and so the humour will be tacky at instances (plus the excessive costs replicate the leading edge tech), however now we have to applaud this most bold of immersive experiences.

Horizon of Khufu: Journey in Historic Egypt at Westfield, Stratford. £20-£45. ★★★★☆ (Open each day)

Photograph: Damian Griffiths.

ART IS HARD: This playful exhibition pokes enjoyable on the troublesome lifetime of an artist with a actually thick skinned artist proven as The Factor from the Unbelievable 4, studying what we assume is one other rejection letter. There’s additionally a enjoyable collection of work that critically study our obsession with screens — taking a look at them on a settee, a mattress and a practice. Nicole Eisenman is an American artist I might not come throughout earlier than, and that is an gratifying present that mixes up the political with the bawdy and the irreverent — with over 100 works throughout her profession of greater than 4 many years.

Nicole Eisenman: What Occurred at Whitechapel Gallery. Till 14 January 2024, £12.50. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

Exhibitions outdoors London

Photograph: Robert Harris

MINI MASTERPIECES: This spectacular exhibition consists of a whole bunch of years previous miniature work after which companions these with modern South Asian artists who take inspiration from conventional miniature portray to create rooms spattered with blood, stunning birds retreating and works that take a look at the function of faith and tradition in modern South Asian life. It is a knockout present that is properly definitely worth the journey out of London.

Past the Web page: South Asian Miniature Portray and Britain, 1600 to Now at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes. Till 28 January 2024, £11.50 ★★★★★

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