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14 of the Best Current Art Exhibitions in London

Culture /

14 of the Best Current Art Exhibitions in London

Including Picasso, Bacon, Freud, and an exhibition all about teeth...


Looking to soak up some culture in the capital? The search ends here; read our round-up of the best of the current art exhibitions in London. So whether it’s contemporary classics, shoppable pop-ups or a date with the masters that you crave, you’ll find it here. 

Best Current Art Exhibitions in London
Carlos Cruz Diaz

Carlos Cruz-Diez: Luminous Reality at PHILLIPS X

Presenting masterworks from throughout the career of Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, the exhibition will include significant and previously unseen artworks, as well as works from important, private collections. Considered one of the greatest artistic innovators of the 20th and 21dt centuries, this exhibition of Cruz-Diez’s work will focus on his exploration of kinetic-optic art through the use of colour, light and illusion. Until 6 September. 

Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture at Sir John Soane’s Museum

John Outram, Project for 200 Queen Victoria Street for Rosehaugh Stanhope Developers

John Outram, Project for 200 Queen Victoria Street for Rosehaugh Stanhope Developers

Focusing on six of the leading Postmodernist British Architects: Terry Farrell, CZWG, Jeremy Dixon, John Outram, and James Stirling, this exhibition looks specifically at its early ‘radical moment’ during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Moving beyond its intellectual and stylistic confines, Postmodernism’s emergence as a reaction to the effects of modernism on British towns and cities will be highlighted. Pivotal projects such as the SIS Building, Vauxhall and TVam, the Cascades and China Wharf and St Mark’s Road and later the Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station will be on display. 16 May – 26 August 2018, .

Protests in Pictures at The Design Museum

Hope to Nope

It has been a decade of unrest, from the credit crunch of 2008 to Brexit and Trump, to the Arab Spring and refugee crisis. The Design Museum’s Hope to Nope exhibition explores the visual representations of political messages that have emerged from good old-fashioned placards to hashtags and memes. 28 March to 12 August,

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up


Kahlo Frida, Self-Portrait with Red and Gold Dress, 1941 Oil on canvas 39×27.5cm, Gerardo Suter, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art

Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) is one of the most iconic women in history, known for her exploration of identity, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her revolutionary self-portraits have grown her a large following – if this includes you, be sure not to miss this exhibit. Expect to see an extraordinary collection of Frida’s most intimate personal belongings, artefacts and clothing. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico. So now you need not travel to Mexico to get your Frida Kahlo fix. Until 4, November. 

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain

All Too Human Bacon

, one of this year’s most highly-anticipated exhibitions, recently opened in a vivid celebration of British painters who focus on the intimate representation of human figures, relationships and surroundings. Artists include Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, as well as rarely seen work from Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Three important works by Francis Bacon will be shown in the UK for the first time in at least three decades. All artists have drawn inspiration from living in London in their works. Until 27 August 

Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 191-33

Albert Birkle, The Acrobat Schulz V 1921

Albert Birkle, The Acrobat Schulz V 1921

Tate Modern explores the art of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) in a year-long, free display, drawing upon the rich holdings of The George Economou Collection. This presentation of around seventy paintings and works on paper addresses the complex paradoxes of the Weimar era, in which liberalisation and anti-militarism flourished in tandem with political and economic uncertainty. 30 July 2018 – 14 July 2019 

Somewhere in Between at Wellcome Collection

Alien Sex Club, 2015 Camp and Furnace, Liverpool. © John Walter. Photograph Rob Battersby.

Alien Sex Club, 2015 Camp and Furnace, Liverpool. © John Walter. Photograph Rob Battersby.

Science, art, or somewhere in between? Wellcome Collection’s spring exhibition displays four contemporary artists’ collaborations with scientists. ‘Somewhere in Between’ features Martina Amati, Daria Martin, Maria McKinney and John Walter’s art that interprets human experience, sense, sexual health, bodily limitation and position on the food chain. Until 27 August.

Prince and Patron at Buckingham Palace


To mark the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales this year, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace (21 July – 30 September 2018) will feature ‘Prince and Patron’: a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness.  Having grown up surrounded by the , The Prince of Wales has enjoyed a life-long passion for art and, as Chairman of and Patron of several arts charities, has promoted artistic appreciation worldwide. Until 30, September, 

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern


Tate Modern’s first ever solo exhibition of Picasso’s work cuts straight to the juicy part. Considered to be his ‘year of wonders’, his work in 1932 took on a heightened sensuality, leading him to even greater fame. The curators delve behind the myth of Picasso to reveal his true character in a month by month exploration of his work that year. 8 March – 9 September 2018, .

Edward Bawden at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Known for his illustrations for Fortnum & Mason and the London Underground, Edward Bawden’s works will be shown in the most wide- ranging exhibition since his death at Dulwich Picture Gallery. His works of fine art, which have largely been forgotten, will be on display including 18 scarcely seen war portraits and his early paintings of the everyday. 23 May to 9 September,

Wellcome Collection’s Summer Exhibition: TEETH

Wellcome Collection's Summer Exhibition: TEETH. Operator attending to mans teeth

Running from 17 May – 16 September, this weird but wonderful event will feature more than 150 objects including cartoons, advertisements, chairs, drills, caricatures and more which all relate to teeth! Head down to Wellcome collection, Euston Road to get your teeth stuck into this interesting event and learn all about the teeth you use every day! Free event, 17 May – 16 September, 

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Before his death last year, Azzedine Alaïa worked with the Design Museum to curate an exhibition of his works called The Couturier. Stories from his life are told through over 60 garments that give an insight to the designer, who very much danced to the beat of his own drum. 10 May to 7 October,

Anthea Hamilton Tate Britain Commission

Anthea Hamilton

Anthea Hamilton The Squash © Tate (Seraphina Neville) 2018

A solo performer in a squash-like costume inhabits the Duveen Galleries every day. Each element of The Squash has evolved from Hamilton’s interest in an improvisational photograph that showed a person dressed as what looks like a vegetable lying among vines. The artist has brought together tiles, structures, sculptures and costume, inviting a performer to explore their own interpretation of the image and how it might feel to imagine life as other, as vegetable. The performer selects their outfit for the day from a collection of seven elaborate costumes and is in the gallery from 10am to 6pm every day. Until 7 October. Visit .

First Amongst Equals at the Foundling Museum

First Amongst Equals at the Foundling Museum

As part of The Foundling Museum’s year-long programme of exhibitions and events to mark the centenary of female suffrage and International Women’s Day, Maker Not Muse is a series of talks which rewrites the narrative of women as artists and creators rather than subject of matter. About time too. Until 13 Jan 2019,

 More Culture: The London Diary


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