Thanks to its diverse range of museums and art galleries, London plays host to some of the best exhibitions and events from around the world. With everything from contemporary art and intriguing photography to historic paintings and traditional sculpture, the capital has an art outing for everyone.
So, if you’ve got a few hours to spare, why not delve into some real culture at one of many exhibitions happening at London’s vibrant arts scene in 2018? Here’s our pick of the best.
Charles I: King and Collector
27th January – 15th April 2018, £20, the Royal Academy
This exhibition is more of a historic event than an art show, showcasing the incredible art collection of Charles I himself. Come and view the extraordinary collection which adorned the walls of his grand palaces. Following the king’s notorious execution in 1649, his marvellous collection was sold and scattered across the world, but Charles I: King and Collector reunites the best, whilst demonstrating the profound impact they had at the time. With works from Titian, Mantegna, Holbein and Dürer, some of the world’s most amazing pieces come together under one roof.
The Hayward Gallery reopens after refurbishment to showcase the work of German photographer Andreas Gursky. You’ll know him for his large, vibrant and colourful pictures which display a spectacular portrayal of the contemporary lifestyle. Gursky says his interest is driven by ‘the pure joy of seeing’ and aims to give an insight into the ‘the way that the world is constituted’. The exhibition features 60 of his most iconic photos from the 1980s to now, including the famous 1993 ‘Paris, Montparnasse’ piece.
Modigliani had a turbulent life – plagued with poor health and self-destructive habits and dying at the youthful age of 35. But his drug and alcoholism problems took nothing away from his genius, unique way of portrait-making. His seductive range of nudes and intense, emotional portraits are some of the most loved paintings of the 20th century. Would you believe that his first ever exhibition in 1917 was censored on the grounds of indecency? There’s no censorship this time – this is the Tate’s homage to modernism, beauty and love. Twelve of his controversial nudes are displayed at the exhibition, which is the largest ever reunited in the UK.
Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins
28th February – 27th May, £13.50, Barbican Art Gallery
Packed with some of the greatest photography projects of recent decades, Another Kind of Life portrays how photography has probed the hidden. This powerful exhibition is somewhat unsettling, capturing moments of people outside of conventional society lives. From the homeless and sex workers to bikers and gangs – this collection of emotional photography presents uneasy truths of the modern world which truly shake our comfortable views.
Nancy Rubins: Diversifolia
For truly crazy, unique art, head to Diversifolia. Nancy Rubins’ sculpture has been described as ‘an explosion in a garden centre’. Expect silver alligators strapped to golden giraffes and tigers created with cast iron, bronze, brass and aluminium. Nancy herself says “I’m interested in balance, engineering, dynamic tension, and the energy of objects”. This talented, bold artist’s first London show is not to be missed.
Hopefully, our pick of London’s best exhibitions has shown you the fantastic range of art which is on offer all year round. So, why not take a look at our sightseeing tours and combine a tour of the capital with a trip to your favourite exhibition?