London art agenda: the 15 most anticipated exhibitions of 2017

The hardest task one faces when writing a top-10 or top-15 or top-whatever of the most exciting exhibitions in London is which ones should NOT be in the list. As always, this year, the exhibitions' program in London's museums and galleries is filled with dozens of amazing opportunities for some serious art-therapy.
 
This year we will all have the chance to admire major exhibitions of legendary artists such as Modigliani, Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Paul Cézanne, David Hockney or Wolfgang Tillmans, explore the friendship of iconic artists Marcel Duchamp and  Salvador Dalí, witness the evolution of American painting from the 30s to the present, examine the impact of Russian Revolution to the country's art, visit the first ever show on queer British art, get a glimpse of the court of king Charles II or experience an  audio-visual journey with the music and art of Pink Floyd. Not that bad for a single year, I must say!
 
And to think that shows on the work of Matisse, Rachel Whiteread, Chris Ofili, Sigmar Polke, Canaletto and the collaboration between Michelangelo & Sebastiano, are also scheduled to open this year! Needless to say that most of the exhibitions mentioned above are expected to attract large crowds, especially on the weekends, so plan ahead, book your tickets and have the best year ever! Happy 2017 everyone!

 
February 9
Tate Britain - David Hockney
Until May 29, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_tate_hockney1.jpg
David Hockney Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) 1972 Private Collection © David Hockney.
 
This exhibition gathers together an extensive selection of David Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.As he approaches his 80th birthday, Hockney continues to change his style and ways of working, embracing new technologies as he goes. From his portraits and images of Los Angeles swimming pools, through to his drawings and photography, Yorkshire landscapes and most recent paintings – some of which have never been seen before in public  –  this exhibition shows how the roots of each new direction lay in the work that came before. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these unforgettable works together.
Admission: Adult £19.50 (without donation £17.70)


February 11
Royal Academy of Arts - Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932
Until April 17, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_russ85.jpg
Kazimir Malevich, Peasants, c. 1930. Oil on canvas, 53 x 70 cm, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. Photo © 2016, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
 
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this  exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.Renowned artists including Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko were among those to live through the fateful events of 1917, which ended centuries of Tsarist rule and shook Russian society to its foundations.Taking inspiration from a remarkable exhibition shown in Russia just before Stalin’s clampdown, the exhibition marks the historic centenary by focusing on the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when possibilities seemed limitless and Russian art flourished across every medium.
Admission: Adult £18.00 (without donation £16.00)


February 15
Tate Modern - Wolfgang Tillmans
Until June 11, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_tate_tillmans.jpg
Wolfgang Tillmans astro crusto, a 2012 © Wolfgang Tillmans
 
Wolfgang Tillmans’s first ever exhibition at Tate Modern brings together works in an exciting variety of media – photographs, of course, but also video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music – all staged by the artist in characteristically innovative style. Alongside portraiture, landscape and intimate still lifes, Tillmans pushes the boundaries of the photographic form in abstract artworks that range from the sculptural to the immersive.
Admission: Adult £12.50 (without donation £11.30)


February  25
Royal Academy of Arts - America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s
Until June 4, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_key 122.jpg
Thomas Hart Benton, Cotton Pickers, 1945. Oil on canvas, 81.3 x 121.9 cm. Prior bequest of Alexander Stewart; Centennial Major Acquisitions Income and Wesley M. Dixon Jr. funds; Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowments; prior acquisition of the George F. Harding © Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2016.
 
45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of the transformative period of the 1930s. These are works which have rarely been seen together, by artists ranging from Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper to Thomas Hart Benton, Philip Guston and more. Perhaps the most celebrated work of them all, Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic (1930), has never left North American shores before.
Admission: Adult £13.50 (without donation £12.00)


March 9
British Museum - The American Dream: pop to the present
Until June 18, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_standard.jpg
Edward Ruscha, Standard Station, Screenprint, 1966. The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala Florence. © Ed Ruscha.
 
Starting with the explosion of pop art in the 1960s, the exhibition includes works by the most celebrated American artists from Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. This show presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints for the first time. These will be shown with important works from museums and private collections around the world.
Admission: Adult £16.50


April 5
Tate Britain - Queer British Art 1861–1967
Until October 1, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_tate_queer.jpg
Simeon Solomon, Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene, 1864. Watercolour on paper, Support: 330 x 381 mm, frame: 511 x 558 x 46 mm. © Tate.
 
The first exhibition dedicated to queer British art comes to Tate Britain, featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities.  The show marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer British Art explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.
With paintings, drawings, personal photographs and film from artists such as John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and David Hockney the diversity of queer British art is celebrated as never before. 
Admission: Adult £16.50 (without donation £15.00)


May 10
Tate Modern - Alberto Giacometti
Until September 10, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_tate_giacom.jpg
Alberto Giacometti, Man Pointing 1947, Tate. © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris), licensed in the UK by ACS and DACS, London 2016.
 
One of the few artists of the last century whose work is often more recognisable than his name, his distinctive elongated figures are inescapably linked to the post-War climate of existential despair.This exhibition will focus on the influences that shaped Giacometti and the experimental way in which he developed his practice. The exhibition includes some never before seen plasters and drawings alongside more familiar bronze sculptures and oil paintings.
Admission: Adult £18.50 (without donation £16.80)


May 13
Victoria and Albert Museum - Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains
Until October 1, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_Pink_river.jpg
The Endless River © Pink Floyd Music Ltd
 
V & A invites us to experience a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd's unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.
Admission: Adult £20-24


May 26
Fashion and Textile Museum - The World of Anna Sui
Until October 1, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_anna-sui-1.jpg
Anna Sui, 2011 © Anna Sui; The World of Anna Sui, book cover 2017. 
 
Anna Sui is the classic American fashion designer. From Detroit to New York, her signature rock-n-roll romanticism reinvents pop culture for every new generation. Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors which comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. The World of Anna Sui features over 100 looks from the designer’s archive, presenting a roll call of archetypes from Surfers and School Girls to Hippies, Mods and Punks. This is the first time an American designer has been the focus of a retrospective exhibition in the UK.


September 23
Royal Academy of Arts - Jasper Johns
Until December 10, 2017
 
can_london_2017_exh_key_johns25.jpg
Jasper Johns with Flags, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (detail), 1958.Photograph © Dan Budnik, All Rights Reserved.
 
Jasper Johns is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and has remained central to American contemporary art since his arrival in New York in the 1950s. His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects and symbols, such as his iconic flag and target works, made the familiar unfamiliar. The exhibition brings together the artist’s paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. From his innovations in sculpture to his use of collage in paintings, the exhibition will give focus to different chapters of Johns’ career.


October 4
The National Gallery - Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites
Until April 2, 2018
 
can_london_2017_exh_reflex.jpg
Left: Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni(?) Arnolfini and his Wife, 1434. Oil on oak, 82.2 x 60 cm. The National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London. Right: John Everett Millais, Marianna, 1851. Oil on mahogany, 59.7 x 49.5 cm. Tate, London © Tate, London 2015.
 
The exhibition invites you to discover how van Eyck’s 'Arnolfini Portrait' was one of the beacons by which the Pre-Raphaelites forged a radical new style of painting. Acquired by the National Gallery in 1842, the Arnolfini Portrait informed the Pre-Raphaelites’ belief in empirical observation, their ideas about draughtsmanship, colour and technique, and the ways in which objects in a picture could carry symbolic meaning.The exhibition will bring together for the first time the 'Arnolfini Portrait' with paintings from the Tate collection and loans from other museums, to explore the ways in which Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), Sir John Everett Millais (1829–1896) and William Holman Hunt (1827–1910), among others, were influenced by the painting in their work.


October 7
Royal Academy of Arts - Dalí / Duchamp
Until January 3, 2018
 
can_london_2017_exh_key_49dali.jpg
Robert Descharnes, Duchamp and Dalí playing chess during filming for A Soft Self-Portrait, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty (detail), 1966.Photograph. 21 x 31 cm. Archivo Fotografico Pere Vehi, Cadaqués Photo Robert Descharnes / © Descharnes & Descharnes sarl 2016.
 
Two artistic giants: father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp, and larger-than-life Surrealist Salvador Dalí. This is the first exhibition to throw light on their surprising relationship and its influence on the work of both artists. This original exhibition brings together around 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures, and Duchamp’s groundbreaking assemblages and readymades. But it will also showcase the less familiar: photographs by Dalí, paintings by Duchamp, correspondence and collaborations between the two artists.Presented as a conversation taking place through art, this focused exploration offers fresh ways of looking at two figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history.


October 26
National Portrait Gallery - Cezanne Portraits
Until February 11, 2018
 
can_london_2017_exh_two.jpg
Left: Paul Cézanne, Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-9 . National Gallery of Art, Washington. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1995.47.5. Right: Paul Cézanne , Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, 1888-90. © Wilson L. Mead Fund, 1948.54, The Art Institute of Chicago.
 
The exhibition, brings together for the first time over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) painted almost 200 portraits, including 26 of himself and 29 of his wife, Hortense Fiquet. Cézanne Portraits will explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne’s portraiture including his creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject.
Admission: Adult £20.00 (without donation £18.50)


November 23
Tate Modern - Modigliani
Until April 2, 2018
 
can_london_2017_exh_tate_modil.jpg
Amedeo Modigliani The Little Peasant c. 1918 Tate Photo © Tate.
 
Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) produced some of the most memorable art of the early twentieth century. Born in Livorno, Italy and working in Paris from 1906, his career was tragically short but experimentation was a consistent priority.Connecting biography with practice, and including works in different media, the exhibition places Modigliani’s work in dialogue with pieces by his contemporaries including Brancusi and early Picasso. His sculpture, portraiture, nudes and paintings of young peasants reveal a body of work that borrowed from – and contributed to – the visual culture of his time.


December
Queen’s Gallery - Charles II: Art & Power
Until May 13, 2018
 
can_london_2017_exh_CharlesII.jpg
John Michael Wright, Charles II of England in Coronation robes (detail), 1661-2. Oil on canvas, 281.9 × 239.2 cm.
 
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England with the court of Charles II becoming the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy. From John Michael Wright's monumental portrait of Charles II in his coronation robes and a glittering silver-gilt plate which adorned the high-altar of Westminster Abbey during the King's coronation, to old master paintings, tapestries and spectacular silver-gilt furniture, the exhibition shows the rich material world of Charles II's court and the role of the arts in the re-establishment of the Stuart monarchy.
Admission: Adult £10.30

 
USEFUL INFORMATION
 
British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG
Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1A 1AA
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save
Save

Share this article