Season's must-see list: 10 hot exhibitions in London right now



The art-menu in London, right now, has something great to satisfy every cultural taste: Iconic photographers, the latest trends on contemporary painting, selfies by the Old Masters, animals (read more on that!), Anselm Kiefer, Robert Mapplethorpe, James Ensor and Jeff Koons! All these and more in 8 ultra-interesting art exhibitions happening this month in the city. So start updating your visit-lists and enjoy art now!
Words: George Margaronis
Marian Goodman Gallery - Animality
Until December 17, 2016
An exploration of our relationship with animals in six themes: Origins, Markings, Crossings, Variations, Traces, Extinctions. Orwell, Nietzsche, Bataille, Derrida, Foucault and other thinkers provide the theoretical framework while artists such Cosima Von Bonin, Gabriel Orozco, Maurizio Cattelan, Adrian Villar Rojas and many others visualize the issues with their "creatures". 

Installation view © Marian Goodman Gallery. Shown in this ime: Stephan Balkenhol, Raven Man, 2016 (center-left), Adrian Villar Rojas, The Most Beautiful of All Mothers (XVI), 2015 (on the right).
Alison Jacques Gallery - Teller on Mapplethorpe
Until January 7, 2017
Celebrating what would have been the 70th birthday of Robert Mapplethorpe, the gallery has invited acclaimed photographer Juergen Teller to curate an exhibition of Mapplethorpe's work. The result is a daring, sexy trip to the 1970s and 1980s New York art scene with interesting intervals of pictures of animals and unusual objects.
Left: Robert Mapplethorpe, Arthur Diovanni, 1982. Silver Gelatin Print 50.8 x 40.6 cm paper size, 73.3 x 60.1 cm framed. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Used by Permission. Centre: Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Marie, 1987. Silver Gelatin Print 50.8 x 61 cm paper size, 83.8 x 70.9 cm framed. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Used by Permission. Right: Robert Mapplethorpe, Michael Reed, 1987. Silver Gelatin Print 61 x 50.8 cm paper size, 83.8 x 70.9 cm ins framed.© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Used by Permission.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, 1973. Black and White Polaroid 8.3 x 10.8 cm paper size, 45 x 37 cm framed. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Used by Permission.
Blain|Southern Gallery - Revolt of the Sage
Until January 21, 2017
Revolt of the Sage is an exhibition featuring new and existing work by contemporary artists alongside late post-War artists such as Sigmar Polke, Lynn Chadwick and Hanne Darboven, and takes its title from a work by Giorgio de Chirico painted in 1916. Picking up on de Chirico’s vision of a ‘metaphysical interior’, the exhibition gathers a range of artists who use a variety of media to explore ruptures in time and the alluring mysteries of the everyday.
Left: John Stezaker, Flash VI, 2007, © John Stezaker 2016, courtesy The Approach, London. Right: Lynn Chadwick, Monitor III, 1965, courtesy The Estate of Lynn Chadwick and Blain|Southern, Photo: Steve Russell Studios.
Almine Rech Gallery - Jeff Koons
Until January 21, 2017
Jeff Koons, a superstar of today's art scene, continues his fascination with the Blue Gazing Ball, which he places on Old Master's paintings such as Tintoretto's, Titian's and Poussin's. The paintings are detailed copies (although not replicas as they vary in size) made by Koons himself and the addition of the glass spheres aims to reproduce the artwork and connect the painting with the viewer. For the sculpture-lovers, the usual shinny, glossy statues of Koons now take the form of ballet dancers
Installation view © Almine Rech Gallery.
Installation view © Almine Rech Gallery.
Royal Academy of Arts - Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans
Until January 29, 2017
Most of James Ensor’s (1860-1949) paintings look like a theatrical stage where a bizarre, creepy farce was being performed. RA invited Luc Tuymans, a renowned painter himself and an Ensor admirer, to curate this intriguing exhibition through a selection of Ensor’s most surreal creations. (Admission with donation: £11.50)
James Ensor, The Intrigue, 1890. Oil on canvas, 90 x 149 cm. Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. Photo KMSKA © - Art in Flanders vzw. Photography: Hugo Maertens / © DACS 2016
White Cube - Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla
Until February 12, 2017
The Bermondsay venue of the, always-worth-visiting, gallery presents new, large-scale installation, sculpture and painting by Anselm Kiefer. The exhibition refers to the mythical place in Norse mythology, a paradise for those slain in battle, as well as to the Walhalla neo-classical monument, built by Ludwig I King of Bavaria in 1842 to honour heroic figures in German history. 
© 2016 White Cube
Saatchi Gallery - Painters' Painters
Until February 28, 2017
Works by contemporary painters such as Richard Aldrich, Bjarne Melgaard, Raffi Kalenderian, David Salle, Martin Maloney, David Brian Smith, Ansel Krut, Ryan Mosley, Dexter Dalwood.
Left: Martin Maloney, Saplings, 2004. Oil on canvas 244 x 213 cm. Centre: Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled, 2007. Oil on canvas 180 x 180 cm. Right: Raffi Kalenderian, Louis (Ascending), 2008. Oil on canvas 122 x 91 cm. © Saatchi Gallery.
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - Portrait of the Artist
Until April 17, 2017
An opportunity to enter the Buckingham Palace (well, the Queen’s gallery part, at least) and admire self-portraits by world-renowned artists from the 15th to the 21th century including Rembrandt, Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucian Freud and David Hockney but also images of artists by their friends, relatives and pupils, including the most reliable surviving likeness of Leonardo da Vinci by his student, Francesco Melzi. (Admission: £10.30)
Left: Cristofano Allori, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1613. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016. Right: Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), c.1638. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.
The Design Museum - Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World
Until April 23, 2017
The Design Museum opens again in a stunning new home in Kensington and starts the exhibition programm with eleven new installations by some of the most innovative designers and architects working today; OMA/AMO, Hussein Chalayan, Madeline Gannon, Kenya Hara, Neri Oxman and Stratasys, Andres Jaque, Arquitectura Expandida, Rural Urban Framework, Metahaven, Ma Ke and Christien Meindertsma(Admission: £14)
Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market. Photo © Luke Hayes.
Ma Ke presents The Earth. Photo © Luke Hayes.
Tate Modern - The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Until May 7, 2017
Tate exhibits one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography, drawn from the classic modernist period of the 1920s–50s. Grab the chance to see nearly 150 rare vintage prints from legends of photography art such as Man Ray, Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, and Aleksandr Rodchenko. (Admission with donation: £16.50)
Left: Herbert Bayer, Self-Portrait, 1932. The Sir Elton John Photographic Collection (c) DACS, 2016. Right: Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936. The Sir Elton John Photographic Collection.

Admission to the above exhibitions is free except when an admission price is indicated! You can group your visits to save time: Marian Goodman Gallery (map), Blain|Southern Gallery (map) and Almine Rech Gallery (map) are all located very close to Regent Street. The Royal Academy of Arts (map) is also in the same region, facing Piccadilly Road. The Queen’s Gallery (map) is a part of the  Buckingham palace; you can actually walk from the Royal Academy to Buckingham and see the Tudor-era St James’s Palace on your way.

You can get to the Saatchi Gallery (map) by tube (Sloane Square Station, Circle & District) and on the same direction, you can visit the Design museum (map) (High Street Kensington Station, Circle & District).
Alison Jacques Gallery (map) is right off Oxford Street (Oxford Circus Station, Bakerloo, Central & Victoria lines) or Tottenham Court Road Station (Central & Northern lines).

Tate Modern (map) is located on the other side of Thames river. You can go to St Paul's Station (Central line) and then walk the Millennium Bridge or use Southwark Station (Jubilee line). Admission to the permanent collection of Tate is free. White Cube Gallery (map) is located south of Tate Modern, in Bermondsay (Borough Station or London Bridge Station, Northern line).

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