London Calendar

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Mary Quant

“The whole point of fashion is to make fashionable clothes available to everyone.” Mary Quant.

From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.320

Venue: Victoria & Albert Museum
until 2 Feb 2020

WILLIAM BLAKE

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With over 300 original works, including his watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years. It will rediscover him as a visual artist for the 21st century.

Radical and rebellious, he is an inspiration to visual artists, musicians, poets and performers worldwide. His personal struggles in a period of political terror and oppression, his technical innovation, his vision and political commitment, have perhaps never been more pertinent.  Inside the exhibition will be an immersive recreation of the small domestic room in which Blake showed his art in 1809.  Blake’s dream of showing his works at enormous scale will be made reality using digital technology. His watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years. It will rediscover him as a visual artist for the 21st century.

Venue: TATE BRITAIN
until 22 Dec 2019

Umberto Boccioni: Recreating the Lost Sculptures

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The destruction, in 1927, of a number of plaster and mixed-media sculptures by the Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) was a tragic loss for avant-garde art. Of the many ground-breaking sculptures he created between c.1913 and 1915, only a handful remain in existence today. Now, using a combination of vintage photographic material and cutting-edge 3D printing techniques, digital artists Matt Smith and Anders Rådén have recreated four of Boccioni’s destroyed works: a volumetric study of a human face titled Empty and Full Abstracts of a Head, and three of the artist’s iconic striding figures.

Venue: Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
until 26 Jan 2020

Norman Hartnell – A Tribute

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The first British ‘Fashion Knight’, Sir Norman Hartnell, was responsible for creating an innovative London fashion scene during the 1920s and 1930s. Part of Hartnell’s international success as a Society and Royal Dressmaker by Appointment lay in his unique embroideries and in his commitment to reinventing the silhouette of fashion. During his career he dressed three Queens of the United Kingdom; his 1953 Coronation Dress for Queen Elizabeth II is an icon of mid-century dress design. Decorated by the French Government in 1938, Hartnell designed collections for clients including for film and stage until his death in 1979. His many talents included war-time utility clothing, ready-to-wear, scent, millinery, hosiery, knitwear, shoes, scarves and jewellery.

Venue: Fashion and Textile Museum
until 19 Jan 2020

Into the Night Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art

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The Barbican Art Gallery’s autumn exhibition Into the Night opens in just two weeks, exploring the social and artistic role of cabarets, cafés and clubs in modern art across the world. From New York to Tehran, Paris, Mexico City, London, Berlin, Vienna, Ibadan and beyond, this exhibition shows how creative spaces offered a platform for artistic experimentation and exchange. Discover countless works of art, many rarely seen in the UK, as well as life-size recreations of avant-garde spaces.

Venue: Barbican Art Gallery
until 2 Feb 2020

Rembrandt’s Light

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Experience a cinematic retelling of the Dutch Master’s pivotal years.…..An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrates 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings, including major international loans from The Louvre and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

Venue: Dulwich Picture Gallery
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Imperial War Museum

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IWM (Imperial War Museums) is a leading authority on conflict and its impact, focusing on Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present. A family of five museums, IWM illustrates and records all aspects of modern war and of the individual’s experience of it, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 6 November 2019

Safeguarding our culture during conflict says something about who we are. It tells a story of collective identity of past, present and future generations. But who chooses which pieces and art-forms are the top prioritiesCulture Under Attack: Who Decides What’s Worth Saving?  brings together expert speakers to explore how and why we decide what culture is important to national identity in the UK today.

Venue: Imperial War Museum
until 26 Jan 2020

Gauguin Portraits

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Spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia, the exhibition shows how the French artist revolutionised the portrait. Featuring about fifty works, the exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional objects in a variety of media, from public and private collections worldwide.

Venue: National Gallery
until 26 Jan 2020

Inspired by the east – how the Islamic world influenced western art

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This exhibition explores the impact the Islamic world has had on Western art for centuries. Artistic exchange between East and West has a long and intertwined history from the 15th century, following cultural interactions that can still be felt today. Objects from Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa highlight a centuries-old tradition of influence and exchange from East to West. The diverse selection of ceramics, photography, glass, jewellery,  clothing and contemporary art reveals how artistic exchange influenced a variety of visual and decorative arts. The show takes a deeper look at the art movement of ‘Orientalism’ – specifically the way in which North Africa and the Middle East were represented as lands of beauty and intrigue, especially in European and North American art.

Venue: British Museum
until 26 Jan 2020

Pre-Raphaelite Sisters

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This major exhibition is the first-ever to focus on the untold story of the women of Pre-Raphaelite art. 160 years after the first pictures were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, explores the overlooked contribution of twelve women to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, including Evelyn de Morgan, Effie Millais (nee Gray), Elizabeth Siddal and Joanna Wells (nee Boyce), an artist whose work has been largely omitted from the history of the movement.

Venue: National Portrait Gallery
until 26 Jan 2020

Bridget Riley

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Hayward Gallery presents a major retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley.  Tracing both the origins and the evolving nature of Riley’s innovative practice, the exhibition brings together the artist’s iconic black-and-white paintings of the 1960s, expansive canvases in colour, early figurative works and recent wall paintings.

Venue: Hayward Gallery
until 26 Jan 2020

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits

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Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.

Venue: Royal Academy of Art
until 3 May 2020

‘TUTANKHAMUN: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

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Explore the life of King Tutankhamun, and the storied discovery that captivated the world, through more than 150 authentic pieces from the tomb – three times the quantity that has travelled in previous exhibitions – more than 60 of which are travelling outside of Egypt for the first time.
The third of 10 cities to host TUTANKHAMUN: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh the London showing follows record-breaking stops in Los Angeles and Paris. In Los Angeles the exhibition was among the most successful in the history of the California Science Centre, while in Paris it became France’s most attended exhibition of all time with over 1.4 million visitors.

Venue: Saatchi Gallery
until 3 May 2020

George IV: Art & Spectacle

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George IV is arguably the most magnificent British monarch ever recorded and he formed an unrivalled collection of art, much of which remains in the Royal Collection. Bringing together Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, delicate French porcelain, intricate goldsmiths’ work and elegant books and drawings, this exhibition will present George’s life through the art that enriched his world.

Venue: Queens Gallery
until 15 Mar 2020

DORA MAAR

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the first UK retrospective of the work of Dora Maar (1907–97) whose provocative photographs and photomontages became celebrated icons of surrealism. Featuring over 200 works from a career spanning more than six decades, this exhibition shows how Maar’s eye for the unusual also translated to her commercial commissions, social documentary photographs, and paintings – key aspects of her practice which have, until now, remained little known.  Her eye for the unusual also translated to her commercial photography, including fashion and advertising, as well as to her social documentary projects. In Europe’s increasingly fraught political climate, Maar signed her name to numerous left-wing manifestos – a radical gesture for a woman at that time.

Venue: TATE MODERN
until 8 Mar 2020

Troy myth and reality

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The legend of Troy has endured for more than 3,000 years. The story of a great city, plunged into a 10-year war over the abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world. This allure has sent adventurers and archaeologists in quest of the lost city, which is now widely believed to have existed.  But what of the heroes and the heartbroken, the women and the wanderers, who are said to have a played a part in the Trojan War? Why have they inspired so many retellings, from Homer to Shakespeare and Hollywood? Get closer to these captivating characters as you explore the breath-taking art that brings them to life

Venue: British Museum
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Cars: Accelerating The Modern World

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Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’ explores how the car as a driving force has accelerated the pace of change over the past century. The exhibition brings together 15 diverse cars to tell extraordinary stories about design and the car’s impact on the broader world. These cars include the first production car in existence; an autonomous flying car; a converted low-rider; and a 1950s concept car. Many of these cars have never been on show in the UK before, and their display will be uniquely juxtaposed with a diverse collection of products, fashion, graphics, photography and film, to draw connections to wider spheres of design and public life. We stand at a new turning point in mobility design -hope to understand our past blunders and achievements in order to better imagine how we want to move in the future.

Venue: Victoria and ALbert Museum

Starting in February 2020

27 Feb -28 Jun

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

 The first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years, David Hockney: Drawing from Life, explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to the present by focusing on depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.
Venue: National Portrait Gallery