Summer in the city is made all the more better with a bit of culture-soaking. With so many exhibitions to forage and digest in London, it can be hard to make a choice. But have no fear, as my top 5 art show guide will hopefully smooth the way and help with your decision.
Okay, so there are some obvious Summer blockbuster shows that you definitely should not miss in 2018. ‘The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture’ at The National Gallery is the big one. With overwhelmingly positive reviews, and a constant flurry of Monet enthusiasts lining up to see his architectural works, you’ll need to make your appointment with the master of Impressionism before it closes in late July.
Billed as the first ever Pablo Picasso exhibition at the Tate, it focuses on a significant year for Picasso, bringing together more than 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings he made during 1932. To say it was an exhilarating year for Picasso is an understatement. A year that saw the artist at 50, in a troubled marriage, embark on a love affair for 12 months.
Life and art intertwine in this show, in such a ferocious and contagiously energetic way, we are privileged to be given a rare glimpse into Picasso’s personal life – a rare treat indeed.
Open until 9 September / Tickets up to £22
I can’t talk about the hottest Summer shows in London without mentioning the unwavering and most prominent of the season; the Summer Exhibition! Celebrating the big 2-5-0, this year is set to be extra special, as you could hardly have missed the wonderful Grayson Perry and his fellow royal academicians selecting the 1,300 works from established artist’s and fresh new talent.
Celebrating ‘art made now’, this years’ exhibition is as bold, colourful and impactful as ever. Never one to be missed.
Experience the art now until 19 August / Tickets up to £18
In the last 30 years, Lee Bul’s powerful, thought-provoking artwork has questioned the ‘body’ by exploring themes of intimacy, gender and technology. In her imagined, dream-like landscapes, she brings forth monstrous bodies, futuristic cyborgs, glittering mirrored environments, and of course a colossal, foil zeppelin…because why not.
If you’re looking for an escape this Summer into large-scale installations, and provactively surreal performances that persuade us to use our mind, and body at the same time, then look no further.
Open until 19 August / Tickets up to £14.50
In the year that would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery is celebrating the man, the legend and his enduring influence on contemporary artists, spanning generations and across all media.
One of biggest cultural icons of the 20th Century, Jackson was a master of music, music videos, dance and of course choreography. This thriller of a show will bring together over 40 artists motivated and inspired to create visual works of MJ. Any Jackson fan or fan of 20th Century pop culture will remember the time of a cultural legend with artistic fondness at this set to be, landmark exhibition.
Moonwalk your way to the National Portrait Gallery from 28 June – 21 October / Tickets up to £22
*Don’t forget to visit the BP Portrait Award too. A free exhibition that showcases the breadth and depth of creative talent in the UK today.
This may be the underdog exhibition of the season, but certainly not one to ignore if you’re a printmaking lover!
Edward Bawden (1903-89) was a master printmaker, illustrator, watercolourist and designer and is today recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation. Whilst he is perhaps best-known for his commercial work for companies such as Twinings and Fortnum & Mason, and his linocuts depicting everyday England, a significant body of work remains relatively unknown.
Bringing together 160 works, this exhibition thematically explores his prints on nature, leisure and architecture, as well as highlighting his work as a fine artist too.
Open until 9 September / Tickets up to £12
Banner – Pablo Picasso ‘The Dream (Le Rêve)’ 1932, Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018