David Hockney Drawing From Life National Portrait Gallery Art Exhibition Guide London

Our Top Art Exhibitions in London

Written by: Rebecca Bury

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Time to read 3 min

London, a perennial epicentre of cultural vibrancy, boasts a tapestry of art exhibitions that beckon enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. As the city's galleries and museums unveil their latest offerings, we've chosen our top 7 exhibitions to explore.

David Hockney 'Drawing From Life'

National Portrait Gallery until January 21st 2024

David Hockney Drawing From Life Art Exhibition London
Celia, Carennac, August 1971 by David Hockney

David Hockney's exploration of diverse perspectives remains central to his artistic endeavours, and this year provides a myriad of ways to appreciate his vision. "David Hockney: Drawing from Life," now back at the National Portrait Gallery, delves into the last six decades of his oeuvre through portraits in various mediums, from pencil to photographic collage to the iPad. The exhibition features portraits from Hockney's Normandy studio, offering a glimpse into his artistic journey in 2021 and 2022.

Sarah Lucas 'Happy Gas'

Tate Britain until January 14th, 2024

Sarah Lucas Tate Art Exhibition London
Sarah Lucas HONEY PIE 2020 Collection Frank Gallipoli © Sarah Lucas

Delve into the ground-breaking world of Sarah Lucas' ‘Happy Gas’ at Tate Britain. This exhibition explores the breadth of Lucas's pioneering artistic practice, celebrating the artist who, since the 1990s, has consistently challenged societal norms related to sex, class, and gender. As a prominent figure among the Young British Artists, Lucas continues to push boundaries and redefine our perspectives on these fundamental aspects of human identity.

Nicole Eisenman 'What Happened'

Whitechapel Gallery until January 14th, 2024

Nicole Eisenman Whitechapel Gallery Art Exhibition London
Nicole Eisenman, Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, 2011

Nicole Eisenman's current exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery unites over 100 works spanning three decades, many never before seen in the UK. From monumental paintings to sculptures, monoprints, animation, and drawings, the showcase reveals Eisenman's diverse and inventive artistic range. Organised chronologically into eight sections, the exhibition unveils Eisenman's critical yet humor-infused exploration of contemporary socio-political issues. From gender and identity to civic turmoil and the impact of technology on personal relationships, Eisenman's work offers a profound and often humorous commentary on the complexities of the modern world.

'Women in Revolt!'

Tate Britain until April 7th, 2024

Women in Revolt!  Tate Modern Art Exhibition London
Gina Birch 3 Minute Scream 1977 © Gina Birch
 

A ground-breaking showcase at Tate Modern, the Women in Revolt exhibition is a comprehensive exploration of feminist art featuring over 100 UK-based women artists. Shedding light on how women networks employed radical ideas and rebellious methods, the exhibition underscores their invaluable contribution to British culture. These artists, active during the transformative 1970s and 1980s, utilised various mediums to address injustice, advocating for reproductive rights, equal pay, and race equality. Despite being marginalised in artistic narratives of the time, their work played a pivotal role in shaping a transformative era for women in Britain. This exhibition marks the first public display of many of these artworks since the 1970s, offering visitors a profound encounter with a politically engaged community that catalysed significant cultural change and paved the way for future generations of artists.

Claudette Johnson 'Presence'

The Courtauld Gallery until January 14th, 2024

Claudette Johnson The Courtauld Gallery Art Exhibition London
Claudette Johnson, Figure in Blue, 2018

A pivotal figure in the Black British Arts Movement, Claudette Johnson emerges as a significant figurative artist of her era. Her 30-year artistic journey is showcased at The Courtauld Gallery, featuring a curated selection of major works spanning her career. From early impactful drawings like "I Came to Dance" (1982) to recent and newly crafted pieces, the exhibition provides a compelling overview of Johnson's pioneering approach to representing Black subjects. Delving into her evolution over three decades, the showcase situates Johnson's practice within the art of the past, drawing rich context from The Courtauld's collection. Across various media, from dark pastels to vibrant gouache, Johnson's distinctive drawings narrate a different story about the presence of Black individuals in the country, utilising dramatic poses, gazes, and scales.

'Capturing the Moment'

Tate Modern until April 28th, 2024

Andy Warhol, Tate Modern Capturing the Moment  Art Exhibition London
Andy Warhol Self Portrait 1966–1967 YAGEO Foundation Collection, Taiwan © 

Witness the transformative impact of photography on painting at the 'Capturing the Moment' exhibition in Tate Modern. This exceptional showcase delves into the dynamic interplay between these two mediums, featuring iconic works from renowned artists like Picasso, Rego, Sugimoto, and Wall. Explore the evolution of their distinctive languages and how they have influenced one another. The boundaries between painting and photography dissolve in masterpieces like Boty's pop paintings, Warhol's silkscreen prints, Richter's photorealistic works, and Gursky's panoramic photographs. Engage in an ongoing dialogue between the lenses and brushes of modern masters, revealing how these tools capture and immortalise fleeting moments in time.
 

Barbara Kruger 'Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.'

Serpentine Galleries until March 17th, 2024

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. Serpentine Gallery Art Exhibition London
Barbara Kruger, FOREVER Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin


Renowned American artist Barbara Kruger, celebrated for her impactful fusion of images and words, brings her visionary works to Serpentine Galleries. Hailing from a graphic design background, Kruger's iconic visual language, drawing from advertising and media aesthetics, has explored power dynamics, gender, class, consumerism, and capital since the 1970s. "Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You." at Serpentine Gallery marks Kruger's first solo institutional exhibition in London in over two decades. Presenting unique installations, moving image works, and immersive soundscapes, the showcase introduces the UK premiere of "Untitled (No Comment)" (2020), a three-channel video delving into contemporary online content creation and consumption.