The Best Exhibitions To Book Now

The Best Exhibitions To Book Now

From a V&A menswear exhibition sponsored by Gucci to shows focused on Van Gogh, Raphael and Amy Winehouse, here are the gallery visits worth booking in 2022.

Van Gogh Self-Portraits, Courtauld

Van Gogh Self-Portraits takes as its springboard Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, one of the most celebrated works in the Courtauld’s collection. This will be the first time the full span of Van Gogh’s self-portraiture has been explored in an exhibition. Several works in the exhibition were last together in Van Gogh’s studio but have never been reunited until now. The collection will trace the evolution of Van Gogh’s self-representation, from his early Self-Portrait with a Dark Felt Hat, created in 1886 during his formative period in Paris, to Self-Portrait with a Palette, painted at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in September 1889, one of his last portraits before his death. The reputation of Van Gogh today is linked as much to his extraordinary life as it is to his iconic paintings, and this exhibition explores both of them.

3rd February-8th May


Beatrix Potter: Drawn To Nature,  V&A

This family friendly exhibition will take visitors on a journey to discover beloved children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter’s life as a scientist and conservationist, exploring the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters. In collaboration with the National Trust, Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature will be the first exhibition to tell the complete life story of Potter. The playful and interactive exhibition will showcase over 240 personal objects including rarely seen letters, manuscripts, sketches, coded diaries, family photographs, examples of commercial merchandise and personal artefacts. It will celebrate her early talent for storytelling, her business acumen, showing the real Beatrix Potter – an exceptional woman, determined to gain success and respect in notoriously closed-off male dominated fields: from science to the fells of Cumbria.

12th February-January 2023


Weird Sensation Feels Good: The World of ASMR, Design Museum

Millions around the world are part of an online community who experience ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), a physical sensation of euphoria or deep calm, sometimes a tingling in the body, triggered through sound, touch and movement. This is the first exhibition of its kind to lift the world of ASMR out of screens and into a physical space. Visitors will be able to step into an acoustically tuned environment and understand how people are using new and existing tools and materials to navigate our complex world and explore the emerging field of creativity that has grown up around this feeling.

From 13th May


Surrealism Beyond Borders, Tate Modern

Featuring everyone from Salvador Dali to Toshiko Okanoue, this landmark exhibition aims to rewrite the history of surrealism, the revolutionary art movement which became a way to challenge authority and imagine a new world. Previous stories of surrealism have focused on Paris in the 1920s. Based on extensive research, this exhibition will reach across the world and over 50 years. It will show how artists everywhere have been inspired and united by surrealism – in places as diverse as Buenos Aires, Cairo, Lisbon, Mexico City, Prague, Seoul and Tokyo. 

24th February-29th August



The World of Stonehenge, British Museum

Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most awe-inspiring stone circle. Shrouded in layers of folklore, this ancient British monument has spurred myths and legends that persist today. In this special exhibition, the British Museum will reveal the secrets of Stonehenge, shining a light on its purpose, its cultural power and the people who created it. The human story behind the stones reveals itself through a variety of fascinating objects. Among these are stone axes from the north Italian Alps, stunning gold jewellery and astonishing examples of early metalwork including the Nebra Sky Disc – the world’s oldest surviving map of the stars. A remarkably preserved 4,000-year-old timber circle dubbed Seahenge takes centre stage, on loan for the very first time. All these objects offer important clues about the beliefs, rituals and complex worldview of Neolithic people, helping to build a vivid sense of life for Europe’s earliest ancestors. 

17th February-17th July


Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child, Hayward Gallery

The first major retrospective of legendary artist Louise Bourgeois will focus exclusively on her work using fabrics and textiles. In the last two decades of her career, Bourgeois began to incorporate clothes from all stages of her life into her art. This developed into a varied body of work – from monumental installations to figurative sculptures and abstract collages – incorporating textiles such as bed linen, handkerchiefs, tapestry, and needlepoint. Bourgeois’s fabric works mine the themes of identity and sexuality, trauma and memory, guilt and reparation that are central to her long and storied career. Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child sums up this wonderfully inventive and compelling final chapter in this extraordinary artist’s work.

9th-February-15th May


Reframed: The Woman in the Window, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Reframed: The Woman in the Window is the first exhibition to explore the enigmatic motif of the ‘woman in the window’. Featuring artworks from ancient civilisations to present day, the exhibition will bring together more than 40 works by artists including Rossetti, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rachel Whiteread to reveal how the motif has been used through the centuries to provoke responses ranging from empathy to voyeurism. Featuring sculpture, painting, print, photography, film and installation art, highlights will include ancient works on loan from the British Museum, Louise Bourgeois’s My Blue Sky, David Hockney’s The Tower Had One Window, Howard Hodgkin’s Girl by a Window and Girl at a Window by Rembrandt, the initial point of inspiration for the exhibition.

4th May-4th September


Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear, V&A

This is the first major V&A exhibition to celebrate the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance. The show will trace how menswear has been fashioned and refashioned over the centuries, and how designers, tailors and artists – and their clients and sitters – have constructed and performed masculinity and unpicked it at the seams. Contemporary looks by legendary designers and rising stars – plus outfits worn by Harry Styles, Billy Porter, David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich – will be displayed alongside historical treasures from the V&A’s collections and some landmark loans: classical sculptures, Renaissance paintings, iconic photographs, and powerful film and performance. From looks by Harris Reed, Gucci, Grace Wales Bonner and Raf Simons, to paintings by Sofonisba Anguissola and Joshua Reynolds, and an extract from an all-male dance performance by Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, the exhibition will showcase the variety of possible masculinities across the centuries from the Renaissance to the contemporary.

From 19th March


Raphael, National Gallery

A painter, draughtsman, architect, archaeologist and poet, Raphael captured in his art the human and the divine, love and friendship, learning and power. In just two decades, Raphael shaped the course of Western culture like few artists before or since. This exhibition, one of the first ever to explore Raphael's complete career, looks at his celebrated paintings and drawings as well as his work in architecture, poetry and design for sculpture, tapestry and prints. With loans from the Hermitage, the Louvre, National Gallery of Art Washington, the Prado Museum, Uffizi Museum, the Vatican Museum and the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, this is an unprecedented opportunity to see the full range of Raphael’s skill, creativity and ingenuity.

9th April-31st July


A Century of the Artist’s Studio 1920-2020, Whitechapel Gallery

Whether it be an abandoned factory, an attic or a kitchen table, it is the artist’s studio where the great art of our time is conceived and created. In this multimedia exhibition, the wide-ranging possibilities and significance of these spaces take centre stage. The exhibition brings together more than 100 works by over 80 artists and collectives from Africa, Australasia, South Asia, China, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, North and South America. They range from modern icons such as Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele and Andy Warhol to contemporary figures such as Walead Beshty, Lisa Brice and Kerry James Marshall. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, installations and films depicting the studio as work of art and presents documentation of artists’ studios by world-renowned photographers and filmmakers. A series of ‘studio corners’ also recreate the actual environments where great art has been produced.

17th February-29th May


Amy: Beyond The Stage, Design Museum

Amy Winehouse’s unmistakable voice, confessional lyrics and signature look made her one of the music world's most beloved artists. Until April, visitors to the Design Museum are invited to discover the story of her early career through her recordings and teenage notebooks to unravel the creative process behind her music, and pay tribute to her rich range of influences, from Dinah Washington to Mark Ronson, Camden to 60s pop, Motown to jazz.​ Explore the outfits she wore during her greatest performances, handwritten lyrics and personal items that have never been exhibited before  – including her blue Daphne Fender Stratocaster guitar – to step backstage with a cultural icon.​

Until 10th April


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