The 12 Exhibitions You Won’t Want To Miss
The 12 Exhibitions You Won’t Want To Miss

The 12 Exhibitions You Won’t Want To Miss

As ever, London has plenty of world-class exhibitions to keep art lovers entertained this year. From shows focused on the works of David Hockney and Isaac Julien to the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery and an exhibition dedicated to Coco Chanel, here are the must-sees to book now.

Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian

Tate Modern

Although they never met, Swedish painter Hilma Af Klint and Dutch painter Piet Mondrian both invented their own languages of abstract art rooted in nature. At the centre of both of their artistic journeys was a shared desire to understand the forces behind life on earth. Best known for his abstract work, Mondrian in fact began his career – like Af Klint – as a landscape painter. Alongside Mondrian’s iconic grids, visitors will see the rarely exhibited paintings of flowers he continued to create throughout his life. Also on display are enigmatic works by Af Klint in which natural forms become a pathway to abstraction. Af Klint was also a medium, and this exhibition showcases the large-scale, otherworldly masterpieces she believed were commissioned by higher powers. Visitors will be immersed in these ideas through the vibrant signs, shapes and colours in both artists’ beautiful and complex work.

Until 3rd September


Carrie Mae Weems


Widely considered to be one of the most influential American artists working today, Carrie Mae Weems is celebrated for her exploration of identity, power, desire and social justice through work that challenges representations of race, gender and class. Her first major UK exhibition will include a selection of photographs, films, objects and installations spanning over three decades. It includes some of her most recognisable images in the US during the 80s that explore systemic racism and inequality. The display concludes with a powerful seven-chapter panoramic film, The Shape of Things, focusing on the history of violence in America.

22nd June-3rd September



Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto


This is the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to the work of French couturière Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. It will chart the evolution of her iconic design style and the establishment of the House of Chanel, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971. Featuring over 180 looks, seen together for the first time, as well as jewellery, accessories, make-up and perfume, the exhibition will explore Chanel’s pioneering approach to fashion, which paved the way for a new feminine elegance and continues to influence the way women dress today.

From 16th September



A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography

Tate Modern

Following the V&A’s exhibition on African fashion last year, Tate Modern will open its own exhibition on the African diaspora – this time on photography. Celebrating artists from different generations, the exhibition will explore how photography, film and audio have all been used to reimagine Africa’s diverse cultures and historical narratives. It will feature artists with heritage from across the continent, showcasing the varied landscapes with photographs depicting everything from spirituality to climate change.

6th July-14th January 2024


Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion

Design Museum

Sponsored by Alexander McQueen, this exhibition will be a collaboration with the British Fashion Council to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its programme that supports the best emerging fashion design talent and aims to build global, high-end brands of the future. The show will be one of the most ambitious contemporary fashion exhibitions ever staged in the UK, acknowledging the work of over 300 designers and featuring over 100 objects – from innovative and trailblazing garments to films, drawings and memorabilia. It aims to deconstruct the creative process and inspire the next generation of fashion designers.

16th September-11th February 2024 



Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy

Run without interruption since 1769, the Summer Exhibition showcases art in all forms – from prints, painting, film and photography to architectural works and sculpture by invited artists, Royal Academicians and emerging talent. This year’s exhibition – under the theme ‘Only Connect’ – features two rooms of prints selected by British painter David Remfry. Anyone can submit work for the exhibition, so expect to see up-and-coming names alongside some of the best working artists in the world. Most of the works will also be available to buy.

13th June-20th August



Philip Guston

Tate Modern

Canadian painter and printmaker Philip Guston was one of the 20th century’s most important abstract artists, known for capturing the turbulent and troubled world around him. His early work included murals and paintings addressing racism in America and wars on both sides of the Atlantic. During the late 1960s, Guston began producing large-scale paintings that feature comic-like figures, some in white hoods representing evil and the everyday perpetrators of racism. These paintings and those that followed established Guston as one of the most influential painters of the last century.

5th October-25th February 2024





From the opera goddesses of the Victorian era to today’s global megastars, Diva will celebrate the power and creativity of iconic performers, exploring what it means to be a diva and how this has been subverted or embraced over time across opera, stage, popular music and film. It will feature fashion, photography, design, costumes, music and live performances drawn from the V&A collection and from loans from across the world – expect to see highlights from bohemian performer Sarah Bernhardt and first Black superstar Josephine Baker to Edith Piaf’s little black dress and the fringed dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot

24th June-7th April 2024


Marina Abramović

Royal Academy

Marina Abramović is one of the most important performance artists in the world. This exhibition will showcase some of her most daring work, such as works such as 'Rhythm 0' (1974) and 'The Artist Is Present' (2010), which drew in crowds at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional transformation. Her first major exhibition in the UK brings together works spanning her 50-year career. Abramović will also participate in the programme of talks and events surrounding the exhibition.

23th September-10th December 


Isaac Julien

Tate Britain

British filmmaker and installation artist Sir Isaac Julien is one of the leading artists working in film and video today. This solo exhibition reveals the scope of his pioneering work from the early 1980s through to the present day. Some of his most celebrated films include Looking for Langston and Young Soul Rebels. The display showcases Julien's critical thinking and the way his work breaks down barriers between different artistic disciplines, drawing from film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture. The exhibition presents works from early films to large-scale, multi-screen installations which investigate the movement of peoples across different continents, times and spaces. 

Until 20th August 



Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney

Wallace Collection

This exhibition explores our devotion to four-legged friends across the centuries, from Thomas Gainsborough to David Hockney. Dogs are represented in the earliest cave paintings alongside humans, but the subject really flourished in Britain from the 17th century onwards. The commissioned portraits reveal as much about the owners as they do about the dogs themselves; and the personality of the owner is often reflected in the character of their pet. With over 50 paintings, sculptures, drawings, works of art and even taxidermy, this exhibition highlights the unique bond between humans and their canine companions. 

Until 15th October


National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery closed its doors in 2020 to undergo a major refurbishment. The gallery is reopening in June with an exciting line-up of exhibitions and new portraits of some of Britain’s most recognisable faces, from King Charles III to rapper Stormzy. Four exhibitions will run this year, including one centred on the life and career of 20th-century female photographer Yevonde Life, who pioneered the use of colour photography in the 1930s (from 22nd June). There will also be an exhibition on Paul McCartney, featuring rediscovered archival images taken from 1963 to 1964 (from 28th June). Other exhibitions later in the year will focus on David Hockney and the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize.

From 22nd June


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