New Exhibitions We’ll Be Booking For 2019

As the year begins, we’ve rounded up an essential selection of the best exhibitions to visit in London in 2019. From Vincent Van Gogh, Dorothea Tanning and Edvard Munch retrospectives, to a trio of deep-dives into the world of fashion, here are 14 must-see shows to book this year…

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, V&A

Those who saw and loved the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective at the V&A back in 2015 will know what to expect from the museum’s fashion and textiles curator Oriole Cullen and her team. After the success of the sell-out exhibition (over 480,000 tickets were sold during the course of its run), they’re back with a vengeance, with the world’s largest ever display of Dior designs open to the public from 2nd February. Featuring 11 rooms, the team has drawn from the extensive Dior archives, presenting over 500 objects, including more than 200 rare Haute Couture garments, plus accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume illustrations and the designer’s personal possessions. We can’t wait.

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL; 2nd February-14th July


Dorothea Tanning, Tate Modern

This is the first large-scale exhibition of Dorothea Tanning’s work for 25 years. It brings together 100 works from her seven-decade career – from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures. Tanning wanted to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’: to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye. She first encountered surrealism in New York in the 1930s. In the 1940s, her powerful self-portrait Birthday 1942 attracted the attention of fellow artist (and future husband) Max Ernst. A highlight of the exhibition is the room-sized installation Chambre 202, Hotel du Pavot 1970-3. This sensual and eerie work features bodies growing out the walls of an imaginary hotel room.

Bankside, SE1 9TG; 27th February-9th June


Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, British Museum

The creator of art's most haunting and iconic face. A radical father of Expressionism. Norway’s answer to Vincent van Gogh. But who was Edvard Munch? Discover this pioneering, subversive artist as the British Museum lifts the veil on his life and works in the largest show of his prints in the UK for 45 years. In this collaborative exhibition with the Munch Museum in Oslo, discover how he mastered the art of printmaking and explore his remarkable body of work. Munch’s innovative techniques, bold use of colour and dark subject matter resonated with shifting attitudes – and mark him out as one of the first truly modern artists.

Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG; 11th April-21st July


EVOLUTION of The Artist and The Exhibited Works, Horniman Museum

Visit the Horniman Museum to witness Shauna Richardson's beautifully crafted, life-size crochet animal sculptures, inspired and informed by natural history. Crochetdermy is a term invented by Richardson to describe her technique. Part natural history, part anthropology, EVOLUTION of The Artist and The Exhibited Works features family trees, graphs, diagrams and realistic life-size Crochetdermy animals. Trophy heads of animals including a bear, lioness and wild boar look down at visitors from the walls, while monkeys and an ‘Evolution’ graphics panel chart the development of Richardson’s work and life as an artist from inherited traits, skills learned and adaptation to environment.

100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ; until 17th March


Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language, Somerset House

Employing an otherworldly and playful approach to their practice, Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng incorporate cultural signifiers, set design and fashion to present their unique take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals. Bringing distinct Asian perspectives to their work, they challenge the concept of ‘otherness’ and reflect upon the power fashion photography holds in shaping our perceptions of beauty, style and taste. For English as a Second Language Moon and Ng have created two new series of photography works, responding directly to the historical setting of Somerset House. The exhibition also invites you to explore works from Moon and Ng’s fashion photography archive from the past four years, featuring work from leading publications such as Dazed, i-D, Centrefold and Re-Edition.

Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA; 25th January-28th April


Home Futures, Design Museum

Explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change? The ‘home of the future’ has long intrigued designers and popular culture alike. Immerse yourself in a series of dreamlike passages and rooms designed by New York-based architects SO-IL and explore yesterday’s visions of the future – as avant-garde speculations are displayed alongside contemporary objects and new commissions. Discover more than 200 objects and experiences to trace the key social and technological aspirations that have driven change in the home.

224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 6AG; until 24th March


Lee Krasner: Living Colour, Barbican

Lee Krasner is a key figure in American art, whose energetic works reflect the spirit of possibility in post-war New York. This exhibition celebrates the work and life of Krasner (1908–1984), a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. The first major presentation of her work in Europe for more than 50 years, Lee Krasner: Living Colour tells the story of a formidable artist, whose importance has too often been eclipsed by her marriage to Jackson Pollock. Discover Krasner’s spirit for invention – from striking early self-portraits to her acclaimed ‘Little Image’ paintings from the 1940s, from collages comprised of torn-up earlier work to a selection of her most impressive large-scale abstract paintings.

Silk Street, Clerkenwell, EC2Y 8DS; 30th May-1st September


Mary Quant, V&A

Inventive, opinionated and commercially minded, Mary Quant was the most iconic fashion designer of the 1960s. A design and retail pioneer, she popularised super-high hemlines and other irreverent looks that were critical to the development of the 'Swinging Sixties' scene. The V&A’s fashion collections include examples of her famous designs from across the 1960s and 1970s. 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.

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL; 6th April-16th February 2020


Only Human: Martin Parr, National Portrait Gallery

We can’t wait for this major new exhibition of works by Martin Parr, one of Britain’s best-known and most widely celebrated photographers. Only Human: Martin Parr brings together some of Parr’s best-known photographs with a number of works never exhibited before to focus on one of his most engaging subjects – people. The exhibition will include portraits of people from around the world, with a special focus on Parr’s wry observations of Britishness, explored through a series of projects that investigate British identity today, including new works which reveal Parr’s take on the social climate in Britain in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

St Martin's Place, Covent Garden, WC2H 0HE; 7th March-27th May


Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, Design Museum

Step inside the world of Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. Britain is where Kubrick created the battlefields of Vietnam for Full Metal Jacket (1987), an orbiting space station for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and Dr Strangelove’s War Room (1964). Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition will offer a unique insight into the director's vast archive through original props and costumes, set models and rare photographs, while tracing the design story behind Kubrick’s body of work. Relive iconic scenes from The Shining (1980), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) and see objects on display for the first time in the UK, exploring the unique relationship Kubrick had with England and particularly London as his film location and source of inspiration.

224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 6AG; 26th April-17th September


Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran – Mary Quant, Fashion & Textile Museum

Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution will present the fashion, design and art of the Chelsea Set; a group of radical young architects, designers, photographers and artists who redefined the concept of youth and challenged the established order in 1950s London. At the forefront of this group of young revolutionaries were Mary Quant and Terence Conran. This exhibition spans the period from 1952-1977 and will present fashion, textiles, furniture, lighting, homewares, ceramics and ephemera Conran and Quant, plus the avant-garde artists, designers and intellectuals who worked alongside them, such as designers Bernard and Laura Ashley, sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and artist and photographer Nigel Henderson.

83 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3XF; 8th February-2nd June


The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain

This major exhibition brings together 45 works by Vincent van Gogh to reveal how he was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists. Van Gogh and Britain will present the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade. Some of his most famous works will be brought together from around the world – including Shoes, Starry Night on the Rhône and L'Arlésienne. They will be joined by the very rarely lent Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery. The exhibition will also look at the British artists who were inspired by Van Gogh, including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, and the young Camden Town painters. It shows how his vision set British artists on the road to modern art.

Millbank, SW1P 4RG; 27th March-11th August


The Renaissance Nude, Royal Academy

Bringing together works by Renaissance artists such as Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dürer and Cranach, the RA is set to shed light on a visual tradition at its most vital moment. This highly anticipated exhibition will explore important changes in the art world of the 15th and 16th centuries via a selection of exquisite works. From full-scale paintings to jewel-like miniatures, bronze statuettes to anatomical studies, they contrast idealised beauty with the ageing body, and public images with more intimate, private works. Together, they offer an insight into a visual tradition that became central to European art, which still resonates with artists and audiences today.

Burlington House, Mayfair, W1J 0BD; 3rd March-2nd June


Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum

Now in its 54th year, the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases extraordinary animal behaviour and the incredible diversity of life on earth. Explore the world's best nature photography, exhibited on 100 exquisite light panels. Experience the changing face of nature and uncover the surprising, and sometimes challenging, stories behind the photographs. Chosen from over 45,000 entries by expert judges, the images were awarded for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. A great one to do with kids.

Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD; until 30th June


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