Hello eager art friend, want to do some planning ahead? Well, you've come to the right place with our one-stop shop for all the art exhibitions, big or small, coming to London over the next couple of months. From exciting new gallery openings to upcoming London photography shows, keep your eyes peeled and your paintbrush poised for as much art as your diary can handle. Or, if you can’t wait that long, here's the best new art in London this week to satisfy those creative cravings sooner.
Art exhibitions in January
The legendary Californian conceptualist, who has been creating witty, deceptively casual splices of image of text for decades, is working with a simple concept for this exhibition: a series of Hollywood film stills each paired with a painting by Spanish surrealist Joan Miró.
A 13-strong group show based around the concept of eternalism, which proposes that all moments in time – past, present, future – exist simultaneously. Look out for Ali Kazim's pictures of ruins in the Indus Valley and Zhu Wei's reflections on the arrival of modernity in China.
Scottish artist Avery has spent over a decade mapping, describing and fleshing out the contents of a fictional island. This show brings together a series of drawings that delve into the island's Onomatopoeia Zoo. What creatures they've got there is anybody's guess.
A showcase of photography and video work by 17 contemporary women artists from around the world, who use the female body as a means of stoytelling. Artists on display include Serbian performance queen Marina Abramović and the three-strong collective Icelandic Love Corporation.
Art exhibitions in February
Oldfield Ford will be creating an installation that looks at the tide of gentrification enveloping the gallery's neighborhood – focusing on the three housing blocks Alpha, Isis and Eden. Central to the work is a sound piece, the result of a collaboration with producer Jack Latham.
Korean artist Do Ho Suh is known for his diaphonous fabric sculptures of architectural spaces that hang suspended in the gallery space, floating like ghosts. For his first show at Victoria, he'll also be showing compressed versions of these works that he describes as 'two-dimensional drawings'.
Whether it’s Robert Mapplethorpe’s sleeve photo for ‘Horses’ or the cover of Time Out, we’re used to seeing Patti Smith in front of the camera. But next spring Londoners will get a chance to see the world through the singer’s own lens, as 17 of her photographs go on display at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Visit the gallery’s exhibition of work by Vanessa Bell and you’ll also find a smaller show called ‘Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith’. Smith’s photos document her residency at Charleston, Bell’s house in Sussex, in 2003, with subjects including Bell’s bed and library. They’ll be displayed alongside Bell’s own photo albums (on loan from the Tate Archives) which capture the Bloomsbury Group of artists, writers and thinkers before the war. It sounds like a fascinating coming together of two groundbreaking artists, so if you’re heading south this spring, don’t miss out.
A large-scale survey of an artist still unfairly known first and foremost as Virginia Woolf's big sister. In reality, Bell was a a leading figure of the interwar Bloomsbury Group and a pioneer of twentieth-century British modernism. This show will gather over 100 of her paintings, ceramics, textiles and photography. Look out for the tie-in display with photographs by Patti Smith too.
Have we reached peak Hockney? The Royal Academy has granted him two shows in the last four years, focusing on his eye-poppingly colourful, hit-and-miss recent works. Fortunately, this big Tate retrospective – scheduled ahead of Hockney's 80th birthday – will go all the way back to his student work of the early '60s, and trace what's frankly a stupendous journey of ceaseless innovation. From his 'gay propaganda' works, to his glossy LA pool scenes, to his intricate photocollages and experimental fax works, this looks set to be one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of recent years.
Art exhibitions further ahead
This show takes a look the Land of Opportunity through the prism of its artists and their printed works. There'll be many familiar pop faces here. Ed Ruscha's slick images both chronicle and celebrate everyday Americana; Andy Warhol peeks into the darker side of the nation's history with images of disgraced president Richard Nixon and bereaved First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Issues of racial divide – no less pressing than they ever were – are explored by African-American artist Kara Walker.
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. This show charts the preceding century: a hundred years of queer artists either making deeply personal work (about lives led in necessary secrecy) or avowedly political statements. Duncan Grant, John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington and David Hockney are among those on display.
Fifty years after showing his work for the first time, the Tate is delivering a large-scale retrospective of the Italian artist. He'll always be associated with the tall, spindly, existential figures of his later years – but this exhibition should flesh out his wider career, including early dabblings in surrealism and abstraction.