London art exhibitions calendar

Our handy calendar of the must-see art shows coming to town this year



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Get your diary out for a new season of must-see exhibitions in 2014, including the Barbican's 'Digital Revolution', Tate Britain's 'Late Turner' exhibition, the Courtauld's Egon Schiele exhibition and the Frieze Art Fair.

September 2014

'Mainbocher Corset', 1939, Horst P Horst. © Conde Nast / Horst Estate

Horst: Photographer of Style

A retrospective exhibtion of Horst P Horst's prolific 60-year career. The German-American photographer did shoots for couturiers such as Chanel, Schiaparelli and Vionnet in the ’30s, as well as experimenting with early colour techniques. His most renowned images will be on display alongside rarities and unpublished pictures, plus there will be a recreation of Horst's 1940s studio. Archive film footage, sketchbooks and letters will also give an insight into his creative process.

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Sep 6 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Moleskine City Stories

  • Free

Sketch pads at the ready for this day of drawing around London’s famous Covent Garden. Organised by notepad gurus Moleskine, this day of doodling will be presided over by the Urban Sketchers, a collective of thoroughly talented draftsmen who want people to engage in their city through drawing. Four of the groups members, Adebanji Alade, James Hobbs, Andrea Joseph and Olha Pryymak will be live-sketching around the historic site inviting passer-bys to tap into their creative skills. There’ll also be learning sessions taking place throughout the day at London Graphic Centre and Moleskin’s Covent Garden store.

  1. Moleskine 40 King St, WC2E 8JS
  2. Sat Sep 6
More info
JMW Turner, 'Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway', 1844

JMW Turner, 'Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway', 1844 © The National Gallery

Late Turner: Painting Set Free

The late period of Turner's career saw him create some of his most recognisable and enduring works, so it's surprising that this is the first exhibition to look solely at that period. With over 150 works from all over Europe this is sure to be an eye-opener into a fascinating period for our most important painter.

  1. Tate Britain Millbank, SW1P 4RG
  2. Wed Sep 10 - Sun Jan 25
More info
Anselm Kiefer, 'For Paul Celan, Ash Flowers', 2006

Anselm Kiefer, 'For Paul Celan, Ash Flowers', 2006 © Anselm Kiefer. Private collection, Paris

Anselm Kiefer

It seems shocking that this is the first major retrospective of Anselm Kiefer's work. The German artist's heavily textured, sculptural paintings - made with straw, clay and lead - are powerful and unique pieces of modern art. There will be work from his student days up until now, and it's sure to be full of strong, difficult and emotional work.

  1. Royal Academy of Arts Piccadilly, W1J OBD
  2. Sat Sep 27 - Sun Dec 14
More info
Iwan Bann, 'Torre David #2', 2011

Iwan Bann, 'Torre David #2', 2011 Image courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles.

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

From New York’s first skyscrapers to recent urban sprawls in Asia, this show includes 18 photographers’ who have influenced our understanding of the built environment.

  1. Barbican Centre Silk St, EC2Y 8DS
  2. Thu Sep 25 - Sun Jan 11
More info

October 2014

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, 'Priority Innfield (Way)', 2013

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, 'Priority Innfield (Way)', 2013 © the artist

Lizzie Fitch & Ryan Trecartin

  • Free

The LA-based artist brings the carnivalesque escapades of his absurd characters to London for the first time this autumn. Working with long-time collaborator Lizzie Fitch, ‘Priority Innfield’, which was originally shown at the 55th Venice Biennale, takes you on a rip-roaring roller coaster ride where dysfunctionality reigns supreme within the fabricated installations Trecartin and Fitch build to exhibit the bizarre filmed exploits.

  1. Zabludowicz Collection 176 Prince of Wales Rd, NW5 3PT
  2. Thu Oct 2 - Sun Dec 21
More info
Richard Tuttle, 'Walking on Air', 2009

Richard Tuttle, 'Walking on Air', 2009 © the artist

Richard Tuttle: The Weave of Textile Language

  • Free

The US artist brings his blurry coloured line aesthetic to the UK with a three-part project that culminates in this exhibition focusing on the influence of textiles on his abstractions along with a sculptural presentation in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall and a publication.

  1. Whitechapel Gallery 77-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX
  2. Tue Oct 14 - Sun Dec 14
More info
Rembrandt, 'Self Portrait at the Age of 63', 1669

Rembrandt, 'Self Portrait at the Age of 63', 1669 © The National Gallery, London

Rembrandt: The Late Works

It would appear that there is no such thing as too much Rembo. Especially when the shows are massive Autumn blockbusters providing an incredibly rare opportunity to see 40 of the Dutch master's late period paintings alongside 20 drawings and some 30 prints. The great man's work only got better with age, and this show will feature works lent by major museums across the globe.

  1. National Gallery Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
  2. Wed Oct 15 - Sun Jan 18
More info
Egon Schiele, 'Crouching Woman with Green Kerchief', 1914

Egon Schiele, 'Crouching Woman with Green Kerchief', 1914 The Leopold Museum, Vienna

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude

Few people captured the human body with the obsessive fleshy intensity of Egon Schiele. The Viennese painter, and protégé of the great Austrian master Gustav Klimt, showed the human body in all its odd, contorted and bumpy glory. So it’s safe to assume that the title of this Courtauld show, ‘The Radical Nude’, is no exaggeration. It’s also Schiele’s first major solo museum show in this country, so will be our first proper chance to get our eyes around his provocative vision of men women.

  1. Courtauld Gallery Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 0RN
  2. Thu Oct 23 - Sun Jan 18
More info
Frieze Art Fair

Frieze Art Fair © Frieze

Frieze Art Fair 2014

  • Critics choice

The biggest contemporary carnival in London’s art calendar hits its twelfth year in 2014. Last year's redesign and fewer galleries (still over 150) made for a better viewing experience and highlights included the daily-changing Frieze Projects.

  1. Regent's Park Chester Rd, NW1 4NR
  2. Thu Oct 16 - Sun Oct 19
More info

November 2014

Allen Jones, 'First Step', 1966

Allen Jones, 'First Step', 1966 Image courtesy of the artist

Allen Jones RA

2013 may have seen our interest in pop art reach fever pitch, but there's still more on the horizon with this retrospective show of pop-indebted work from the '60s onwards by this British painter.

  1. Royal Academy of Arts Burlington Gardens 6 Burlington Gardens, W1S 3ET
  2. Thu Nov 13 - Sun Jan 25
More info
Shomei Tomatsu, 'Steel Helmet with Skull Bone Fusedby Atomic Bomb, Nagasaki', 1963

Shomei Tomatsu, 'Steel Helmet with Skull Bone Fusedby Atomic Bomb, Nagasaki', 1963 © Shomei Tomatsu – interface. Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo

Conflict, Time, Photography

As we look back over 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Tate examines the - often uneasy - relationship between photography and conflict.

  1. Tate Modern Bankside, SE1 9TG
  2. Wed Nov 26 - Sun Mar 15
More info

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Users say

Eleanor Ferguson
Eleanor Ferguson

To all the people scandalized by the Paul Klee comment, you do understand that we live in a world where peopel are allowed to have opinions; rather than some sort of mythical dictatorship where cultural appreciation is sanctioned by the state and anyone who doesn't toe the party line will be expunged ?? Also art criticism is just that.....criticism.

Celeste Ponzellini
Celeste Ponzellini

In reference to the exhibition in October on Paul Klee your opening line reads:''A wishy-washy favourite of the student bedroom wall...'' HOW DARE YOU? I appreciate that in the more detailed description of the actual show, you are more respectful to this great artist, but this initial line is unacceptable and offensive to the man and the potential visitors alike, not to mention the curators of the exhibition. I do sincerely hope you will change this by the time we get closer to October. I would also like to point out that this less than tasteful joke, has for me finalised the decision of cancelling my subscription to your magazine, which has in the last two years or so declined so much it has reached the bottom. Regards

Esar Quais
Esar Quais

Nice paintings ! I like them. Paintings made in February, June and November are the best of all others. Thanks

Liz Keevill
Liz Keevill

Paul Klee a "wishy-washy favourite of the student bedroom wall"? How very dare you. Who writes this tosh?

thaer jrab
thaer jrab

Iwould like to show my liters and simpoles from my oun world

mulondo patrick
mulondo patrick

My name is Mulondo PATRICK from Uganda East Africa. I am student at Makerere university 3rd year studding art. I want to be part of these exhibitions and exhibit my works as well. I am a sculptor working with fiberglass mixed media with scrap metal welded together. Below is a link to my works. How can I please be part of these exhibitions?

Saskia Whinney
Saskia Whinney

I hear the great French Artist/ Graffiti Writer Horfe is coming and doing a show in London in March. That should definitely be added to the list