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Cao Fei ‘Asia One’ (2018). Image courtesy of the artist, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers

11 blockbuster art exhibitions we can’t wait to see in 2020

When it comes to gallery shows in London this year, these are the biggies. Here’s our pick of the art exhibitions you can’t miss in 2020

By Eddy Frankel and Rosemary Waugh

The National Gallery is (finally) getting on board with a Baroque queen of painting, Steve McQueen is taking over Tate Modern and David Hockney’s iPad drawings are going on display: London’s blockbuster shows of 2020 have it all. Here are the ones you need to know about to stay ahead of the art-loving crowd.

Andy Warhol 'Marilyn Diptych' (1962) Tate © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

Andy Warhol

Art Tate Modern, Bankside

Warhol's famous for Campbell's soup and Marylin Monroe, but there's a lot more to the artist than that. In between the product placement and the slebs, visitors to this show will be able to see his lesser-known portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women. You can also get hair inspo from a display of Warhol’s own amazing wigs. The pop master remains as popular as ever.

Introductions: Early Embodiment from A Countervailing Theory, (2019) © Toyin Ojih Odutola. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Toyin Ojih Odutola: ‘A Countervailing Theory’

Art Barbican Centre, Barbican

Drawing, for Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, is a form of storytelling. These new works, exhibited around the 90-metre sweep of the Barbican Curve, form part of an epic series relaying an imagined ancient myth. The artist uses pencil, pastel, ballpoint pen and charcoal to create mega-sized portraits that are as delicate as they are beautiful.

Marina Abramović ‘Artist Portrait with a Candle (C)’, from the series 'Places of Power' (2013) Brazil. Image courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives © Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović: ‘After Life’

Art Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair

Every celebrity's favourite performance artist, Marina Abramović, is back  with a major exhibition spanning her groundbreaking career. The show includes ‘Imponderabilia’, where visitors squeeze between a naked man and a naked woman in a doorway. Sounds unhygienic, inconvenient and uncomfortable, but that’s performance art for you.

Jean Dubuffet 'Paysage aux argus (Landscape with Argus)' (1955) © Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / DACS, London, 2019. Image courtesy of Fondation Dubuffet, Paris

Jean Dubuffet

Art Painting Barbican Centre, Barbican

Sure, it’s nice to order off the menu, but sometimes you just want  Dubuffet. And there’ll be plenty to feast your eyes on in this ambitious retrospective of the radical French artist’s painting. Over his 50-year career (he died in 1985), Dubuffet constantly pushed at the boundaries of artistic representation, creating a body of work full of knowingly naive, simplistic and in-your-face aesthetics.

Find more great art shows to see in London right now

c. The Trustees of the British Museum

Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile

5 out of 5 stars
Museums British Museum, Bloomsbury

It stings the heart, this installation by Edmund de Waal. The ceramicist and author has lined the walls of his room within a room in the British Museum with books by writers in exile. Albert Camus’s ‘Exile and the Kingdom’, Jean Rhys’s ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Shelf after shelf of stories written by people far from home, thinking of home.


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