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 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.
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.
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 in March
Mile End's arts space is being given over to a group show about all things to do with nature. The exhibiting artists are both established and up-and-coming, and work across a range of media, but all share a common interest in how art can act as a prism for the natural world, and also reflect mankind's tricky relationship with it.
John Latham was one of the foremost figures of British conceptual art – and a bit of a troublemaker too (he was sacked from his teaching post at St Martins in the '60s after chewing a library book and returning the pulped remains in a phial – all in the name of art, natch). This exhibition will take a look across a dizzying career of radical experimentation, and will include his 'one-second drawings' and iconic spray paintings.
Programmed as a kind of artistic bolt-on to the Serpentine's main John Latham exhibition, this exhibition's four artists have all been influenced by the late conceptualist's theories and ideas
The title of this exhibition comes from a 1973 essay about the usage of psychedelics with shamans in Mexico – and it's this that the London and Tokyo-based painter has based his latest series of work around. Our advice: take someone you feel safe with when you visit.
Art exhibitions further ahead
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.
Ofili rose to fame in the '90s with his exquisite paintings featuring materials like elephant dung – but for this NG commission, he's created a hand-woven tapestry that features a mixture of classical mythology and the magic and folklore of his adopted home Trinidad.
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.
Four years on from displaying his iconic work 'The Great Wave', the BM are once again turning their attention to master ukiyo-e painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). This time, the focus will be on the last three decades of his life and career. This is pretty exciting – a lot of what's on display has never before been seen in the UK. Expect works of stunning and lyrical simplicity.
Part of the Tate's ongoing shift towards showcasing artists from outside the well-trodden West, this is a retrospective of a Turkish artist who lived across 90 years of the twentieth century and travelled extensively across Europe, Asia and America. Zeid's dazzling, jewel-like paintings were influenced by art of the Islamic world and Western avant-garde abstraction.
Wow: based on the title on this exhibition, it sounds like Grayson Perry's feeling mighty full of himself. Or is it meant with a touch of irony? The cross-dressing artist – and one of Britain's most unlikely national treasures – tends to be either denounced as a twee middlebrow populist, or championed as a razor-sharp commentator on the foibles of our society. In any case, this major show of new works promises to look at the idea of the popular: how art can resonate with the average joe, and what it means in these uncertain post-Brexit times.
Although he's best known for his portraits, John Singer Sargent was also a highly accomplished watercolourist. This show will bring together a number of the dazzling landscapes he executed while doing the obligatory artist-travelling-around-Europe thing – everything from Alpine mountainscapes to the canals of Venice.
Not just an extraordinary painter, Henri Matisee was also an avid collector, who picked up all sorts of objects and artefacts during his travels to North Africa, Mali and the Far East. This exhibition will look at the influences these exotic acquisitions had on his art.