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Koga Harue Umi (The Sea) 1929. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Photo: MOMAT/DNPartcom 	•	Mayo (Antoine Malliarakis) Coups de bâtons 1937. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf © VG Bild-Kunst,
Koga Harue Umi (The Sea) 1929. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Photo: MOMAT/DNPartcom • Mayo (Antoine Malliarakis) Coups de bâtons 1937. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf © VG Bild-Kunst,

Nine art exhibitions we can’t wait to see in early 2022

Sex work, artwork and garden sheds

Written by
Eddy Frankel
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After two years of delays and cancellations, London’s museums and galleries look like they’re gunning for a year of full-force, all-out, no-holds-barred art in 2022. We’ve already had our first proper blockbuster in what feels like forever thanks to the five-star extravaganza that is ‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’ at the Royal Academy, and there’s even more to get excited about in the coming months. Whether you fancy a critical look at sex work at the ICA, an exploration of international surrealism at the Tate, or an exploded shed by Cornelia Parker, early 2022 is going to provide a feast for the eyes. 

Exciting art exhibitions opening in early 2022

  • Art
  • Bankside

Forget your Dalis and your De Chiricos and your Magrittes, because the Tate is going deep on surrealism, bypassing all the megastars and exploring the outer reaches of the twentieth century’s most popular art movement. This show is all about the way surrealism spread from Paris out across the world. So while you’ve got big names here, the real attraction is seeing what artists in Japan, Argentina, Egypt and Mexico were using surrealism to say. Ceci n’est pas un surrealism exhibition. 

  • Art
  • Painting
  • Trafalgar Square

Every fibre of your being might be wanting to make a joke about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but control yourself, because Raphael is so much more than a pizza-slinging reptile vigilante. Raffaello Santi (1483-1520) is a true giant of art history, a master of the Renaissance who had a massive hand in shaping the course of art. This show was originally meant to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his death in 2020, but was delayed and is now celebrating the 502nd anniversary of his death. It’s not as satisfyingly round a number as 500, but any excuse to get to see loads of Raphael’s paintings and drawings in one place is an event worth looking forward to. 

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  • Art
  • Millbank

She’s exploded sheds and trampled French horns, and in the process, Cornelia Parker has become one of the most mesmerising, instantly recognisable British artists working today. This major retrospective will include loads of breathtaking installations, all dealing with issues of violence, ecology, history and human rights. And also her apparent hatred for garden furniture.

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