Diane Arbus’s photographs remain some of the most striking, tender and unnerving portraits ever taken. This new show at the Hayward Gallery focuses on the early years of the iconic photographer’s career (1956-62), presenting more than a hundred images which have never been shown in Europe before.
Hayward Gallery. Feb 13-May 6. £14, £11 concs.
Yeah, yeah, Van Gogh, we get it: sunflowers, starry nights, chopped-off ears. But that’s not the whole story, because a lesser-known fact about the brilliant Dutch painter is that he was a bit of an Anglophile. Spending time in England during the early days of his career, he was heavily influenced by British writers and artists (notably Dickens, George Eliot, Constable and Millais). Here’s your chance to admire his artworks alongside those by British artists who, in turn, owe a debt to Vincent.
Tate Britain. Mar 27-Aug 11. £22, £20 concs.
Steyerl is a big deal: the German artist is essentially the leading thinker in forward-looking contemporary art, a huge influence on younger artists and a defining art theorist of our age. Sure, sounds dense, but the result is complex, ultra-engaging art that deals with topics such as artificial intelligence, surveillance and power structures. Her show at the ICA back in 2014 was a triumph, and we can’t wait for this new exhibition.
Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Mar 6-May 6. Free.
It’s the exhibition whoever invented the scream emoji has been waiting for. The British Museum is staging a huge show of Norway’s most famous painter, Edvard Munch, starting in the spring. The exhibition, which includes major loans from the Munch Museum in Oslo, will focus on the artist’s prints and his unique ability to represent intense human emotions such as grief, sorrow, jealousy and desire – you know, the ones we felt long before we had the emojis to represent them.
British Museum. Apr 11-Jul 21. £14, £12 concs.
Lee Krasner is one of the most important, but most overlooked, abstract artists of the last century. Her vivid, large-scale canvases that explode in fireworks of colour are stunning, but you’ll also be able to see her superb charcoal drawings and some early self-portraits. The Barbican aims to stop Krasner always being mentioned in the same breath as her husband (also an artist). Being a female artist is total Pollocks.
Barbican. May 30-Sep 1. £15-£17, £11 concs.
Long before ‘selfie culture’ became a thing, Cindy Sherman was experimenting with creating an endless collection of photos of herself in different outfits, identities and settings. This major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery demonstrates how her practice has developed since the 1970s and features plenty from the artist’s seminal series. More than anything, this is your chance to stand in a room entirely filled with works by one of the most intelligent, inspiring and intriguing artists of the last 40 years.
National Portrait Gallery. Charing Cross. Jun 27-Sep 15.
£18, £16.50 concs.
In 2003, visitors to Tate Modern went mad for Olafur Eliasson’s Turbine Hall installation ‘The Weather Project’, a giant glowing sun that bathed visitors in light, day or night. Now he’s coming back to the same gallery with a big exhibition and an outside artwork. He’s even taking over the Terrace Bar, turning it into a vegetarian canteen. A treat for the eyes and the mouth.
Tate Modern. Jul 11-Jan 5 2020. £18, £17 concs.
The art of Paul Gauguin isn’t exactly unknown (to say the least), but there’s never been an exhibition dedicated exclusively to his portraiture – until now. See how the artist put his own twist on the traditional genre of portraiture as he walked away from impressionism and dived into symbolism.
National Gallery. Oct 7-Jan 26 2020. £TBC.
Look into the painting. Look into the painting for longer. Keep looking into the painting. Look at the painting with the intensity of a heron about to catch a slippery fish. Now,
stop looking at the painting. Turn around and walk in a straight line. Ah. Walking is hard sometimes, isn’t it? Bridget Riley, Queen of Op Art, grand dame of British painting, is getting a big solo show at the Hayward in the autumn and it’s going to be filled with the artist’s famous perception-altering artworks from across seven decades.
Hayward Gallery. Oct 23-Jan 26 2020. £TBC.
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