Let me guess. This time last year you made a resolution. You said that in 2016 you’d go to more exhibitions. You’d finally become the cultured so-and-so that 14-year-old you promised yourself that you’d become. You’d spend the year look at paintings EVERY WEEKEND and nod and nod and nod and stroke your chin and nod some more, and everyone around you would go ‘oh look at him/her! He/She is VERY cultured!’ And you’d say ‘yes I am, because I made a resolution, and now I own a turtleneck’. 2016 was going to be the year that you finally learned the difference between modernism and Modernism, between internet art and post-internet art, between Tate Modern and Tate Britain. But it didn’t happen, did it? Because 'Game of Thrones'. And 'Made in Chelsea'.
But it’s not too late. It’s ALMOST too late, sure, but not quite. It’s your last chance to catch some of the best exhibitions of 2016 as they plough through their final weeks. There are some stonking shows on: beautiful sculptures by the greatest sculptor of the nineteenth century, dramatic paintings by the master of the Baroque and his mates, powerful feminist photography, gorgeous ceramics and beautiful Malian photographs. Stroke that chin, nod, put on the turtleneck, nod some more, then nod again until you’re headbanging.
Beautiful forgotten surrealist masterpieces by Richard Oelze at Michael Werner, closing Jan 7
Baroque ’n’ roll at Beyond Caravaggio at The National Gallery, closing Jan 15
Flemish gorgeousness at Adriaen van de Velde: Master of the Dutch Golden Age at Dulwich Picture Gallery, closing Jan 15
Powerfully political photography at Feminist Avant Garde from the 1970s at The Photographers’ Gallery, closing Jan 18
Funky photos from funky Mali by Malick Sidibe at Somerset House, closing Jan 15
Stunning little sculptures at Rodin & Dance: The Essence of Movement at the Courtauld, closing Jan 22
An affecting exploration of identity by Rehana Zaman at Tenderpixel, closing Jan 28
Some seriously weird Belgian painting in Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans at the Royal Academy of Arts, closing Jan 29
Perfect ceramics by Ken Price at Hauser & Wirth, closing Feb 4
And now, get resolutioning and look forward to all the amazing shows you're going to see in 2017.