We look ahead to London art and exhibition openings for March 2018 and select our must-see exhibitions to help you plan your cultural diary. You're welcome.
Birth of Photography
When did early photography start to be considered an art form? This exhibition will look at four Victorian artists who led the way including early pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron and writer Lewis Carroll. Some of the sitters for these early images will include greats such as Charles Darwin and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography at National Portrait Gallery. 1 March-20 May, £12
Take a journey across the vastness that is the United States with photographer Chris King. From snow covered fields to the neon signs of isolated highway liquor stores, there's beauty and story behind all of his works as we follow him across America.
Chris King: No opportunity for regret at Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross St. 2-31 March, free.
Classical sculpture from Ancient Greece and Rome continues to inspire artists today. This exhibition brings together works from an amazing list of artists including Damien Hirst, Picasso, Grayson Perry, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread and many more. With such an all star line up we're in for something special.
The Classical Now at King's College London. 2 March-28 April, free.
A Year of Genius
We've seen many a Picasso exhibition, but this show is looking at one formative year in his career: 1932. Both his art and personal life were going through intense periods of change, as his painting style became more sensual and he embarked on an extra-marital affair with a younger lover. Picasso never treated the women in his life particularly well, but how did that affect his art? Find out at this major exhibition of over 100 of his works.
Picasso 1932: Love, fame, tragedy at Tate Modern. 8 March-9 September, £22.
An Alien Sex Club & Underwater Ballet
Wellcome Collection does a great job of blending art and science, and it plans to keep this going in 2018. Four artists come together to create visually stand-out pieces, from an alien sex club exploring HIV to balletic free divers. We've seen both works before, and can confirm that they're excellent. Add in two more installations and this immersive show is one to get lost in.
Somewhere in Between at Wellcome Collection. 8 March-27 August 2018, free
Artist Tacita Dean is taking over three of our major art institutions to create a massive set of exhibitions looking at three genres: portrait, still life and landscape across National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts. The latter will be the first exhibition in the Royal Academy's newly redeveloped galleries. This is a hugely ambitious exhibition, one that we are very much looking forward to.
Banksy in Stoke-y
Stoke Newington gets the best of British humorous art as Hang Up gallery plays host to a Banksy that mocks the whole idea of buying art. There are also works by humorous sketcher and current fourth plinth occupant David Shrigley, plus some tongue in cheek book covers by Harland Miller and the Connor Brothers. Plenty to make everyone smile.
Type at Hang-Up Gallery, 81 Stoke Newington Rd. 16 March-6 May, free.
He Who Dares Wins
As impressive as it sounds to rappel from a helicopter on to a building and risk our lives, we're glad it's not us doing it. This exhibition looks at the special forces and the role they play in real world scenarios — including the Iranian embassy siege in 1980, the training they undergo, and how they are portrayed in fiction. Step into their secret world.
Special Forces: In The Shadows at National Army Museum. 17 March-18 November, £8.
I do like to be beside the seaside
Going to the beach with the family is something everyone can relate to, and there are particular quirks associated with the British and our love of the sea. From the consumption of fish and chips, to licked melted ice cream off sticky hands. This exhibition will look at how photographers have captured the British beach scene.
The Great British Seaside at National Maritime Museum. 23 March-30 September, £10.35.
Trump & Brexit
Social media has changed how protests are run, with both physical and virtual designs and ideas now able spread quickly across the internet. The Arab Spring, Brexit and Trump's election all feature in Design Museum's look at the modern face of protest.
Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-2018 at The Design Museum. 28 March-12 August, £12.
Art Fairs & Events
Three art fairs hit the town this month — perfect if you're on the search for something for the home. In two of these artists represent themselves, so you get to deal with them directly and find out what inspires their work. First up is the Talented Art Fair at Old Truman Brewery (2-4 March, free) and then at the end of the month we have the more established The Other Art Fair held in Victoria House in Bloomsbury (23-25 March, from £8), which pride itself on the fact that over half the artists are women.
Finally the Affordable Art Fair is back in Battersea Park, packed to the brim with galleries selling art under £5000 (8-11 March, £10), plus it coincides with International Women's Day and so features a special display of female artists.
Performance is the name of the game at BMW Tate Live — ten days and six nights of performances both in the gallery and broadcast over the web, and talks (16-25 March, free).
Time to end the month by picking it up a gamepad and trying to resist the dreaded claw hand — 180 consoles and 40 years of gaming returns to Power Up at Science Museum. From Pong to Minecraft, Street Fighter 2 to multi-player Halo. We've been twice before and it's always a great event, filled with bucketloads of nostalgia (30 March-15 April, from £10).