14 Exhibitions Not To Miss In London This Month: March 2020

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 25 months ago

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14 Exhibitions Not To Miss In London This Month: March 2020

We look ahead to London's art and exhibition openings in March 2020 and select the must-see shows to round out the year:

Tree-mendous: Among the Trees at Hayward Gallery

Copyright Mariele Neudecker.

Celebrate our relationship with trees and forests, because at the rate we're going, we may not have many left. The work of over 30 artists is on display, including sculpture, painting, installation, video and photography, dating from the 1960s to the present day.

Among the Trees at Hayward Gallery. 4 March-17 May, £13.50.

Salacious and shocking: Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

The Climax, from Oscar Wilde’s Salomé

He was utterly salacious, totally scandalous, often grotesque. He was also dead at 25. Now, the Victorian boy wonder, Aubrey Beardsley, has his biggest exhibition in 50 years. Have your mind truly boggled and your cheeks truly blushed by Beardsley's pen and ink masterpieces. Read our full preview for more details.

Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain. 4 March-25 May, £16.

Osama has left the building: Langlands & Bell at Sir John Soane's Museum

Things get weird at John Soanes. Copyright Langlands & Bell.

What is the relationship between people and buildings? That's the question artist duo Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell ask through their work. Scattered through the architectural wonder that is Sir John Soane's Museum are models, videos and installations relating to buildings as diverse as Apple's headquarters and the house Osama Bin Laden lived in.

Langlands & Bell: Degrees of truth at Sir John Soane's Museum. 4 March-3 January 2021.

Bulging crotches: Tom of Finland at House of Illustration

Copyright Tom of Finland Foundation.

Hypermasculine ideals such as bikers and sailors stand erect in works where the outlines of penises are visible inside their trousers. Tom of Finland's tributes to gay sexuality and identity are bringing some serious girth to King's Cross — it definitely won't be a flaccid one.

Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation at House of Illustration. 6 March-28 June, £8.80.

Lady of the Lamp: Nightingale in 200 objects at Florence Nightingale Museum

A print of Florence Nightingale at Scutari hospital.

It's 200 years since the birth of one of history's most famous nurses, and to celebrate, the Florence Nightingale Museum is re-telling her life through 200 objects including her much read copy of Oliver Twist and of course,the lamp she carried in the Crimean War.

Nightingale in 200 Objects, People and Places at Florence Nightingale Museum. 8 March-7 March 2021, £9.

More than 15 minutes of fame: Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

Self Portrait. 1986, Tate. © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

Over 100 works by silver-haired pop art maestro Andy Warhol pop up at Tate Modern. Over 100 of the artist's images go on display, including iconic prints of Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Harry, Elvis Presley and Coca-Cola bottles. Time to soup up and find out why he's regarded by many as one of the most influential artists of all time. Find out more in our preview.

Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. 12 March-6 September, £22.

Bright Young Things: Cecil Beaton at National Portrait Gallery

Photograph: Cecil Beaton/National Portrait Gallery/PA

National Portrait Gallery is going out in style. Its last blockbuster show before its closure for a major refurb takes us to the glamorous 1920s and 1930s, as seen through the eyes of photographer Cecil Beaton. Though Beaton was the man behind the camera, this exhibition also charts his rise into high society and his contract with Vogue magazine. We're definitely going to feel under-dressed at this one.

Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things at National Portrait Gallery. 12 March-7 June, £18-20.

The Power of words: Library of exile at The British Museum

The library installed at a previous location.

Despite how far society has come, freedom to write and say what you want is still a fight that continues today. This installation by artist Edmund de Waal houses more than 2,000 books written by writers in exile, from Dante to Judith Kerr. It's an important reminder of how repression has manifested while also celebrating how writers have responded to their circumstances. Once the display closes the books will be donated to the University of Mosul Library in Iraq — a library destroyed by so called Islamic State.

Edmund de Waal: library of exile at The British Museum, Room 2. 12 March-8 September, free.

Women on the inside: The Enchanted Interior at Guildhall Art Gallery

A work by Edward Burne-Jones. Courtesy Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.

Why are women in art often depicted enclosed within ornate spaces? This exhibition casts a critical eye on movements such as the Pre-Raphaelites to examine where this idea of the 'gilded cage' came from and the female artist who fought back against this disturbing vision of women 'locked up' indoors.

The Enchanted Interior at Guildhall Art Gallery. 13 March-30 August, £10.

Clash of the Titians: Titian at The National Gallery

The rape of Europa. © Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

A shameful discovery, a hasty abduction and a fatal encounter. Titian didn't skimp on drama in his sensuous fleshy painting. Gods and goddesses abound in his works of classical myths, as six paintings in a series commissioned by Philip II of Spain are reunited for the first time in four centuries.

Titian: Love, Desire, Death at The National Gallery. 16 March-17 January 2021, £8-£12.

Curvy sculptures: Helaine Blumenfeld at Canary Wharf & Hignell Gallery

One of Helaine's sculptures installed outside Ely Cathedral.

If you work in Canary Wharf you've probably seen a work by Helaine Blumenfeld — it's the beautifully sculpted piece in Jubilee Park. A whole load more of her work has popped up in the Canary Wharf estate and the lobby of One Canada Square. If that's not enough, she's also got a more intimate display of her work at Hignell Gallery in Mayfair.

Looking Up: Helaine Blumenfeld at Canary Wharf. 16 March - 26 June, free.
Intimacy: Helaine Blumenfeld at Hignell Gallery, Shepherd Market. 2 April-31 July, free.

As London as it gets: Hogarth - London Voices, London Lives at Pitzhanger Manor

A scene from A Rake's Progress. Copyright John Soanes Museum.

Hogarth's A Rake's Progress has transferred over from Sir John Soane's Museum to Pitzhanger Manor — a building designed by Sir John Soane. Here, it's standing alongside works by contemporary artists who also create works focusing on London — only centuries later. Explore skateboarding subculture, protests and community, or simply sit in a barber's chair and shoot the breeze while getting your locks chopped.

Hogarth: London Voices, London Lives at Pitzhanger Manor. 18 March-19 July, £7.70

Drones with a permit: Heather Phillipson's Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square

It's goodbye to Michael Rakowitz's stunning winged guardian, and hello to something rather more sinister. Heather Phillipson has installed a dollop of cream on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth, and it's covered by a cherry, a fly and a drone. Cheerily titled 'The End' it feels like a dystopian work that's suited to uncertain times. Read more about it in our preview.

Heather Phillipson's Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square. 26 March-March 2021, free.

First Impressionists: Gauguin and the Impressionists at Royal Academy

Paul Gauguin, Portrait of a Young Woman, Vaïte (Jeanne) Goupil, 1896 © Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

It feels like every year we have an exhibition on Impressionism, and still every year it's massively popular — and the Royal Academy knows it. That's why it's put on an exhibition of 60 works from a Danish collection that contains works by Monet, Manet, Morisot and many other Impressionists whose names don't (all) begin with 'm'.

Gauguin and the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard Collection at Royal Academy of Arts. 29 March-14 June, £17.

Art fairs in London in March

Evy Meehan will be showing at Talented Art Fair. Copyright the artist.

Three art fairs grace the capital this month. The Talented Art Fair at The Truman Brewery (6-8 March, free) lets us talk directly with the artists, learning what inspired their work and letting us buy directly from them — read our partner preview for more info.

The Other Art Fair, also at The Truman Brewery, (19-22 March, £11-25) similarly gives us direct access to the artists and you know the quality will be great because a certain art critic (cough) was on the selection committee this year. UPDATE: The Other Art Fair has been postponed to later in the year at a date to be announced.

Saroj Patel's work at 2019's The Other Art Fair.

If emerging galleries is more your style, then The Affordable Art Fair is back at Battersea Park (12-15 March, £9-27). Browse the works of hundred of artists represented by galleries from around the world. I've purchased work from all three art fairs and can testify that there are great finds at all three of them.

Last Updated 13 July 2020