10 Exhibitions That'll Blow You Away This Autumn

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 32 months ago

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10 Exhibitions That'll Blow You Away This Autumn

Welcome to our pick of the best London exhibitions to see right now — get your Autumn dose of culture. We've roughly split the list by London regions to make it easier to navigate.

Exhibitions in central London

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

DANCING WITH GHOSTS: Every summer the spectacularly blingy state rooms at Buckingham Palace open to the public and they are ridiculously opulent. Each year features an accompanying exhibition and this one is about Queen Victoria and how she made the palace what it is today. An innovative addition is the use of projectors to liven up the ballroom's walls and ceilings with colourful designs. With the centrepiece a holographic representation of some rather ghostly looking period ballroom dancing. It's impressive, if a tad creepy.

Queen Victoria's Palace at Buckingham Palace. Until 29 September, £25 (includes admission to State Rooms). ★★★☆☆

Copyright Dan Weill Photography.

SWORDS & BLOOD: A table has been stabbed with a sword. Elsewhere on the table top hands reach out from inside a pie and organs grow on a cupcake. This grisly tableaux is the work of Jasmine Thomas-Girvan who uses Caribbean history and myths to fill her work with dark narratives. Her work is paired up with the paintings of Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, but it's Jasmine's sculptures that captivate.

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan & Chris Ofili : Affinities at David Zwirner. Until 21 September, free. ★★★☆☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Image courtesy HdM Gallery and the artist.

BEYOND GOOD & EVIL: In one corner is good and yes, the other evil and no — the words are projected on to a wall and swarm at each other until a winner emerges. Each time the interaction is different as it has been programmed to behave as such that even the artist doesn't know the outcome. Charles Sandison's work looks at the languages we use and genetic code and then uses algorithms to recombine and shake them up. Projected onto walls and visitors as they walk through, it's a spectacular exhibition at a time when there are so many questions about the future of language.

Charles Sandison: Thhe Tyranny of Language at HdM Gallery. Until 25 October, free. ★★★★☆ (Monday-Friday)

Exhibitions in west London

HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS: What is home to you and how is this changing as society and technology evolves? That's the theme of this immersive exhibition where there are suspended sleeping pods that block out wifi signals, and a 'Temple of Halotherapy' where you get to try out different salts on chocolate while learning about the origins and diversity of salts from around the world. The work asks you to take another look at the demonisation of salt, while also giving plenty of delicious mouthfuls. You had us at chocolate.

Welcome Home: A Speculation on Living Spaces at Elephant West. Until 6 October, free. ★★★★☆

SOUND OFF: Stick your head in a speaker near some stairs and listen to amplified sounds in this colourful quirky installation by Yuri Suzuki. There's also a chance to create an orchestra out of metallic kitchen objects such as a tea strainer and a corkscrew — it's impressive how even the musically disinclined can conjure up a catchy tune. This interactive installation may be a small one but it's a lot of fun, encourages us to experiment with a sound and awakens our inner child.

Yuri Suzuki: Sound in Mind at Design Museum. Until 2 February, free. ★★★☆☆

Exhibitions in east London

Copyright Kelly-Anne Davitt.

POWERFUL WOMEN: A classical painting of Adam and Eve has been gender-switched, now it's Eve and Eve. Nearby, a Renaissance style mother also gets an update — she carries two bags of shopping as well as her child. Dolls are given superhero makeovers and neon lips glow against the wall. This exhibition of eight female artists contains eye catching and playful works on womanhood, and makes the statement that women artists and all women are powerful.

The Most Powerful Woman In The Universe at Gallery 46. Until 28 September, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Exhibitions in south London

© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2019 Photo: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

SWINGING MAGNETS: A magnet swings back and forth making metallic springs sway in the wind like reeds. Lights flash and metallic gongs resonate with a sound that breaks the reverential silence at Tate Modern. It's all the work of artist Takis who created these works over a 70 year career and the result is a loud and fun show of kinetic art.

Takis at Tate Modern. Until 27 October, £13. ★★★★☆

CERAMIC TEARDROPS: Ceramic teardrops are suspended from the ceiling with face painted on them. Quirky little sculptures emerging from the ground lead you to a doll’s house full of ceramic items — the house is based on artist Kinska’s studio and we’d sure love to work there. Adult and kid sized doors on either side give it a fun factor for families to explore and it’s yet another fab installation at this Greenwich gallery.

Kinska: My Opera House at Now Gallery. Until 22 September, free. ★★★★☆

Exhibitions in north London

Copyright Suzanne Moxhay.

LOOK, NO HUMANS: Photography and digital collage are seamlessly merged in abandoned rooms where plants and loose wires co-exist in the absence of humans. It's as if in some post-apocalyptic world where the plants have taken back what was theirs and there are only remnants of humanity's presence. Artist Suzanne Moxhay creates poetic interior landscapes that are both beautiful and haunting.

Suzanne Moxhay: Conservatory at James Freeman Gallery. Until 21 September, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Exhibitions outside London

© Paula Rego. Courtesy of The Artist and Marlborough, New York and London

ABORTIONS & BOMBS: Paintings of illegal and unsafe abortions don't make for easy viewing, nor does a wolf headed man devouring a woman. This is a dark and powerfully political exhibition of paintings in Milton Keynes by Paula Rego. The show starts off abstract before disappearing into a darkly surreal rabbit hole as animal headed humans recreate the aftermath of a bombing in Iraq. The world outside is terrifying and Rego wants to make certain we know this.

Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes. Until 22 September, £9.35. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

Last Updated 17 September 2019