The Best Exhibitions Opening In London In March 2019

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 64 months ago

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Last Updated 06 March 2019

The Best Exhibitions Opening In London In March 2019

We look ahead to London art and exhibitions, museum and gallery openings for March 2019 and select our must-see exhibitions to help you kick start your spring of culture in the capital.

A great deal of nudity

Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

They loved a bit of flesh in the Renaissance, and when it came to painting, drawing and sculpting nudes all the greats were at it — Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael. The Royal Academy brings together 90 works to show us the history of the nude in Western art, how it evolved, and its controversial nature that led to some nudes being covered up. This one's not for prudes.
The Renaissance Nude at Royal Academy of Arts. 3 March-2 June, £16.  

Painting by layers

Copyright Leon Kossoff.

Leon Kossoff is one of Britain's most respected living artists. His thick, layered portraits and paintings of the capital just make us want to dive right into them. He's painted numerous landscapes and portraits of London and Londoners, a selection of which are brought together in this snapshot of our city. Expect grey skies, fantastic architecture and the dynamism that's a key part of London.
Leon Kossoff: A London Life at Piano Nobile. 1 March - 22 May, free.

Art that's fit for a skip

A visualisation of what the skip will look like. Image courtesy Skip Gallery.

Next time we visit Selfridges, there'll be a skip in there, right next to Gucci. Skip Gallery — literally art displayed in a skip — moves from east London to the Oxford Street department store. Expect performances, sculpture and an artist working away in the fitting rooms. Read our interview with the founders to find out all about this project that's making art accessible.
Like It Or Lump It at Skip Gallery x Selfridges. 4-31 March, free.

Moore is more

Henry Moore is best-known for his sculptures of figures, with a fantastic collection at Tate Britain. What many won't know about is his obsession with armour, and the sculptures he created inspired by Renaissance armour. Aptly, they're going on display at The Wallace Collection, next to the armour that inspired them.
Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads at The Wallace Collection. 6 March-23 June, £11.

A photographic slice of Britain

A Sikh wedding in Cardiff. Copyright Martin Parr.

If Martin Parr hasn't photographed it, then has it even happened? He gets everywhere, photographing people from celebrities to normal folk enjoying a day at the beach. He's visited communities across the UK and uses these photographs to give us a snapshot of what Britain looks like today, in a major exhibition at National Portrait Gallery. With Brexit on the horizon, it feels like the right time to show how diverse a nation we are.
Only Human: Martin Parr at National Portrait Gallery. 7 March-27 May, £18.

Prize photography

Mark Ruwedel is one of the shortlisted artists. Copyright Mark Ruwedel.

The Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize — one of photography's most prestigious prizes — returns to The Photographers' Gallery. This year's contenders all tackle big political and ethical issues, covering forced and unsafe abortions, far left extremism, the history of the Kurdish people and humanity's impact on the land. It's a hard hitting line-up and we'll be visiting to pick out our favourite for the prize.
The Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize at The Photographers' Gallery. 8 March-2 June, £5.

Kapoor in Ealing

Photo © Andy Stagg

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery is a fantastic building — the gallery has hosted some spectacular contemporary art exhibitions, and we visited regularly until it closed for a lengthy refurbishment. It reopens in March 2019 after restoration work to the John Soane-designed building. The first exhibition is an Anish Kapoor one, containing his usual blend of mind-bending mirrored works. Ealing, it's been too long.
Anish Kapoor at Pitzhanger Gallery. 16 March-18 August, £tbc.

Surreal & freezing

Who doesn't want to walk into a kaleidoscope. Image courtesy Laura Buckley.

A double header lands at Saatchi Gallery with two exciting but very different exhibitions. A giant, walk-in kaleidoscope by Laura Buckley — which promises to be mesmerising and selfie central — is the centrepiece of the first exhibition, which aims to play with human perception. At the same time, the gallery hosts the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, which this year focuses on the icy frontier of the Arctic, its history and how it will be impacted by climate change.

Kaleidoscope & Carmignac Photojournalism award - Arctic: New Frontier at Saatchi Gallery. 15 March-5 May, free.

Spanish Impressionism

© Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

We're all familiar with the French Impressionists — think Monet, Cezanne and Renoir. But this is the first time we've come across Sorolla, a Spanish Impressionist. This is the first UK exhibition of Sorolla's work in over a century. Expect beautiful landscapes, gardens, seascapes and scenes of Spanish life aplenty.
Sorolla: Spanish master of light at The National Gallery. 18 March-7 July, £14-£18.

Jews and money

© Jewish Museum London

Where do the horribly anti-semitic stereotypes around Jews and money originate? Jewish Museum looks back over 2,000 years from a painting of Judas to Nazi propaganda to uncover the truth. This show examines how stereotypes are created and perpetuated by sociopolitical agendas that go beyond religion.
Jews, Money, Myth at Jewish Museum. 19 March-7 July, £8.50.

Look up to the heavens

© Nikhilesh Haval

After two years of conservation, the Painted Hall in Greenwich is ready to wow us with its full majesty once again. Often referred to as London's own Sistine Chapel, this is one of our real treasures and we're looking forward to seeing it back to its former glory.
The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Opens 23 March, £12.

Van Gogh at Tate Britain

The beautiful starry night. Paris, Musée d'Orsay Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Van Gogh spent many of his formative years in Britain, and Tate Britain explores this part of his life. It will contain some of his masterpieces including Starry Night Over The Rhone — and any excuse to see more of Van Gogh is a win for us.
The EY Exhibiton: Van Gogh and Britain at Tate Britain. 27 March-11 August, £22.

Let there be light

Copyright Caroline Jane Harris

Crashing waves and mountainous landscapes are printed and cut out by hand so that additional light filters through the works to create subtle and mesmerising landscapes. Caroline Jane Harris is an artist whose work we've been keeping an eye on over the years and we're excited to see how it has evolved.
Caroline Jane Harris: A Three Dimensional Sky at Kristin Hjellegjerde. 28 March-11 May, free.

Art fairs and events

A previous version of the Affordable Art Fair.

Whether you're looking for that art piece that's going to liven up your living room, or you're looking to add to an already extensive art collection there are plenty of events to snap up that new artwork.

Galleries aplenty return to Battersea Park in the Affordable Art Fair (7-10 March, £8-25). But if you want to buy direct from the artist there is the Talented Art Fair (1-3 March, free) — see here for a pick of five artists to look out for — and The Other Art Fair (14-17 March, £9-25). Plus there are excellent curated selections of artists at both Flux (15-17 March, free), including works by prisoner Charles Salvador (formerly Charles Bronson), and Fusion V (27-31 March, free)

A previous edition of The Other Art Fair,

Tate Modern marks the return of its annual performance festival BMW Tate Live  — where many of the events are free, with some evening performances ticketed. This year it will be dedicated to artist Anne Imhof, who had a powerful performance that was the talk of the Venice Biennale 2017 — proof being the two hours we queued just to get in (22-31 March).