The Biggest Art Exhibitions To See In London Right Now

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 25 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

The Biggest Art Exhibitions To See In London Right Now

Which art exhibitions are unmissable right now? Read on to find out.

Detail of one of Andrew Salgado's portraits.

BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS: We recently gave Andrew Salgado's latest exhibition the full five stars. Now he's back with a survey show covering the last 10 years of his work at Canada House. It's an impressive feat for such a young artist, with more brilliant portraits. If you like the look of art in Canada House, you can also book onto a free tour of their art collection.  Andrew Salgado: Ten at Canada House Gallery, Trafalgar Square. Until 28 February, free. ★★★★☆

ZAHA HADID GETS ABSTRACT: The early drawings and paintings by the late architect Zaha Hadid are not as expected. Her structures may be smooth and curvy, but these works are all very angular. In fact they're so far removed from architectural plans that they look more like abstract paintings. Zaha Hadid: Early paintings and drawings at Serpentine Sackler. Until 12 February, free. ★★★☆☆

A TRIPPY CHRISTMAS: The only way to describe the surreal Destined to be Happy is the aftermath of a trippy Christmas party. Confetti litters a gallery filled with dead Christmas trees. 'Party guests' with inflatable heads lie asleep with legs sticking out that look very real. Bizarre but brilliant. Destined to be Happy by Irina Korina at GRAD London, 3-4a Little Portland Street, W1W 7 JB. Until 28 February, free. ★★★★★

Zoned out after a party. This is one trippy installation by Irina Korina at GRAD.

DOWN UNDER IMPRESSIONISM: Four Australian painters came to Europe to learn all about impressionism and took the style back home. This small exhibition is impressionism, but not as we know it. The vast sun-washed landscapes of Australia provide a fresh new angle to a well known genre. Australia's Impressionists at The National Gallery, Sunley Room. Until 26 March, £7.50. ★★★★☆

A 9,500 YEAR OLD SKULL: Learn about Jericho — one of the world's oldest cities — through an ancient skull covered in plaster. X-rays and MRIs reveal so much about this long dead man, including how he would have suffered severe toothache because of his abscesses. A small but fascinating display. Creating an Ancestor: The Jericho Skull at Room 3, The British Museum. Until 19 February, free. ★★★☆☆

MESMERISING WATER DROPS: Sebastian Gordin has created abstract vitrines where water drips down to hypnotic effect. One display is obscured by frosted glass and others are less obscured but still designed for viewers to reach their own conclusions as to what's happening in each scene. It's all surreal, but mesmerising. Sebastian Gordin: If animals didn't exist at Rosenfeld Porcini gallery, 37 Rathbone Street, W1T 1NZ. Until 11 February, free.  ★★★★☆

THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: Fragments from a rocket propelled grenade, a poppy harvesting kit and an SAS fighting knife are some of the items on display at this pint-sized exhibition. It also shows the human side of the conflict in Afghanistan over the last 10 years, as well as looking back and questioning whether British military intervention was the right strategy. Thought provoking. Afghanistan: Reflections on Helmand at Imperial War Museum. Until 26 November 2017, free. ★★★★☆

A painting of the Great Exhibition where many Indian items were displayed. Painted by Joseph Nash. Image courtesy Her Majesty the Queen

INDIAN DESIGN: Lockwood Kipling's son Rudyard may be better known, but this exhibition focuses on the former; his obsession with Indian design and how he brought it to Britain. It's good to see this show doesn't gloss over Lockwood's mistreatment of Indians and his trading controversies. The exhibition is packed full of books, photographs, paintings and decorative items that tell a fascinating story. Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London at V&A. Until 2 April, free. ★★★★☆

AN HISTORICAL RE-OPENING: The Estorick Collection of modern Italian art re-opens after a subtle but welcome refurbishment. The exhibition looks at British activities in Italy during the first world war. The highlight? The fantastic war paintings of Sydney Carline. Photographs of the time by Brooks and Brunell are a welcome addition but not at the same level as Carline's work. War in the Sunshine: The British in Italy 1917-1918 at Estorick Collection of Modern Italian art, 39a Canonbury Square, N1 2AN. Until 19 March, £6.50 for adults. ★★★☆☆

PICASSO, CALDER & MIRO: An Alexander Calder mobile gently spins in front of a Joan Miro painting... and we haven't even got to Picasso yet. This is quite a collection of giants of the art world. This pop up for the Spanish gallery Mayoral is a follow-on from their hugely impressive recreation of Miro's studio last year. While it may not be at the same level, this is still a highly accomplished exhibition. Art Revolutionaries in London at Mayoral, 6 Duke Street, SW1Y 6BN. Until 10 February, free. ★★★★☆

Last Updated 18 January 2017