London Art Exhibitions 2021 A Month By Month Guide

Well, the exhibitions schedule for 2020 didn’t quite go as planned. But here is an idea of what exhibitions to expect in 2021. Obviously, this is all subject to change due to the ever-evolving Covid pandemic. Highlights to look forward to are Paula Rego at Tate Britain, Helen Frankenthaler at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Durer at National Gallery and Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at V&A.

Please note the list will be amended and updated as soon as new information becomes available.

Exhibitions For January

London Art Fair 2020

London Art Fair

London Art Fair 2021 goes online

Wednesday 20 – Sunday 31 January 2021 (VIP Preview Monday 18 – Tuesday 19 January), 

The Fair will present over 50 leading Modern and Contemporary galleries in an alternative digital format. Providing an unmissable opening to the art calendar, London Art Fair: Edit invites collectors and enthusiasts to discover works by renowned artists from the 20th century to today.

The digital Fair will host online Viewing Rooms allowing visitors to discover, browse and enquire upon selected works from the galleries, featuring audio and written commentaries narrated by the galleries themselves; allowing for a more personal interaction and viewing experience.

Francis Bacon Royal Academy of Arts

Francis Bacon, Royal Academy of Arts


Francis Bacon: Man and Beast

30 January – 18 April 2021

Royal Academy of Arts

This powerful exhibition will focus on Francis Bacon’s unerring fascination with animals: how it both shaped his approach to the human body and distorted it; how, caught at the most extreme moments of existence, his figures are barely recognisable as either human or beast.


Exhibitions For February

Jean Dubuffet Barbican Art Gallery

Jean Dubuffet, Barbican Art Gallery

Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty

11 February – 23 May 2021

Barbican Art Gallery

An exhibition celebrating French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), one of the most singular and provocative voices in postwar modern art.

Epic Iran

13 February – 12 September 2021


Exploring 5,000 years of art, design and culture, Epic Iran will shine a light on one of the greatest historic civilisations, its journey into the 21st century and its monumental artistic achievements, which remain unknown to many.

Exhibitions For March

Durer National Gallery

Dürer, National Gallery

Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist

6 March – 13 June 2021

National Gallery

The first major UK exhibition of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in nearly 20 years.

Through paintings, drawings, prints, and letters, this exhibition follows Dürer’s travels across Europe, bringing to life the artist himself, and the people and places he visited.

Michael Armitage RA

Michael Armitage,The Paradise Edict, 2019

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict

13 March – 6 June 2021

Royal Academy of Arts 

Michael Armitage is a Kenyan-born artist who works between Nairobi and London. His colourful, dreamlike paintings are loaded with provocative perspectives that play with visual narratives and challenge cultural assumptions, exploring politics, history, civil unrest and sexuality.

Liverpool Biennial

20 March – 6 June 2021

various venues around Liverpool

The 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port will take place from 20 March – 6 June 2021. This edition was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Taking place every two years across the city’s public spaces, galleries and historic buildings, the Biennial commissions artists to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The festival is underpinned by a year-round programme of research, education, residencies, projects and commissions.

David Hockney, Royal Academy of Arts

David Hockney,
No. 323, 13th May 2020.

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020

27 March – 22 August 2021

Royal Academy of Arts 

In the midst of a pandemic, David Hockney RA captured the unfolding of spring on his iPad, creating 116 new and optimistic works in praise of the natural world.

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser V&A

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, V&A

Alice: Curiouser & Curiouser

27 March – 31 December 2021


Exploring its origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive and theatrical show charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room Tate Modern

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room Tate Modern

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms

29 March 2021 – 27 March 2022

Tate Modern

Tate presents a rare chance to experience two of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. These immersive installations will transport you into Kusama’s unique vision of endless reflections.

Tate Britain Commission: Heather Phillipson

23 March – 10 October 2021

Tate Britain

Every year Tate Britain invites an artist to create an exciting new commission for the grand spaces of the Duveen Galleries at the heart of the building. In 2020 the commission will be by British artist Heather Phillipson.


The Making of Rodin, Tate

The Making of Rodin, Tate Modern

The Making of Rodin

29 April – 31 October 2021

Tate Modern

Working at the turn of the 20th century, Auguste Rodin created sculptures with an expressiveness and emotion rarely seen before. This major exhibition offers a unique insight into Rodin’s processes, highlighting the crucial role of plaster in his practice. The exhibition evokes the informal atmosphere of the studio, where you will discover lesser-known pieces and new aspects of his most iconic works.


Helen Frankenthaler, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Helen Frankenthaler, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty
27 May – 28 November 2021

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Frankenthaler (1928–2011) is recognized among the most important American abstract artists of the 20th century, widely credited for her pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting. She experimented tirelessly throughout her six-decade-long career, producing a large body of work across multiple mediums. Opening ten years after her death, this exhibition shines a light on the artist’s groundbreaking woodcuts, which appear painterly and spontaneous with expanses of colour and fluid forms. It will reveal Frankenthaler as a trailblazer of the printmaking movement, who endlessly pushed possibilities through her experimentation.


Paula Rego, Tate Britain

Paula Rego, Tate Britain

Paula Rego

16 June – 24 October 2021

Tate Britain

The largest and most comprehensive retrospective of Paula Rego’s work to date

Since the 1950s, Paula Rego has played a key role in redefining figurative art in the UK and internationally. An uncompromising artist of extraordinary imaginative power, she has revolutionised the way in which women are represented.

Summer Exhibition 2021

15 June – 17 August 2021

Royal Academy of Arts


Milton Avery RA

Milton Avery, Royal Academy of Arts

Milton Avery

3 July – 26 September 2021

Royal Academy of Arts

Milton Avery is considered one of North America’s greatest 20th-century colourists. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Avery’s work in Europe. It brings together a selection of around 70 paintings from the 1930s – 1960s that are among his most celebrated. These works typically feature scenes of daily life, including portraits of loved ones and serene landscapes from his visits to Maine and Cape Cod.

Sophie Taeuber-Arp,Tate Modern

Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Tate Modern

Sophie Taeuber-Arp

15 July – 17 October 2021

Tate Modern

Sophie Taeuber-Arp was one of the foremost abstract artists and designers of the 1920s and 30s. Her multidisciplinary work has enduring influence, inspiring innovative artists and designers around the world.


Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Décor

11 September 2021 – 9 January 2022

National Gallery

Over a 50-year period, from the 1860s to the 1920s, the Impressionists were decorating interiors with paintings and painted objects; creating bright and cheerful spaces that brought to life city apartments and rural homes. They sought to bring the outdoors inside, turning their directly observed landscapes and spontaneous scenes of modern life into paintings and decorated objects for the home.

Discover the Impressionists’ decorative works through over eighty paintings, ornamental panels and a selection of rarely seen objects by leading figures including: Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Morisot.

Marina Abramović, RA

Marina Abramović, Royal Academy of Arts

Marina Abramović: After Life

25 September – 12 December 2021

Royal Academy of Arts

Over the past 50 years, Marina Abramović has earned worldwide acclaim as a pioneer of performance art. Abramović has consistently tested the limits of her own physical and mental endurance in her work – and invited audiences to encounter it with her.

In Abramović’s first major exhibition in the UK, the RA brings together works spanning her 50-year career, along with new works conceived especially for these galleries. ​Abramović examines the question of legacy through photographs, videos, installations and re-performances by younger performers.


Hogarth and Europe

3 November 2021 – 20 March 2022

Tate Britain

For the first time, this exhibition will bring together Hogarth’s greatest works with those of his peers across the continent – including Francesco Guardi in Venice, Chardin in Paris and Cornelis Troost in Amsterdam – to suggest the cross currents, parallels and sympathies that crossed borders.

Lubaina Himid, Tate Modern

Lubaina Himid, Tate Modern

Lubaina Himid

25 November 2021 – 22 May 2022

Tate Modern

This large-scale exhibition will debut recent work and include selected highlights from Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid’s influential career. Taking inspiration from her interest in theatre, the exhibition will unfold in a sequence of scenes designed to place visitors centre-stage and backstage.


Art from Britain and the Caribbean

1 December 2021 – 3 April 2022

Tate Britain

This exhibition will explore work by artists from the Caribbean who made their home in Britain, alongside other British artists who have also made work addressing Caribbean themes and heritage. It celebrates how people from the Caribbean have forged new communities and identities in post-war Britain – and in doing so have transformed British culture and society.

Coming soon date to be confirmed

Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy
Whitechapel Gallery

Whether dancing on the rooftops in Paris, sharing ideas with Pablo Picasso, or gathering starfish on the beaches of Cornwall, Eileen Agar (b.1899 Buenos Aires – d.1991 London) transformed the everyday into the extraordinary.

This definitive retrospective charts her ground-breaking career from the 1920s to the 1990s.


Still in the current  exhibitions schedule

Bruce Nauman

until 21 Feb

Tate Modern

Read More About Exhibitions

Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch

Until 28 February

Royal Academy of Arts

Read Edward Lucie-Smith’s Review Here 

Turner’s Modern World

Until 7 March

Tate Britain

Jennifer Packer

Until 14 March

Serpentine Gallery

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Until 9 May

Tate Britain

Read James Payne’s Review Here

Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs

Until 24 May

IWM London

Read Marina Vaizey’s Review Here

Zanele Muholi

Until 31 May

Tate Modern

Read Sue Hubbard’s Review Here


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