Art In London During Olympics Year

2012 is set to be a great year for Art for both London and beyond; here is our pick of the ten most exciting exhibitions to open in the next 6 months

1) David Hockney: A Bigger Picture @ The Royal Academy Of Arts (21 January – 9 April 2012)

The first major exhibition of landscape works by David Hockney RA, featuring new, large-scale, vivid paintings inspired by the East Yorkshire landscape, and created especially for the galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts. It will span a 50 year period to demonstrate Hockney’s long exploration and fascination with the depiction of landscape. It will also include a display of his iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using 18 cameras, displayed on multiple screens.

2) Turner and the Elements @ Turner Contemporary (28 January – 13 May 2012)

The first major show of the painter’s work at Turner Contemporary will explore the important role that the depiction of the elements played in his landscape watercolours and paintings. The exhibition brings together 95 works – over 80 watercolours and 12 late oil paintings – and will reveal how Turner’s innovative painting technique and the influence of scientific and technological developments during his lifetime were to revolutionise landscape painting.

Turner and the Elements - ArtLyst Event

3) Lucian Freud: Portraits @ National Portrait Gallery (9 February – 27 May 2012)

A major new exhibition of the late, great British painter Lucian Freud – one of the most highly regarded figurative painters of the past sixty years. His images of people were central to his work and this exhibition will be the first to focus on his portraiture.
Insightful paintings of the artist’s lovers, friends and family, referred to by the artist as ‘people in my life’, have been selected to demonstrate the psychological drama and unrelenting observational intensity of his work.

Lucian Freud Portraits - ArtLyst Event


4) Picasso and Britain @ Tate Britain (15 February – 15 July 2012)

This is the first exhibition to explore Picasso’s lifelong connections with this country. It will examine Picasso’s evolving critical reputation here and British artists’ responses to his work. Comprising over 150 works from major public and private collections around the world, the exhibition charts Picasso’s rise in Britain as a figure both of controversy and celebrity, tracing the ways in which his work was exhibited and collected here during his lifetime.

Picasso and Modern British Art - ArtLyst Event

5) British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age @ V&A (31 March – 12 August 2012)

This exhibition promises to celebrate the best of British post-war art and design from the 1948 ‘austerity’ Games to the summer of 2012. Over 300 British design objects highlight significant moments in the history of British design and how the country continues to nurture artistic talent and be a world leader in creativity and design.

British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age - ArtLyst Event

6) Damien Hirst @ Tate Modern (5 April – 9 September 2012)

This will be the first substantial survey of Hirst’s work in a British institution and will bring together key works from over twenty years. The exhibition will include iconic sculptures from his Natural History series, including The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991, in which he suspended a shark in formaldehyde. The two-part installation In and Out of Love, not shown in its entirety since its creation will also be among the highlights of the exhibition.

Damien Hirst - ArtLyst Event


7) Bauhaus: Art as Life @ Barbican (26 April – 12 August 2012)

The biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years, it will chart the modern world’s most famous art school from its expressionist beginnings to a pioneering model uniting art and technology for a utopian future. Bauhaus: Art as Life will explore the diverse artistic production that made up its turbulent fourteen-year history and delves into the subjects at the heart of the school: art, culture, life, politics and society, and the changing technology of the age. 

Bauhaus: Art as Life - ArtLyst Event

8) Tracey Emin: She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea @ Turner Contemporary (26 May – 23 September 2012)

Tracey Emin’s first major solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary is conceived specially for Margate, where Emin grew up and which has provided inspiration for many of her most famous art works. The exhibition will explore the themes of love, sensuality and romanticism in Emin’s oeuvre, featuring both new and existing works including drawings, monoprints, sculptures and neons. 

Tracey Emin: She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea - ArtLyst Event

9) Yoko Ono @ Serpentine (19 June – 9 September 2012)

This major exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Yoko Ono will reflect upon the enormous impact that Yoko Ono has made on contemporary art, exploring her influential role in art, music, film and performance. Her first exhibition in a London public institution for more than a decade, Ono will present new and existing works, some of which have rarely been shown in the UK. These will include installations, films and performances, as well as architectural alterations to the galleries.

Yoko Ono - ArtLyst Event

10) Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye @ Tate Modern (28 June -14 October 2012)

This major exhibition will reassess the Norwegian painter, proposing a dialogue between the artist’s pictorial work in the twentieth century and his interest in the most modern of representational forms: photography, film and the rebirth of stage production at that time. Munch is often presented as a nineteenth-century painter, a Symbolist or a pre-Expressionist, but here he is seen emphatically as a twentieth-century artist, thoroughly representative of the modernity of his day and age.

Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye - ArtLyst Event

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