Must-see exhibitions 2017

Must-see exhibitions 2017

Highlights of London’s visual arts programme

Sun-splashed landscapes, provocative street art and once-in-a-lifetime retrospectives all feature in this year’s line-up of must-see art exhibitions across the capital. Our Attractions team picks its highlights from some of the most prestigious galleries.

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David Hockney at Tate Britain

9 February – 29 May

The big retrospective is scheduled ahead of the artist’s 80th birthday and will look back at the work he created while a student at the Royal College of Art and trace his incredible artistic journey ever since. There’ll be everything on display from the bold colours of his LA pool scenes and more recent iPad landscapes to his portraiture and abstract photo collages. This has all the makings of a blockbuster exhibition, so contact us to secure tickets before it’s too late.

Boris Mikailovich Kustodiev, Bolshevik, 1920 Oil on canvas, 101 x 140.5 cm; State Tretyakov Gallery; photo © State Tretyakov GalleryRevolution: Russian Art at the Royal Academy

11 February – 17 April

Marking the 100th anniversary since the beginning of the Russian Revolution, this exhibition celebrates the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when Russian art blossomed before Stalin’s brutal suppression took hold. It was a time when an artist’s possibilities seemed endless and this far-ranging exhibition will include photography, sculpture, filmmaking by pioneers such as Eisenstein, and evocative propaganda posters from what was a golden era for graphic design. Tickets are available now.

Wolfgang Tillmans at Tate Modern

15 February – 11 June

The German fine-art photographer’s body of work is distinguished by observations of his surroundings covering everything from portraiture and street scenes to still life and landscapes. At first, the sheer diversity on display might suggest there isn’t one unifying theme in his work, but when seen together in an exhibition of this scale you will start to determine a strong and urgent political message in his work. This promises to be another Tate blockbuster – contact us to secure your tickets.

Grayson Perry at the Serpentine Gallery

8 June – 10 September

It’s no doubt with a huge dose of irony that the cross-dressing artist and national treasure Grayson Perry has decided to name his next exhibition The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! Renowned for his razor-sharp political commentary, this major showcase of new work will explore how art can talk to the general public and the change it can make to society as a whole. Entrance is free – contact us with help planning your day, whether it’s making a restaurant reservation nearby or organising transport.

Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern

13 June – 8 October

In recent years, the Tate has made an effort to showcase more artists from beyond Europe and the US and this retrospective is a major part of this. Zeid was born in Turkey in 1901 and during her 90 years she made a big impression on the Arabic and Western art worlds. Her dazzling paintings take heavy inspiration from the Islamic world in which she grew up and her use of colour and abstract designs became influential across the Middle East. Tickets will go on sale soon – ask us to keep you up to date.

Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain

12 September 2017 – 4 February 2018

This long-overdue retrospective will concentrate on what the London-born artist is best known for – her casts of negative spaces. She burst onto the scene in 1993 with her Turner-Prize-winning cast of a Victorian house in Mile End and has gone on to become one of the most influential female figures in the industry. Uniting her intimate sculptures with more monumental pieces, this promises to be a thought-provoking and one-of-a-kind exhibition.

‘THESE INSTITUTIONS HAS THE MOST POLITICAL INFLUENCE A. TELEVISION B. THE CHURCH C. SAMO D. MCDONALDS’, Jean-Michel Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81. Photo: Edo Bertoglio © New York Beat Film LLC. By permission of the Estate of Jean-Michel BasquiatBasquiat: Boom for Real at the Barbican

21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018

Despite his short life, Jean-Michel Basquiat made an incredible impression on the New York art scene in the late 1970s and early 80s with his bold street art and graffiti. Initially working under the pseudonym SAMO©, he was taken under the wing of Andy Warhol and went on to produce an incredible body of work that was influenced by the music, culture and politics of the time. This exhibition has been a long time coming, so be sure not to miss out – contact us to book tickets today.

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites at the National Gallery

4 October 2017 – 2 April 2018

Fifteenth-century Flemish artist Jan van Eyck was one of the most influential artists of his day and his technical prowess shone through in all of his work. But it wasn’t until five centuries later that his work had its most effect. His illusionistic use of light and space inspired a new wave of artists: the Pre-Raphaelites. The exhibition will bring together for the first time the 'Arnolfini Portrait' with paintings from the Tate collection and loans from other museums, to explore the ways in which Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, among many others, were influenced by the Eyck’s work.

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Pictured: David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1971; private collection © David Hockney | Boris Mikailovich Kustodiev, Bolshevik, 1920 Oil on canvas, 101 x 140.5 cm; State Tretyakov Gallery; photo © State Tretyakov Gallery | ‘THESE INSTITUTIONS HAS THE MOST POLITICAL INFLUENCE A. TELEVISION B. THE CHURCH C. SAMO D. MCDONALDS’, Jean-Michel Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81. Photo: Edo Bertoglio © New York Beat Film LLC. By permission of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Last updated on 26 January 2017


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