Winter days and your Parka are perfect for exploring the world of art in London! Galleries offer a great day out with plenty to do and see, not to mention cosy cafes to regain energy with a spot of tea and cake! We have put together details of some must-see exhibitions to keep you busy this winter. London is a great city that celebrates the diversity of art in all of its forms, from Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library to Rachel Whitereads sculptures at the Tate Modern.
The V&A is the perfect place to spend a whole day out, with free admission to hundreds of amazing pieces of art to admire and sketch, great tea in the food hall and being a stone’s throw away from the Natural History Museum is a bonus! The latest major exhibition at the V&A celebrates the work of one of the most influential designers of the past century and the ‘Master of Couture’, Cristobal Balenciaga. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is on until 18th February, and is the first exhibition to showcase the legacy of this icon with 100 pieces of his work that revolutionised the world of womenswear, a definite must-see!
Another unmissable exhibition taking place at the V&A is Opera: Passion, Power and Politics . Together, the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall explore the 400 year old story of opera with a monumental exhibition.
This exhibition will take you on a vivid journey, embracing the rich history and culture of opera from its origins in the Late Renaissance to its present day status. It is on until 25th February. We recommend going on a Thursday for this exhibition to also enjoy the free lunchtime performances at the V&A every Thursday until 22nd February!
The House of Illustration is the home of art illustrations and was founded by British icon Sir Quentin Blake. Current exhibitions include Lucinda Rogers: On Gentrification, exploring the relationship between the old and new with her illustrations of the changing landscape of London by focusing on the 200 year old Ridley Road Market and on a newly built block of flats. This runs from 28th October to 11th February..
Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen is the first major exhibition to showcase the works of this political cartoonist who has produced work for the likes of Disney for Hercules and the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. You can also explore the 50 years of children’s illustration by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake, including Blake’s first illustrations as well as his most recent works.
As well as celebrating classic artwork and traditional artists, London embraces futuristic art installations, with growing popularity of the use of lights, lasers and other unconventional materials. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lisson Gallery, there is a fantastic ambitious and electric video installation at The Store Studios with free entry. The exhibition, Everything at Once, is based on a quote from the experimental composer John Cage; ‘nowadays everything happens at once’. Utopia and fantasy are the central theme of the first largescale exhibition in the UK to display the installations created by the Kabakov sisters. Not everyone will be taken into the future relates to the role of artists in society in uncertain times, and will be on until 28th January.