With over 1500 galleries in the capital, London has one of the world’s most expansive, diverse, and fun art scenes. Before a time of coronavirus, you could admire art at exhibitions, watch art performances in the West End, attend a Late at the Royal Academy of Arts, and enjoy the street art in a large crowd at East Croydon. But ‘the times, they are a-changin’. 2020 has been a strange year for us all, and the London art world has had to adapt just like everything else. Fear not, though, as there’s still plenty to get your teeth into this winter. We’ll talk you through what you can still see art-wise, and what you should expect:
Artemisia, National Gallery
Until 24th January 2021, the National Gallery are showing the first major exhibition of Artemisia’s work that the UK has ever seen. Artemisia was an exceptional 17th woman artist who challenged conventions and defied stereotypes: her work transformed meek women into courageous ones, and victims into survivors. At the National Gallery, you can see her iconic ‘Judith beheading Holofernes’, as well as her self-portraits, and a collection of her personal letters – a real treat.
Edmund de Waal: Library of Exile, British Museum
In a very apt exhibition for our time, ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal has lined a room with books by writers in exile – stories of people writing about home, even if they were far from it. It’s a truly heart-warming display, with works from writers including Ovid, Dante, and Judith Kerr.
Steve McQueen: Year 3, Tate Britain
Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen has unveiled a new artwork. Having invited every Year 3 pupil in London to have their photograph taken, he’s brought together these school class photos into one large-scale installation, capturing a milestone year in their development. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the future of London, guaranteed to inspire hope in all that view it.
Andy Warhol, Tate Modern
If you’re quick, you can catch the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Tate Modern on Bankside until 15th November. Take a new look at the extraordinary life and work of a pop art mastermind. There’s of course his iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s soup, and Coca-Cola, but there’s also never-before-seen works, including his Ladies and Gentlemen series which showcases portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women. There’s never been a better time to bask in art filled to the brim with calls for social, political, and technological change.
What to expect
To visit these exhibits, you should expect to book in advance, arrive only with your household bubble, wear a mask, and sanitise your hands. Rest assured; you’ll still have a fab time, just a safe one too! Why not make a weekend of it, and stay in a COVID-safe hotel? We recommend the Dorsett Hotel, City, a perfect choice for travellers seeking contemporary elegance in the city.