UK Exhibitions to Excite in 2017 - London

February 11, 2017

London, love it or hate it, you can't deny it's got a lot going on. I've scoured the web for the best and most exciting exhibitions coming up this year in the Big Smoke. All recommendations are based on my own personal tastes, but I'd love to hear any other suggestions in the comments.

David Hockney @ Tate Britain, 9th February - 27th May.
The Hockney retrospective is one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year showcasing a huge range of Hockney's work spanning 60 years. This is an excellent chance to see some of those iconic colourful Californian masterpieces or the magnificent Yorkshire landscapes. Being from Yorkshire myself I am spoilt by the number of Hockney's I have seen (I would well recommend the Salts Aire collection if you happen to be up North) but the Tate boasts this exhibition as being a 'once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these unforgettable works together.' The exhibition has already become the fastest selling in Tate's history and it is definitely one to catch this year. 
Prices (without donations): 
Adults: £17.70 
Concessions: £15.90
Members: Free
Extended opening hours 'til 10pm every Friday and 8pm every Saturday which would be a pretty sweet date night. There's also a Curator's Talk on the 20th Feb and 10th April which involves a private viewing and is ticketed at £28/£23 (concessions), if you're a big Hockney fan this could make for an interesting night. There's also the fun opportunity every Friday (10th March - 10th April) from 6:30-8:30pm to create your own Hockney-esque digital masterpiece.

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 @ The Royal Academy, 11th February - 11th April.
2017 is is lining up to be a very exciting year at the RA and they are hosting some massive exhibitions, kicking off with this one. Marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution the RA is showcasing works by Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich, focusing on the flourishing and limitless opportunities of Russian art before Stalin's oppressive rule. This is a great opportunity to explore a hugely momentous time in modern history through the art produced at the time.
Prices (without donations):
Adult: £16
Student: £12
16-18: £12
Members: Free
Art Fund Members: £15

Eduardo Paolozzi @ Whitechapel Gallery, 16th February - 14th May.
There is a huge Eduardo Paolozzi retrospective coming to the Whitechapel Gallery very soon with over 250 works. Showcasing his great variety as an artist highlights include: material from his groundbreaking performance lecture Bunk! and the revolutionary screen prints that followed, his large-scale 'Whitworth Tapestry' and the iconic sculpture 'Diana as an Engine'
Prices (without donations): 
Adults: £11.95
Students: £9.50
Art Fund Member: £6.50

America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s @ The Royal Academy, 25th February - 4th June.
Ah America, there's no escaping it. Set to be another smash hit at the RA, partly in thanks to hosting Grant Wood's beyond iconic 'American Gothic' in its first visit outside the US. This exhibition showcases some great depression-era paintings by the likes of Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock and many others. 
Prices (without donations):
Adult: £12
Student: £8
16-18: £8
Members: Free
Art Fund Members: £11

American Dream: Pop to the Present @ The British Museum, 9th March - 18th June.
This is the first major UK exhibition on American printmaking, following the evolution of Pop Art and the printmaking medium over a six decade period. The exhibition begins with the early days of Pop Art as it burst onto the scene and then tracks it's journey showing how it has developed and impacted the art sphere over the years. The exhibition features works by all the great Pop artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol.
Adult: £16.50
Student: £13
16-18: £13
Art Pass Holder: £8.25
Members: Free

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait @ The Jewish Museum, 16th March - 24th September.
The death of Amy Winehouse broke the hearts of many, this intimate exhibition allows you to see Amy on a very personal level. Get to know the real Amy Winehouse through her personal belongings, from family photographs to fashion, all reflecting her love for her family, the city of London and more. The exhibition has also newly added a Street Art trail for it's return to the Jewish Museum. 
Adults: £8.50
Concession: £6.50
Members: Free

Art Pass Holders: Free
London Pass: Free

People Power: Fighting for Peace @ Imperial War Museum London, 23rd March - 28th August. 
This is the first major UK exhibition exploring the evolution of anti-war protest from the First World War to the present day through varying mediums. The idea of peace movements and protests still feels relevant today especially with all the Trump terror infecting the world. Exhibitions like this are important reminders of the passionate people of our past and how we must fight for what we believe in and what's right. 
Adult: £10
Child: £5
Concessions: £7
Members: Free
Art Fund Members: £5
The Imperial War Museum celebrates its centenary this year and will be hosting a series of free exhibitions reflecting on the ongoing conflict in Syria. There will also be the first major exhibition exploring how artists have responded to war and conflict since 9/11. Keep your eyes peeled for more information throughout the year, I really think this will be a fascinating year for the IWM. 

Queer British Art 1861 - 1967 @ Tate Britain, April 5th - October 1st.
This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. See more works by Hockney, alongside others such as John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Francis Bacon, Cecil Beaton and Duncan Grant in a variety of mediums. The works will offer an interesting representation of LGBT experience with references to its important contexts. Curator Clare Barlow thinks the exhibition will appeal to everyone, hoping straight visitors might see artists they recognise in a completely different way, while LGBT people might see their heritage. “It is a show that goes to the core of a lot of debates in society today about how does our sexuality or gender identity relate to our self. It will offer a lot of different possible answers to that question.”
Prices (without donations): 
Adults: £15 
Concessions: £13.10
Members: Free

Alberto Giacometti @ Tate Modern, 10th May - 10th September. 
I've been a fan of Giacometti since studying his work at school and was thrilled to see that a massive retrospective is coming to the UK. Highlighting his influences and the development of his style with over 250 works on display, including many that have never before been exhibited before, this exhibition is set to firmly show why Giacometti is one of the most well regarded artists of recent time. 
Prices (without donations): 
Adults: £16.80
Concessions: £15
Members: Free

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave @ The British Museum, 25th May - 13th August. 
The Great Wave is one of the most recognisable prints of all time and this is the inspiration behind another of the British Museum's big art exhibitions for 2017. This focuses on the last 30, and arguably the most prolific, years of Japan's most famous artist - Katsushika Hokusai - from around 1820-1849 where he produced some spectacular works. 
Adult: £12
Student: £10
16-18: £10
Art Pass Holder: £6
Members: Free

Grayson Perry presents The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! @ Serpentine Gallery, 8th June - 7th September. 
Grayson Perry has become a sort of national hero and he is planning a big summer exhibition of new work at the Serpentine Gallery. Perry is a great cultural commentator and I'm sure he has a lot to say on the current state of the world. The works in the show will apparently touch on many themes including popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape. Perry himself has said "I want to communicate to as wide an audience as possible. Nothing pleases me more than meeting someone at one of my exhibitions from what museum people call 'a non-traditional background.' The new works I am making for this show all have ideas about popularity hovering around them: What kind of art do people like? What subjects? Why do people like going to art galleries these days? What is the relationship of traditional art to social media?" This is something I am interested in myself and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Grayson has to show us. 
I'm also pretty sure this exhibition is free which makes it even better and more accessible!

Whales: Beneath the Surface @ The Natural History Museum, 14th July - 1st October. 
I love whales, they're one of my absolute favourite animals so this looks like an absolute treat. The museum will be welcoming a gigantic Blue Whale skeleton as the leading figure in a new exhibit, illustrating evolution and the important role we play in our planet's future. To welcome this new skeleton to the museum they are hosting a whale-tastic show telling you all you need to know about these magnificent creatures. This is the first in a series of ocean events at the Museum running until the end of 2018. The ocean is the planet's defining feature and nowhere is humanity’s impact on the natural world more apparent.
More information to be released nearer the time. 

Basquiat: Boom for Real @ The Barbican, 21st September - 28th January 2018.
This is surprisingly the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the immensely popular Jean-Michel Basquiat. The Barbican is taking an interesting approach and focusing on the artist's relationship to music, text, film and television. The exhibition exhibits Basquiat's work amongst the wider cultural context of the time via paintings, drawings and notebooks alongside rare film, photography, music and ephemera.
Adults: £16
Students: £10
Art Fund Members: £12

Jasper Johns @ The Royal Academy, 23rd September - 10th December.
This massive Jasper Johns retrospective brings together his paintings, sculptures and drawings, ranging from the instantly recognisable to the rarely seen. The show aims to highlight his progressions throughout his innovative career.
More information to be released nearer the time.

Dali / Duchamp @ The Royal Academy, 7th October - 3rd January 2018.
The RA ends the year with a big one, an exhibition hosting two giants of twentieth century art - Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp. The exhibition will be home to some of their key works, offering a great range between the two artists, as well as some less familiar works and correspondence between the two. This is the first exhibition to focus on their surprising relationship and the influence that this had on both artists.
More information to be released nearer the time.

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites @ The National Gallery, 4th October - 2nd April 2018.
I've been a fan of the Pre-Raphaelites since my family introduced me to them when I was a child and this is set to be a very special exhibition. 'The Arnolfini Portrait', and the influence it had on the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, is the inspiration for this show. Artists will include Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, and of course Jan Van Eyck, among others. 
More information to be released nearer the time. 

Harry Potter: A History of Magic @ The British Library, 20th October - 28th February 2018. 
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is 20 this year (feel old yet?) and the British Library is showcasing a fascinating display of wizarding books, manuscripts and magical objects combined with original material from Bloomsbury’s and J.K. Rowling’s own Harry Potter archives. This is set to be a killer day out for any Hazza P fan, promising to take visitors to the heart of the magic.
More information to be released nearer the time.

Impressionists in London @ Tate Britain, 2nd November - 29th April 2018
This exhibition is a recipe for success, everyone enjoys the opportunity to see great Impressionist works by those such as Monet, Tissot and Pissarro up close. And in 2017, where refugees still face immense difficulties, this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work of renowned French artists that fled to London as refugees. 
More information to be released nearer the time. 

Not based in London? Fear not my regional friends, a round up of the best exhibitions happening outside the Capital is coming very soon. 

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