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  • Arabella de Saint Riquier

Top 10 Exhibitions not to miss in London this Summer

By Arabella de Saint Riquier

1. David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 (Royal Academy of Arts)

Two years ago, David Hockney settled in Normandy with the intention to study the leafy nature during Spring. The ever blooming season is showcased through 116 artworks, most of them hang as part of a cycle to deliver Mother Nature’s strength and power. Working on his Ipad with a new app adapted to his specific requirement, Hockney shows the ‘full arrival of spring’ through Winter to Summer, dawn to dusk, rain or shine, always through the hues of sparkling green and fuchsia. A powerful statement.

(Tickets are released daily as the exhibition has been sold out).

Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD

2. Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser (V&A)

This captivating exhibition evolves from the very origin of Alice and Lewis Caroll’s work 157 years ago, explores a multitude of reinterpretations through the years then transforms into a hint of a circus and a sense of fashion. The explosion of colours, games to play, giant screens, lights and visual effects transport you immediately into Alice’s magical world. Torn between curiosity and excitement, you will be (re)discovering both your inner childhood memories and adult reinterpretation of the genre.

(Due to its success, the exhibition is now available until December 31st).


Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

3. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience (Commercial Street 106 Building)

This unique exhibition already showcased in San Francisco and Paris, offers a unique experience to rediscover Van Gogh’s talent. Exploring the paintings within 360 degrees, it transports you within Van Gogh’s uniqueness, life, and relentless work. Through sounds and lights, immerge yourself amongst the 3D paintings, your senses and mind fully immerse within the décor of the most famous artworks. Enjoy sitting down and diving into for as long as you wish!

From July 29th: Commercial Street 106 Building

106 Commercial Street, London. E1 6LZ

4. The Art of Bansky (Coven Garden)

Nested within Covent Garden neighbourhood, the Art Of Bansky features the world’s largest collection of Bansky’s talent, all privately owned. The exhibition offers a unique chance to (re)discover artworks such as the incredibly famous ‘Girls and Balloon” and some quite unknown until now. The unique creativity and artist’s mastery is showcased through prints, artworks, canvasses and sculptures. Rush to discover some unique works and limited editions!

50 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LJ

5. JR: Chronicles (Saatchi Gallery)

French artist JR, TED Prize winner and Oscar nominated filmmaker, began his career as a graffiti artist. Thanks to a camera he found in the Parisian Métro, he started documenting his friends whilst graffitiing. His interest in photography grew as he decided to illustrate urban buildings then moved on as illustrating communities’ life through portraits and mural collages. The exhibition showcases his powerful and impactful projects within the last fifteen years, as well as his international collaborations.

Saatchi Gallery

Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, London SW3 4RY

6. No Comply (Somerset House)

‘No Comply’ compiles work from photographers, designers, filmmakers who, for the first time, explore skateboarding and its impact on British culture for the past 45 years. This free exhibition illustrates through fashion, photography and archives the skateboarding ethos: ‘ the city as playground, the communities and the DIY culture’. It fits perfectly timely wise, as Skateboarding will be represented for the first time ever at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Somerset House

Strand, London WC2R 1LA

7. Phantoms of Surrealism (Whitechapel Gallery)

The exhibition central piece ‘the Phantom of Surrealism’ is also the starting point: this stunning and striking black and white photograph of a woman – Sheila Legge - dressed as a bride, her head covered with roses. She is standing on Trafalgar Square, with opened arms welcoming pigeons. The photo taken nearly 100 years ago launched at the time a new surrealist movement that the Whitechapel Gallery now explores, alongside the key role of women in Britain in the 1930’s within the Surrealism movement.

WhiteChapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

8. The SouthBank Centre Experience

Treat yourself with a dive into the SouthBank Centre. It abounds of Art, from renowned artists to pop up live show and engaging displays. Begin with the audio installation, playing Linton Kwesi Johnson’s ‘New Craas Massahkah’ tribute to the people who died because of a house fire in East London. Discover Samson Kambalu’s ‘Black Jack’ work, exhibiting his joyful, inspiring and deep-coloured work. Stroll accross Igshaan Adams’s first exhibition ‘Kicking Dust’, offering a display of weaving, sculpture and large-scale installation. End your journey with a view on the Thames and the London life on the Quays.

Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

9. Turner’s Modern World (Tate Gallery)

Who doesn’t remember ‘The Fighting Téméraire’ symbol of the powerful English Industrial Revolution? Turner, one of the most proficient British painter has always revealed in his work a testimony of the then changing world: new industrialisation, extensive use of machinery, transformation of the society. His paintings are powerful enriched with colours and emotions. A true legacy when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world.

Tate Gallery

Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

10. Thomas Becket, murder and the making of a saint (British Museum)

Becket’s assassination in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29th, 1170 on the order of King Henry II shocked the entire nation and echoed across Europe. The exhibition, enriched by precious and unique artefacts, retraces Becket’s personal journey, from humble background to rise to power becoming one of the most powerful man in England.

If you thirst of historical figure hasn’t been satiated, pop in to the Nero exhibition next door ‘The Man behind the myth’ then stroll through the exhibition on Hokusai ‘The Great Picture Book of Everything’ to rediscover the talent of one of Japan’s most celebrated artist.

British Museum

Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

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