London has an impressive art scene and unlike other calendars of events it doesn’t only flourish in the summertime – there’s plenty of galleries and exhibitions to see at all times of the year.
In general though, 2016 is a really exciting time for London’s already vibrant art scene thanks to like of the opening of the new Tate Modern art gallery. This was a really big moment in the art world of the city, as it joined the other building that opened nearly two decades ago. It’s a brand new concept that displays a wide variety of artwork and showcases more artists around the world than there is room for in the old building!
This isn’t the only art gallery in town though, as you have to make sure that you have time to get to the National Portrait Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery. However, don’t forget that there are a huge number of independent and not-for-profit galleries, which have an impressive range of up and coming artists who are well worth your time.
We’ve outlined some of the best and most exciting art events that are happening in London this year and are sure to whet the appetite of even the most discerning of art lover.
Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern
From July, you will be able to go and see what The Guardian has referred to as Georgia O’Keeffe’s “blockbuster at Tate Modern”.
The exhibition will be there until October this year, and one thing that all O’Keeffe fans will find interesting is that the exhibition opens with a close-up of the artist herself, as taken by Steiglitz. This is a particularly fascinating way to open up an exhibit of an artist, as we are normally treated to their works, rather than their appearance.
However, although the picture wasn’t taken by O’Keeffe, she had a hand in their editing and printing, showing that her artistic eye can be traced throughout this whole part of the gallery.
There are lots of charcoal abstractions and pink and yellow skies to be found and enjoyed at this collection that are reminiscent of Wassily Kandinsky’s use of colour.
It’s an excellent exhibition to go to, not only to marvel at the creativity and range of O’Keeffe, but also to enjoy the new Tate Modern at its best.
London Design Biennale
The London Design Biennale is opening this September at Somerset house and over 30 countries are participating in this exciting event.
Nations from six continents will be presenting a host of different commissions that will explore the theme of Utopia through various facets and media of art.
For true art fans, this is going to be one of the most exciting events of this year, as the collections presented at the London Biennale are going to be curated by leading museums and design organisations from all over the world. Some of these include the Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, the Triennale Design Museum in Italy, The Japan Foundation and London’s own Victoria and Albert Museum.
The show is going to be taking over the whole of Somerset House and it’s going to look into and explore questions concerning sustainability, migration, pollution, energy and social equality.
It aims to be a thought-provoking and engaging installation that takes you on a tour around the world through art.
In October, Frieze London will be opening in Regent’s Park to gather more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries. Here you will not only be able to view art but you can also buy from over 1,000 of today’s leading artists.
You can also use this as an opportunity to learn from the experts by getting involved in critically acclaimed Frieze Projects and Talks programmes. The event is run as a not-for-profit every year and 2016’s collection is based around the theme of how art can be transformational.
Artists who have been announced so far include Sibylle and Claus Richter, Coco Fusco, Martin Soto Climent, Julie Verhoeven and Samson Young. Each of these people are heavy influencers in the world of art and they will be presenting their works alongside the Operndorf Afrika film project from German director Christoph Schlingensief.
Other types of artwork you can enjoy include performative sculpture, puppet theatre and a one-off dance performance, which will present a UK premiere of Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr Zira, which has been co-commissioned with Liverpool Biennial. Lots of artists are working with this particular branch of events in the north-west of England and the crossovers are sure to be interesting to those who have a keen eye for inspiring art.