In any given year London boasts a host of blockbuster art exhibits, but this summer is slightly different with everyone pulling out the stops to impress visitors, give the press something to talk about and (thank you!) all of us residents something to do inside when (a) the sun is crisping your skin, or (b) the rain is piercing your brolly.
If you don’t know what I mean by ‘the butterfly room’ then I suggest you start with the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Tate…But once your entry level step is complete why not try one of the below:
- The V&A – either for the Thomas Heatherwick exhibition or for the Ballgowns exhibition. Both are pretty impressive.
- Outdoor art in East London. The Olympics is bringing two quite unique events to the East End. Frieze Projects East is a commission for six artists to create/exhibit works in the spaces around the East End (all public, some indoor and some outdoor). The World in London is a series of 204 commissioned photographs of Londoners of all walks of life, each originating from one of the nations competing at the Games, on show in Victoria Park.
- The Queen: Art & Image. I caught this show in Edinburgh last year and was blown away by the range of materials, poses and techniques that have been used to capture the Queen over the last 50 years…and how she has inspired everyone from Cecil Beaton to Gerhard Richter. Well worth a look.
- Anything at the Tate Modern Tanks. The Tanks are the newest area to open in the Tate Modern and the first museum space devoted to performance art. We would suggest trying to see Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International, but just viewing the space itself is quite a pleasure.
- Calder in India at the Ordovas Gallery. A rare (one-time only?) opportunity to see all of the sculptures that Alexander Calder produced in response to his trip to India. If you work in Mayfair or nearby, this is well worth a lunchtime stop over.