Top five art exhibitions in London

Here at #TeamCoco, we are always on the hunt for the best art exhibitions in the UK’s capital. This spring, there are almost too many to choose from but we’ve rounded up the five that you can’t miss. Check them out!

Tate Britain presents a comprehensive retrospective of the legendary British photographer Don McCullin

This poignant exhibition showcases some of the most impactful photographs captured over the last 60 years. It includes many of his iconic war photographs – including images from Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria. It also however focuses on the work he did at home in England, recording scenes of poverty and working class life in London’s East End and the industrial north, as well as meditative landscapes of his beloved Somerset, where he lives.​ Sir Don McCullin was born in 1935 and grew up in a deprived area of north London. He got his first break when a newspaper published his photograph of friends who were in a local gang. From the 1960s he forged a career as probably the UK’s foremost war photographer, primarily working for the Sunday Times Magazine. His unforgettable and sometimes harrowing images are accompanied in the show with his brutally honest commentaries.

With over 250 photographs, all printed by McCullin himself in his own darkroom, this exhibition will be a unique opportunity to appreciate the scope and achievements of his entire career.

5 February – 6 May 2019

 White Cube Bermondsey presents ‘A  Fortnight of Tears’ by Tracey Emin.

Installed throughout the gallery’s spaces, this major exhibition includes sculpture, neon, painting, film, photography and drawing, all focusing on the artist’s own memories and emotions arising from loss, pathos, anger and love. On entering South Gallery I, the viewer is confronted by fifty double-hung self-portraits from an on-going series taken at different moments and states during the artist’s periods of insomnia. These unsettling and intimate close-ups, blown up in size and overwhelming in number, capture the habitual torment and desperation of these lonely wakeful hours.

6 February 2019 – 7 April 2019

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#WhiteCube #Bermondsey currently presents ‘A Fortnight of Tears’ by #TraceyEmin. Focusing on the artist’s own memories and emotions arising from loss, pathos, anger and love, the show includes sculpture, neon, painting, film, photography and drawing. #TimeOut published a 5* review of the exhibition: 'Throughout this show, Emin brilliantly takes the misery we all experience from time to time and condenses it into little atomic bombs of aesthetic urgency. It’s overwrought, over-intense, and over the top, but that’s why it’s so good.' Eddy Frankel Image: Tracey Emin, 'A Fortnight of Tears', White Cube Bermondsey, 6 February – 7 April 2019 © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photo © White Cube (Ollie Hammick)

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Tate Modern presents The CC Land exhibition – Pierre Bonnard and the Colour of Memory

This is the first major exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s work in the UK since the much-loved show at Tate 20 years ago. It will allow new generations to discover Bonnard’s unconventional use of colour, while surprising those who think they already know him.

Born 1867, Bonnard was, with Henri Matisse, one of the greatest colourists of the early 20th century. He preferred to work from memory, imaginatively capturing the spirit of a moment and expressing it through his unique handling of colour and innovative sense of composition.

The exhibition concentrates on Bonnard’s work from 1912, when colour became a dominant concern, until his death in 1947. It presents landscapes and intimate domestic scenes which capture moments in time – where someone has just left the room, a meal has just finished, a moment lost in the view from the window, or a stolen look at a partner.

Now until 6 May 2019

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Pierre Bonnard liked to work on many paintings at the same time, lining his walls with canvas. He would work on different subjects on the same roll of canvas and then cut them once each was completed. He would even roll the canvases up and take them from place to place. 🚗 Resuming his work was part of an attempt to rediscover the original experience, bringing it into the present without losing its place in the past. Some paintings would take months, even years, to resolve. Pierre Bonnard, Nude in an Interior 1935, National Gallery of Art (Washington), on display in The C C Land Exhibition: #PierreBonnard — The Colour of Memory at Tate Modern. A number of the paintings in the exhibition have been taken out of their frames in order to give a sense of how they appeared when Bonnard was working on them. He usually pinned his canvas directly on the wall, rather than using an artist’s easel. 🎨

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The Serpentine presents Grace Wales Bonner: A Time for New Dreams

 The exhibition features an assemblage of site-specific installations and shrines. Interested in the improvisations and uses of shrines throughout black histories, Wales Bonner views these spiritual structures as material portals into multiple frames of experience. Drawing upon the images and rhythms of rituals and ceremonies from all over the world, she moves across time and space by bringing these references into dialogue with one another.

This exhibition focuses on Wales Bonner’s rigorous research into multiple geographies and temporalities, culminating in the presentation of her forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, Mumbo Jumbo. Conjuring and exploring various characters, their dress, and the worlds and spaces they inhabit, the collection features certain protagonists, such as the artist-shaman, a West African spiritual healer, and a gathering of Howard University intellectuals. At its close, the exhibition becomes an environment for the characters to inhabit.

A live programme includes composer, playwright and artist Klein, who performed a reading in the Gallery, Poet and DJ James Massiah who will present an evening of readings inside the exhibition, and performance artist Michael-John Harper, whose ritual of movements will activate the Gallery at intervals during the final days of the exhibition. New texts and invocations by Ben Okri are woven through the Gallery spaces.

Now until 17 March 2019

The Barbican presents Daria Martin – Tonight the World

Artist and Jarman Award 2018 winner Daria Martin revisits dreams and memories from her personal family history to create a complex portrait of migration, loss and resilience.

Drawing upon dream diaries kept by her grandmother over a 35 year period, London-based artist Daria Martin creates a new installation for The Curve. Through atmospheric film and gaming technology Martin stages a series of intimate encounters, enveloping viewers in an exploration of the curious and traumatic history of her grandmother, who fled the imminent Nazi occupation of her country, Czechoslovakia.

Now until 7 April 2019 (free entry)

 

Cover picture © Pierre Bonard – Tate Modern

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