Here is Love London Love Culture’s top ten art exhibition highlights for the year…
10. Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy of Arts: earlier this year the Royal Academy examined the career Henri Matisse and the work he created in his studio, revealing how his personal collection of works provided inspiration on his own work.
9. Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London, Victoria and Albert Museum: as one of the first exhibitions of the year at the museum, this richly detailed and beautifully presented exhibition showcased some of the pieces Lockwood Kipling donated to the museum’s collection. It was a true celebration of one man’s passion for Indian craftmanship – in both its style and technique.
8. Vanessa Bell: 1879-1961, Dulwich Picture Gallery: the gallery is renowned for celebrating the work of artists who are less familiar to the public eye and deserve recognition. This wide ranging exhibition featured works from all aspects of Bell’s career to focus on her influence on British art. A very focused and fascinating exhibition.
7. The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano, National Gallery: for its spring exhibition the National Gallery examined the professional relationship and friendship of the two renowned artists. Extremely informative with plenty of variety of work on display it offered great insight into both artists and their working practises.
6. Diana: Her Fashion Story, Kensington Palace: 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana and to mark the occasion Kensington Palace is showcasing a number of her outfits to tell her story through fashion. Remarkably compact, it celebrates how she was able to use fashion to make a statement about her life and charity work.
5. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum: the V&A are renowned for their detailed fashion exhibitions and this one devoted to Cristóbal Balenciaga certainly gives a detailed examination of how his style developed and changed over the years.
4. Sargent: The Watercolours, Dulwich Picture Gallery: this gorgeously vivid and colourful exhibition brought together 80 of the artist’s watercolours, highlighting his technique and approach to these works. Filled with detail and an astonishing number of different subjects, it was well worth a visit.
3. Monochrome: Painting in Black & White, National Gallery: the National Gallery’s exhibition explores thoroughly the reasons behind artists painting in black and white through a series of artists ranging from abstract artists such as Malevich, Richter, and Riley but also van Eyck, Rembrandt, Dürer, and Ingres. In its own way it is an exhibition that has plenty to admire.
2. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, British Library: marking the 20th anniversary since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this latest British Library exhibition takes an extraordinary look at how the real life history of magic influenced one of the most successful book series of all time. Deeply engaging and fascinating – Harry Potter fans will adore it.
1. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, Victoria and Albert Museum: this wonderfully presented exhibition exploring the history of opera is worth every penny, thanks to its interactive elements as well as its attention to detail that the V&A put into every exhibition. It is truly wonderful listening to the music through headphones as you wonder around exploring the exhibition at your leisure.