We select some of the best exhibitions that are opening in London next year…
Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, Victoria and Albert Museum: on display from the 27th March 2021, this exhibition will examine the influence of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland through its origins and many adaptations over the years. Featuring 300 objects from film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography, the display will reveal how the story still continues to inspire artists.
Thomas Becket Exhibition, British Museum: marking the 850th anniversary since the assassination of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, this exhibition will explore his life from being a London merchant’s son to Archbishop, and from a revered saint in death to a ‘traitor’ in the eyes of Henry VIII, over 350 years later. On display from the 22nd April, the exhibition will feature a number of objects associated with him including medieval stained glass, manuscripts, jewellery and sacred reliquaries.
Hogarth and Europe, Tate Britain: bringing together Hogarth’s greatest works with those of his peers across the continent – including Francesco Guardi in Venice, Chardin in Paris and Cornelis Troost in Amsterdam, this exhibition will highlight how Hogarth and artists across Europe captured the new modernity of the 18th century.
Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy, Whitechapel Gallery: on display from the 11th February, this exhibition will celebrate the artist’s role within the development of European twentieth century culture. The display will feature over 100 paintings, collages, photographs, assemblages and archive material to explore Agar’s career.
Impressionist Decorations: The Birth of Modern Decor, National Gallery: next September, the National Gallery will examine how artists such as Monet, Renoir and Morisot painted canvases, panels and objects to decorate people’s homes rather than the walls of galleries. Featuring over eighty paintings, the display will focus on the 50 year period from the 1860s to the 1920s and how decorating interiors became crucial in shaping the artists’ careers: pushing them to experiment with new shapes, formats and techniques that resulted in new, daringly innovative compositions.
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, Royal Academy of Arts: from the 30th January, the royal Academy will concentrate on the artist’s fascination with animals and their movement through observing animals in the wild during trips to South Africa; filling his studio with wildlife books, and constantly referring to Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographs of humans and animals in motion. The display will feature works that span across his fifty year career.
Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, Natural History Museum: inspired by the creatures found in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, this exhibition will reveal how the real and wizarding worlds intertwine through the world of nature. The display will also examine how the natural world has gone on to inspire myths, legends and magical creatures.