London’s Must-See Exhibitions in 2023

It's 2023 and the art world is back with a punchy calendar of blockbuster exhibitions, boundary-pushing group shows and mammoth retrospectives. 

We have selected three stand-out museum shows from London’s art diary that simply cannot be missed.

 

The National Gallery - After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art

25th March - 13th August

Probably the most raved about exhibition of the year in the Capital, this exhibition is a large-scale undertaking from the National Gallery. The show collects together the work of 100 artists creating work between 1886 and 1914, including Van Gogh, Klimt, Rodin, and other art historical major players, demonstrating the creative goldmine that was mined in the decades on either side of the turn of the 20th Century. Exploring the development of truly ‘Modern’ art in Europe, this show will be a who’s-who of art history. 

 

Saatchi Gallery - Street Art: Beyond the Streets

17th February - 9th May

Gathering together the work of over 150 artists, Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Street Art: Beyond the Streets’ exhibition promises to be the immersive exhibition highlight of the year and a hotspot for art vloggers, likely to take the place of Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Rooms’ at the Tate Modern as the photo-op of the year. Showing original artworks, ephemera, photographs, fashion and collectables, the exhibition celebrates what street art means to society, activist movements and political transformations. 

 

The Victoria & Albert Museum - DIVA

24th June - 7th April 2024

Featuring costumes, photographs, design and music, DIVA at the V&A explores what it has meant and continues to mean to be a “diva”. Coming from the late 19th Century Italian (from the Latin) meaning ‘goddess’, the term has been used to refer to the larger-than-life stars of Victorian operas and contemporary pop stars and as both a compliment and insult to modern women seen to be standing their ground. This exhibition dives deep into diva culture as a mirror of society. 

There are several excellent shows taking place across the United Kingdom this year, which also must be mentioned. For example, Grayson Perry’s largest ever retrospective, which will be held at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh between the 22nd of July and the 12th of November. In the North of England, art lovers will be able to dive into the work of Albrecht Dürer’s at the ‘Material World’ exhibition showcasing the German artist’s detailed drawings at Manchester’s Whitworth gallery from June 30th into 2024. Between the 4th of February and 8th of May Margate’s Turner Contemporary is presenting Sonia Boyce’s ‘Feeling Her Way’ exhibition, hot off their ‘Golden Lion for Best National Participation’ win at the last Venice Biennale. Why not travel outside of London to discover the fantastic arts & heritage venues the UK offers.

There are also fantastic solo shows to be found, including a major exhibition of Maria Abramovic at the Royal Academy of Arts between the 23rd of September and 10th of December, a retrospective of Sarah Lucas’ work at the Tate Britain between September 26th and January 14th 2024, and shows of Philip Guston (5 October - 25 February 2024) and Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian (20 April - 3 September) at the Tate Modern. 

What’s in your diary?

 

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