With so much to see and do in London at any given time, we know that it can be almost impossible to choose, and by the looks of it, 2018 will be no exception. So we've pulled together a short guide to some of the biggest exhibition openings in the new year for you to pop in your diary. Trust us - these ones are not to be missed!
The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1931 - Love, Fame, Tragedy
8 March – 9 September 2018, Tate Modern
The first solo exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s work ever to be held at the Tate Modern will take visitors month-by-month through a year in the artist's life.
1932, a year so crucial to his career that it has been dubbed his 'year of wonders', was when Picasso truly established himself as one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. At this time his work began to develop a new sensuality, possibly inspired by his passionate affair with a much younger woman, Marie-Thérèse, who is depicted in Le Rêve (The Dream), just one of over 100 works on show.
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
10 October – 27 January 2018, Barbican Art Gallery
As part of the Barbican’s 2018 season, the Art of Change, this first-of-its kind interdisciplinary exhibition looks at the creative output of around 40 couples in the first half of the 20th Century.
Challenging the notion that artistic genius comes from solitary work and exploring the changing and developing nature of relationships, the Barbican Art Gallery will showcase the works of famous couples such as Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais, and Lee Miller and Man Ray. Visitors will also get a more intimate glimpse into each couple through their personal correspondence and photographs.
Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June – 21 October 2018, National Portrait Gallery
Michael Jackson’s influence on music, dance and fashion is undeniable, but for the first time, the National Portrait Gallery’s landmark exhibition will look to celebrate how the King of Pop has inspired some of the biggest names in contemporary art. Opening this summer, to coincide with what would have been the superstar’s 60th birthday, the exhibition features works by over 40 contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Grayson Perry, David LaChapelle and Isa Genzken.
Visitors can follow the cultural impact Michael Jackson has had on generations of artists, and the influence that he continues to have nearly a decade after his death. On display will be works across a range of media from public and private collections around the world, as well as several new works created especially for the occasion.
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life
28 February – 27 August 2018, Tate Britain
Exploring the intimacy and emotion of British figurative painting, works by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud will hang side-by-side in this major new exhibtion opening in the Tate Britain early this year. While the two often differed in their approach - Freud preferring to work from life, and Bacon often using photographs as starting points - they both are successful in not just capturing the likeness of the figures, but the raw sensations and experiences of their subjects.
With over 100 works on show, the Tate will also showcase pieces by living artists such as Paula Rego and Frank Auerbach and will look at the role of women artists in the traditionally male-dominated field of figurative painting.
Monet & Architecture
9 April – 29 July 2018, National Gallery
While Monet has been lauded all over the world for his iconic garden scenes and landsapes, the National Gallery invites visitors to see the 'Father of Impressionsm' in a completely new light. From Paris to London and Venice, rural villages to cityscapes, historical to modern structures, the first exhibition dedicated to Monet's relationship with architecture will feature over seventy of the great master's works.
Opening in April, the exhibition will span the artist's career from its beginnings in the mid-1860s to his later life when the superb architecture of Venice captured his attention. On display will also be several recognisable spots painted while Monet was visiting London around the turn of the century, including the Houses of Parliament, Charing Cross Bridge and Waterloo Bridge.
Header Image: An Illuminating Path, 1998 by David LaChapelle. Courtesy of the artist; Untitled #13 (Elizabeth Taylor's Closet), 2012 by Catherine Opie.
Images top to bottom: Le Rêve (The Dream), 1932 by Pablo Picasso. Private collection. © Succession Picasso/DACS 2017. Image above: Sleeping by the Lion Carpet, 1996 by Lucian Freud © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman. Image courtesy Acquavella Galleries.