2016 is a huge year for art in the capital, with Delacroix and Hockney taking centre stage. Here are five London exhibitions you cannot miss this year!
David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits & 2 Still Lives
David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits & 2 Still Lives: 2 July – 2 October, RA. Hockney may be best-known for his glistening Cali pools and blonde bob, but he also did a lot of portraits. How many? An exhibition’s worth, the RA reckon. With Hockney’s reputation the line-up is predictably high-key and celeb, the depictions sassy and aloof. Wonderful stuff from one of England’s greatest artists.
Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear
Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear: 16 April – 12 March, V&A. From the Victorian corset to the topless bikini, underwear is a great way to trace society’s aesthetic, sensual and sexual mores. This V&A exhibition focuses on the politics of underwear too, from oppressive garms to empowering threads.
Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art
Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art: 17 Feb – 22 May, National Gallery. Is it too much to say Delacroix was the progenitor of all modern art? Best known for leading the French Romantic movement in the liminal revolutionary era, Delacroix is that awesome mix of really important, really good and really accessible – meaning even if you’re not a huge art lover, you will still love this exhibition.
Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution
Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution: until 28 March, Greenwich. Samuel Pepys basically had the most action-packed life ever. The civil war, the execution of Charles I, the restoration, the great plague outbreak, the great fire of London… Pepys saw and wrote about it all in his famous diary. So it is frankly about time an exhibition linked all these themes in one Pepysian exhibition!
Vogue 100 A Century of Style
Vogue 100 A Century of Style: 11 Feb – 22 May, National Portrait Gallery. Pictures of cool people looking swish. It never gets old, no matter what decade they’re from. This sensational collection charts the IT girls, poster boys and bona fide icons of the last 100 years in their prime pomp. And Hockney makes a cameo! Yay!