Best London exhibitions: Art, design and fashion must-sees coming soon

Ailis Brennan, Lizzie Thomson
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Best London exhibitions: Art, design and fashion must-sees coming soon

Art lovers in London are spoilt for choice, but with so much on offer it's worth keeping an eye on the calendar so as not to miss anything.

If you like to get your arty plans in order, or want to get excited now about a whole year of art to come, then it’s time to grab your diaries.

From Olafur Eliasson to William Blake, these are the big exhibitions you can look forward to in London over the next year.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21, 1978, Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches, 20.3 x 25.4 cm (Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York )

Cindy Sherman, photography’s master of disguise, will be the subject of a major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery. More than 150 works by the shape-shifting contemporary artist will go on display, including her seminal series Untitled Film Stills, 1977-80, which shows the artist in the guise of stereotypical female film rolls from mid-century Hollywood.

National Portrait Gallery, June 27 - September 15 2019, npg.org.uk

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson Your spiral view 2002.Installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, 2002. Photographer: Jens Ziehe Courtesy of Boros Collection, Berlin (2002 Olafur Eliasson)

Do you remember when a giant sun lit up the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2003? That was Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project and the Danish artist is returning to the London gallery with more mind-bending installations as part of a major retrospective. Expect immersive works featuring rainbows, shadows and a vegetarian canteen.

Tate Modern, July 11 2019 - January 5 2020, tate.org.uk

Helene Schjerfbeck

Helene Schjerfbeck, Self-Portrait, Black Background, 1915 (Herman and Elisabeth Hallonblad Collection/ Ateneum Art Museum/ Finnish National Gallery/Yehia Eweis)

This Royal Academy exhibition will focus on the works of Helene Schjerfbeck — a celebrated Finnish artist who is lesser-known in the UK. The exhibition will journey through her career, tracing its evolution from her early naturalistic style to her later abstract self-portraits. More than 60 landscapes, still lifes and portraits will be on show, to give visitors a taste of Schjerfbeck’s vision.

Royal Academy, July 20 - October 27, royalacademy.org.uk

William Blake: The Artist

William Blake Pity c.1795. Tate (Lucy Dawkins, Tate Photography)

William Blake may have been born more than 250 years ago, but Tate Britain is looking at the poet, painter and printmaker as a man of today. Politically astute and immensely talented across multiple mediums, this show will demonstrate how the British artist came to be so influential to artists, writers, musicians and more. With 600 works in the mix, it is set to be most comprehensive survey of Blake for more than 15 years.

Tate Britain, September 11 2019 - February 2 2020, tate.org.uk

Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley, LOST HORIZON I, 2008. Cast iron, 189 x 53 x 29 cm (32 elements). Installation view, White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London, England. Photograph by Stephen White, London (Antony Gormley)

He’s put members of the public on the Fourth Plinth, created the Angel of the North, covered the Sadler’s Wells stage in clay, and now Sir Antony Gormley is looking to fill the Royal Academy with seawater. The work, Host, will be part of a solo exhibition that will see Turner Prize winner Gormley bring together works old and new from across his much-lauded career.

Royal Academy, September 21 - December 3 2019, royalacademy.org.uk

Nam June Paik: The Future is Now

TV Garden 1974-7 (2002). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany) (Estate of Nam June Paik)

Korean-American artist Nam June Paik knew that mass media, the internet and beyond was going to change art, and our lives, forever. The ground-breaking video artist was a pioneer in examining how new technology was changing art, and this exhibition will examine his forward-thinking works and partnerships with the likes of Joseph Beuys, John Cage and more.

Tate Modern, October 17 2019 - February 9 2020

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley, High Sky, 1991 (Bridget Riley 2018)

Another huge retrospective exhibition is landing later this year, this time at Southbank Centre on British artist Bridget Riley. Spanning 70 years of her work, the show will focus on the origins of Riley’s painting, before tracing the important moments in her acclaimed career. The exhibition will showcase her black and white paintings of the 1960s alongside early works and more recent pieces. It will also feature her only 3D work, Continuum, as well as new wall paintings made specially for the Hayward Gallery.

Hayward Gallery, 23 October 2019 – 26 January, southbankcentre.co.uk

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits

Lucian Freud, Reflection (Self-portrait), 1985. Oil on canvas, 56.2 x 51.2 cm. Private collection, on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images)

As one of the most influential portrait painters of a generation, Lucian Freud painted many a familiar face – including his own. In the first exhibition of its kind, the Royal Academy will focus solely on the painters’ self-portraits, with examples spanning 64 years, from his first in 1939 to a portrait of the artist at 71 years old, entirely naked apart from a pair of boots.

Royal Academy, October 27 2019 - January 26 2020, royalacademy.org.uk