Van Gogh, Yoko Ono, Kandinsky and Tim Burton: the major exhibitions of 2024 in London

03.01.2024Irina Nesmeyanova

London is an exceptional city in terms of cultural events. In order not to get lost among the numerous posters, we've gathered the brightest events from the art world that are planned for 2024. From classics to contemporary art projects, from impressionism to political conceptualism - exhibitions that can be safely added to your cultural calendar and should never be missed.

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind

Yoko Ono has been called the most important conceptual artist and sometimes “the most famous of unknown artists” – so unflattering was Lennon’s opinion of her. Her absolutely samurai way in the art world translates the set of rules and norms of behavior of a true warrior in society – precision and hitting the heart.

Many believe that Ono is where the world’s conceptual art began. Her instructions, music, films, performances, and interactive works offer the viewer a new and incomparable experience – to be an artist yourself.

The Music of the Mind project will reveal to the audience the scale of the Japanese avant-garde artist’s personality, will give an opportunity to learn her genius and will reveal many new and unknown things about her personality. The exhibition will focus on key moments in Yoko’s career and will span more than seven decades, including the time she lived and worked in London from 1966 to 1971 – the same period when she met John.

Dates and location: from February 15 to September 1, 2024, Tate Modern

Impressionists on Paper: Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec

Impressionist and -post-impressionist artists were radically changing the future of art not only through paintings on canvas. As the new direction took shape, they worked extensively on paper, dabbled in drawing and positioned it as a work of art in its own right. This innovative approach gave rise to later movements such as expressionism and abstraction.

Delicate and “breathing” pastel sketches, transparent watercolors, sketches in tempera and gouache – a real pleasure and “vitamins” for the eyes. The exhibition brings together 77 works on paper by the most famous masters who worked in the aforementioned genre.

Dates and venue: from November 25, 2023 to March 10, 2024, Royal Academy of Arts

Francis Bacon: Portraits

Francis Bacon is a rare type of artist and recognized genius who had no education, mixed paints not on a palette but on the walls of his studio, often painted on the back of a canvas, had no direct followers, and his art still does not belong to any trend.

Bacon is a figure that stands apart in world painting. His sprawling portraits are reminiscent of x-rays. This is what he said about his work, “our face and body is not the beautiful shell we see in the mirror”. The artist believed that the only way we can truly view our bodies is through x-rays, which gives us an idea of how vulnerable and fragile they are.

Bacon’s portraits are not faces as part of a social image and status, but rather a body part or organ depicted on canvas. The canvases of this unusual artist are fundamentally devoid of appearance and cannot be fixed, they seem to continue and explore the real flesh, which gives a convulsive feeling of their own “liveliness”.

Dates and venue: October 10, 2024 to January 19, 2025, National portrait gallery

Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider

The Blue Rider Art Association had a short but colorful life – from 1911 to 1914 – and ended its existence at the outbreak of World War One.

The Blue Rider was headquartered in Munich and its chief intellectual leader was Wassily Kandinsky. Within the activities of this movement, artists experimented with color, light, sound, performance, and photography, creating new and daring art.

“Blue Rider” is a story of friendship, individuality, and shared goals. Women artists, especially Kandinsky’s close friend Gabriele Münter, played an important role in the association’s activities. In 1909 she bought a small house near Munich in picturesque Murnau. The place soon became a hotspot for the Blue Rider artists, and during the Nazi era it became a haven for dozens of canvases, including works by Kandinsky himself.

In addition to the most famous members of The Blue Rider, the exhibition will feature experimental photographs by Gabriele Munter, as well as dramatic works by Marianne Werefkin.

Dates and venue: April 25 to October 20, 2024, Tate Modern

Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers

In honor of its bicentennial, the National Gallery will present one of the most ambitious exhibitions of Vincent van Gogh. The exhibition will feature the most famous and rare paintings of the master from all over the world, as well as his drawings.

In just two years, which the creator spent in the south of France in Arles and Saint-Remy, Van Gogh revolutionized the fine arts, opening a completely new style of painting. Many experts note that this time was the central period of the artist’s career.

In one of his letters Van Gogh says: “A revolution has taken place in me, I let go of the reins that held me back, and breathed more freely. First I carefully draw what is hidden from view then I take on what is visible to the public, thanks to which I achieve maximum correctness …”

Dates and location: from September 14, 2024 to January 19, 2025, The National Gallery

Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael.

Three great rivals or three of the most important titans of the Italian Renaissance. Each of them wanted as much attention as possible from influential Florentine patrons. The exhibition is based on the theme of the confrontation between Michelangelo and Leonardo and the influence they had on the young Raphael.

You will see the best examples of Italian Renaissance drawing, preparatory sketches and cartons for future frescoes commissioned by the Florentine government for the Assembly Hall in Palazzo Vecchio.

Dates and venue: from November 9, 2024 to February 16, 2025, Royal Academy of Arts

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of you. I mean me. I mean you.

Barbara Kruger is a major star of conceptual and political art, graphic designer and illustrator. Her black, red and white art came out of Rodchenko posters and constructivism. She distills the magazine image into a clean style, utilizing the aesthetics of typography, agitation and propaganda.

Barbara Krueger ironizes stereotypes and explores the direct impact of the Internet, advertising, television, and other media on human consciousness. Since the 1970s, her constant subject has been power and how public opinion is shaped and formatted. Sharp and relevant phrases from her posters want to use and speak even in everyday life.

Dates and location: from February 1 to March 17, 2024, Serpentine South Gallery

John Singer Sargent: Sargent and fashion

John Singer Sargent was used to moving from country to country from childhood thanks to his American parents, who remained nomadic expatriates or “citizens of the world” until the end of their days. His first teacher of painting and drawing was his mother, who, like himself, was also a talented artist. Already in his youth, thanks to traveling Sargent knew several languages, and also studied the national costumes and fashion of different peoples, gaining many impressions and inspiration for his art.

The education of the artist turned out to be extremely versatile. Through his knowledge, he worked as a design stylist, using fashion as a powerful tool to vividly express a model’s individual traits. This skill defined his distinctive style of painting so appealing to aristocratic clients.

Dates and location: from February 22-July 7, 2024, Tate Britain

Zineb Sedira: Dreams Have No Titles

Thousands of people walked through French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira’s “living room” that was part of her installation in the French pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Within hours of the Biennale’s opening, she was nominated for the highest honor.

In the spring of 2024, Whitechapel Gallery will present her project of multimedia installations that were conceived for that very 59th Venice Biennale. Sedira’s work will transform the gallery space into a series of purpose-built sets that reference specific avant-garde films from the 1960s and 1970s, produced in France, Italy and Algeria, and blend cinema with the artist’s personal stories.

Dates and location: from February 15 to May 12, 2024, Whitechapel Gallery

Tim Burton: The World of Tim Burton

Hollywood’s darkest storyteller was kicked out of Disney Studios early in his career for an animated movie about Frankenstein’s dog that the company said could have had a negative impact on children’s psyches. Later the famous American corporation, of course, regretted it, because the audience just loved Burton for his unique darkly allegorical worlds, grotesque and black humor. But few people realize how carefully and meticulously the director works on his pictures. Before launching each project, he illustrates and creates in volume all (or virtually all) of the characters in his future works.

The Design Museum offers an aesthetic and visual treat and an insight into the fantastic world of his drawings, photographs, sketchbooks, kinetic and sculptural images, installations, and learn about Tim Burton’s collaborations with renowned designers.

Dates and venue: October 25, 2024 to April 21, 2025, Design Museum

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: