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The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now

16 July 2019 | London Calling

The place to come for all the best current exhibitions in London...

Spotlight On: Natalia Goncharova at the Tate Modern
What can I expect to see? The Tate Modern has snagged the UK’s first-ever retrospective of the Russian avant-garde artist, and this is a full retrospective in the true sense of the phrase. Goncharova’s work ranged from futurist body art and nude paintings which scandalised Russian high society to costume designs for the Ballets Russes and the theatre.
What's the big deal? Goncharova was nothing if not prolific, so there is something for everyone to get stuck into here. Russian life is powerfully evoked in her earlier work, most of which are more naturalistic paintings with modernist elements; a kind of Russian cross between the traditional romantic scenes of the 18th and 19th centuries and aspects of Picasso and Cézanne, whom Goncharova saw as a major influence – excepting the fact of their Europeanness, which she rejected both verbally and in the subjects of her work. It’s also interesting to be able to track the development of Goncharova’s style as she plays with modernist elements from abstraction to rayonism. The last room which contains the majority of her costume designs as well as actual costumes where real effort has gone into the curation, making for a dramatic and theatrical room which reflects its content.
How long have I got? Until 8 September
 
sunflowers van gogh

The Best of the Rest:
Van Gogh and Britain at the Tate Britain
What can I expect to see? 
An exhibition focused on Britain's influence on Van Gogh and vice versa; you'll see some of van Gogh's sunflower still lifes and Starry Night on the Rhône, but also work from his contemporaries in Britain and beyond
How long have I got? Until 11 August

Jamie Hewlett: The Suggestionists at Lazinc
What can I expect to see? Hewlett (best known as co-founder of Gorillaz) has forged a distinctive visual style over the past few decades, securing a unique place in British pop culture with his mischievous wit. For this show, Hewlett will bring to Mayfair three unique bodies of work, including: drawings, paintings and photo collage
How long have I got? Until 17 August

Queer Spaces, 1980 - Now at Whitechapel Gallery
What can I expect to see? An archive-based exhibition recognises and celebrates a selection of London’s most iconic LGBTQ+ venues. Check out our full review here.
How long have I got? Until 25 August

Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic at the Wellcome Collection
What can I expect to see? The exhibition covers the range of the history and psychology of magic, from Victorian spiritualism, mediums and séances, to modern magicians’ use of misdirection, and how magicians can influence decision making – or appear to. It also reveals the close link between magic and science; illuminating the ways in which science and psychology have been used to create magic despite apparent tensions between the two.
How long have I got? Until 15 September

Mary Quant at the V&A
What can I expect to see? This is the first exhibition in 50-years to celebrate the iconic work of Dame Mary Quant, and displays over 120 of her original designs, as well as make-up, underwear and even her own brand of doll. Check out our full review here.
How long have I got? Until 20 February 2020
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