A selection of ten exhibitions to visit in London while dodging the Christmas carol signers and Father Christmases popping up all over the place.
180 Studios, Strand
Adults: £20 | Concessions: £15 | Children (<12): Free
London-based collective United Visual Artists largest show to date will feature a number of newly commissioned works and collaborations that explore the elements that structure our perception of reality and challenge the human instinct of finding order and meaning in our surroundings.
Sir John Soane’s Museum, Holborn
This exhibition concentrates on specific, well-publicised light shows of the period and the impressive and the elaborate temporary architectural structures created for them, often designed by leading architects and artists, including Soane. Royal entertainments, pleasure gardens, national celebrations, and illuminations by Soane will all feature, demonstrating that these ephemeral cultural practices were drivers of architectural and technological innovation.
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
Adults: £20 | Concessions: £18 | Children & Members: Free
(pay what you want on Friday evenings)
This exhibition, the first major retrospective of Hals in more than thirty years, means a new generation can discover why he deserves his place as one of the greatest painters in Western art.
Barbican Art Gallery, City of London
Created using the Centre’s original materials, this display presents a changing selection of stories and objects from the Archive. The centrepiece is a rarely seen, 1:22-scale model of the Centre and Estate.
British Library, King’s Cross
Adults: £16 | Concessions/Young people (18-25): £14 | Children (12-17): £8 | Members: Free
Let this exhibition cast its spell as you explore the beautiful, uncanny and sometimes monstrous makings of fantasy. From epic visions to intricately envisaged details, we celebrate some of the finest fantasy creators, reveal how their imagined lands, languages and creatures came into being, and delve into the traditions of a genre that has created some of the most passionate and enduring fandoms.
Borough Yards, Bankside
Adult (13+): £21.60 | Senior (65+), Young person (13-26): £17.30 | Child (4-12): £14
Visitors will experience an extensive digital display of 12 large-scale installations. In one area, 631 glowing lights that change colour throughout the day will be displayed. The number of lights represents each year from the Joseon Dynasty to modern-day Seoul, illuminating the passage of time. Further into the exhibition, visitors will be immersed in the present-day streets of Seoul, with neon lights, music, and sirens reflecting the city’s energetic rhythm.
Cartoon Museum, Bloomsbury
Adults: £9.50 | Concession (over 60 y/o): £6 | Students: £4 | Children: Free
An exhibition showcasing behind the screen shots showing the artists and studio as the film was made, set pieces and models seen for the first time in London, and plenty of surviving original artwork.
Museum of London Docklands, Canary Wharf
Adults: £12 | Concessions: £8 | Children (12-17)/Student: £6 | Children (<12): Free
From East End tailors to the couture salons of the West End, Fashion City tells the story of Jewish designers, makers and retailers responsible for some of the most recognisable looks of the 20th century. Individuals who became leading figures in their industries, founded retail chains still present on the high street today, and whose businesses helped boost the British post-war economy.
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth
Explore how audacious plots of deception have changed the course of conflict and the lives of those involved. The exhibition showcases over 150 objects, newly digitised film and photography, as well as specially commissioned interviews.
Gunnersbury Park Museum, Ealing
From laser beams to paranoid androids, exploring faraway planets to alien invasions – visitors will get to enjoy an engaging and interactive showcase of the sets, costumes, prosthetics, props, and artistic visualisations that went into British Sci-Fi classics, including Doctor Who, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf. We’ll also bring the story up to date with a motion capture interactive.