9 Top Art Exhibitions Opening in London in October

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Art lovers rejoice!

If you’re planning a trip to London in October, you’ll be pleased to know there’s an abundance of amazing art shows opening, covering everything from the classic and traditional, to the modern and daring.

We’ve rounded up nine of our favourite exhibitions during the spookiest month of the year to help get you excited (with no ghosts or ghouls in sight).

Book now to take advantage of The Devonshire’s London Hotel Offers!

1. Mary Sibande: I Came Apart at the Seams – Somerset House 

Oct 3rd – Jan 5th 2020

Mary Sibande’s much-anticipated exhibition I Came Apart at the Seams opens this October in connection with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. It promises to be filled with the colour and drama she is best known for. She’s one of South Africa’s most loved contemporary artists, and she represented her country at the Venice Biennale back in 2011. Now she’s finally heading to the UK for her first solo exhibition here at the beautiful Somerset House.

2. Rembrandt’s Light – Dulwich Picture Gallery 

Oct 4th – Feb 2nd 2020

Master of light and storytelling, Rembrandt is one of the most celebrated painters who ever lived. This exhibition honours 350 years since his death as it showcases 35 of his most iconic paintings and drawings, including major international borrows from the likes of The Louvre and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt’s Light will take you on a journey that’s both contemplative and spiritual, demonstrating his use of light. It focusses on the period from 1639–1658 when he lived in his dream house at Breestraat in Amsterdam. Its striking, light-infused studio was where Rembrandt created his most exceptional work.

3. Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art – Barbican Centre 

Oct 4th – Jan 19th 2020

The East London favourite – The Barbican Centre – is set to explore the golden era of cafes cabarets and clubs with this exhibition. Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art will study the work of the influential movers and shakers from the 1880s to the 1960s, with immersive life-size restorations of some of the interiors accountable for inspiring likes of Toulouse Lautrec, and the filmmaker Fritz Lang. The exhibition will begin in Paris with the infamous Chat Noir.

Visitors at this exhibition will be able to glimpse the original silhouettes that graced the interior, collectively with Toulouse Lautrec’s lithographs representing the captivating performances of dancer Loïe Fuller. Sticking on the creative Hammersmith and City Line, keep your eyes peeled for great deals at top Bed And Breakfast Paddington.

4. The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Gauguin Portraits – The National Gallery

Oct 7th – Jan 26th 2020

Another first in the list – this is the first exhibition dedicated to Paul Gauguin’s portraits. This exhibition reveals how the French artist revolutionised the portrait, showing glimpses from his early years as an artist, back through to his years spent in French Polynesia. By including carefully chosen attributes or putting the sitter into a suggestive context, Gauguin was able to create portraits that displayed meaning beyond the subjects’ personalities. The National Gallery is a particular favourite with tourists too, and it’s not too far The Devonshire London.

To get there, you can take either the Bakerloo or Central lines.

5. Nam June Paik: The Future Is Now – The Tate Modern 

Oct 17th – Feb 9th 2020

Nam June Paik’s experimental, trend-setting, yet whimsical work has had a staggering influence on today’s art and culture. He is regarded as an early pioneer of the use of TV and video in art. He coined the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ to foretell the future of communication in the internet age we know today.

This major exhibition will be a mesmerising mix of sights and sounds, bringing together over 200 works from throughout his five-decade career.

6. Pre-Raphaelite Sisters: Models, Artists, Muses – National Portrait Gallery  

Oct 17th – Jan 26th 2020

This exciting and trailblazing exhibition is the first to focus on the never-before-heard story of the women of Pre-Raphaelite art.

160 years after the first pictures were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters explores the overlooked contribution of twelve women to this movement, including Evelyn de Morgan, Effie Millais, Elizabeth Siddal and Joanna Wells. Highlighting new finds and unseen works from both public and private collections from across the globe, the exhibition reveals the women – and muses – behind the paintings.

7. Cars – The V&A 

Oct 19th 

During its brief 130-year history, the car has become one of the most loved, hated and important innovations in the world. It’s unsurprising when you think about just how much it has revolutionised manufacturing, changed how we move, permanently altering our cities, environment, and economies.

As we near another significant turning point in the world of automobiles, this exhibition looks at the role of the car in shaping the world we live in today.

8. Bridget Riley – Hayward Gallery 

Oct 23rd – Jan 26th 2020

Lover of bold, unique and mesmerising patterns? You’ll be pleased to know the Hayward Gallery is set to host a major retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of British artist Bridget Riley.

Coordinated by the National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Hayward Gallery and in close collaboration with the artist, this extensive exhibition will be the first large-scale survey of Riley’s work to be held in the UK for over 16 years. The exhibition will examine the origins and inspirations of Riley’s most loved perceptual paintings and will investigate pivotal, decisive moments in her acclaimed, decade-spanning career.

9. Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits 

Oct 27th – Jan 26th 2020

One of the most renowned portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of the very few 20th century artists who defined themselves with such consistency. By turning the brush on himself, Lucian Freud unveiled known and unknown truths about himself and his career, making this a pretty fascinating exhibition that spans over 64 years of work.

Which exhibition will you check out during your stay in the city and at The Devonshire London?

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