For hundreds of years, London has been the place for artists of all kinds to come and establish their name. Shakespeare had to make to the trip from Avon, Handel decided London was where he needed to be, as have more recent examples like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.
Ultimately, it’s the lively, creative atmosphere that brings so many artists to the capital, and that means there are more galleries and exhibition spaces around than most people could cover in a lifetime. To help you narrow the field a bit, we’ve put together some of the best art exhibitions and gallery openings you can find this month from The Devonshire London Paddington.
Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up
Kahlo was a woman known for evoking a particular image. Rather than conforming to the norms of the day, she saw it as her job as an artist to personify an aesthetic approach to life – and that included her very being.
Making Herself Up – running until November at the Victoria & Albert Museum – brings together a vast range of Kahlo’s personal effects, presenting them in a thorough exploration of the artist’s approach to her work and life. The idea behind the exhibition is to show that, for Kahlo, her life and her work were the same. Kahlo almost saw it as her duty to cultivate herself into a living, breathing work of art, making her indivisible from her creations. It’s a fascinating exhibition, one part biography and one part exploration of Kahlo’s lifelong artistic process. Even better, it’s only a short hop from Montcalm’s many luxury boutique hotels London.
Running until the 11th of November at the Museum of London, London Nights is a nocturnal exploration of the capital. The exhibition takes in a whole range of visual art forms – photography, video, portraits and more – to show the unique and changing face of London’s night-time world. And it’ll only take you about 15-minutes to reach the exhibition from The Devonshire London Paddington.
London Nights features more than 200 pieces of work from 60 photographers, and the exhibition offers insight from the Victorian era all the way up to today. What makes this such a fascinating exhibition is not just the window it provides into the past, but also how ‘alive’ the works make the world of yesteryear feel. The Victorian shots, for example, are a world away from the formal, staid photography we usually see from the era, showing real people going about their business in a way that makes them seem more real.
Hannah Wilke Exhibition
Opening on the 27th of September, this exhibition at the Alison Jacques Gallery will see a comprehensive overview of the works of celebrated American artist Hannah Wilke.
Taking in sculpture, photography, performance art, painting and more, this is an exhaustive and fascinating retrospective of an immensely talented artist. Often controversial and always innovative, Wilkes made a name for herself by being an open, honest and somewhat vulnerable creator, placing great emphasis on the power of feminism and the precarious position of women in society.
It’s a wonderful exhibition and a great, inside view into one of the most well-regarded, radical female artists of the 20th century.