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8 Must-See Art Exhibitions in London this Month: February 2018

Discover fashion, craft, and art in London with our guide to this month's must-see exhibitions.

In our new monthly series, don’t miss London’s biggest, best, and lesser-known exhibitions each month. We’ll guide you to our pick of contemporary art, fashion, and more so you can continue discovering everything London has to offer!

Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects

Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
22nd February – 25th February
Cost: from £23.00 for Standard Adult ticket plus Craft Council donation

With works from 39 galleries spanning four continents, The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects this year is unmatched in scale and scope. Visitors will discover the people, processes and materials defining international craftsmanship across the globe while challenging ideas of what constitutes craft. Collect provides an immersive insight into the reinvention of historic techniques dictating the direction of craftsmanship.

Condo London

Installation view from Condo 2018, König London & Galeria Jaqueline Martins, showing Lydia Okumura, Jeppe Hein & Jose Dávila. Courtesy König London, Photo: Damian Griffiths.

Various Locations, London
Until 10th February
Cost: Free

Condo London is a collaborative exhibition pairing international art spaces with London venues. With a total of 27 exhibitions across 17 galleries, this year’s exhibition covers great ground both geographically and conceptually. Visiting galleries from Shanghai, Warsaw, and Guatemala City among others, co-curate an exhibition with a young host gallery in London, and the hosts’ artists’ works are displayed concurrently. Get a taste for international art without leaving the Oyster Zone: plan your route to include The Sunday Painter, Arcadia Missa, and Maureen Paley.

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud, and a Century of Painting Life

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969

Tate Britain, Pimlico
28th February – 27th August
Cost: £17.00

Don’t get distracted by the heavy-hitters in the exhibition’s title: All Too Human goes far beyond Bacon and Freud to examine themes in the works of 20th-century British figurative painters. Discover lesser-known contemporaries such as Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego, and understand how the preceding generation of artists sowed the conceptual seeds for the portrayal of the human experience.

Tara Donovan: Compositions

Pace London, Mayfair
24th January – 9th March
Cost: Free

Compositions is Donovan’s first exhibition at Pace London, featuring the artist’s most recent series of works. Donovan’s series of wall-mounted framed works explore the idea of stratification as a sculptural technique to create a two-dimensional picture plane. Echoing lenticular printing techniques, the works acquire a sculptural quality when the viewers move around the pieces, creating an illusion of motion on the static surfaces.

Charles I: King and Collector

Charles I on Horseback with M. de St Antoine (1633), by Anthony van Dyck

Royal Academy, Mayfair
27th January -15th April
Cost: £18.00

Charles I: King and Collector reunites over 100 works of art not seen together since the 17th century when the collection of Charles I was dispersed across Europe in the wake of his execution. The masterfully curated exhibition – including miniatures, sculptures, and tapestries – features works by great Renaissance painters such as Titian, Holbein and Mantegna, as well as leading contemporaries including Van Dyck and Rubens, demonstrating the impact and reach of the patron King’s tastes. The Royal Academy launches it’s 250th year with an extraordinary landmark exhibition, not to be missed.

Contemporary Visions 8

BEERS London, Old Street
12th January – 24th February
Cost: Free

Contemporary Visions, now in its eighth year of success, is one of London’s most eminent open-call group exhibitions. Over 4,000 applicants were adjudicated by a senior panel of judges, with the objective of identifying and exposing current trends in contemporary art. This year’s exhibition features young or emerging artists with a strong viewpoint and artistic techniques that show obvious promise across all media and disciplines.

Last Chance: Must-See Exhibitions Closing this Month

Cézanne Portraits

Portrait of Antony Valabrègue ( – 1871), by Paul Cézanne

National Portrait Gallery,
Closing February 11th
Cost: £18.00

Paul Cézanne is often overlooked by gallery-goers seeking the more famous of his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist contemporaries. But the influential artist’s legacy inspired Cubists, Fauvists, and generations of avant-garde artists. This extraordinary exhibition unites over fifty portraits – just a fraction of his enormous output – from various periods of the artist’s life. The exhibition emphasises the evolution in pictorial and thematic characteristics in Cézanne’s work and with it, the National Portrait Gallery honours the artist with an exhibition worthy of his rightful role as the father of modern art.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

Closing February 18th
Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington
Cost: £13.50

Discover Cristóbal Balenciaga’s exquisite craftsmanship in the first UK exhibition studying the work of the Spanish couturier. The exhibition places particular emphasis on the most creative period of the designer’s career during the 1950s and 1960s, with examples of Balenciaga’s revolutionary shapes, archive sketches, patterns and samples, Trace Balenciaga’s influence through the work of contemporary designers and understand how the eponymous fashion house continues to reign supreme.

Gain a better understanding of contemporary art, portraiture, or key artistic movements with a SideStory Art Experience. Browse our London Experiences here.