What I’m eagerly anticipating in 2012:

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture

Royal Academy, 21 January-9 April

If we want to honour the English, we must honour Hockney, and rightly at the Royal Academy. The title refers to the expanses of land the artist had dealt with in his paintings from over 50 years. The show will have a couple of unusual aspects – some drawings he has made on an iPad, and a film made using 18 cameras. Opening soon, don’t forget to book!



Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton

V&A, 8 February-22 April

Timed to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration, this exhibit collates photographs of the Queen (and family) by the acclaimed 20th century photographer Cecil Beaton known for his portraits of the rich and famous.



Lucian Freud Portraits

National Portrait Gallery, 9 February-27 May

I didn’t leave enough space for Freud when he was alive. This mentality (felt by many) ought to draw the crowds into the National Portrait Gallery this spring. The exhibition will span 70 years of portraiture, was his largest and most successful body of painting. Excitingly, the exhibition will reveal some never-seen-before paintings.



Picasso in Britain

Tate Britain, 15 February-15 July

Everyone’s seen a Picasso show but have you seen one where it suddenly becomes about us, our lovely nation. I haven’t. The Tate will aim to plot in this exhibition, the legacy of the artist in Bacon, Sutherland, Hockney, Nicholson, Wyndham Lewis and Henry Moore; bringing together 60 works by Picasso and 90 works by British artists since. It’s (quite importantly) a chance to see his ‘Weeping Woman’ and ‘Three Dancers’.



Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude

National Gallery, 14 March-5 June

If you liked the Turner and the Masters at Tate Britain in 2009/10, and Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape currently at the Ashmolean in Oxford, you’ll love this… or, it’ll be over familiar. What you can be sure of is that the National can be trusted with a dual-artist exhibition. It’s no ground-breaking comparison (not like the Poussin and Twombly at the Dulwich over summer), but you may still find it, by the nature of the paintings themselves, enlightening.



Damien Hirst

Tate Modern, 4 April-24 June

Hopefully those awful Blue Paintings (displayed in the Wallace Collection) won’t crop up in this retrospective. However ‘For the Love of God’ is due to for the first time in UK and will probably cornered by security guards in the Turbine Hall. Come and see some of the most expensive, and most talked about (which is no-doubt linked) art works of the last few decades for a very reasonable fee (I’m sure.)



Bauhaus: Art as Life

Barbican, 3 May-12 August

Bauhaus is the heritage of Ikea – so ingrained into our homes we barely notice. The school’s new genre of art education bred functional, reproducible and most importantly, sleek design. The 1930s institute was a hot house for all things that made art for life: painting, photography and film, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and design, theatre, architecture and instillation.



Yoko Ono

Serpentine Gallery, 19 June-9 September

What, as in John Lennon’s lass? Yes, utterly creative being, inspiration for Lennon and for the masses since, she’s won multiple prestigious awards, and has been influential for Conceptual Art for many tens of years. This will be an inter-disciplinary exhibition to run alongside London’s 2012 festival.



Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

National Gallery, 11 July-23 September

Artists are always (directly or inadvertently) referring to art of the past. The National Gallery are commissioning contemporary artists from all areas of the performing and visual arts to respond to the gallery’s infamous Titians: ‘Diana and Actaeon,’  ‘The Death of Actaeon’ and ‘Diana and Callisto’ (all branching themselves from The Ovid.) This is set to be a dramatic display of British creativity, including works from Mark Wallinger and Chris Offili, which will bring the classic tradition to life.



A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance Art

Tate Modern, 7 November-1 April (2013)

Painting begins to take a more tactile response in 1950s in a whole range of manners, beginning with the obvious (but once outrageous) Jackson Pollock and leading onto Cindy Sherman’s ‘80s masquerading ‘Untitled Film Stills.’ Art marked (literally) by its energy, this ought to be an engaging and visually varied exhibition.




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