You can find all of our recommended art exhibitions in one place. Below is a list of our 7 must-see art shows for the month, along with a navigation that can take you to smaller weekly listings that are worthy of note, this section is updated with new shows every week. If you want to see exhibitions in London or in your area simply go to our Artist Calendar – let us know about an exhibition using the form at the bottom of that page for the chance to be included in one of our Art Exhibitions on Now posts!
7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions on in February
This month’s art exhibitions not to miss choices include shows that look at well known artists a new and the opportunity to see some of the best contemporary artists tackling topical issues.
1. The C C Land Exhibition Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory
Many artists have been eagerly awaiting this show of Bonnard’s beautiful, unconventionally coloured, bright paintings. Along with Matisse, Bonnard is one of the best known colourist of the 20th century; working from memory his work captures a moment and is deeply expressive.
This exhibition was organised with the Tate Modern in collaboration with Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen and Kunstforum Wien.
Showing at the Tate Modern, London until 6th May 2019.
2. Whistler & Nature
Whistler declared: ‘Nature contains the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music’.
Whistler & Nature features 90 of the great late-Victorian master, James McNeill Whistler’s paintings, sketches and prints. It focuses upon his life from working in the US military through to his perspective on British landscape painting and British design. Many of the works present the modern Victorian age as a wealthy, productive, moving subject with swirls of mist and smoke surrounding warehouses and harbours.
The Hunterian, University of Glasgow developed this exhibition in partnership with Compton Verney.
Showing at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 17th March 2019.
3. John Kørner: Life in a Box
Copenhagen-based artist John Kørner creates pieces that confront and explore topical content, seeping them in abstraction and metaphor in order to speak across boundaries. Using paintings and installations he creates a three-dimensional space for the audience to contemplate his ‘problems’ which emerge as egg like forms both in his work and the world, alluding to how we deal with the issues we perceive.
Showing at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London between 1st February and 23rd March 2019.
4. Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life Death Rebirth
Comparing two artists hundreds of years apart is a curious thing. The pairing of the video artist Bill Viola with the famous Renaissance master Michelangelo relies entirely upon the strength of both artist themes. The curation of the show leads one through the cycle of life, including it’s beauty, emotional upheavals, birth and death.
Showing at the Royal Academy of Arts, London until 31st March 2019.
5. Flourish Award 2018
Now in its 10th year, Flourish Award, set up by the West Yorkshire Print Workshop ,shows the top work of Yorkshire printmakers and artists. Exhibiting artists include Hazel Roberts, Jemma Gunning, John Angus, Kathryn Desforges, Maxine Foster, Michaela Wheater, Nazanin Moradi, Neil Bousfield, Nicole Polonsky, Nigel Morris, Sara Lee, Sin Park and Theresa Taylor.
Winning artists include:
Flourish Award 2018 and Intaglio Printmakers Prize – Hazel Roberts
Great Art Award – Kathryn Desforges
Hawthorn Printmakers Supplies Prize to a Student or recent Graduate – Maxine Foster
ArtLab Contemporary Print Studio (UCLAN) Award – Nigel Morris
RK Burt & Co. Prize – Sin Park
Awagami Paper Award (Visitors’ Choice) – Jemma Gunning
Showing at Spike Print Studio, Bristol until 16th February 2019.
6. Anna Boghiguian
Anna Boghiguian is a Egyptian-Canadian artist of Armenian origin, whose work is inspired by philosophy and her constant travelling. This large scale installation together with paintings, collages, books and elements of the artists studio as with much of Boghiguian’s work, looks at the human condition and the effects of global trade, colonialism, migration and war.
This show was supported by a grant from Canada House and curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director, and Marianna Vecellio, Curator, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino with Anne Barlow, Director Tate St Ives.
Showing at the Tate St Ives, Cornwall between 8th February and 6th May 2019.
7. Freud, Dalí and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus
Both Surrealism and psychoanalysis attempt to explore elements of the unconscious, albeit one verbally and the other visually. Starting from Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí’s one meeting and including a piece Dalí brought with him The Metamorphosis of Narcissus, this exhibition illuminates how Freud’s work affected and influenced both Dalí and Surrealism. It also looks at Freud’s relationship to painting and theory around critical paranoia and the Narcissus myth.
Showing at the Freud Museum, London until 24th February 2019.
Interesting Upcoming Artist Shows on this Month:
This is a selection of UK art exhibitions, including group, solo, artist-led and gallery curated shows, that we think are interesting or unusual in some way. We update this section every week so you know the exhibitions to see now. Formally, we presented this information as our Current Events weekly blog posts. If you want to submit your own, follow the link at the bottom of this section.
Exhibitions on in the Beginning of February
Boundaries & Beyond
5 February – 17 February 2019
Some people love having rules, because they know what is expected, how they should behave, and what standards are in place. Others hate rules because they feel trapped and confined by regulations. Some say that boundaries are crucial for all kinds of creativity while to others just the thought of it would send a shiver up their spine.
The artists have been invited to present artworks exploring an array of possibilities of being creative either within boundaries and/or beyond. The exhibition brings together an exciting range of artworks showcasing painting, printmaking, photography, installation, 3D and mixed media.
Either you’re a rule maker, a rule taker, or a rule breaker, we would love you to come and share your thoughts and experiences with us.
Moich Abrahams, Tanaz Assefi, Mavis Barber, Simon Barber,
Constantin Botezat, Jonathan Dean, Fabiola Retamozo, Aga Robak,
Nell-Lynn Perera, Dagmar Ortmair, S.R. Jimmy, Jan Chan, Maria Kokkonen,
Jeno Herzmann, Thomas Ridgway, Katka Sestakova-Okusanya,
Sara Paganetto, Katie Francis, Maria Gerardo, Eliyah Qureshi
Curated by Carlos de Lins
159 Bethnal Green Road,
London, E2 7DG
Jane Northcote: Towers Project
1 February – 27 February 2019
“Starting in the Barbican, I set off with my sketchbook to identify nearby towers and tower blocks and discover their stories.
This exhibition shows the results. These are urban sketches, pen and wash, showing vistas discovered on walks through the streets and estates of Finsbury, Clerkenwell, and the City. Mostly I draw towers. I like to find a vista which shows several periods of history in one view: a Victorian Church, a 1960s tower block, and a 21st century skyscraper.
As I’m drawing them, I find that the towers have character and individuality. Then I want to know more about them. Sometimes, when I am drawing, people come up and tell me about the locality. I learn about what was there before, or how it’s changed.
The exhibition includes some of these observations, together with maps of the locations. There are framed pictures, postcards, original watercolours, and etchings. Many of the etchings are presented in the form of greetings cards.’
Barbican Library Foyer, Level 2,
London, EC2Y 8DD
The Florence Trust Open Studios
1 February – 3 February 2019
‘The Florence Trust is delighted to invite you to the opening of the Winter Open on Friday 1st February 2019 from 6.00-9.00pm. The Winter Open takes place at the mid-way point through our twelve artists’ year-long residency at the Trust and is the public’s first chance to explore their studios.
This year’s artists were selected from a competitive field of applicants on the strength and potential of their practice. The Winter Open, which consists of both open studios and an exhibition, is a great opportunity to meet our artists and see how their work is developing and responding to the space and the artistic community.’
London, N5 2AR
Lily Mixe & David Shillinglaw – Dog Tooth. Chicken Feet
1 February – 27 February 2019
‘“The world only goes round by misunderstanding.” – Charles Baudelaire
An exhibition of artworks by David shillinglaw and Lily Mixe.
There’s a long history of artist couples making artwork together, sharing the same living and working space will always influence and be influenced by one another. At a certain point that exchange can become a more direct focus and begin to push and pull each others work in new directions, playing with new ideas and new materials. David and Lily met when David painted over one of Lily’s murals. From day one the artists have been working over each other’s pieces, sharing spaces, and on occasion making murals and installations together. ‘
235 Northdown Rd,
Margate CT9 2PJ
Flowers Contemporary II
10 January – 9 February 2019
‘Flowers Gallery is delighted to present its first exhibitions in 2019, Flowers Contemporary I, II & III, taking place across both London locations, and the New York gallery. The exhibitions bring together works by gallery artists, representing the wide-ranging themes and concerns defining their practice today. ‘
82 Kingsland Road
London E2 8DP
The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition
5 February – 16 February 2019
Featuring works created in pastel, pencil, chalk and charcoal, The Pastel Society is recognised as foremost in its field, a magnet for brilliant exponents of the pastel medium showing the work of leading contemporary artists as well as encouraging work by new artists yet to be established. Artists use the medium for its vibrant colour, vitality and immediacy. Visitors can be confident of seeing a variety of approaches.
Member artists will be demonstrating their working processes as part of the exhibition.
Exhibitions on in the Middle of February
Doreen Fletcher: A Retrospective
25 January – 24 March 2019
‘Doreen Fletcher’s atmospheric urban landscapes have only recently captured an audience, when the discovery of her paintings revealed a distinctive vision of the changing capital. For the first time, the Nunnery Gallery will bring the majority of her work back under one roof, in the home of their making – the East End.
The works reveal the drastic changes of east London’s streets across just three decades, remembering the businesses long forgotten and the buildings that have since been knocked down. A superb colourist, she applies her rigorous technique to recording the drama of the city in compelling and authoritative images.
For twenty years Doreen Fletcher painted the streets of east London until discouraged by lack of recognition, she gave up in 2004. Only a chance meeting with The Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life brought her painting to public attention in 2015. For the first time, this retrospective reveals the full breadth of Doreen Fletcher’s achievement between 1983 and 2004, showing the largest selection of her paintings together, and including many previously unseen pictures from private collections.
Doreen Fletcher’s retrospective at the Nunnery Gallery coincides with the publication of a monograph of her work by Spitalfields Life Books (published November 2018).’
181 Bow Road,
London E3 2SJ
Sylvia Libedinsky: the art of the absurd
7 February – 28 February 2019
‘This exhibition brings together a remarkable body of work by an artist whose wry humour and distinctive 2-D and 3-D graphic art defies categorisation.
Work in a variety of media – acrylic and/or ink on paper, card and fabric, as well as works made from foam, fabric and folded card, LED sculptures and light and shadow projections – demonstrates Libedinsky’s intriguingly eclectic output: what appears to be spontaneous wit is in fact the result of a profound, carefully considered and irreverent understanding of life’s many absurdities.’
43 Denmark Hill
London SE5 8RS
ALIGHT 2019 : Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh
26 January – 22 February 2019
‘Through their open submission the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh invite artists working in any media to apply to be part of their exhibition. Over 1200 entries came in from around the world, and they are very pleased to present a broad selection of mixed disciplines, putting contemporary applied arts and design disciplines and their relationship with contemporary fine art at the heart of the debate in Scotland’s flagship exhibition venue.’
Royal Scottish Academy
Into the Landscape: June Frickleton
1 February – 28 February 2019
An exhibition of drawings and paintings by June Frickleton.
Sofia Stevi: we don’t have to learn something new
25 January – 23 February
‘The title of the exhibition is taken from a line describing the Lithuanian-American archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas (1921-94), that reads, ‘her work gives us hope because she shows that we don’t have to learn something new, we only need to remember that which we have tragically forgotten’ (Ralph Metzner 1990). Using research that acknowledged mythology and folklore, Gimbutas argued for the existence of early matriarchal civilisations. These narratives offer Stevi hope and a sense of the artist’s place in the history of image making. Combining this material with personal experience, she constructs a space of dreamy familiarity, recognisable to the viewer through their own perceptual inheritance.
Sofia Stevi’s paintings conjure emotionally charged, liquid visions that undulate between graphic figuration and dynamic, gestural brushstrokes. Drawing on her physical and emotional experience of the world, she brings together imagery encountered through dreams, ancient Greek mythology, poetry and digital media. Male and female bodies, organic forms and symbols meet in a wash of palpable emotion, conveying anger and desire through intuitive associations. Lately, the legendary woman-monster Medusa has been a source of inspiration – a figure whose story of metamorphosis provokes a conflict of sympathy, fear and rage that is as compelling today as it was in antiquity.’
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
6 Heddon Street
London W1B 4BT
The Gentileschi Effect
Until 15 February 2019
‘Robilant+Voena is pleased to present The Gentileschi Effect, an exhibition of paintings from the Baroque period until today. As Artemisia Gentileschi sought to advance the radical Baroque painting style of Caravaggio, she developed somewhat of a following of her own, including her own daughter Prudentia. The sphere of influence created by Gentileschi’s bold canvases and biblical heroines reaches all the way to the 21st century, where her pictures continue to inspire artists and her liberated female voice still has the power to break ground. The Gentileschi Effect takes a comprehensive look at Gentileschi’s role among her colleagues and her students, as well as contemporary artists and institutions. The exhibition will be enhanced by a conversation on the topic on 4th December between Letizia Treves, The James and Sarah Sassoon Curator of Later Italian, Spanish, and French 17th-Century Paintings at the National Gallery, and Thomas Marks, Editor of Apollo magazine.’
Robilant + Voena
38 Dover Street,
London W1S 4NL
Muse & Motif
Until 16th February 2019
‘Muse & Motif at the Alan Cristea Gallery will highlight rare and important prints spanning a 65 year period by six of the twentieth century’s greatest artists, George Braque, Jean Dubuffet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Jacques Villon.
A selection of prints covering Picasso’s graphic output in every medium, concentrates almost entirely on the figure, with depictions of his muses Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque. These will be shown together with examples of Matisse’s most famous etchings illustrating women resting, sleeping and reading. Groundbreaking prints made in the late 1960s by Miró, whose motifs included found images or fragments of words, will be shown alongside one the most striking images of birds made by Braque in the final year of his life.’
Alan Cristea Gallery,
43 Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5JG
Condo 2019: Charlotte Posenenske
Until 16 February 2019
Modern Art presents an exhibition of works by Charlotte Posenenske for Condo London 2019 in association with Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin.
Charlotte Posenenske (b. Wiesbaden, 1930, d. Frankfurt, 1985) made pioneering contributions to Minimalist and Conceptual art during her short-lived artistic career. Rediscovered only posthumously, her predominantly sculptural output has influenced younger generations of artists since the 1990s.
Modern Art Vyner Street,
50-58 Vyner Street,
London, E2 9DQ
Exhibitions on in the Middle of February
19 February – 3 March 2019
From the rich warm and wonderful colours of the earth a group of Espacio colourists and guest artists find inspiration.
Now in its 6th year the annual Espacio colour exhibition is always fascinating and always different. This year’s show, Earth Tones, is a multi-disciplinary exhibition comprising painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media and glass; abstract and figurative art. The link is colour.
What are Earth Tones? They are all around us and are often taken for granted. They are the colours of nature, from burnt sienna to yellow ochre, from Venetian red to vivianite blue.
For the last year, the Espacio artists have been exploring this range of colours and celebrating them. They have used the colours of the earth as a starting point and then stretched and pushed the brief so that it fits in with their own practice.
Earth Tones will not disappoint. Come and visit the exhibition, be inspired, meet the artists and join in the celebration of colour.
John Adams, Vera Akotuah, Terry Beard, Tania Beaumont,
Elizabeth Brown, Christine Calow, Zelda Eady, Eva Edery,
Sally Grumbridge, Nick Hazzard, Susan Keshet, Ashima Kumar,
Emily Marbach, Rosana Miracco, Ann Simberg, Smita Sonthlalia,
Lily Taylor, Tina Viljoen
Curated by Sally Grumbridge
159 Bethnal Green Road,
London, E2 7DG
Modern and Surreal
17 January – 29 March 2019
Olivier Malingue is pleased to present Modern and Surreal, with works by Victor Brauner, Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Jean Fautrier, Fernand Léger, Roberto Matta, Pablo Picasso and Kees Van Dongen.
143 New Bond Street
Repurpose/Reverse: annual members’ show: part II
8 February – 3 March 2019
Paul Cole, Paige Perkins, Anna Courcha, Sacha Meaden, Henry Ward, Etienne de Villiers, John Patrick Hughes, Matthias Neumann, Ute Kreyman, Playpaint, Aindreas Scholz, Cool Diabang, William Wright, Eugenia Cuellar, Peter Sylveire, Sally Barker, Peter Roseman, Andrew Ekins, Graham Carrick, Dan Davis, Tamsin Morse
57a Redchurch Street
London E2 7DJ
Out Of This World
7 February – 2 March 2019
‘A group exhibition of international female artists who are currently shaping the language of figuration: Heidi Hahn, Donna Huddleston, Becky Kolsrud, Naudline Pierre, Mathilde Rosier and Antonia Showering. The works in the exhibition explore how each artist taps into the ethereal realms of fantasy, dreams and the unconscious mind to challenge preconceived notions of gender and identity.’
Stephen Friedman Gallery,
25-28 Old Burlington Street
Deepdrippings: Phillip Allen
21 February – 24 March 2019
‘Phillip Allen’s paintings act as reminders of what painting can be, that painting now is where we can best confront art rather than succumb to any of its increasing politeness or provocative conventions. His relatively modest paintings include their own noise and are not content to sit obedient as ‘figures’ on a wall ‘ground’. They are not simply mere art objects contained and catalogued to be instagrammed and kept tame within screens or four walls, but are paintings that don’t actually tune anything out, that seem to resist singular contexts.’
– Phil King, 2019
1st Floor, 47 Approach Road
Bethnal Green, London E2 9LY
23 January – 22 February 2019
A group show of horticultural prints and works on paper by the following artists –
Michael Canning | Gordon Cheung | Blaise Drummond | Lucian Freud | Sarah Graham | David Hockney | Georgie Hopton | Gary Hume | Alex Katz | Ellsworth Kelly | Michael Landy | Cornelia Parker | Francis Ruyter | Kiki Smith | Jonas Wood
20 Bourdon Street
Exhibitions on at the End of February
MANI / Μάνη : Painting the Southern Peloponnese: In the Footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor : Toby Wiggins
12 February – 13 March 2019
In October 2017, Royal Academy Schools trained Toby Wiggins RP embarked on an adventurous trek over mountains and across arid plains compelling landscape of ‘Mani’, one of the wildest and most remote corners of Greece. He retraced the path taken by one of the 20th centuries leading travel writers ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor, who in 1951 walked the peninsula and later published his seminal work ‘Mani’. After his own odyssey, Toby returned home with a rucksack full of tiny oil studies and in his studio he used these to make larger paintings, about which he says: ‘…they are an attempt to translate the sensation of being there, the texture of this harsh land; iron-like outcrops and intense blue skies. Then there are those moments when the harshness is transformed by intense, luminous colour into something altogether ethereal.’
The Hellenic Centre,
16-18 Paddington St
17 February – 16 May 2019
Daniel Benjamin Gallery is pleased to present Invisible Balance, a two-person exhibition featuring works by Shinuk Suh and Daniel Cordas. Shinuk Suh is a South Korean visual artist whose practice commands a narrative heavily influenced by the artist’s upbringing and growth. Suh’s works convey that there exists an interior equilibrium within all of us. He perceives himself as being composed of a many different pieces, always seeking to be perfectly balanced in order to maintain his whole.
Taking from the same inspiration, Daniel Cordas uses his iconic medium of painted shoes to investigate the personal balance between what is perceived as art and what are customized objects. Using shoes as moldable material, the artist investigates the relationship in between our external image and our internal thoughts. For this exhibition Cordas will present a selection of new works that will create a dialogue with Suh’s installations, blurring the lines between different artistic approaches.
Daniel Benjamin Gallery,
120 Kensington Park Rd
Hayrettin Kozanoglu: Multiple States of One
23 February – 13 April 2019
Gerald Moore Gallery presents Multiple States of One, an exhibition of Ebru art by Hayrettin Kozanoglu. The range of works on display began with one drop of Ebru-paint; from this single drop, a dualist form (a face) appeared in 2014 and it is with this template that Kozanoglu, via repeated demarcating stencils, inside his water tray, creates experimental and unique ‘Multiple States of One’. With this exhibition, Kozanoglu, despite being very talented in classic Ebru Art, has embarked on a new challenging journey of experimentation. He is bringing the Ebru Art form out of its traditions, introducing it to a new wider audience.
Gerald Moore Gallery,
24 February – 18 May 2019
ABSINTHE is a hybrid, eclectic, and at points inexplicable presentation of the weirder side of London’s emerging art scene. Located at the Spit & Sawdust pub, Bermondsey, each exhibition will present a mandala of artists that cut and splice between mediums and styles; a kaleidoscopic trip into the city’s current alternative art practices.
‘It is no surprise that absinthe has long persisted in the underground, from Joyce to Baudelaire, Rimbaud to van Gogh. It was prolific amongst artists and writers of the boulevards of modern Paris: mystic visions of the Moulin Rouge, images that bled from their canvas with an emerald sorcery: hypnotic, aberrant and erotic.’
Spit and Sawdust,
21 Bartholomew St
The Wapping Group of Artists 2019: London and its River
25 February – 2 March 2019
The Wapping Group meets every Wednesday between April and September to paint outdoors at locations in London and along the Thames. Their annual exhibition is a delightful exploration of London and its river – and the year’s weather – as experienced by this unique group of artists.
There are over 120 works in various media, all for sale.
The Mall, St. James’s
Tom Hughes: Light, Shade and Water
28 February – 8 March 2019
‘London is a big place. Having painted it previously on a small scale, en plein air, I wanted to go bigger for this show and produce the paintings in the studio. Small paintings, while fun to make, weren’t getting the scale across, which is the first thing I notice when moving around the city. Painting indoors from sketches and photo references also gave me the opportunity to slow down and focus on bold compositions – carefully placing people and vehicles where I felt they would work best, as opposed to grabbing glimpses of them as they drive past, as it is when painting on the street.’
‘It seems I’m consistently drawn to the same areas: the West End, Camden, Hampstead, and Albert Bridge. The West End never disappoints with the majestic curve of Regent Street and the wide, reflective, rain-soaked pavements of Piccadilly. Every direction you look, there’s a painting. And rain, while an inconvenience to the pedestrian, brings a magical depth to everything, turning smooth paving slabs into checkerboard mirrors.’
‘I hope I have captured something of the London you know and love with these works. I want to show the city in its solid reality–not dressed-up, not overly romantic, just London, raw and real.’
Panter and Hall,
11-12 Pall Mall, St. James’s
If you want to find out about more exhibitions that are on near you, or if you are feeling inspired to try something new, search our Exhibition and Artist Opportunity Calendar by region to find an event for you.
All images are copyright of the artist, unless otherwise stated.