7 Unmissable Art Exhibitions to See in London in 2022

London is a treasure trove of art galleries and, thankfully, after two stop-start years, it’s business as usual at most of them. Start the year off properly with a trip to some of the best art exhibitions to see in London in 2022.

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Best art exhibitions to see in London in 2022

1. Francis Bacon: Man and Beast at the Royal Academy

Dates: 29 January — 17 April 2022

The Royal Academy is kicking off 2022 with a blockbuster exhibition featuring work’s from Irish-born artist Francis Bacon, one of the most prolific painters of the 20th century. Focussing on his deeply rooted fascination with animals, the exhibition will explore how it shaped and distorted his approach to the human body with works spanning the whole of his 50-year career. Highlights include some of his earliest works, as well as his last-ever painting.

Book tickets at RoyalAcademy.org.uk

2. Morgan Stanley Exhibition Van Gogh Self-Portraits at the Courtald Gallery

Dates: 3 Feb – 8 May 2022

London’s oldest purpose-built exhibition space, which closed in 2018 for extensive renovation, will re-open in November 2021 – all the more reason to visit as soon as you can in 2022. Mark your return with a visit to the first exhibition devoted entirely to Van Gogh’s self-portraits. Featuring works spanning his entire career, the exhibition hinges around his most famous work – Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear – with more than 15 additional self-portraits from collections around the world. You can follow it up with a trip to the world-class impressionist collection. Featured artists include Monet, Degas and Manet.

Book tickets at Courtauld.ac.uk

art exhibitions to see in London in 2022

3. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the V&A

Dates: 12 February

This wholesome exhibition celebrates the life and work of the beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter and makes for the perfect family-friendly outing. Created in partnership with the National Trust, the exhibit features original watercolours, as well as drawings and manuscripts from her most charming tales. Little ones will love diving into the world of familiar titles such as The Tale Of Peter Rabbit, The Tale Of Tom Kitten and The Tale Of Jemima Puddle-Duck.

Book tickets at the VaM.ac.uk

4. Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child at the Hayward Gallery

Dates: 9 February–15 May 2022

Louise Bourgeois grew in a Parisian suburb in the early nineteenth century and became one of the great figures of modern and contemporary art. She’s probably best known for her large-scale sculptures and installations, but she also made revolutionary work with fabrics and textiles, inspired by her childhood in a tapestry-making workshop. Billed as the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to these works, this superstar show will show works spanning her eight-decade career. Highlights include four large-scale vitrine pieces that she made in the last five years of her life.

art exhibitions to see in London in 2022

5. Reframed: The Woman at the Window at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dates: 4 May–4 September 2022

Launching in Spring 2022, Reframed: The Woman in the Window will be the first major exhibition to explore the enigmatic motif of the ‘woman in the window’. Bringing together over 40 works by artists from ancient civilisations to the present day, the show will feature works from the likes of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois and Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition considers the personal and intimate relationship between artists and their muses. You’ll also get to dive into works by artists such as Rom Hunter, Pablo Picasso and Walter Sickert too.

Visit DulwichPictureGallery.org.uk for more information

6. The Credit Suisse Exhibition Lucian Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery

Dates: 1 October 2022 –22 January 2023

This landmark exhibition brings together Lucian Freud’s most important works from his seven-decade career, from intimate pictures to large-scale canvases. The show also includes more than 60 loans from museums and private collections around the world. Stand-out pieces include the Girl with Roses, as well as Reflections with Two Children. The exhibition aims to showcase the artist behind the celebrity to mark what would have been his 100th year.

Visit TheNationalGallery.org.uk for more information

7. The EY Exhibition Cezanne at the Tate Modern

Dates: 6 October 2022  – 26 February 2023 

This hotly anticipated show is dedicated to the works of impressionist painter Cezanne. It will explore the tensions and contradictions in his works, as well as seeking to understand the artist in his own context. It follows an ambitious young painter from his native Aix-en-Provence, through still lifes, landscapes and paintings. Many of the works are also being shown for the first time in the UK too. It’s set to be one of the most exciting exhibitions dedicated to the artist to date.

Find out more at Tate.org.uk

art exhibitions to see in London in 2022
Paul Cezanne. The Basket of Apples, c. 1893. The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection.
Allie D'Almo

Allie is a passionate traveller with a hearty interest in great food and stories. She likes to travel slowly, particularly to underrated and underloved places. She’s lived in Italy and is now based in London, where she spends most of her time either plotting her next trip or writing about her last one.

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