‘Tis beginning to look a lot like… you need some annual leave. It is a truth universally known that in the lead up to December 25th, balancing an exhaustive end of year to-do list at work, with being a festive social butterfly and keeping up with the family ‘Xmas presents!!’ WhatsApp group can cause even the most self-possessed of persons to crash out. Which is why we are fully embracing MDDA. Nope not a new drug, but the Mid December Day Off. Give yourself the gift of me time this winter, and bookmark one of these blockbuster art exhibitions in London, stat. Catch it while you can.
Since bursting onto the art scene in the 1980s, Nan Goldin’s deeply personal images explore everything from empathy, youth culture, sexuality and candid moments of intimacy. Now, the seminal photographer will host her first UK photography exhibition in almost twenty years at the Marian Goodman Gallery. The show, entitled ‘Sirens’, is a hypnotic experience, featuring a visual diary documenting a life lived through drug addiction to artworks exploring seduction and temptation.
Spanning the 1880s to the 1960s, this exhibition shines the spotlight on some of the most electrifying and hedonistic cabarets and clubs of the modern era, bringing together over 350 works rarely seen in the UK, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, films and archival material.
ON UNTIL: January 19th 2020, at the Barbican
Even if you’ve beared witness to Tim Walker’s genius via Instagram, the photographer’s dramatic dreamscapes deserve to be appreciated IRL. The world of Walker includes a pink living room filled with photographs of model James Spencer dressed in drag, portraits of luminaries from Margaret Atwood to Peter Blake and a monumental scrapbook splayed open which reads: “Ends are always followed by beginnings. Something new could start now right here. There really are so many wonderful things.” A new year mantra if ever there was one.
ON UNTIL: March 8th 2020, at the V&A
Discover the X Factor of the photography world. The annual competition - open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world – showcases the work of some of the most talented emerging young photographers, alongside that of established professionals, photography students and “gifted amateurs”. The exhibition of 57 works - chosen from 3,700 submissions from 70 countries - features all of the prize winners. Including, Pat Martin, who won £15k for two works from his portrait series of his late mother.
“All (Picasso’s) portraits of me are lies,” Dora Marr once said. “They’re Picassos. Not one is Dora Maar.” Throughout history, the photographer, painter and poet has often been referenced as simply ‘Picasso’s muse’ (famously immortalised as his ‘Weeping Woman’ in the late 1930s), ignoring Maar’s own extensive artistic CV. Tate Modern’s retrospective of Maar’s work puts the spotlight firmly on her, from a career spanning more than six decades. Featuring her commercial commissions, social documentary photographs, and paintings.
ON UNTIL: March 15th 2020, at Tate Modern
The male artists of the 19th-century pre-Raphaelite movement are collectively known as the ‘Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’. But what about the sisters? This exhibition is an illuminating celebration of the often-overlooked contribution of twelve women, including Elizabeth Siddal, Evelyn de Morgan, Effie Gray, to this iconic artistic movement between 1850 and 1900.
IMAGE I Dora Maar, 1907-1997 Untitled (Fashion photograph) c. 1935 Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper 300 x 200 mm Collection Therond © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2019