Start 2019 the best way — on a cultural high.
January isn’t all doom and gloom: London’s galleries have a number of vibrant exhibitions to offer.
So, kick off the year with some brilliant art. These are new shows opening in January and the last ones to catch before the month is up.
Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory
This is the first major exhibition of Bonnard’s work in the UK since one at Tate 20 years ago. It focuses on his work from 1912 – when colour became his main concern – until his death in 1947, showcasing landscapes and intimate domestic scenes which capture specific moments in time. Bonnard famously preferred working from memory, and all the pieces on display were painted this way.
Tate Modern, January 23 - May 6, tate.org.uk
Artist, educator and social thinker John Ruskin dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge and this exhibition at Two Temple Place celebrates the legacy and modern-day relevance of his vision. It combines more than 190 paintings, drawings and plaster casts, and metal work, to show how Ruskin’s attitude to aesthetic beauty shaped his extreme views on society and culture.
Two Temple Place, January 26 - April 22, twotempleplace.org
Bill Viola / Michelangelo
This exhibition brings together two artists who were born centuries apart but who both demonstrate a strong emotional core in their work. Some of Michelangelo’s most profound works will be on display including his drawings of the Crucifixion and his only marble sculpture in the UK. They will stand alongside 12 major installations spanning video artist Viola’s entire career. Despite their very different mediums, the show promises to reveal the similarities between the two, as their works delve into the cycle of life.
Royal Academy of Arts, January 26 - March 31, royalacademy.org.uk
Grace Wales Bonner
This month-long multisensory installation by fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner is broadly based around a series of "shrines" created by Kapwani Kiwanga, Eric N. Mack, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Wales Bonner herself. Themes of mysticism, spirituality and African-American aesthetics are referred to in the exhibition, all of which foreshadow Wales Bonner's upcoming 2019 clothing collection.
Serpentine Galleries, January 19 - February 16, serpentinegalleries.org
Aleksandra Mir is welcoming in 2019 by plastering Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery with old American newspaper covers that depict Donald Trump in the years before he was made president. Famous for her socio-political art, Mir uses front covers from the New York Daily News and New York Post, where each headline relates to Trump's business dealings, political aspirations or personal life. Fundamentally the exhibition shines a light on the attitudes and biases of the tabloid press as well as exploring what makes a good story.
Southbank Centre, January 7 - February 7, southbankcentre.co.uk
A Solar Umbrella
If you're not a fan of repetition, this exhibition is probably not one for you. Eight established and emerging artists, Asaki Kan, Katherine Lubar, Nick Dawes, Jo Marshall, Andy Harper, Shane Bradford, Ivan Benitez and Sarah Mizer respond to the theme in their own unique form, from light refraction exhibits to oil paintings.
Gallery 46, January 17 - February 14, gallery46.co.uk
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
This major exhibition explores creative relationships across painting, sculpture, photography, design and literature, and features some of the biggest names in modern art, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Frida Kahlo.
Barbican, until January 27, barbican.org.uk
100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake is best-known for bringing Roald Dahl's characters to life through illustration but this House of Illustration exhibition explores his work as a figurative artist. What’s more, it features 100 never-before-seen works created from the 1950s up to modern day.