Twelve London Exhibitions Not To Miss Opening Autumn 2019

Summer is over, but there is much to look forward to this Autumn. Autumn in London means Frieze week with Frieze London and Frieze Masters (3-6 October) bringing the best of international art past and present to the marquees in Regent’s Park. Look out for the Artlyst Frieze week guide later this month. At the same time, many of the commercial galleries show their big-hitters while museums and galleries launch major shows. This year is no exception with new works by Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry plus many more. Blockbuster exhibitions include Antony Gormley at Royal Academy, Gauguin Portraits at National Gallery and Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery.

William Blake Tate Britain

William Blake ‘Europe’ Plate i: Frontispiece, ‘The Ancient of Days’ 1827

William Blake
Tate Britain
11 September 2019 – 2 February 2020
£18 Free for members

William Blake was a painter, printmaker and poet who created some of the most iconic images in British art. Radical and rebellious, he is an inspiration to visual artists, musicians, poets and performers worldwide. With over 300 original works, including his watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years. It will rediscover him as a visual artist for the 21st century.

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Antony Gormley Royal Academy of Arts

Antony Gormley,
Lost Horizon I, 2008.

Antony Gormley
Royal Academy of Arts
21 September – 3 December 2019
£18-22 Free for members

The exhibition will explore Gormley’s wide-ranging use of organic, industrial and elemental materials over the years, including iron, steel, hand-beaten lead, seawater and clay. It will also bring to light rarely-seen early works from the 1970s and 1980s, some of which led to Gormley using his own body as a tool to create work, as well as a selection of his pocket sketchbooks and drawings.

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Other Spaces UVA The Store X 180 The Strand

Other Spaces with United Visual Artists
The Store X 180 The Strand
1 October – 9 December 2019

A multi-sensory exploration of light and sound.
The Store X The Vinyl Factory presents a new exhibition by UVA called Other Spaces at 180 The Strand in collaboration with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris.
Other Spaces features three large-scale installations by the multi-disciplinary collective UVA – Our Time, The Great Animal Orchestra and Vanishing Point.

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Damien Hirst at White Cube

Damien Hirst: Mandalas
White Cube Mason’s Yard
20 September – 2 November 2019

White Cube Mason’s Yard presents Damien Hirst’s first major solo exhibition in London in seven years, comprised of new paintings from his ‘Mandalas’ series. Continuing themes from his ‘Kaleidoscope’ series, Hirst’s new works take inspiration from the mandala, a symbolic representation of the universe.

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Grayson Perry Shopping for Meaning (detail), 2019,

Grayson Perry: Super Rich Interior Decoration
Victoria Miro Mayfair
25 September – 20 December 2019

For his first solo exhibition at Victoria Miro since 2012 – and the first exhibition at Victoria Miro Mayfair – Grayson Perry presents new work including pots, sculpture, large-scale prints, a tapestry and a carpet.

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Kara Walker Hyundai Commission
Tate Modern
2 October 2019 – 5 April 2020

Kara Walker will transform the Turbine Hall with an ambitious new artwork for London. Based in New York, Kara Walker is renowned for her candid explorations of race, sexuality and violence and for her use of black cut-paper silhouetted figures referencing the history of slavery.

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Into the Night Barbican Art Gallery

Aaron Douglas, Dance c1930, Barbican Art Gallery

Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art

Barbican Art Gallery

4 October 2019 – 19 January 2020


This landmark exhibition explores the electrifying history of cabarets, cafés and clubs in modern art across the world, from London to New York, Paris, Mexico City, Berlin, Vienna, and Ibadan. Discover over 200 works of art, many rarely seen in the UK, as well as life-size recreations of avant-garde spaces.

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Albert Oehlen Serpentine Gallery

Albert Oehlen Serpentine Gallery

Albert Oehlen
Serpentine Gallery
2 October 2019 – 12 January 2020

Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld, Germany) is one of the most innovative and significant artists working today. He has been a key figure in contemporary art since the 1980s and the diversity of his painting is a testament to the intrinsic freedom that remains at the heart of the medium. Through expressionist brushwork, surrealist gestures and deliberate amateurism, he engages with the history of painting, pushing its essential components to bold new extremes.

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Gauguin Portrait at National Gallery

Gauguin Portraits at National Gallery

Gauguin Portraits
National Gallery
7 October 2019 – 26 January 2020

The first-ever exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin.
Spanning his early years as an artist through to his later years spent in French Polynesia, the exhibition shows how the French artist revolutionised the portrait. Featuring about fifty works, the exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, and three-dimensional objects in a variety of media, from public and private collections worldwide.

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Bridget Riley at Hayward GalleryBridget Riley at Hayward Gallery

Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery

Bridget Riley
Hayward Gallery
23 October – 26 January 2020

A major retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley. The first large-scale survey of Riley’s work to be held in the UK for 16 years. Spanning 70 years of Riley’s work, the exhibition will offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience powerful and engaging works by one of the most important artists of our time.

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Rembrandt's Light Dulwich Picture Gallery

Rembrandt’s Light Dulwich Picture Gallery

Rembrandt’s Light
Dulwich Picture Gallery
4 October 2019 – 2 February 2020

An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrates 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings, including major international loans from The Louvre and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

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Lucian Freud Royal Academy of Arts

Lucian Freud,
Reflection with Two Children (Self-portrait), 1965.

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits
Royal Academy of Arts
27 October 2019 – 26 January 2020
£18 Free for members

One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency.
Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later.

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