Five autumn blockbusters
- 30 August 2016
This autumn, London sees a roll call of European maestros like Caravaggio, Rodin and Picasso against the radicals of American Expressionism.
Pablo Picasso as a precocious 14-year-old boy kicks off this exhibition of portraits painted by the Spanish genius over the course of his exceptional career. From caricatures of his friends to sexually charged images of his lovers, Picasso’s devilish humour and brutal honesty can be seen in these intimate pictures.
The paintings of Caravaggio glow with a cinematic light, so it is no surprise that they stunned Rome’s population when first seen in 1600 and drew admiration from artists across Europe. This exhibition reveals his influence on generations of painters, who all sought to replicate that stygian wonderland of light and shadows.
This stunning exhibition of treasures from South Africa includes a 77,000-year-old shell bead necklace from the Blombos cave in Western Cape, revealing that artistic practice began thousands of centuries before we ever imagined. Featuring over 200 exhibits, this comprehensive show tells the remarkable story of South Africa’s fascinating cultural past.
In 1906 the elderly sculptor Auguste Rodin went to see the Royal Cambodian dancers perform in Paris, and the experience was a revelation to him. 'They made the antique live in me,' he said. This exhibition features the drawings and sculptures he made whilst watching the dancers’ dexterous acrobatics.
Abstract Expressionism began in New York in the 1950s when a group of beat-generation radicals broke with accepted conventions and began hurling paint across the canvas with an exuberant intensity. Their free aesthetic play sent shockwaves through the art world, and the reverberations can still be felt today, as this exhibition – featuring Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – testifies.