Five New Year blockbusters

  • 1 January 2017

Make it your 2017 resolution to see these five major London shows.

Enjoy 50% off entry to these and other major exhibitions across the UK with a National Art Pass.


Vanessa Bell (1879 – 1961)

Dulwich Picture Gallery starts the year with a Vanessa Bell retrospective that testifies to the full might of her artistic achievements, sadly often overshadowed by the fascination with her family life and romantic entanglements. Arranged thematically, the show explores her pioneering work in portraiture, still life and landscape painting, paying particular attention to her most radical period of experimentation during the 1910s.


The American Dream: Pop to the Present

A timely addition to the 2017 exhibition calendar, the British Museum's print-centric show brings together works by Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Louise Bourgeois and Kara Walker to reveal how artists have responded to key events in US history over the last 50 years – from the assassination of JFK to the Vietnam War, the campaign for civil rights to the AIDS crisis. Highlights include Andy Warhol's iconic Marilyn print and Willie Cole's woodcut Stowage, which reflects on the legacy of slavery.



The Science Museum's display of more than 100 humanoid robots includes 12 working models that visitors can interact with. Among them is an eight-foot-tall Italian-made automaton known as Cygan who – with the ability to move his head and arms, shuffle back and forwards and even respond to basic voice commands – achieved international fame in the 1950s as the most human-like prototype of his kind. Other landmark robots include a pneumatic-powered Bipedal Walker which has 28 artificial muscles in its legs, and a mechanical monk that was created in the 1500s.


David Hockney

At Tate Britain, David Hockney’s Yorkshire landscapes are brought together with his Los Angeles swimming pools in a show celebrating his six-decade transatlantic career. This all-encompassing exhibition is the world's largest retrospective of his work, revealing the full range and breadth of his oeuvre in order to acknowledge the many different directions his creativity has taken.


Michelangelo and Sebastiano: A Meeting of Minds

The National Gallery tells the fascinating story of how Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo came together to create two of their most iconic collaborative works: the Pietà for San Francesco in Viterbo and The Raising of Lazarus, painted for the Cathedral of Narbonne. Examples of their extensive, intimate correspondence are displayed alongside the paintings they created, providing insight into their personal as well as artistic relationship.

Tags: ExhibitionsWhat to see