The exhibitions you must see this November

Published 26 October 2020

Brighten up your November with a trip to one of these extraordinary exhibitions: featuring Grayson Perry’s evocative pots, Tracey Emin’s love letter to Edvard Munch and the powerful photographs of Zanele Muholi.

As autumn draws to a close and the cooler winter days creep in, we’re rounding up this month’s must-see exhibitions to get you out of the cold and into the warmth of your favourite museum or gallery.

This month we’re celebrating the pioneers who led the way in their field. From autobiographical artist Tracey Emin to photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi, this month’s creatives demonstrate how art can be a powerful tool for change, shaping perspectives and showcasing innovation.

We’ll explore how art can transcend disciplines, as the exhibitions featured include not only work by artists but also that of world-famous choreographers, filmmakers and multi-disciplinary creatives.

Remember most of our must-sees are free or 50% off with a National Art Pass, and you can explore our full exhibition listings for more to see near you.

Want more inspiration? Sign up for our newsletter Art in Your Inbox and follow us on Instagram for more ways to engage with the art you love.

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Zanele Muholi, Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016, Courtesy the artist and Stevenson Gallery © Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi

50% off exhibitions

South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s evocative portraits convey power, courage and resilience, and form a visual archive of people who consistently face prejudice, violence and injustice just for being their authentic selves. Muholi’s portraits extend to self-portraiture, exploring themes of racism, sexual politics and Eurocentrism. Somnyama Ngonyama (translated as ‘Hail the Dark Lioness’), a powerful highlight in the exhibition, comprises images of Muholi taken every day for a year, capturing the hate crimes, homophobia and injustice they experienced.


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BP Portrait Award 2020

Free to all

An influential platform for emerging and established portrait artists, this year’s BP Portrait Award is being shown in Scotland at Aberdeen Art Gallery – one of the five fabulous winners of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020. Scooping a first prize of £35,000, this year’s Portrait Award winner is self-taught artist Jiab Prachakul with Night Talk, exploring themes of identity and self-perception. Over 40 portraits from the competition are on display, demonstrating a variety of portraiture from artists across the world and showcasing the beauty of the art form.


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Paloma Varga Weisz, Bumpman on a tree trunk 2018, outside the Henry Moore Institute until 3 January 2021

Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body

Free to all
10% off

This collection of narrative sculpture by German contemporary artist Paloma Varga Weisz presents a world cloaked in masquerade. Working primarily in woodcarving and ceramics, many of her figurative sculptures take the form of fantastical creatures. The artist is known for using her own personal experiences to drive the poetic practice of her art, and the exhibition also dives into issues of identity, society and historical stereotyping.


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Tracey Emin, It - didnt stop - I didnt stop, 2019

Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of The Soul

50% off exhibitions

In this unique show Tracey Emin pens a love letter to her long-time inspiration, Edvard Munch, exploring their shared fascination with the human psyche. Emin’s work sits alongside works by the Norwegian pioneer of expressionism, hand-selected by the artist herself, showing how both artists embrace pain and raw emotion, magnifying feelings of loneliness. The exhibition puts Emin’s work under a new lens, demonstrating the breadth of her skill across disciplines as well as her very personal inspirations.


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Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years

50% off exhibitions

Offering a look into the formative early years of one of Britain’s best-known artists, 70 works made between 1982 and 1994 are on display, notably featuring Perry’s ‘lost pots’. Examining his early works provides an insight into the artist’s career as he progressed towards worldwide acclaim, touching on themes that would become familiar, from crowns and Staffordshire pottery to his fascination with Princess Diana.


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Kiliii Yuyan (b. 1979), Umiaq and north wind during spring whaling. Inkjet print, 2019

Arctic: culture and climate

50% off exhibitions

With highlights including an ancient mammoth sculpture and modern snow mobiles, this major exhibition explores the complex makeup of the Arctic. Focusing on the polar region's Indigenous people, there is a collection of unique tools, clothing, and photography depicting everyday life, as well as rare 28,000-year-old archaeological finds. The wide range of objects and artworks demonstrates the diversity of cultures and communities in the Arctic, and the exhibition looks at their response to climate change and drastic changes in weather.


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Michael Clark, Because We Must, 1987

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer

50% off exhibitions

Dancer and choreographer Michael Clark’s colourful career in dance takes centre stage at the Barbican, establishing him as a radical figure in British history. Featuring a collection of video and photography, the exhibition follows Clark’s legendary collaborations across visual art, music, fashion and film, and explores the unique combination of classical and contemporary influences that shaped his work.


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Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) on set with Model of the Kraken from Clash of the Titans, c1980

Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema

50% off exhibitions

Inspiring a generation of filmmakers that came after him, including Tim Burton, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen was a superstar of special effects on screen, elevating stop motion in film to a certified art form. The exhibition is accompanied by a range of events celebrating what would have been the cinema titan’s 100th birthday, exploring his extraordinary impact on the entire film industry and his lasting legacy in special effects.


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