Art means different things to different people. For one person, the bold colours of a post-Impressionist painting by Cézanne or Van Gogh may inspire and ignite creativity, whereas in another, it may be a contemporary art installation, or a subtle illustration by Beatrix Potter infused with wildlife and nature. Throughout 2022, a whole host of exciting exhibitions will take place in iconic landmarks across London.
Take a look at our summary of London’s Most Anticipated Exhibitions of 2022 to ensure you don’t miss a single thing.
View across Esthwaite Water, by Beatrix Potter, 21 November 1909. Linder Bequest. V&A Museum.
Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature
Visitors can delve deep into the life and works of Beatrix Potter at the V&A Museum in London in 2022. In collaboration with the National Trust, this nostalgia-inducing, family-friendly exhibition transports visitors on a magical journey, to discover the wildlife, people and places that inspired Beatrix Potter’s most memorable works and characters.
'The Mice at Work: Threading the Needle', The Tailor of Gloucester watercolour artwork, by Beatrix Potter, 1902. © Tate
Whether you grew up following the escapades of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck or read the timeless stories to your children today, this exhibition will appeal to all ages.
A series of four exhibits – Town and Country, Under the Microscope, A Natural Storyteller and Living Nature follows the talented author and illustrator’s personal journey from South Kensington to the rolling fells and charming slate villages of Cumbria’s Lake District, uncovering her legacy and unwavering passion for natural science and conservation along the way.
With over 240 personal artefacts on display, a collection of private letters, never-before-seen sketches, manuscripts and photographs, this much anticipated exhibition is open to the public from mid-February 2022.
Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, London
When: 12 February 2022 – 25 September 2022
Surrealism Beyond Borders
The breakthrough Surrealist art movement was a significant departure from the norm. The revolutionary concept began with André Breton in 1920s Paris, as an exploration of the human psyche - of dreams, fears and subconscious thoughts. The works that followed often portrayed an unusual mix of objects, each with symbolic and occasionally adult connotations. After all, who can forget Salvador Dalí’s 1931 masterpiece ‘The Persistence of Memory’ or Magritte’s ‘Golconda’ where suited men seemingly fall like raindrops from the sky?
Tate Modern’s 2022 ‘Surrealism Beyond Borders’ exhibit will feature over 150 works, from painting and film to photography and sculpture. It also explores why female artists began to initiate a worldwide movement, and how artists were censored and persecuted when their paintings were used as political tools.
Showcasing original artworks by Leonora Carrington, Helen Lundeberg, Ramses Younan and Salvador Dalí, visitors can expect to be thrilled and enlightened by this never-before-curated collection.
One highlight of the London exhibition will include Ted Joans’ innovative, 36-foot-long drawing ‘Long Distance’ which took 30 years to complete and involved 132 contributors around the world.
Where: Tate Modern, London
When: 24 February 2022 – 29 August 2022
The EY Exhibition: Cézanne at Tate Modern
French painter Paul Cézanne used bold colour and structural shapes to form a bridge between Impressionism and Cubism, thus, creating an important post-Impressionism genre of works.
However, the road to recognition for Cézanne was not easy. His forward-thinking style, using layers of colour to create new dimensions, led some critics to believe his paintings were incomplete and his art was rejected from several prominent Parisian salons.
It wasn’t until ‘Bathers at Rest’ was unveiled in 1877 that audiences began to sit up and take notice, and several wealthy patrons and collectors provided Cézanne with his own gallery space in the French capital.
Visitors to the Tate Modern 2022 London exhibition can be inspired by such works as ‘Chateau de Medan’, ‘The Basket of Apples’ or ‘Mont Sainte-Victoire’. Some of the paintings to feature have never been displayed in the UK, therefore for post-Impressionist art fans, and those who wish to discover more about Cézanne’s life, this exciting exhibition is one to mark in your diary.
Where: Tate Modern, London
When: 6 October 2022 – 12 March 2023
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Francis Bacon was the son of a racehorse trainer from Ireland who went onto become one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Bacon was shunned by his family as a teen for being openly homosexual. He left for Paris, and it was in the ‘City of Lights’ that he was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s paintings and decided to enrol in an art academy to learn how to paint and draw.
He was particularly interested in merging the forms of animals with the human body to create a new perspective. His studies took him to South Africa - frequent trips that allowed him to observe nature and movement in the wilderness.
Several of Bacon’s highlights will feature in the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition, including his early works, a trio of bullfight paintings shown together for the very first time and his last ever painting.
Where: Royal Academy of Arts, London
When: 29 January 2022 – 17 April 2022
Morgan Stanley Exhibition - Van Gogh Self Portraits
Dutch-born painter Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most influential post-Impressionist artists in the world. Famed for his brilliant use of colour, perceptive landscapes and unconventional self-portraits, his art pieces have been displayed in the world’s finest galleries and museums and some have even been reproduced on tangible goods such as cushions, cups and crockery.
During his short years as an artist, Van Gogh painted prolific pieces such as ‘Starry Night’, ‘The Sunflowers’ and ‘Still Life with Irises’, however the Courtauld Gallery exhibition will focus on 15 of his famed self-portraits, displaying them together in one place for the very first time.
With celebrated works including ‘Self Portrait with a Palette’, ‘Self Portrait with a Dark Felt Hat’ and ‘Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear’ on display, the exhibit will chronicle Vincent van Gogh’s extraordinary life, his journey as an artist and the struggles that he faced as both an artist and human being.
Where: Courtauld Gallery, London
When: 3 February 2022 – 8 May 2022
Reframed: The Woman at the Window
Exploring the enigmatic motif of ‘The Woman in the Window’, this captivating exhibit features sculptures, print, paintings, photographs and installations, representing female visibility and perspectives from past to present.
The exhibition offers a fascinating insight into how women are portrayed in art forms across different timelines, questions why women are shown inside domestic interiors in many pieces of art and considers the intimate relationships between artist and muse.
The exhibit brings together over 40 works by David Hockney, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Cindy Sherman and more, and features on-loan artefacts including a 10th century BCE carved panel, masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age, Medieval motifs and Renaissance poetry and portraiture.
Where: Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
When: 4 May 2022 – 4 September 2022
The Credit Suisse Exhibition Lucian Freud: New Perspectives
Celebrating the centenary of the birth of 20th century artist Lucian Freud, this landmark exhibition held at the National Gallery in central London, brings together Freud’s most important works spanning seven decades.
The grandson of revolutionary psychologist Sigmund Freud, Lucian brings his own interminable style to this exhibition, giving visitors an opportunity to reconsider his creative achievements, aside from his celebrity status, and see his growth as an artist throughout his storied career.
The New Perspectives Exhibit will feature a 60-strong collection, including his own self-portraits, pieces from the 1940s, 50s and 60s and a controversial painting of HM Queen Elizabeth II painted between 1999 and 2001.
Where: National Gallery, London
When: 1st October 2022 – 22 January 2023
Cornelia Parker at Tate Britain
One of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary conceptual artists, Cornelia Parker continues to astound with her large-scale installations which challenge us to question our relationship with ourselves and the world.
Driven by curiosity, using storytelling and transformation, she utilises everyday objects, reconfiguring them in ways that allow us to reflect on important issues such as ecology, social constructs and human rights.
The Tate Britain 2022 exhibit will feature some of Parker’s suspended works such as ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’ and visitors will be able to see ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’, ‘War Room 2015’ and ‘Magna Carta’. In addition to her monumental installations and collective collages, the exhibit will also showcase a selection of films, prints and photographs.
Where: Tate Britain, London
When: 18 May 2022 – 16 October 2022
The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael
One of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance era, Raphael cannot be defined as just a painter. He was an architect, draughtsman, archaeologist, and poet too!
His works focused on the divine - on love, friendship and a higher power as seen in ‘Saint John the Baptist Preaching’, ‘The Madonna and Child’ and ‘Disputation of the Most Holy Sacrament’.
This dedicated exhibit commandeers collections from the Louvre, Prado, Uffizi and the Vatican Museum to paint a complete picture of Raphael’s life and career. It showcases celebrated paintings, drawings and additional works across the mediums of design, tapestry and print.
Where: National Gallery, London
When: 9 April 2022 – 31 July 2022
We hope you enjoyed our showcase of London's must-see exhibitions this year. Let us know your favourites, tweet us or tag us on Instagram or Facebook @myabstracthouse!