Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic has picked five painting exhibitions to see in London. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. Those looking for art to see from the comfort of home should see his top 5 online exhibitions:
Rex Southwick: Purple Lands @ Unit London
When you see beautiful homes and well tended gardens, do you ever think how they are made and stay that way. Often its the poorest in society who create these wonderful places, yet can never afford to live in them. Rex Southwick’s paintings highlight this inequality in his large scale paintings. They are beautifully executed and the social commentary is an important one when the gap between rich and poor has never been larger. Until 29 August.
Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company @ The Wallace Collection
What happens when Europeans commission Indian painters to document the natural world and architecture of India? This beautiful collection of paintings that fuse both Western and Eastern elements is the result. It’s an introduction to a genre of painting I hadn’t come across and it’s a revelation. Until 13 September, ticketed.
Leon Spilliaert @ Royal Academy of Arts
Lonely figures standing in bleak landscapes or sitting looking longingly out of a window. If there’s one artist who sums up life in isolation it’s Leon Spilliaert. If you like Edvard Munch’s paintings then you’ll love that same level of dark emotion that may be found in these haunting paintings. Until 20 September, ticketed.
Dale Lewis: The Great Day @ Edel Assanti
Grotesque figures capture the chaos and characters of London. This is no love letter but a true reflection of the city in all its gritty glory, from the launderette to the pub. It’s told in a wraparound mural that goes right round the gallery and it’s the way his work should be displayed. Until 16 October.
Faces of a Queen & Woburn Treasures @ Queen’s House, Greenwich
While Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire gets a spruce up this means some of its paintings have made the trip to London. The star attraction is the chance to see all three Armada portraits of Elizabeth I side by side and host of other masterpieces including a fabulous Rembrandt of an elderly rabbi. Until 31 August & Easter 2021.
Unless otherwise stated photos are copyright the artist and gallery. Forgotten Masters image copyright Minneapolis Institute of Art. Spilliaert photograph: Vincent Everarts/Collection of the Belgian State, in deposit at Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels.