Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his favourite Top 5 Museum Exhibitions to see in London right now. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. Those looking for more shows should see his previous top 5, where all remain open to visit.
Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel @ Barbican, Curve
Geometric Islamic designs across the walls and portraits of feminist icons from pre-revolutionary Iran across the wall. Soheila Sokhanvari has created an immersive exhibition in the Barbican along with songs from Iranian singers and films projected inside a mirrored sculpture. It’s a powerful exhibition that’s all the more needed given what’s currently happening in Iran. Until 26 February.
Tiny Traces @ Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum’s small exhibition looks at children of the Asian and African diaspora taken into the care of the Foundling Hospital. It’s showing us their stories as well as the shocking ‘fashion’ of wealthy British folk to have black page boys, often in a collar, and the use of Asian women to look after their children. It’s a distressing, but important exhibition. Until 19 February.
Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt @ British Museum
A stunning sarcophagus made from black granite, a four metre long portion of a beautifully illustrated book of the dead and a plaster cast of Egyptian king Seti trampling his enemies underfoot. All of these and more fantastic artefacts tell the story of how Hieroglyphs were translated. Until 19 February.
The Horror Show! @ Somerset House
A sculpture of three conjoined children, a Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher and a screenplay of A Clockwork Orange are all part of Somerset House’s Horror Show – an exhibition that looks at horror and how it’s inspired creative rebellion in the UK over the last 50 years. It’s a loose narrative but contains some excellent works that make it worth a visit. Until 19 February.
Japan: Courts and Culture @ The Queen’s Gallery
Fab collection of treasures from Japan including gifts from royal family to royal family and time when Japan cut itself off from foreign trade so items were bought for royal collection second hand. Including some sensational samurai armour, lacquer finished boxes and beautifully illustrated folding screens. Until 26 February.
Soheila image: © Lia Toby / Getty Images. Tiny Traces image © Zarina Bhimji. Hieroglyphs image copyright trustees of The British Museum. Horror show photo: Harminder Judge. Queen’s Gallery image: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
More Museum Exhibitions to see in London