Tabish Khan the @LondonArtCritic picks his top 5 Museum Exhibitions to see over the festive season. Each one comes with a concise review to help you decide whether it’s for you. If you’re looking for more shows, check out last week’s top 5 where all but one remains open to visit.
Marina Abramovic @ Royal Academy of Arts
This is the type of exhibition that you’ll never forget after visiting, whether it be an intimate squeeze between a naked couple to enter another room or flinching as an arrow is pointed at Marina Abramovic’s heart at full tension – fully reliant on her partner not letting go. It’s meant to be uncomfortable viewing and Marina shows us the true power of performance art. Until 1 January, ticketed.
Brian Clarke: A Great Light @ Newport Street Gallery
Stained glass representations of mushroom clouds, cherry blossoms, jellyfish and dragonflies. It’s impressive what Clarke can do by taking the traditional medium of stained glass and giving it an exciting contemporary twist. It’s one of the strongest shows I’ve seen at the gallery. Until 31 December.
The Missing Thread: Untold stories of Black British fashion @ Somerset House
This is a fantastic exhibition that looks at the massive impact of Black fashion on British culture from trainers and hoodies to amazing dresses and sharp suits. Importantly it doesn’t shy away from the racism Black individuals and communities have faced as well as looking at all of the wonderful positive contributions of designers to British fashion from the 1970s to today. Until 7 January, ticketed.
Henrietta MacPhee: Oasis @ Barbican library
The Barbican often does feel like an oasis in the heart of the City and that’s the theme of Henrietta MacPhee’s exhibition of ceramic works in the foyer of Barbican’s library. Drawing inspiration from the ecosystem of the Barbican, including gardening, a half eaten watermelon slice and a peregrine falcon, it’s a beautifully crafted show outside of the main exhibition spaces of the centre that I usually frequent. Until 23 December.
Guildford House Open @ Guildford House
The inaugural Guildford House Open exhibition at the historic house has an impressive array of artists – I should know as I was one of the judges. Including Curtis Holder’s pencil drawn large scale figure (pictured), Victoria Heald’s Zebra on gold, Andrea Tyrimos’ faces painted on rusting metal, and Eleni Maragaki’s linocut turned into a sculpture, it’s a diverse selection of talented artists. Until 6 January.
All images copyright respective artist and gallery. Marina Abramovic and The Missing thread photos: David parry.