Five Must-See Exhibitions This Autumn 🍂 

Autumn is officially here. With longer nights and colder days it’s easy to give into temptation and stay inside with cosy jumpers and mugs of hot chocolate; yet there are some major must-see exhibitions this season that are great incentive to get out of the house and will have me reaching for my pom pom hat and cosy boots.

The World of Anna Sui, Fashion & Textile Museum, on now – 1st October

Anna Sui, 2011 © Anna Sui

Dedicated to the American fashion designer, over 100 different looks are featured in this retrospective; the first of its kind in the UK to be dedicated to an American designer. Anna Sui has shaped fashion history with her rock-n-roll romanticism which has touched not just fashion design but accessories, beauty and interiors.

Dali / Duchamp, Royal Academy of Arts, 7th October – 3rd January 2018

Salvador Dalí with the collaboration of Edward James
 Lobster Telephone, 1938
Telephone, steel, plaster, rubber, resin and paper, 18 x 30.5 x 12.5cm
West Dean College, part of Edward James Foundation
©Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2017

Focusing on two giants of twentieth century art, the Surrealist Salvador Dali and the father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp.

Artistically their styles were drastically different from one another, but Dali and Duchamp had a long-lasting friendship. This exhibition explores the influence that their friendship had on their art practices and what fuelled this alliance. 80 works are brought together and presented as a conversation taking place through art and includes collaborations between the artists as well as paintings and Duchamp’s readymades.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, V&A, on now-18th February 2018

Silk taffeta evening dress, Cristóbel Balenciaga, 1955, Paris, France. Museum no. T.427-1967. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This retrospective of Balenciaga’s designs has been open since spring and showcases more than 120 items in celebration of the designer’s legacy. An influential figure in the history of fashion design, Cristóbal Balenciaga was referred to as ‘the only couturier in the truest sense of the world’ by Coco Chanel.

The structural components and elaborate shapes that are typical of Balenciaga’s designs are highlighted in the exhibition. In an exploration of the work involved; x-rays and sketches unearth the padding, boning and supports deployed in creating his intricate and complicated designs. A must for any fashion lover and admirer of couture.

Reflections: Van Eyck & The Pre-Raphaelites, National Gallery, 2nd Oct – 2nd April 2018

For the first time, Jan van Eyck’s infamous ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ will be displayed alongside works by the Pre-Raphaelites in this ground-breaking exhibition. This exhibition at the National Gallery explores the influence that the ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ had in the forging a new style of painting by the Pre-Raphaelites. Most notably, the role of iconography in a painting, namely how seemingly ordinary objects could have symbolic meaning and significance.

Shrouded in mysticism, the ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ has long since drawn intrigue as to the nature of the artwork and has left many unanswered questions. With works by Rosetti, Millais and Holman Hunt showcased alongside the Northern Renaissance masterpiece, this exhibition brings two chapters of art history together and is not to be missed.

Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile, Tate Britain, 2nd November – 7th May 2018

The stories of Monet, Tissot, Pissaro and their compatriots are the subject of this large-scale exhibition at Tate Britain which focuses on the French Impressionists that sought refuge in Britain during the Franco-Prussian war.

This exhibition examines how these French artists interacted with the British culture and society and the artworks they produced during this time demonstrates how they viewed and interpreted London.

With masterpieces by giants of Impressionism on display, this is a one-of-a-kind exhibition.

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