Kimonos, Warhol, mushrooms, Impressionists – this is a spring mix of exhibitions appealing to every possible taste. These are some of the best art opportunities in London this spring.
Head for Bankside from your Grand Plaza Hotel London to see a spectacular display of modern art by Andy Warhol. This is the first time in ten years that such a collection has been seen in London, and many of the works on display have never been seen here before. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some incredible classics of modern art including the iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and the Campbell’s soup can! Among the more unusual items is the psychedelic multimedia experience known as Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Also on display is Warhol’s acclaimed Ladies and Gentlemen series of portraits showing black and Latinx drag queens and transgender women.
Cross the river to Somerset House on the Strand to see mushrooms as you have never seen them before. Over forty leading artists, designers and musicians have come together to celebrate mushrooms and in doing so, have created some incredible images. Marvel at the intricate delicacy of Beatrix Potter's watercolours – some of the first ever to be made of mushrooms, or Cy Twombly’s collage combining the natural world and human history. Yet other works show the mindful mushroom, or psychedelic mushrooms while yet more explore architecture incorporating mushrooms and sustainable shoes made with mycelium.
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Just a few minutes walk brings you to the Royal Academy where a totally different art style can be enjoyed. This is the setting for a look at Impressionism focusing on 60 works loaned from the Danish Ordrupgaard Collection in Copenhagen. The range of paintings is incredible, covering the entire timespan of the Impressionist movement including Monet, Manet, Renoir and Degas, while Paul Gaugin’s work reveals his impressionist beginnings as well as the more symbolic work for which he is best known.
Book your stay at any of the hotels in the London Kensington area and see the delicacy of Japanese art that offers a total contrast in style and design. At the British Library there is an opportunity to see a selection of rare illustrations for kimono textile designs contained within a series of pattern books dating back over a hundred years or more. Real kimonos and many more illustrations can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington. The V&A is hosting a spectacular exhibition entitled Kimono Kyoto to Catwalk showcasing traditional kimono designs as well as the way it has been taken up by fashion designers, creating styles that are now seen on catwalks around the world.