London Autumn Guide 2018
Continuing to blaze an international trail of cutting-edge arts and culture, London offers a thrilling itinerary of exhibitions, music and performance this season. From lauded paintings by Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite luminaries to the freshest films from across the globe, you’ll find it in the British capital this autumn.
Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up
One of the 20th century’s most recognised artists, known for her vibrant self-portraits, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived an extraordinary, if painful, life. The new exhibition at the V&A explores her life and how she fashioned it through her personal possessions, from clothes and cosmetics to photographs; a collection which has never before been seen outside of Mexico.
V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Michael Jackson: On the Wall
Coinciding with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, this new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery explores the impact the artist had on contemporary art, as well as his continuing influence as a cultural figure. Thanks to loans from collections worldwide, this extensive exhibition will showcase pieces by Andy Warhol, Isa Genzken, and Kehinde Wiley, among numerous others.
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE
Gamers and design buffs alike will find plenty to inspire at this cutting-edge curation of the conception, design and prototypes of ground-breaking videogames from the past decade. From the hyper-visual Nintendo Splatoon to the post-apocalyptic landscapes of The Last of Us, this collection at the V&A demonstrates not only immense artistic and technical talent but raises skilful philosophical questions about the videogaming culture.
V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL
London Fashion Week
London is a fashion capital year-round, but flocks of style-makers come from around the globe for a week-long look at the next season’s fashions during the city’s bi-annual Fashion Week. LFW is the second of the “Big Four” to debut the Spring/Summer 2019 collections, following on from the shows in New York.
Various locations around London
Christian Marclay: The Clock
This 24 hour-long montage collects thousands of excerpts of clocks, spliced from a range of films from blockbusters and the silver screen to low-budget science fiction and spaghetti Westerns, edited together to show the actual time. It’s a mesmerising installation that took Marclay years of painstaking production to create, and the result poses pertinent questions about our relationship to time and the media. Installed at the Tate Modern, the gallery will stay open overnight once a month for a full screening.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
With London’s Shard, The New York Times Building and Paris’s Pompidou Centre in his portfolio of architectural feats, Renzo Piano is a pioneer of modern urban landscaping. This exhibition at the RA glances back over his career, curating rarely seen drawings, photography, maquettes and installations to illustrate how Piano designed the 16 key buildings that have shaped our global capitals’ signature skylines.
RA, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J0BD
This iconic musical comedy from Stephen Sondheim and George Furth has been reimagined from its original 1970s Broadway production for the Gielgud Theatre, with the lead role of Bobby now being cast as a woman played by the award-winning British actress Rosalie Craig. The tunes are catchy, the script is witty, and the cast is well-seasoned with stars such as Broadway legend Patti LuPone and British favourite Mel Giedroyc.
Gielgud Theatre, 35 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
Richard Strauss’s dramatic opera based on Oscar Wilde’s dark psychological play – where King Herod demands his stepdaughter Salome’s Dance of the Seven Veils in return for whatever the princess desires – makes its much-anticipated debut at the English National Opera. Mezzo-soprano Allison Cook takes the lead as Salome, while tenor Michael Colvin is Herod and English National Opera musical director Martyn Brabbins conducts.
London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES
Mantegna & Bellini
This intriguing exhibition at The National Gallery explores the relationship between two heavyweight Italian Renaissance painters, Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna, who also happened to be brothers-in-law. Central to this collection is a comparison between their separate renderings of The Agony in the Garden and The Presentation at the Temple, which gives precious insight into how the artists influenced and shaped each other’s work.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
The works of over 1,000 of the world’s leading contemporary artists will converge on Regent’s Park for Frieze London. An art-lover’s playground, the fair has more than 160 galleries showcasing and selling pieces during its run. The 16th edition of Frieze London will feature a new theme, Social Work, celebrating artists who challenged the male-dominated art market of the 1980s, and works have been selected by a panel of leading women art historians and critics.
Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NR
A ballet based on the series of events leading up to the apparent murder/suicide of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria and his adolescent lover Baroness Mary Vetsera in the 19th century, Mayerling at the Royal Opera House is a dramatic intertwining of political intrigue and dangerous liaisons. Ranked among Kenneth MacMillan’s finest choreographies, the sumptuous set designs and evocative arrangements conspire to create a dark and thrilling masterpiece.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
BFI London Film Festival
With some of the biggest names in film congregating in London for this year’s BFI London Film Festival, expect exclusive talks from industry influencers such as director Guillermo del Toro and actor Annette Bening and star-studded red-carpet galas alongside a captivating line-up of British and international movie screenings in cinemas across the capital.
Various locations around London
Sir Edward Burne-Jones
Those who appreciate the poignant symbolism and romantic mythology favoured by the Pre-Raphaelites will applaud this retrospective of British artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones at the Tate Britain. A broad exhibition that draws together 150 pieces, including sensitively rendered pencil drawings, evocative stained glass and exquisite tapestries from his prolific career at the end of the 19th century.
Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
With more than 80 million global album sales making him the biggest selling solo classical artist of all time, Andrea Bocelli’s performance at The O2 is anticipated to sell out, so early booking is advised. Fans can expect to recognise popular emotive songs selected from the Italian tenor’s extraordinary 15 studio albums, including Because We Believe and Vivo Per Lei.
The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX