As we blast into March (I must admit I’ve never been happier to see London coming into bloom), the master of pop and colour, David Hockney, bursts onto the National Portrait Gallery. The much-anticipated British Surrealism opens at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, always a good excuse for a day out in south east London, and Leicester Square is turning into a cinematic walk of fame. And let’s not forget this Tuesday gives us an excuse for copious amounts of chocolate, sugar and anything else that takes your flippin’ fancy!
Tuesday 25 February
Cellist Penka Petkova will be playing a selection of classics which include Beethoven’s Cello and Piano Sonata No.1 and Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata at the sublime St Clement Danes church on Strand. On from 1pm to 2pm. Free (but donations welcome).
Wednesday 26 February
The golden age of garden painting will be celebrated in a new exhibition at the Garden Museum. Sanctuary: Artist-Gardeners 1919-1939 will show over 20 artists including Charles Mahoney, Edward Bawden, and John Nash. On until 5 April.
How did women live, work and play in rural Georgian England? A talk at the National Theatre examines women’s role in Georgian society, offering insight into their lives, experiences and expectations in life. Lucy Inglis is an historian specialising in the 18th century, and curator of the award-winning Georgian London blog. Whilst you’re there, don’t forget to pop up to the Wolfson Gallery for the free exhibition Costume at the National Theatre.
Thursday 27 February
The National Portrait Gallery is staging the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years. David Hockney: Drawing from Life explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to now. It focuses on his depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends. On until 28 June.
Leicester Square will come to cinematic life with a trail of bronze statues inspired by Britain’s love of film and a century of cinema from the 1920s to 2020s. Scenes in the Square is celebrating the capital’s rich movie history with statues that include Laurel & Hardy, Bugs Bunny, Gene Kelly, Mary Poppins, Mr. Bean and Paddington. Free and on until 30 June.
Collect is the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design. This year, Collect brings together international galleries from across the globe in its new home at Somerset House. With artists represented from over 25 nations from Sweden to Uganda to Japan, the breadth of exceptional work on show will range from ceramics, glass, metal, wood and textiles to makers working in non-traditional materials with experimental techniques. On until 1 March.
British Surrealism at the Dulwich Picture Gallery is an ambitious and wide-spanning survey of the origins of surrealist art in Britain and the first to trace its roots back to 1620. Bringing together over 40 artists, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Ithell Colquhoun, Paul Nash and Reuben Mednikoff, the exhibition showcases paintings, sculpture, photography, etchings and prints made between the years 1783 and 1952. On until 17 May.
The Aga Khan Centre Gallery presents an exhibition by the internationally renowned Iranian textile artist Bita Ghezelayagh. The exhibition will feature tile-sized mirror works echoing the elaborate muqarnas of Islamic architecture, along with an array of textures, tones and trademark materials such as velvet, silk, felt and carpet fragments from Iran. Ghezelayagh’s work is within public and private collections including the British Museum and most recently within the Islamic Middle East Collection at the V&A, and her work will feature in the major exhibition of Iranian art opening at the V&A later this year. On until 3 May.
Friday 28 February
Hear the opera stars of the future at Fulham Palace, and enjoy arias by Bizet, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Lehar, amongst others. You can also enjoy a three course dinner, with two courses served in one of the Palace’s historic rooms prior to the concert, and dessert and coffee served afterwards. Book here.
Make sure you grab yourself a ticket to the terrific Message in a Bottle at the Peacock Theatre, Sadler’s Wells. You can read my review here.
“It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed.” (George VI)
Feature Image: Conroy Maddox – Onanistic Typewriter I (British Surrealism at the Dulwich Picture Gallery)
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