12 of the Best Exhibitions to see in London

London events, Museums & stately homes

Immerse yourself in culture in the city with a visit to an art or design exhibition. From contemporary classics to abstract art, London is packed with things to see at its impressive selection of museums and galleries. Here are some of the best exhibitions in Spring and Summer 2018.

The EY Exhibition Impressionists in London

There’s one month left to see the superb Impressionists in London exhibition which tells the story of artists including Claude Monet, James Tissot and Camille Pissarro who left France in the 1870’s and took up residency in London.
Tate Britain, until 7 May 2018

All Too Human; Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life

Showing at Tate Britain until the end of August, the exhibition celebrates figurative painting from the last 100 years and includes works by Freud, Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Walter Sickert and David Bomberg.
Tate Britain, until 27 August 2018

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

This exhibition is a superb opportunity to see more than 100 paintings and sculptures by Picasso. Highlights of the collection include the outstanding Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Nude in a Black Armchair and The Mirror, painted by Picasso in 1932.
Tate Modern, until 9 September 2018

Visit Tate Modern
Picasso Exhibition at Tate Modern

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

Recreating the golden age of ocean travel, the V&A’s (Victoria and Albert Museum) exhibition showcases 250 objects, including ship models, furniture, fashion, photographs and posters from the world of grand ocean liners. Highlights include a panel fragment from the Titanic’s first-class lounge.
V&A, until 10 June 2018

Monet and Architecture

With highlights among the 70 paintings including works from his time in Paris and paintings of Rouen cathedral, Monet & Architecture is the first ever exhibition to explore Monet’s relationship with architecture.
National Gallery, 9 April – 29 July 2018

Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design

The exhibition features some of the leading female artists who have worked for London Transport and Transport for London. Revealing a broad range of artistic styles, artists include designers such as Mabel Lucie Attwell, Enid Marx and Zandra Rhodes.
London Transport Museum, until January 2019

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

See a selection of Rodin’s iconic sculptures shown alongside some of the Parthenon sculptures and discover how the ancient world shaped his work.
British Museum, 26 April – 29 July 2018

The Great British Seaside

This free exhibition explores Britain’s quirky relationship with a British day at the seaside. Take a trip into a world of stripy deck chairs, beach huts and fish ‘n’ chips via a collection of 100 works by four of Britain’s most highly-regarded photographers.
National Maritime Museum, until 30 September 2018

Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern

Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers. The Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern exhibition features over 150 patterns and products and explores the importance of ornament and colour in our lives.
Fashion and Textile Museum, 25 May – 23 September 2018

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

A must for anyone who moves in the world of fashion, this exhibition celebrates the designer’s exceptional talent.   Alaïa collaborated on the exhibition, which displays 60 designs of his work, before his untimely death in November 2017.
The Design Museum, 10 May – 7 October 2018

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art

Anyone interested in photography should head straight for Tate Modern’s major new exhibition which will feature over 300 works by more than 100 artists. The Shape of Light will be the first show of this scale to explore the relationship between photography and abstract art.
Tate Modern, 2 May – 14 October 2018

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

No summer in London is complete without a visit to the Summer Exhibition. The event is a unique platform for both new and established artists to showcase their work. This year sees the event celebrating its 250th anniversary, with Grayson Perry RA at the helm.

As an added bonus, the Great Spectacle will run alongside the Summer Exhibition, revealing its story over the 250 years since its inception.
Royal Academy, 12 June – 19 August 2018