Getting back into the swing of things after the holidays can be a drag. Setting your alarm, packing your lunch, and all the things you were excited to stop doing for a little while are back in full-force. Just because it’s January, though, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. To help out, here are five exhibitions to see in London that will give you plenty to do to break up the monotony.
Victoria & Albert Museum, through March 8th, £15
Tim Walker is no stranger to capturing the most exotic and ahead-of-the-crowd fashion, nor is he new to the museum world. Based in London, Walker is one of the most renowned fashion photographers and his exhibition is nothing less than vibrant. Three years in the making, ‘Wonderful Things’ is Walker’s take on the museum’s collection. Using everything from Alexander McQueen’s red dress from the Horn of Plenty collection clad in its dust bag to a 17th century embroidered casket, the exhibition crossed centuries with Walker’s own brand on unique character.
Serpentine Gallery, through February 2nd, free entry
The works in Albert Oehlen’s self-titled bring together surrealism, expressionism, and amateurism in a dizzying collection of works created over the past four decades. Timeout put it best that the works feel like they’re the ‘result of mainlining cold brew after starting the day on three macchiatos.’ The excitement of Oehlen’s works is accompanied by music created by Steamboat Switzerland, an avant-garde trio. A central component of the exhibition is Oehlen’s interpretation of the Rothko Chapel, a Texas chapel featuring the work of Rothko.
Tate Modern, through March 15th, free entry
Born just after the turn of the century, Dora Maar was a force to be reckoned with. Shifting from painting to photography in the 1930s, her monochromatic renderings are simultaneously stunning and eerie. Her subjects ranged from the commercial fashion industry to the street life of Paris to major figures in the surrealist movement. Maar’s works have long been overshadowed by her tumultuous affair with Pablo Picasso. The nine-room exhibition does not leave this out, either, with an entire room dedicated to Picasso’s renderings of Maar. While together, they impacted each other’s works, but their relationship would not sustain and it would affect Maar, who underwent shock therapy for her deep depression, for a long time after its end.
Dulwich Picture Gallery, February 2nd, £16.50
At a time when Leonardo da Vinci’s life is overshadowing most other anniversaries, ‘Rembrandt’s Light’ celebrates the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Master’s death. In its final weeks, the exhibition is all about the lighting, as was Rembrandt. The exhibition focuses on works from 1639-1658, when Rembrandt was working in his Breestraat, light-filled studio that features in works like The Artist’s Studio and was where Rembrandt created a number of his masterpieces. The exhibition takes light to another level utilizing Erco’s LED Bluetooth lighting system for the first time. In the final gallery of the exhibition, lighting is further toyed with as a number of portraits by Rembrandt are hung against walls painted in Black 3.0, artist Stuart Semple’s response to Vantablack.
Barbican Centre, through January 16th, £15-17
You might be participating in Dry January but get to the Barbican Centre before ‘Into the Night’ closes and take a look at the heyday of cabarets, clubs, and art through the lens of a number of cities from Berlin to Osbogo to Mexico City. Chances are you’ve never heard of the a lot of the haunts highlighted in the exhibition but in their short-lived lives, they made headlines, were the sights of scandals, and changed the course of entertainment, art, and nightlife.