January and Joyfulness

curvy london companion amelia swann

It is undeniable that January is a difficult month for many people. The excesses of Christmas are over, we’re tired and it’s cold. However, for the last few years, I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m not going to let January get me down. Instead, I see it as a time for personal indulgence, reflection and setting intentions for the year. And I’m choosing to believe that 2024 will be a year full of creativity and culture. With that in mind, here are five upcoming London exhibitions which are on my radar. If you’d also like to make this January (and February, and March…)commitment to having a good time, then get in touch and let’s explore London together! Because the only thing better than really good art, is really good art with a curvy London companion by your side.

curvy london companion amelia swann

REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion

This landmark exhibition at the Design Museum is one of the most wide-ranging surveys of contemporary fashion culture ever staged in the UK, offering an unprecedented look at how careers in fashion are forged, and the multitude of opportunities London’s fashion scene offers young creatives. The Design Museum is also just a stunning place to visit – perhaps combined with a trip to Claude Bosi for Champagne and oysters?

Philip Guston

Philip Guston at the Tate Modern is the first major retrospective on the artist in the UK in nearly 20 years. Born in Canada to a Jewish immigrant family, he grew up in the US and eventually became one of the most celebrated abstract painters of the 1950s and 1960s, alongside Mark Rothko and his childhood friend Jackson Pollock. For over 50 years, he restlessly made paintings and drawings that captured the anxious and turbulent world he was witnessing.

Guston was a complex artist who took inspiration from the nightmarish world around him to create new and surprising imagery. This exhibition explores how his paintings bridged the personal and the political, the abstract and the figurative, the humorous and the tragic.

Entangled Pasts at Royal Academy of Arts

What was the role of art in maintaining and critiquing the British Empire and what’s its role today in ongoing discussions around decolonising art institutions? Royal Academy of Arts brings together paintings by Old Masters such as Turner and Reynolds, and pairs them with contemporary artists who are seeking to decolonise through their work, from Lubaina Himid’s cut out figures to Hew Locke’s flotilla of suspended boats. Entangled Pasts also examines the role of the RA’s own role of colonialism, spanning its 250 year history. A must see for those into power and it’s role in shaping our history. Obviously followed by restorative martinis at The Rivoli Bar.

Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads

During his early years as a young artist in post-war London, Frank Auerbach produced one of his most remarkable bodies of work: a series of large-scale portrait heads made in charcoal. Auerbach spent months on each drawing, working and reworking them during numerous sessions with his sitters.

Auerbach’s heads emerge from the darkness of the charcoal as vital and alive, having come through a lengthy period of struggle – the image repeatedly created and destroyed. The character of the drawings speaks profoundly of their times as people were remaking their lives after the destructions and upending of war. This exhibition will be the first time Auerbach’s extraordinary post-war drawings, made in the 1950s and early 1960s, have been brought together as a comprehensive group. They will be shown together with a selection of paintings he made of the same sitters; for him, painting and drawing have always been deeply entwined.

We can continue the discussion as we stroll through Lincoln’s Inn to Scarfe’s Bar, perhaps?

These are just a few of the many, many exciting new exhibitions opening in London in 2024. What’s on your list? I’m the perfect curvy London companion, so take me for a drink and let’s make a plan.

curvy london companion amelia swann