Five unmissable exhibitions

From 17th-century girl power to a Victorian agent provocateur, Brummell selects London’s top cultural must-sees in early 2020

Art and Design 31 Jan 2020

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) Marilyn Diptych 1962 Tate © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

Edith Rimmington, Family Tree, 1938, The Murray Family Collection (UK & USA) ©Estate of Edith Rimmington

British Surrealism

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Think of Surrealism and you’ll no doubt picture Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks or René Magritte’s bowler-hatted gentlemen obscured by floating apples. British artists who contributed to the Surrealist movement – which celebrates its centenary this year – have long been overshadowed by their European counterparts. This year Dulwich Picture Gallery is redressing the situation with an exhibition dedicated to British Surrealists, such as Leonora Carrington, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Paul Nash in a celebration of what curator Dr David Boyd Haycock calls ‘probably the most exciting, transgressive and bizarre art movement of the 20th century’.

26 February – 17 May 2020;


Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) Illustration for Oscar Wilde’s Salome 1893, The Peacock Skirt

Aubrey Beardsley

Tate Britain

Britain’s original enfant terrible scandalised Victorian England with his beautiful but risqué Art Nouveau illustrations. On his deathbed, aged just 25, Beardsley turned to the Catholic Church and pleaded with his publisher to destroy some of his ‘obscene’ drawings – a final wish that was thankfully ignored. A large and diverse selection of work from Beardsley’s short yet prolific career will be on display at Tate Britain this spring. It will feature bold poster designs, Beardsley’s only oil painting and more than 200 of his most celebrated illustrations, including those for Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and Oscar Wilde’s Salomé.

4 March – 25 May 2020;


Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross) 1975 Italian private collection © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

Andy Warhol

Tate Modern

Tate Modern is pulling out all the stops for a major new retrospective of Pop Art visionary Andy Warhol; the first in nearly 20 years. Expect many of the New Yorker’s most famous and recognisable works depicting pop icons and brands, including paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans. Taking a deeper insight into Warhol’s oeuvre, the exhibition also includes a lesser-known series of radical portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women.

12 March – 6 September;

Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player. Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartfod. Charles H. Schwartz Endowment Fund (2014.4.1) ©Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art


The National Gallery

To call Artemisia Gentileschi ahead of her time is quite the understatement. The 17th-century Italian painter blazed a trail in Europe, not just by making a career as a woman artist and being the only female member of Florence’s prestigious Accademia di Arte del Disegno, but by depicting strong women from myths, poems and the Bible in her art. This year The National Gallery celebrates Artemisia’s extraordinary achievements and talent in the artist’s first ever UK exhibition.

4 April – 26 July 2020;

‘Cheshire cat’ psychedelic poster by Joseph McHugh, published by East Totem West. USA, 1967 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser


The V&A’s immersive new exhibition takes visitors down the rabbit hole of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Curated by award-winning theatre director Tom Piper, Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser explores the novel’s origins and enduring impact on modern popular culture.

27 June – 10 January 2021;