Best art exhibitions to see in London for 2023
London is so full of art, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here's our guide to the best exhibitions in big and small galleries to see right now.
There's so much going on in London, it can be hard to know where to begin. Whether you consider yourself a Londoner, have recently moved to the 'Big Smoke' or are visiting the city for a few days, the RadioTimes.com team have worked hard to become experts in what's going on and are here to share the wisdom.
London is one of the best places in the UK to see an art exhibition. Home to many of the biggest galleries in the country (and the world) there's a huge amount to see in the permanent collections, let alone the exhibitions.
Different galleries are known for different specialisms, from the National Portrait Gallery which houses and exhibits different kinds of portraiture, to the Victoria and Albert museum (the V&A) which is know for its speciality in fashion and textiles. So, if you're interested in a particular medium or type of exhibition, it can be good to keep an eye on a gallery or museum which specialises in that.
Cost is obviously something that we are all keeping an eye on at the moment. The good news for art lovers is that many London museums and galleries have huge amounts that you can usually view for free, especially elements of the permanent collections.
You often have to pay to see particular exhibitions with tickets usually in the range of £10-£20, with most galleries offering concession prices for students, children and seniors. If you are a fan of a particular museum or gallery, many have the option of becoming a member which includes perks like access to a members' café and opportunities to get tickets to popular exhibitions early, or even in private viewings.
More like this
We'll aim to keep this page updated with all the most exciting exhibitions on in the capital at the moment.
Here are the best art exhibitions in London right now.
- Best limited-time art exhibitions in London
- Best art gallery tours in London
- Best immersive art exhibitions in London
- Best small art exhibitions in London
Best art exhibitions in London at a glance
- Kamala Ibrahim Ishag: States on Oneness at The Serpentine for free
- Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel at Barbican The Curve for free
- Monet: The Immersive Experience
- Magritte: The Immersive Experience
- Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons at the Hayward Gallery from £15
- MK Čiurlionis: Between Worlds at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from £16.50
- Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth at the British Library from £17
- Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the V&A from £20
- Cezanne at the Tate Modern (The EY Exhibition) from £22
- Lucian Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery (The Credit Suisse Exhibition) from £24
- Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience from £22.90
- Dalí : Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience from £22.90
- Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum for two from £80
- Highlights of the National Gallery official guided tour and afternoon tea for two from £99
- Private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern from £238.50
Best art exhibitions in London for 2023
Best limited time art exhibition in London
Cezanne at the Tate Modern (The EY Exhibition)
Cezanne changed painting as an art form. In this huge collection of his work, we recommend you allow at least an hour and a half to make your way around.
Cezanne is viewed within his own context as an artist and as a man. It shows his early works, his time in Paris and his life long love with the countryside of Provence. With his art being shown in the UK for the first time, you're sure to leave inspired. This show ends on 12th March.
Buy tickets for Cezanne at the Tate Modern from £22
Lucian Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery (The Credit Suisse Exhibition)
This is the first major exhibition of Freud's work in a decade, and brings together paintings spanning over 70 years. This show is another big one, containing over 60 works. One of Britain's most famous artists, this exhibition allows you to see the evolution of his technique over the course of his lifetime.
If you want to see this show, don't wait t0o long - it ends on 22nd January.
Buy tickets for Lucien Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery from £24
Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel at Barbican The Curve
A particularly topical exhibition, Rebel Rebel showcases the work of Iranian artist Soheila Sokhanvari. Sokhanvari's miniature portraits are a celebration of feminist icons from pre-revolutionary Iran, exploring the juxtaposition of a culture formally entrenched in Western aesthetics but not freedoms. The space is beautifully incorporated into the exhibition with hand painted designs on the floor and ceiling based on traditional Islamic designs.
Get tickets for Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel at Barbican The Curve for free
Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the V&A
The V&A is well known for it's exploration in different mediums, particularly in textiles, and this exhibition is no different. Focusing on the popular culture of South Korea, the show explores where the foundations of the Korean Wave lie. It goes on to discover the global influence of South Korean culture on everything from cinema to beauty and fashion.
This show runs until 25th June.
Buy tickets for Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the V&A from £20
Kamala Ibrahim Ishag: States on Oneness at The Serpentine
This exhibition is by Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishag, a defining figure in modern and contemporary art. Her work explores the human connection with the natural world. Despite being a key figure in a number of artistic movements including the Khartoum School, her work transects them all. This exhibition features her widely recognisable oil paintings, as well as works on paper and many other mediums.
This show ends on 29th January.
Get tickets for Kamala Ibrahim Ishag: States on Oneness at The Serpentine for free
Best art gallery tours in London
Private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is one of the world's biggest museums of modern and contemporary art. While this is part of what makes it so exciting, it can also be a bit daunting - especially if you're a first time visitor.
That's where a private tour can be an amazing way to see the gallery. These tours are for up to eight people and last anywhere between one and a half and two hours. You'll have a professional tour guide all to yourselves as you get to know the history of this unique exhibition space, and gain insights on some of the artwork.
These tours can be in English, Spanish or French.
Buy tickets for a private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern from £238.50 at Fever
Highlights of the National Gallery official guided tour and afternoon tea for two
The National Gallery is one of London's most iconic buildings, situated in Trafalgar Square. The home of the masterpieces, on this hour-long tour you'll be guided between some of the more famous European works in the gallery by an expert tour guide. And after all that art you'll probably need a snack, so you'll head to Ochre for afternoon tea including savoury sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and seasonal pastries.
Buy tickets for the highlights of the National Gallery official guided tour and afternoon tea for two from £99 at Virgin Experience Days
Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum for two
Be guided by a qualified archaeologist as you make your way around the British Museum and see how our relationship with design and stonework has evolved over time. You'll get to hear the history behind some of the world's most famous artefacts, and learn more about the science behind archaeology.
Buy tickets for Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum for two from £80 at Virgin Experience Days
Best immersive art exhibitions in London
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
He’s one of the most influential artists in the modern world, and now you have the chance to see Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork in a 260 degree digital exhibition. Immerse yourself in the Dutch post-impressionist painter’s artwork, such as The Starry Night and Café Terrace At Night, with huge digital installations, then travel through eight of Van Gogh’s works and their inspirations with a one-of-a-kind VR experience complete with a headset.
Buy tickets for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience from £22.90 at Fever
If VR experiences are your bag, be sure to take a look at the best VR experiences in London.
Dalí : Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience
One of the RadioTimes.com team members went to the Dalí museum in Spain last summer. It was jam-packed with Salvador Dalí’s most famous surrealist pieces, and for an equally as fantastic exhibition on home soil, the Dalí : Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience is where it’s at.
The immersive experience uses projection mapping and sound effects to offer a unique way of seeing the Spanish artist’s work.
Buy tickets for Dalí : Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience from £22.90 at Fever
The Dalí : Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience would be a fantastic date day, and for more inspiration, check out the best Dry January date ideas and best Valentine’s Day ideas and gifts.
Monet: The Immersive Experience
Pioneer Oscar-Claude Monet was the founder of impressionist painting and a key precursor to modernism as he enjoyed painting nature as he saw it. It made for some beautiful results, such as The Water Lily Pond and The Artist's Garden at Giverny, and now, there’s the opportunity to see the French painter’s work in London.
Be the first to see Monet: The Immersive Experience, and sign up to receive news of the top-secret location and date.
Buy tickets for Monet: The Immersive Experience at Fever
Magritte: The Immersive Experience
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, it’s definitely not a pipe. Be the first in line to see The Treachery of Images, The Son of Man and The Lovers amongst other famous artworks by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. Explore Magritte's life, work, inspiration, and even uncover some of the artist’s secrets.
Buy tickets for Magritte: The Immersive Experience at Fever
Best small art exhibitions in London
Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth at the British Library
The story of Alexander the Great is, well, one of the greats. But how much truth is there in the tale? In this intimate exhibition at the British Library, the story of Alexander the Great is explored, picked apart and examined. You'll get to see different depictions of it over the last 2,000 years, from clay tablets to Hollywood movies.
Buy tickets for Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth at the British Library from £17
MK Čiurlionis: Between Worlds at the Dulwich Picture Gallery
MK Čiurlionis is not only Lithuania's best loved artist but also a highly celebrated composer. With most of his works travelling to the UK for the first time, this is a chance to see some of Europe's most significant art up close. With work that in many ways acted as a precursor to the later abstract movements, the Between Worlds exhibition is a chance to be carried away into the world of the spiritual and mystical.
This exhibition runs until 12th March.
Buy tickets for MK Čiurlionis: Between Worlds at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from £16.50
Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons at the Hayward Gallery
This exhibition is a survey of work by the British artist Mike Nelson. The installations are tonally very different from many traditional exhibitions of paintings, and will take the visitor on a journey through different worlds and experiences. Nelson uses materials gathered and salvaged from antique shops, junk yards and auctions to explore alternative ways of thinking.
Buy tickets for Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons at the Hayward Gallery from £15
Check out our Going Out section to stay on top of what's going on in London and beyond, such as the best London theatre shows and Manchester theatre shows, plus spa experiences in London.